Manager or Assistant Director for P-12 Communications

The Education Trust seeks a manager or assistant director for P-12 Communications to help to advance the organization’s ambitious agenda to transform schools for the nation’s most vulnerable youth. Reporting directly to the Director of Communications, the manager or assistant director for P-12 communications will also be a member of the Ed Trust P-12 research, policy, and practice team and work closely with the VP and relevant P12 team members to develop and execute communications activities to further advance the organization’s advocacy goals. The ideal candidate has a track record of translating “wonky” research findings and policy recommendations (think of school funding formulas, assessment and accountability systems, and data reporting, for example) into accessible, motivating content and 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

Responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:

Strategic Communications Outreach:

  • Proactively build, execute, and refine a communications plan designed to (1) advance Ed Trust’s P12 policy goals at both the national and state levels and (2) change public understanding and narrative about how our public schools do and do not advance equity in opportunity and outcomes for underserved students
  • Drive communications outreach to make Ed Trust a leading voice on the issues that are mission-aligned
  • Liaise with communications, P-12, and editorial teams to ensure aligned communications strategies and make content accessible to broader audiences
  • Develop cohesive, strategic outreach plans to identify and reach the organization’s target audiences for policy, research, and practice papers, events, videos and other advocacy documents/tools
  • Work closely with P12 team and Senior VP for Partnerships and Engagement to amplify their voices on P12 issues, including by developing plans to increase their visibility, preparing them for media engagements, and developing their skills as spokespeople
  • Serve as project lead on the public release of Ed Trust P-12 materials including:
    • conducting a media landscape analysis to understand the environment in which Ed Trust is entering existing conversations
    • collaborating with Ed Trust’s broader communication team on editorial, digital, and media strategy
    • connecting with Ed Trust’s Partnerships and Engagement team to ensure alignment of public messaging and outreach strategy
    • ensuring that key staff are meeting their deadlines to make sure the release is a success
    • flagging and creating drumbeat opportunities post-release to ensure core messages reach intended audience
    • stewarding P-12 media and public speaking opportunities for the President and CEO as well as other staff (e.g. coordinating event logistics, collaborating with research and content teams on background materials in preparation for opportunities)
    • monitoring and sharing internally the impact and reach of Ed Trust’s communications strategy, and revising and expanding the strategy as needed
  • Assist Ed Trust partners with their communications needs

Media Relations:

  • Cultivate and create relationships with national and state reporters, editors, bloggers, producers, and columnists
  • Serve as the primary contact for media for P-12 press inquiries
  • Write media advisories and press releases, marketing materials, web and social media content (as appropriate), and talking points and key messages
  • Manage and build out key media and outreach lists in both EveryAction and Cision as well as maintaining a list of VIP reporters
  • Pitch and place stories on educational and social justice issues in which Ed Trust is engaged.
  • Explore new communications avenues to promote our advocacy agenda

Writing:

  • Write timely, engaging, and accurate blog posts, and other online content to advance the organization’s policy agenda and mission.
  • Translate “wonky” research findings and policy recommendations into easily accessible, motivating content geared toward reaching key audiences and creating narrative and policy change.
  • Write and prepare timely and thorough background materials for members of Ed Trust’s senior leadership team including speeches, talking points, briefing documents, op-eds, blog posts, etc.

Qualifications and Experience

Candidates should enjoy working in a dynamic, racial-justice focused, results-oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work. In addition, we are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:

  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in public relations or journalism or a related field with demonstrated ability to forge and maintain relationships with journalists.
  • Experience interacting with P12 education policy or research – including related to school funding – is strongly preferred, regardless of setting (including but not limited to: covering education as a reporter, communications for an advocacy organization, speech writing for an elected official, employment in a state, local, or federal education agency);
  • Proven experience creating and implementing multifaceted, integrated communications plans;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills. Proven experience drafting media materials and other public documents including press releases, fact sheets, op-eds and talking points;
  • The ability to prioritize and multi-task in a sometimes demanding, strategic, fast-paced environment;
  • The ability to work independently with limited supervision. Flexible, with the ability to routinely juggle multiple competing priorities and work with content teams to meet deadlines.
  • Solid follow-through and attention to detail;
  • An understanding of the role of communications in achieving advocacy goals and policy change; and
  • At least an undergraduate degree.

Personal Characteristics

  • Passion for improving the educational experiences and outcomes for students of color and those from low-income backgrounds, and an unwavering belief that students could be much more successful if schools and systems better served them;
  • Self-starter mentality and the ability to work independently;
  • A demonstrated commitment to excellence;
  • Healthy respect for colleagues;
  • Goal-oriented, project-oriented, and achievement oriented; and
  • Strong sense of honor and integrity.

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.

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