Senior Communications Associate

Location: New York, NY

Department: Communications

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Experienced

The Vera Institute of Justice is a justice reform change agent. Vera produces ideas, analysis, and research that inspire change in the systems people rely upon for safety and justice, and works in close partnership with government and civic leaders to implement it. Vera is a truly unique institution in the justice reform field in that it promotes fairness across a variety of substantive areas – bail reform, adult and youth confinement, access to justice for immigrants, services of victims of violence – and because it does so by working closely with national, state, and local leaders as a trusted partner. Vera is currently pursuing core priorities of ending the misuse of jails, transforming conditions of confinement, and ensuring that justice systems more effectively serve America’s increasingly diverse communities. For more information about Vera visit www.vera.org or visit our Facebook or Twitter.

The Communications Department plays a key strategic role at Vera in advancing its mission to stakeholders, policymakers, and the general public. It is responsible for all of the Institute’s external public affairs and communication efforts, including media relations, social media, producing publications and videos, and communicating the Institute’s work via its website, marketing, and email alerts. The Communications staff also works closely with the Development Department and key staff to plan events and coordinate internal communications. The Communications Department fields hundreds of media calls a year and has a strong track record of placing op-eds and securing editorial mentions. The Department also recently won a Webby Award for Vera’s newly redesigned website and brand, and a Telly Award for an animated explainer video about “reimagining prison.”

Vera seeks a Senior Communications Associate, Media Relations to join its busy Communications Department. This position is ideal for well-informed and socially committed candidates who have expertise in media strategy; a keen sense for news; an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment; excellent writing skills; and are eager to make a contribution as part of a dynamic team.

 

Responsibilities

The Senior Communications Associate will be responsible for managing daily media relations and developing and implementing long-term media relations plans to achieve strategic communications goals and advance the Institute’s mission, with a particular focus on targeting new audiences. The position requires op-ed and other writing and editing. The Senior Communications Associate will work closely with the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, other Communications Department staff, and staff across the organization.

Core responsibilities include:

  • Managing the institute’s media relations, including:
    • fielding and vetting all media inquiries;
    • coordinating and preparing staff for interviews, including developing talking points;
    • pitching stories to local and national outlets
    • drafting and placing stories and op-eds for Vera’s leadership, including its president;
    • drafting and editing press releases, media advisories, blog posts, and other public-facing materials to ensure adherence to the institute’s voice and priorities; and
    • building and maintaining the media contact database.
  • In close collaboration with the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs, developing and implementing strategic plans for report releases, events, responses to news events, and public engagement campaigns in order to maximize impact and further the Institute’s strategic priorities;
  • Compiling and analyzing media analytics to demonstrate growth and inform future changes in approach;
  • Contributing to other departmental efforts as necessary.

 

Qualifications

Vera seeks a candidate with the following qualities and skills:

  • College degree; graduate degree preferred;
  • 3-5 years’ experience with media/public relations and communications campaigns, preferably in a government or nonprofit setting;
  • Ability to cultivate and build relationships with reporters, existing contacts with local and national media preferred;
  • Excellent writing and editing ability, especially in distilling complex issues and academic writing in a clear and concise way;
  • Social media savvy;
  • Strong organizational skills, ability to juggle and prioritize a variety of tasks, and attention to detail;
  • Experienced with PCs, Microsoft Office programs, and database management;
  • Interest in and knowledge of criminal and social justice issues is also desirable.

 

Salary

Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.

 

How to apply

Please submit cover letter, resume, and short-form writing sample (blog post, op-ed, article, or similar). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

 

Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to

ATTN: Human Resources / Senior Communications Associate Recruitment

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

 

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

 

For more information about Vera please visit www.vera.org.

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