Deputy Director of State Communications

Company: Foundation for Excellence in Education


Contact Person: Carrie Jenkins

Application Deadline: May 15, 2016


Reports To: Director of State Communications

Category: Full-time, salaried, at-will employee

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Job Summary:
The Deputy Director of State Communications manages and implements a comprehensive, multi-faceted communications program to educate stakeholders and promote state-based education reform. The Deputy Director has a focus on Florida communications and policy actions and provides support for communications initiatives in up to 20 states across the nation. Duties include drafting statements, speeches and opinion editorials; creating and disseminating press releases; coordinating interviews and media events; acting as a spokesperson on behalf of the organization; producing publications; providing strategic communications counsel; developing and managing state-specific communications campaigns; overseeing and coordinating outreach activities and managing projects, as assigned. This position also includes developing template communications plans for state policymakers and state advocacy partners to use in adopting and implementing reform policies. Regularly interfacing with the organization’s state advocacy directors, policy directors and the communications team is required for success.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop, organize, update and articulate ExcelinEd’s key policy-related messages, including general and state-specific talking points.
  • Develop and implement long-term communications strategies for state-based advocacy work.
  • Draft, edit, and/or finalize press materials under strict deadlines. Collaterals include op-eds, press releases, media advisories, talking points, quotes, blogs, social media and web content.
  • Develop and implement plans to ensure website(s) accurately and effectively showcase state work and achievement.
  • Oversee and lead community outreach activities in building and maintaining a database of grassroots contacts; cultivate relationships focused on support of education reform issues with targeted stakeholders, including parents, business and community leaders, educators, education officials, civic groups and others.
  • Supervise the external affairs function and team in implementing a comprehensive outreach plan focused on identifying, securing and promoting faces and voices of reform.
  • Produce communications plans and organize media events supporting advocacy work.
  • Collaborate with marketing staff to ensure consistency with foundation-wide style, format, and brand guidelines.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders/staff to set and maintain timelines and manage the internal review/approval process.
  • Support communications needs for the Foundation’s annual summit.
  • Monitor statewide and national media, and daily compile and e-mail relevant news reports to staff.


Preferred Skills/Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of communications, media relations, public relations and marketing.
  • Broad knowledge and understanding of state and federal policymaking processes and political environments.
  • Experience pitching stories and developing strong relations with traditional and new media outlets.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and knowledge of the rules of grammar and punctuation.
  • Proven ability to develop an effective communication plan to achieve organizational goals.
  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks while achieving a high degree of accuracy.
  • Ability to assist in developing long range goals and objectives.
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated experience using various social media channels and a vision for using them strategically to reach key stakeholder audiences.
  • Excellent computer skills in a Microsoft Windows environment.
  • Ability to travel to represent the organization or facilitate meetings as requested.
  • Supervisory experience desired.


  • A minimum of four years of high level communications experience in an advocacy, non-profit, political, government or corporate setting with significant writing responsibilities.
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in communications, journalism, political science or other relevant area of study.
  • Experience with on-the-record media relations.
  • Experience in executing paid and earned media campaigns.
  • Experience in drafting speeches, opinion editorials, press releases and related marketing materials.
  • Experience working with elected or appointed officials and high level staff.

How to Apply

Please submit your resume, cover letter and three writing samples (three different types of writing, including but not limited to: press releases, communications plans, media advisories, open letters, etc.) to Carrie Jenkins, [email protected]. You will be contacted if selected for further consideration.

Job Originally Posted on: Monday, April 11, 2016