The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey (ACLU-NJ) seeks a Deputy Communications Director. This is a new role, designed for an experienced, mission-driven professional looking for a meaningful opportunity in a proven, growing, and vibrant organization that makes profound differences in the lives of people across our state.

The Deputy Communications Director will oversee the ACLU-NJ's media relations and messaging, and partner with the Communications Director and the Communications team to conceive, plan, and execute communications strategies that further the ACLU-NJ's mission and integrated advocacy goals.

This role is based in Newark, NJ with a hybrid work schedule that currently offers the option of working remotely up to three days each week. This position currently supervises one position directly and will report to the Communications Director.

What you’ll do

    Media Relations and Strategy

    • Lead all aspects of media relations, including writing and disseminating press materials, responding to inquiries, and arranging interviews with subject matter experts.
    • Proactively develop relationships with reporters, editors, and influencers in key issue areas, pitching ACLU-NJ story ideas in alignment with reporters’ beats and areas of interest.
    • Provide media expertise to ACLU-NJ staff and partners through media training and preparation for media interviews.
    • Respond quickly to breaking news and opportunities to ensure the ACLU-NJ's presence in the news cycle.
    • Manage and track all media activities, including creating and maintaining media lists, tracking campaign success, and building analytics reports.
    • Fulfill ad placements in radio, TV, newspapers, digital, and out-of-home according to budget.
    • Lead the planning and execution of press events, including live and virtual press conferences and editorial board meetings, and support media at other events including rallies and marches.

    Content Creation and Messaging

    • Co-manage a drafting and editing process for communications deliverables, including, but not limited to, press releases, statements, op-eds, blogs, and talking points.
    • Lead and oversee the development of messaging and consistent usage for key issue areas and campaigns.
    • Draft, edit, and finalize public materials to ensure consistent strategic messaging.
    • Ensure consistency of voice, messaging, and effective communications across channels.

    Leadership and Management

    • Serve as a strategic leadership partner with the Communications Director on short-term and long-term communications priorities to further organizational goals.
    • Co-manage a team of communications professionals, provide feedback, guidance, and mentorship, and identify professional development and growth opportunities for staff.
    • Collaborate with other departments to integrate communications strategies, identify communications needs, manage major projects, and ensure the organization is working together moving forward.
    • Advise on and co-manage the Communications Department’s processes, workflows, and budget.
    • Stay aware and implement best practices about equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging (EDIB) in communications strategy and storytelling.

    What you’ll need

    • Significant experience in media relations or public relations, preferably in an advocacy or mission-driven organization.
    • Demonstrated ability to develop and shape a narrative, understand messaging nuances, and help clients and impacted people tell their story.
    • Project management and collaboration experience, including overseeing simultaneous interdepartmental or multi-disciplinary projects from inception to completion, managing budgets, and ensuring timely delivery.
    • Ability to provide strategic, thoughtful leadership with the Communications Director to move ACLU-NJ’s work forward.
    • Commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU-NJ.
    • Commitment to racial equity, dismantling white supremacy, structural power analysis, with knowledge and understanding of how power is manifested in matters of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, ability, language, immigration status, national origin, and socio-economic status.
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage competing priorities, and adjust strategy to changing demands.
    • Strong verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner to inform and engage a variety of audiences.
    • Extensive experience working with the media and cultivating relationships with journalists, including during breaking news and rapid response environments. Familiarity with Cision or other media relations software.
    • Results-oriented with demonstrated ability to plan, organize, prioritize, track progress, and meet goals. Familiarity with Asana or other project management software.
    • Ability to travel as needed both within the state and occasionally nationally.
    • Willingness to attend evening or weekend events and meetings as necessary.
    • Demonstrated research, writing and oral communication skills, including public communication skills.
    • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills, including a demonstrated ability to navigate and resolve conflict in a manner that values and respects relationships with colleagues inside and outside the ACLU-NJ.
    • Strong organizational and time management skills, with particular attention to detail.
    • Ability to maintain a sense of balance and perspective when encountering potential interpersonal or strategic challenges.

    Compensation

    The salary range for this position starts at $97,500 and is negotiable, commensurate with experience. The ACLU-NJ supports and plans for staff member professional growth and skill development through internal and external opportunities. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits package which currently includes 16 days paid time off, 12 office holidays and 12 health care leave days; fully paid medical, vision, and dental insurance; 80 days paid family leave; life and long-term disability insurance; pre-tax transit benefits; and a 401(k) plan with employer match. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  

    To Apply

    If you’re excited about bringing your talents and skills to the ACLU-NJ, complete this application and upload a resume and detailed letter of interest. Your letter should explain ways in which you satisfy the skills and qualifications specified above. We also invite applicants to include in their letter information about how their background and/or experiences could contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our staff and advocacy work.

    Application materials will also be accepted via postal mail (P.O. Box 32159, Newark, NJ 07102), but electronic filing is strongly preferred. Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately. We will accept applications until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. We hope that one of those applications is yours.

    The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

    The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please email careers@aclu-nj.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

    The ACLU-NJ is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture of belonging. It is our policy to employ qualified people without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; age; ancestry; disability; sexual orientation; veteran’s status; marital status; civil union status; arrest or court record; citizenship; credit history; genetic information; gender identity or expression; status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking; or any other characteristic protected under federal or state law. The more inclusive we are, the better we are.