The Media Director is responsible for advancing Free Press' mission and goals and will work to build recognition and credibility of the organization. With other FP staff s/he will create and implement a strategic, multi-faceted media relations program that will build and maintain relationships with journalists and producers; book interviews and prepare spokespeople for media appearances; write press releases and advisories; develop talking points and hone messaging on key issues. The Media Director will maintain quality control in all print, online, video, and in-person publications and presentations. This job requires a flexible schedule including long hours and some evening and weekend work. Occasional domestic travel required. This position reports to the Executive Director.
Position Status: Full-time, Regular Location: Washington, D.C.
Posting Date: June 29, 2009
Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to improve the quality and accessibility of media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Founded in 2002, Free Press is the largest media reform organization in the United States, with half a million activists and nearly 40 staff working in offices in Washington, D.C. and Northampton, Mass. We are a hard-working, fun-loving, creative and collaborative workplace. We seek employees who thrive in a fast-paced environment, who are critical thinkers, adept problem solvers, accomplished project managers and who will help build on our solid track record of success.
* Create and implement a strategic, multi-faceted media relations program for Free Press and its ongoing campaigns (including SavetheInternet.com, SaveTheNews.org, NewPublicMedia.org, and InternetforEveryone.org).
* Field inquiries from news organizations. Identify, build and maintain relationships with journalists covering media issues, telecommunications, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Oversee maintenance of comprehensive press database and maintain records of contact with members of the media.
* Pitch stories and interviews, place op-eds and articles, book Free Press spokespeople on radio and television.
* Evaluate current events and media reports in Washington, D.C and across the nation for their impact on Free Press. Alert senior staff to earned media opportunities and keep staff informed of developments within the media policy sector and telecommunications industry so as to ensure rapid response to breaking information.
* Stay informed on current legislative and non-legislative issues about which Free Press may be questioned. Search, collect, compile and archive media related news stories, journal articles, citations, and other media hits.
* Develop and implement media, communications, and public relations strategies for Free Press spokespeople, including senior staff and board members. Prepare talking points; write, edit and proofread speeches; compile other briefing material as needed or requested. Train and coach staff on public speaking and presentations.
* Organize press briefings and teleconferences; liaise with media at Free Press events and hearings; assist allied organizations with media outreach.
* Ensure that media relations work is well planned and coordinated across all FP office locations.
* Occasionally serve as spokesperson for the organization.
* Supervise staff and interns working on press and media relations projects.
* Knowledge of media, technology and telecommunications issues strongly preferred. Familiarity with public policymaking, Congress and/or the Federal Communications Commission desired.
* A college degree is preferred. Educational background in public policy, political science, communications, journalism, community development and organizing, or related field will indicate aptitude for the daily work this job requires. Work experience can substitute for some education.
* Minimum of 2 years of experience in position of similar complexity and responsibility, preferably in a nonprofit, public-interest-oriented setting.
* Strong writing and sharp editing skills required. Must be able to present complex and technical topics to a wide audience. Journalism experience is a plus.
* Strong public speaking skills desired. Must have a proven track record of speaking with reporters about media, telecommunications, and/or other related issues.
Skills and Attributes
* Demonstrated ability to manage details, solve problems, and follow-through on assignments with a minimum of direct supervision.
* Must have strong personal work ethic and ability to organize time, manage diverse activities, and meet critical deadlines.
* Consistently demonstrates common sense, flexibility and teamwork. Must be able to adapt or modify plans, timelines or processes in response to changing circumstances.
* Ability to leverage constructive and effective relationships inside and outside the organization.
* Experience with group facilitation, meeting management and program/project evaluation desired.
* Ability to work effectively with people at all levels of the organization including: staff, consultants, colleagues, volunteers, members/constituents, and the general public. Must be confident, outgoing, courteous, and professional in all written and verbal communications.
* Demonstrated ability to be entrusted with sensitive information and conduct daily activities with utmost professionalism and integrity.
* Demonstrated experience with MS Office software including: Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Must have ability to efficiently conduct Internet research. May require database management skills with ability to manipulate, analyze and interpret data and produce reports. Must keep organized.
* A personal approach that values the individual and respects differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstance.
* A great sense of humor and can-do attitude is a must!
Free Press offers competitive compensation, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. Starting salary will depend upon experience of selected applicant and will be set in context of established FP pay ranges for similar work.
Benefits include generous amount of vacation, health care, and personal time off each year, employer provided group health insurance, retirement contribution, short and long term disability insurance and other progressive benefits and perks.
Download the PDF of this job description here:
To Apply: Send an e-mail to Kate McKenney
Please include the following:
1. a cover letter describing why you are interested in this work, summarizing why you should be considered for this job, and identifying your salary history.
2. your résumé
3. telephone and e-mail contact information for three employment references.
This information must be embedded into the e-mail (and not submitted as an attachment).
Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and this position will remain open until filled. Applicants of interest to the search committee will be contacted directly. Due to anticipated volume of applications, please do not contact us to inquire about your status. We will acknowledge receipt of your application.
Free Press is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and value a diverse work force, and we seek diversity among applicants for this position. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
Free Press comprises two separate corporate entities, Free Press and Free Press Action Fund. Both entities share the same overall mission, office space, and employees. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "Free Press."