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Communications Manager

Do you enjoy making complex ideas accessible to a more general audience? Do you love the challenge of developing engaging messaging and exploring new ways of sharing content online? Do you want to raise the public profile of technology issues that are at the forefront of the national policy debate? If you answer yes to any of these questions, this communications manager opportunity with the Open Technology Institute at New America (OTI) may be good fit for you. This position allows you to work on the many issues at the core of OTI, including net neutrality, encryption, freedom of expression, and the effects of technology on communities.

OTI works at the intersection of technology and policy to ensure that every community has equitable access to digital technology and its benefits. OTI’s staff includes noted experts on multiple issues who work closely with a diverse team of policy experts, technologists, social scientists, and data analysts. OTI is housed within New America, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. OTI’s work covers a range of internet policy issues, including but not limited to net neutrality, broadband access and adoption, wireless broadband and spectrum, cybersecurity, encryption, government surveillance, internet governance, privacy, and civil liberties.

Position Purpose:

The Communications Manager is responsible for developing and coordinating communications plans to raise the public profile of the Open Technology Institute, its work, and its staff using a variety of media tactics and channels.

The Communications Manager position is a full-time Open Technology Institute staff position. This position reports to the Open Technology Institute’s Operations Director. With support from OTI’s Communications Associate, the primary responsibilities of the Communications Manager are:

Media Relations:

  • Managing public relations planning and outreach. This includes managing outreach campaigns - both generally and rapid response situations - around OTI’s policy positions, initiatives and events, writing media advisories and press releases, and drafting talking points.
  • Serving as primary contact for press on behalf of OTI and responding to media inquiries. This includes maintaining an extensive media tracking database and an internal contact sheet.
  • Managing and building out key media and outreach lists; segmenting for each project’s needs; developing press relationships to expand OTI’s media presence. This includes managing Salesforce and Cision lists.
  • Proactively engaging reporters to highlight stories on issues that OTI engages on and develop relationships with reporters working on these issues.
  • Writing and producing organizational collateral, including press kits and other marketing materials.

Editorial Planning:

  • Developing outreach plans and editorial calendar for OTI programs, policy papers, events and other content, and coordinating press efforts with New America’s Communications and Editorial teams;
  • Collaborating on OTI’s broad editorial strategy, including outreach related to policy papers, writing synopses of events, and other original content, as well as supporting OTI staff members in their efforts to become more widely published;

Outreach Coordination:

  • Liaising with New America’s communications, events, editorial, and production teams to ensure coordinated communications strategies and promoting information-sharing for improved internal communications;
  • Supporting the timeline and production of collateral and other outputs from OTI, including policy papers, infographics, data visualizations, and other deliverables;
  • Working closely with Team Directors to understand the various teams’ communication needs and develop and execute communications plans that fulfills those needs.

Day-to-Day Communications Planning:

  • Overseeing the communications associate who manages OTI’s social media tools (Twitter) and researches new platforms for possible engagement (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). This includes monitoring/responding to communications via social media, posting events or significant developments, and integrating social media into the communications plan and roll outs.
  • Day-to-day managing, updating and administering OTI website; editing, proofreading, posting content; instituting standards around tagging and organization of website; training staff on website.

Ideal candidates will have the following characteristics:

  • Four to six years communications experience, some experience managing staff preferred;
  • Proven track record of pitching stories to media;
  • Ability to be a proactive thinker and act independently;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Excellent planning and organizational skills, as well as attention to detail; experience with project management is a plus.
  • Fluency with word processing programs, database management, and experience with internet research; Adaptable, solution-oriented, tech-savvy, DIY-friendly candidates are preferred;
  • Ability to thrive in a complex, multi-focus, fast-paced, team-oriented work environment;
  • Knowledge of, and/or interest in, public policy issues preferred; and,
  • Familiarity with national debates on technology policies especially those related to privacy, digital literacy, freedom of speech online and cybersecurity preferred. Intellectual curiosity required.
  • Graphic design skills and knowledge of InDesign is strongly preferred.

Application Process:

Please submit a cover letter, resume and brief (up to 3 page) writing sample.

Salary range begins at $65,000, and is negotiable for more experienced candidates. Salary includes generous benefits and paid time off.

New America is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce at all levels of the organization thereby creating a culture that allows us to better serve our clientele, our employees, and our communities. We value and encourage the contributions of our employees and strive to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and drive outstanding results. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law. This policy applies with regard to all aspects of one’s employment, including hiring, transfer, promotion, compensation, eligibility for benefits, and termination.

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