Press Secretary Takoma Park

Press Secretary

Full Time • Takoma Park
FairVote (FV), headquartered in Takoma Park, MD, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.  Our mission is electoral reforms, giving voters a greater choice, a stronger voice, and more representative democracy. Since 1992, FairVote has been the national leader in developing and distributing the educational tools and analysis necessary to increase public appreciation of the value of ranked-choice voting (RCV) and other structural electoral reforms.

FairVote is positioned for growth, and we are looking for a leader to fill the Press Secretary role.  

Position Summary

FairVote is seeking an experienced Press Secretary to act as FairVote’s primary point of contact for members of the press, as the main liaison for both inbound media requests and outbound media campaigns, and as the primary strategist for media relations campaigns and outreach. This position will have management responsibilities of occasional vendors and contractors, and will manage an intern on specific, time-bound media projects. This position reports to the Director of Communications.

The Press Secretary will manage and collaborate with consultants and outside vendors as needed to advance FairVote’s issue agenda and promote FairVote as a leading organization offering electoral solutions. The Press Secretary will work closely with the Communications Director to develop media relations outreach strategies to implement FairVote’s comprehensive communications plan and national campaign. This individual will draft public-facing content in pursuit of these goals, including content for various external audiences and will develop relationships with both DC-area press contacts and national press contacts.

The Press Secretary will also manage internal systems for media tracking, including tracking daily coverage of ranked choice voting, multi-member ranked choice voting reforms, FairVote, and FairVote spokespeople. 

Key areas of responsibility:

Lead FairVote Press Outreach (65%)

  • Design multifaceted press campaigns around various news opportunities and FairVote projects, including print, broadcast, and online media outlets
  • Track and pursue potential news opportunities to discuss key electoral reforms, including ranked choice voting and proportional representation
  • Engage media contacts across email, phone, and social media
  • Review the successes and challenges of previous press campaigns and adjust media strategy accordingly
  • Speak on the record with reporters on an as-needed basis
  • Pitch various stories and news opportunities to print, radio, podcast, and TV media contacts
  • Pitch FairVote and allies for conferences, awards, and other key external opportunities
  • Manage internal press requests in real-time and identify the best spokespeople from FairVote for various media opportunities
  • Implement and maintain best practices for interviews and briefings with FairVote staff, including regular media trainings and providing feedback on coverage
  • Develop collaborative and transferable relationships with members of the press
  • Collect and share quarterly reviews of press and media metrics, including “hard” metrics (circulation, types of outlets) and “soft” metrics (target audience, proposed electoral reform, messaging)
  • Develop press lists in Cision as needed

Content Creation (15%)

  • Write news releases, position statements, op-eds, editorial packets, and blogs
  • Draft news-based talking points under the messaging guidance of the Communications Director
  • Draft messaging materials: talking points, one pagers, ppts, language for graphics, etc.

Communications Leadership (10%)

  • Build and train a speakers bureau made up of advocates for ranked choice voting and the Fair Representation Act
  • Lead press-facing rapid response or crisis communications strategies
  • Provide media relations guidance to FairVote staff, hill allies, thought leaders, coalition partners, and funders
  • Engage and collaborate with other communications staff within the coalition of organizations working towards electoral reforms

Support Communications Department (10%) 

  • Oversee and disseminate daily media monitoring to FairVote staff,  a national coalition of electoral reform organizations and thought leaders
  • Populate internal editorial calendar, including key stories captured through media monitoring, and elevate strategic stories/developments
  • Manage hiring process for interns and manage interns on an as-needed basis
  • Collaborate and occasionally manage public relations firms or other vendors on an as-needed basis
  • Draft proposals and reports as needed, in collaboration with the Communications Department and other FairVote staff

Education and experience:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience in communications, public relations, marketing, or English
  • 6-8 years of increasingly responsible experience in positions relevant to public relations
  • Proven track record in securing impactful media coverage on behalf of organizations, clients, and/or individual spokespeople
  • Experience pitching and securing coverage in a wide variety of outlets, including print, TV, online, and radio
  • Experience leading communications strategies, especially media relations campaigns
  • Experience pitching and securing coverage on a wide variety of issues, including advocacy issues
  • 1-2 years of experience tracking and presenting media metrics
  • 1-2 years of managing junior-level staff, such as interns
  • Experience pitching and developing ongoing relationships with reporters
  • Experience as a journalist, producer, or other member of the press

Job-Related knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Outstanding commitment to securing positive media coverage on behalf of FairVote and FairVote’s proposed electoral reforms (with a particular focus on ranked choice voting and the Fair Representation Act)
  • Ability to understand the perspective and needs of different audiences and develop persuasive press-facing content to earn positive coverage of FairVote and FairVote’s priority issues
  • Outstanding political judgement and commitment to work across the political spectrum for FairVote reforms
  • Ability to strategically navigate a 24-hour news cycle to respond to and promote with media contacts
  • Ability to pivot quickly, including identifying potential opportunities and risks within the news cycle
  • Excellent, thoughtful writing for various audiences, both media and external partners
  • Excellent attention to detail, particularly in the creation and dissemination of public-facing materials
  • Commitment to, and understanding of, the values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility, both in the workplace and in media coverage of FairVote’s proposed electoral reforms
  • Ability to appreciate and contribute to a work environment that values integrity, adaptability, reliability, collaboration, a commitment to learning, and a sense of humor 
  • Ability to engage thought leaders, including spokespeople, election administrators, elected officials, and coalition partners
Compensation: $85,000.00 - $95,000.00 per year

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