Media Relations Associate

Location: New York, NY

Department: Communications

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Entry Level

Please note that our Manhattan office will be relocating to Industry City in Brooklyn, NY this year.

Are you obsessed with reading the news and scanning Twitter for the latest updates? Do you devour podcasts and listen to NPR in your spare time? Do you have a way with words? Do you love to read, and learn? Can you play nice with both people and spreadsheets? It may sound weird, but do you also wake up every morning wondering how telling the right story, to the right person, at exactly the right time, can mobilize people to support systemic change? Well, it's not weird to us. And we want you.

We're looking for a Media Relations Associate to join our awesome Communications Team. That special someone who’s excited to spend every day talking to the people who keep the public informed in a changing America. Who’s a go-getter and taskmaster who loves to keep the trains running smoothly.

Who we are:
Do you know what wakes us up in the morning? Justice. (We literally have that phrase plastered on our coffee mugs. That's how zealous we are). We envision a society that respects the dignity of every single person, and are fighting to realize this every day. To tackle the most pressing injustices of our day. To secure equal justice, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities around the country.

We're passionate. We're dynamic. We're innovative. In a nutshell, we drive meaningful change. What that means is that:

  • We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
  • We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
  • We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
  • And we harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice

What we're looking to do:
We want to collaborate with local and national media – print, online, radio, television, and podcasts – to tell stories that move the dial on Vera’s diverse and important work in social justice. We don’t just want to reach bigger audiences, we want to reach the right audiences. We want people to read their local newspaper and find information about the pressing justice reform issues that can drastically impact their own community and economy. We want police chiefs to open their daily digests and find opportunities to participate in initiatives that improve police and community relationships. We want our citizens to turn on their televisions and learn about ways to help their immigrant neighbors. We want those who supported the nationwide prison strike to listen to their favorite podcast and learn about programs that improve the lives of incarcerated people.

That's where you come in:
As Media Relations Associate, you'll be based in New York and report to the Media Relations Strategist and will also meet regularly with other members of our Communications Team. You’ll support the team by managing the day-to-day media relations within the organization and help develop the messaging strategy for various projects and report releases. You’ll help the team implement long-term media relations plans to achieve strategic communications goals and advance Vera’s mission.

  • You’ll track all media hits mentioning Vera, reporting in real-time to the Media Relations Strategist and other relevant staff, and manage the newsroom on Vera’s website.
  • You’ll manage Vera’s various press lists and guarantee that they remain up-to-date and relevant.
  • You’ll respond to media requests, ensure they have the correct information to report a story, and coordinate interviews with Vera staff as necessary.
  • You’ll monitor news developments and track justice-related news, seeking opportunities to bring Vera’s work to diverse audiences.
  • You’ll help pitch local and national media and cultivate and build Vera’s relationships with reporters.
  • You’ll take the first crack at drafting written materials, including pitches, press releases, media advisories.

The nitty-gritty:

You’re just getting started. 1-2 years of professional or internship experience in media relations, public relations, or communications, with a strong passion for social justice and justice reform;

You understand the media and the media understands you. You’re social media savvy and well-versed enough in the media landscape that you’re able to take a topic or issue and dig until you find the exact reporter at the exact publication that would be the best person to tell a particular story. You’re comfortable with starting to work directly with reporters and producers to pitch, confirm, and coordinate media hits;

You have a knack for storytelling. You’re passionate about finding the exact right way to tell a story. You have the ability to articulate complex issues into digestible, interesting, and public-facing narratives. You’re comfortable with writing and editing, especially under a time crunch;

And you’re obsessively organized and never saw a to-do list you didn’t love. You’re ready to get your hands dirty by updating press lists and spreadsheets, respond to media requests and coordinate interviews between groups of people, and jump in to help the rest of the Communications Team as needed. You’re able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and keep track of tasks and timelines for each project.

Here's the best part. When you join our team, you'll find:
A dedicated team you can bank on. A team of amazing people who have tenacity, who are creative, and most of all, who are scrappy. We want to get the work done. And we will do whatever we need to do to get that work done. Why? Because our work is more important than ever. And we need you to make it happen.

Solutions oriented work that is both innovative and fulfilling. We come to work every day feeling just a little bit restless. From the causes and consequences of mass incarceration to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, immigrant communities, and those harmed by crime and violence, we ask the difficult questions and entertain unconventional answers, so we can reckon with any uncomfortable truths that our research and practice may reveal. Nothing short of this will help us effect the change we want to see.

A gym membership you can't turn down. Driving meaningful change is hard work. But we also know that you have a life, places to go and people to see. That's why we make it a point to make sure you have work-life balance. Our benefits are pretty sweet, too. We also have an awesome softball team. Just saying.

How to apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter including salary requirements. Only candidates with the above credentials will be considered. Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to

ATTN: Human Resources / Media Relations

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.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

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 status, 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 and TGP’s work, please visit

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