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Communications Manager, Reshaping Prosecution

Do you know what gets 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 explicitly, pointedly and effectively reduce the burdens of the justice system on people of color. To secure equal justice, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities around the country.

Who We Are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.

  • 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.
  • We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.

We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace—specifically, we value diverse experiences with regard to educational background and justice system contact. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, and commitment. If you want to learn more about life at vera click here

 

Reshaping Prosecution

The Reshaping Prosecution Program is dedicated to transforming what it means to be a prosecutor by focusing on the dignity of all people impacted by the criminal justice system. Prosecutors play a critical, but often hidden, role in mass incarceration as one of the most powerful actors in the criminal justice system. They decide who to charge with a crime, what crime to charge, whether to ask that a person sit in jail pending trial, and what sentence to ask for upon conviction. Yet, despite this immense power, prosecutors haven’t been a focus of criminal justice reform efforts until recently. Our team helps prosecutors across the country work to end mass incarceration, pursue racial equity, and be more transparent with the communities they serve.

We’re looking for a Communications Manager to support this effort. The Communications Manager is responsible for implementing integrated strategies to promote our work across several platforms, advising our site partners on strategic internal and external communications, and driving a long-term communications strategy to advance our mission.

Candidates must be excellent communicators and negotiators, experienced with strategic communications campaign architecture and project management, adept in racial equity, and have high emotional intelligence. The Communications Manager will report to the Director of Reshaping Prosecution and the Managing Director of Communications, supporting coordination between teams to implement strategic campaigns, create content, and measure progress against goals.

 

What You’ll Do

Using a full suite of communications activities – editorial, video, media, social media, validators, and advisors – the Communications Manager will help shape narratives about the role of prosecutors in addressing racial inequities in the criminal justice system and ending mass incarceration.

The Communications Manager will be responsible for:

  • Thought Leadership and Positioning
  • Implementing a communications strategy to effectively promote the work and public profile of the Project Director of the Reshaping Prosecution Program
  • Drafting content in order to make regular contributions to the national conversation about prosecution reform (op-eds, blogs, letters to the editor)
  • Developing positioning and thought leadership plans
  • Crafting statements and talking points for the Project Director and select partners making public appearances
  • Creating media opportunities for Project Director such as interviews and personal appearance
  • Communications Strategy and Tactical Support
  • Collaborating with multiple teams to build strategic cross platform communications plans
  • Managing the day-to-day operations of the communications campaign
  • Drafting or editing public information materials, press releases, pitches, statements, fact sheets, op eds, letters to the editor, and other campaign materials as needed
  • Proactively drafting responses to breaking news that impacts or is related to prosecution reform (quickly turning around press statements and rapid response strategy)
  • Cultivating strong media relationships and building strong external and internal relationships
  • Overseeing the implementation of strategies with the media and digital teams as well as outside consultants
  • Supporting Site Partners
  • Creating content for various sites that can be repurposed and disseminated via Vera platforms (RFPs, tool kits, website content)
  • Providing communications support for site partners
  • Developing a communications plan aligned with site priorities and work plans
  • Working with a consultant on crisis communications
  • Providing ongoing support to sites in managing pushback against reforms
  • Creating and Maintaining a Prosecution Network
  • Creating a network to share and disseminate information with partners and prosecutors’ offices

 

What We Need in You

  • An experienced communicator with a strong passion for social justice movements centered around racial equity. You don’t have to be an expert in criminal justice, but you need to be paying attention and to have worked in some area of social justice communications.
  • A self-starter with demonstrated project management skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Exceptional writing, editing and communication skills.
  • A deep commitment to the mission of racial justice and ending mass incarceration. In a system built on racism and inequity, we are working to ensure equity both in our workplace and in the world. You incorporate this value and share it with others.
  • A knack for storytelling. You're passionate about finding the exact right way to tell a story. You can articulate complex issues into digestible, interesting, and public-facing narratives. You’re thoughtful about how strategic communications can drive change within an organization and social media savvy. You're comfortable with writing and editing, especially under a time crunch.
  • A tactical tilt. You can see the tactics needed to execute a communications campaign and/or a finished product. You have experience managing communications campaigns and large-scale projects from start to finish. You can identify communications related risks and opportunities, and project manage around them. You’re comfortable reaching out daily to media outlets to pitch, confirm, and coordinate coverage. You’re social media savvy and well-versed in the media landscape.
  • A collaborator, rigorous thinker, and problem-solver. Collaboration is a Vera value. We thrive when we learn and build on each other’s ideas. We’re open to giving and receiving feedback – both in our team and across the institution.
  • Emotional intelligence. You have strong social and emotional awareness of your team and external partners coupled with an awareness and openness of your opportunities to learn and grow. You exercise good judgement and don’t allow urgency to trump relationships.
  • Project management. You are detail-oriented but can see the big picture. You keep track of multiple competing deadlines and priorities across a range of projects.

 

Additional Qualifications

  • At least five years of progressive strategic communications experience, including campaign strategy and execution, media relations, or developing creative content.
  • Ability to develop and track quantitative and qualitative metrics.

 

Salary

Based on experience and including excellent benefits. Vera believes in compensating its staff members at or above market.

 

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / Reshaping Prosecution, Comms Manager Program

Vera Institute of Justice

34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232

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 or current employment 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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