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Director of Communications

The Marshall Project

New York, NY/Remote considered

Date Posted: 9/14/21

The Marshall Project is a Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Our journalism has an impact on the system, rendering it more fair, effective, transparent and humane.

We partner with both national and local media outlets to reach diverse audiences. Our journalism informs criminal justice experts who need fresh and accurate information to do their best work. We also aim to serve and engage the millions of people whose lives have been ensnared in the criminal justice system, and whom the media have too often neglected.

While we are not advocates, our work often leads to real world change. We expose wrongs, bringing them to the attention of officials who can take action. We give visibility to proposals and critiques from the criminal justice community. And we try to set an example for other media to cover criminal justice issues fairly and responsibly.

What You’ll Do

We are seeking an experienced and entrepreneurial Director of Communications to market our work to a broad national audience, and ensure that it is placed where it can have impact. You will work closely with our President, Editor-in-Chief, Development Director, and newsroom leadership. You should be a seasoned communications expert with a deep Rolodex of contacts, able to juggle long-term strategic planning with the ability to react to breaking news events. Working in concert with our award-winning newsroom, you will take primary responsibility for promoting and deepening The Marshall Project as a brand. You will ensure that an effective communications and marketing strategy never forgets the millions of people who have been directly affected by criminal justice and have often been marginalized by many news organizations.

We are looking for a skilled writer and communicator who will thrive in a deadline-centered, entrepreneurial environment. The successful candidate will be someone with a proven track record in communications, who is also passionate about public interest journalism.

This position will report to the President of The Marshall Project and will supervise our Communications and Impact Manager.

The duties of the Director of Communications include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee all public affairs and editorial communications.
  • Work with the Communications and Impact Manager to develop and execute outreach and marketing plans for our journalism, which includes long-term investigative and explanatory projects, first-person narratives, and shorter stories related to breaking news events.
  • Create media and public speaking opportunities for our reporters, editors, president, and board chair and ensure that they are prepared for media appearances with talking points and succinct messaging. Organize professional media training sessions.
  • Work with the Communications and Impact Manager to create opportunities for impact for our accountability journalism, ensuring that it is read by lawmakers and people with the power to make change, without overstepping the boundary into advocacy.
  • Pitch trade press stories that highlight product launches or new media innovations undertaken by The Marshall Project.
  • Cultivate journalists, reporters, social media influencers, thought leaders and new media figures to raise awareness for The Marshall Project and our work.
  • Partner with our Audience Engagement Editor to ensure cohesive messaging and maximum exposure for our work.
  • Assist any local newsrooms affiliated with The Marshall Project with their own messaging and communications.
  • Help connect our work to justice-impacted audiences, as well as communities that have been historically overlooked or marginalized by the media.
  • Oversee the creation and distribution of media and impact reports that are circulated to our board, executives, funders, and key stakeholders.
  • Help to conceive and produce occasional live events that highlight our work and journalism.
  • Work with colleagues to help produce annual events for the board of trustees, key funders and staff.

The Qualifications That You’ll Need:

  • 8-10 years of work experience in communications, including experience in criminal justice or within a newsroom
  • 2-3 years of direct supervisory experience of rising communications talent, and the ability to work with contractors
  • A deep bench of contacts and robust media relations
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience working in a growing organization with multiple stakeholders
  • Crisis communications experience

Our headquarters are in New York City, but we will consider remote candidates who live in the United States. We are currently working remotely, but anticipate a partial return to our New York headquarters by Fall 2021.

This job is full-time, with a competitive salary and benefits including employer-paid medical, vision, and dental insurance; paid time off each year; and 401(k) matching.

We are an equal opportunity employer, committed to diversity. We welcome qualified applicants of all races, ethnicities, physical abilities, genders and sexual orientations, including people who have been incarcerated or otherwise involved with the criminal justice system.

To apply, use this form to submit a resume, cover letter, five clips and references.

Due to the expected volume of applications, we will follow up with the most promising candidates but cannot respond individually to all applicants.

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