Communications Strategist

New York, New York


The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Communications Strategistamp;nbsp;in the Communications Department of the ACLU's National office in New York or Washington, DC.

The ACLU Communications Department creates, maintains, and expands message narratives to engage our supporters and other target audiences, to help protect and expand civil liberties and civil rights, and also illustrate the value and impact of the ACLU's transformational work. Through our messaging, engagement with newsmakers, our written content, creative branding, and visual identity, we encourage support for the ACLU and help to build a more perfect union.

Reporting to the Director, Strategic Communications, the Communications Strategist will play a critical role in developing and executing communications strategies that advance the ACLU's work on civil liberties and civil rights. The strategist will execute strategies through collaboration with communications colleagues, digital team members, organizers, lawyers, lobbyists, state advocates, vendors, and partner organizations. The strategist will engage target audiences about ACLU litigation and advocacy; secure news coverage about ACLU efforts; build messaging; create content for publications and the website; and, plan events such as mobilization activations, and issue teleconferences.


  • Create multi-faceted communications strategies on a wide array of civil liberties and civil rights issues, including, but not limited to advocacy and litigation around immigrants' rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, and digital privacy
  • Develop and implement organizational communications strategies to further the ACLU's brand recognition among target audiences
  • Strategize to determine the most effective spokespeople for disseminating the ACLU messages and brand
  • Develop multi-faceted communications plans, which include goals, audience definitions, messaging, media relations strategies, use of ACLU digital platforms, and nationwide advocacy, to change hearts, minds, and laws
  • Participate and help lead cross-functional teams (legal, advocacy, digital content) to shape messaging for ACLU initiatives to maximize their communications value and effectiveness, as well as the visibility of the ACLU
  • Increase coverage of ACLU issues and ACLU messages by cultivating and maintaining relationships with key reporters, editors, producers, and bookers
  • Identify needs for digital content and written materials, and work with the digital team, program staff, and relevant working groups to have them produced in line with agreed strategies
  • Identify and lead response to breaking news events, often making sensitive judgment calls in emerging civil liberty and civil rights crises
  • Create and refine communications content, including talking points, news releases, op-eds, letters to the editor, blog posts, backgrounders, social media content, comics, videos, infographics, interactive web features, and social media copy for ACLU National and affiliate teams
  • Be able to accurately and swiftly engage in rapid response moments across platforms
  • Develop and pitch feature stories
  • Prepare clients, organizers, litigators, state advocates, and other spokespeople for media appearances
  • In coordination with multi-media staff, conceptualize, script, direct, and produce video content relating to civil liberties and civil rights issues
  • Provide guidance to affiliates in the development of communications materials and strategy, when necessary
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes
  • Significant experience in a combination of the following areas: media, strategic communications, journalism, content creation, digital communications, and public relations
  • Experience working on issue-based advocacy and public awareness campaigns, and in communicating complex issues to a variety of targeted audiences
  • Must possess strong organizational skills, be detail-oriented and possess the ability to follow projects through to completion
  • Ability to communicate persuasively and professionally, in writing through media relations materials, op-eds and blog posts, and to communicate verbally to a wide variety of media, political, stakeholder, and influencer audiences
  • Experience working with the media and cultivating relationships with print, radio, television and online journalists
  • Proven experience in exercising judgment in breaking news and rapid response environments
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Associated Press style required
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts
  • Experience crafting social media messages, and promoting issues through social media and other digital platforms
  • Experience with online news, social media and digital advocacy tactics
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with others including cross departmentally as part of a team
  • Familiarity with Cision media relations software a plus
  • Basic proficiency with HTML; experience using a CMS to publish and update website content, preferred
  • Understanding of trends and best practices for online campaigning, and best practices for communicating via email, Facebook and Twitter, preferred
For 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it's ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law

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 e-mailamp;nbsp;;nbsp; If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.

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