Communications Manager, Partnerships and Engagement

Based in Washington, D.C., the Communications Manager, Partnerships and Engagement will report to the Director of Communications and work closely with the National and State Partnerships team to advance Ed Trust goals in key states. The ideal candidate will be passionate about The Education Trust’s mission and will demonstrate a track record of: using communications to push for policy change; translating “wonky” research findings and policy recommendations into accessible, motivating content; working with a diverse range of partners; and executing strategic outreach that changes public narrative and builds broad understanding and support for important policy change.

About the Organization

Ed Trust is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, Ed Trust’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.

Major Responsibilities

Strategic Communications Outreach and Partnership

  • Manage and implement strategic communications plans for key states that are developed in partnership with Ed Trust national staff and state partners.
  • Conduct and maintain media landscape for states where Ed Trust has an advocacy agenda.
  • Collaborate with Ed Trust’s digital communications team to identify and work with key influencers on social media.
  • Provide guidance and training to state partners and coalitions on how traditional and digital communications can advance state-based policies and educational practice.
  • Liaise with broader communications, P-12 and higher education teams to ensure aligned communications strategies and content that is accessible to broader audiences.
  • Serve as project management lead on the public release of Ed Trust and partner-branded materials, including:
    • conducting a media landscape analysis to understand the environment in which Ed Trust is entering existing conversations
    • connecting with Ed Trust’s state advocacy teams and state-based partners and coalitions to ensure alignment of public messaging and outreach strategy
    • collaborating with Ed Trust’s broader communications team on editorial, digital, and media strategy
    • connecting with Ed Trust’s development team to assist with funder relations and coordinate outreach with funders, as needed
    • ensuring that key staff are meeting key deadlines for a successful release
    • creating drumbeat opportunities post-release to ensure core messages reach intended audiences

Media Relations

  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with state-level reporters, editors, bloggers, producers, and columnists in key states in which Ed Trust works
  • Draft and write media advisories and press releases, marketing materials, web and social media content, and talking points and key messages as needed
  • Review and edit external communications materials in key states to ensure that our messages will penetrate with key audiences
  • Manage and build out key media and outreach lists in both EveryAction and Cision as well as maintain a list of VIP reporters in key states
  • Pitch and place stories on educational and social justice issues in states where Ed Trust is engaged
  • Provide training and run preparation and feedback sessions for spokespeople to help focus their key messages and sharpen their public engagement skills for media interviews
  • Research new communications avenues to promote our state-level advocacy agenda

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • Minimum of 4 years of demonstrated experience in political public relations or journalism or a related field with demonstrated ability to forge and maintain relationships with journalists
  • Experience interacting with state policy, including but not limited to: covering education as a reporter, managing communications for an advocacy organization, speech writing for an elected official, social media experience, working in a state, local, or federal education agency
  • Proven experience creating and implementing multifaceted, integrated communications plans
  • Proven experience drafting media materials and other public documents including press releases, fact sheets, op-eds, scripts and talking points
  • The ability to prioritize and juggle competing priorities to meet deadlines and multi-task in a results-oriented and fast-paced environment.
  • The ability to work independently with limited supervision.
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong follow-through and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the role of communications in achieving advocacy goals and policy change

Compensation

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Please provide a cover letter and resume to be considered for this position. You must combine your cover letter and resume into one document and upload that document. Our application system will not allow you to upload more than one file.

At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and new hires should be fully vaccinated prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodations due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.

The Education Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.