Founded in 1923, the ACLU SoCal has been at the forefront of many major efforts to protect civil liberties, civil rights, and equal justice in California. Principled and nonpartisan, ACLU SoCal has offices in Los Angeles, Orange County (Orange), the Inland Empire (San Bernardino), and Kern County (Bakersfield). ACLU SoCal tackles a vast array of issues, including criminal justice, police practices, First Amendment rights, gender equity and reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, education equity, and economic justice.
The ACLU of Southern California is seeking a senior press strategist, a critical role in the affiliate’s communications and media advocacy work.
The strategist works with attorneys, organizers and other staffers to formulate media strategies for campaigns and actions by the ACLU SoCal and its partners.
The strategist is responsible for producing press releases, media advisories and policy statements and distributing them to a wide variety of news outlets in our eight-county region. To do so effectively, the strategist must build and maintain relationships with reporters and editors at large and small news venues in print, digital, radio and television.
The strategist will work closely with the digital strategist as well as the communications assistant to ensure a coordinated release of our communications and to respond to media inquiries.
The position will report to the director of media.
Copywriting and Editing
- Draft and edit news releases, media advisories, statements, op-eds, articles, letters to the editor, fact sheets, talking points and other press materials.
- Work with staff to help produce and edit high quality materials such as advocacy reports.
- Proactively cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, producers, show bookers, bloggers and other media professionals.
- Pitch news and feature stories to journalists and media outlets, and actively follow up to garner maximum media coverage for our campaigns and for the ACLU SoCal.
- Keep track of journalists contacted to expand networks and measure success.
- Organize press conferences, teleconferences and other media events.
- Consult with the director of media on appropriate spokespeople for media interview requests that best advance public perception of an issue.
- Provide support to advocacy and executive staff, preparing advance materials or talking points for interviews, facilitating interview requests and identifying opportunities.
- Provide media training for staff, partners and clients to prepare them for interviews.
Strategy and Messaging
- Assist in developing and implementing an integrated, strategic communications plan that promotes the ACLU SoCal's work across a broad platform of media outlets.
- Work with San Diego and Northern California affiliates, as well as our national office, on communications strategy and messaging.
- Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities.
- Supervise interns and assign them tasks.
RACIAL EQUITY COMPETENCIES
Understanding and Applying Racial Equity
- Demonstrate commitment to building or deepening understand of racial equity:
- Core terms and concepts such as structural racism, white privilege, and anti-Blackness.
- The role that racial inequity has played and continues to play in our society.
- How race impacts supervisory relationships, team dynamics, and organizational culture.
- Personal/implicit/unconscious bias.
Working for Racial Equity
- Consistently assess structural implications and racially disproportionate impacts of policies, activities, and decisions within the context of their job responsibilities; race/ethnicity, intersection of race/ethnicity, gender, identity, and/or sexual orientation.
- Consistently adhere to organization’s racial equity policies and procedures, including those that relate to hiring, retention, and promotion.
- Consistently identify and disrupt ways in which bias plays out in work and/or team.
- Minimum of five years of experience and demonstrated success in journalism, communications or related field.
- Excellent writing and editing skills, including ability to draft materials on a wide range of topics in a timely manner.
- Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with key national, regional and local news media.
- Ability to understand and grasp fast-changing media market and platforms. Detail-oriented with the ability to manage projects, such as reports, from inception through execution.
- Strong commitment to advancing the ACLU SoCal’s values, mission and goals, with an understanding of the range of civil liberties and civil rights issues and their implications.
- Ability to work independently and keep organized in a fast-paced environment, manage several projects simultaneously, and adjust strategy to frequently changing demands.
- High energy. Collaborative. Curious.
- Strong team-building and organizing skills.
- A diplomatic touch and a sense of humor.
- Working fluency in Spanish, a plus.
COMPENSATION & BENEFITS
The salary range for this position is $70,000 - $95,000. Benefits include medical, dental, vision insurance for staff members and their eligible dependents; life, long-term disability and short-term disability insurance; 401(k) plan with employer match; ample vacation and sick leave with 15 paid holidays.
Please submit resume, cover letter, writing sample, and three references online through our application portal below.
(NO Phone Calls PLEASE)
COVID Vaccination and proof of being fully Vaccinated (includes booster) is a condition of employment.
The ACLU of Southern California is committed to developing a culture of diversity, equity, respect, and inclusion and striving to maintain a workforce that reflects the communities that we serve. The ACLU SoCal is an equal opportunity employer that does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of any status or condition protected by applicable law. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply and value people of all races, genders (including gender identity or expression), sexual orientations, disabilities, citizenships, ages, religions, and national origins and who have different marital statuses, family caregiving responsibilities, lived experiences with the criminal justice systems, and genetic information. The ACLU SoCal does not tolerate discrimination or harassment on the basis of any of these characteristics.
The ACLU SoCal 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-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.