This position is based in Washington, DC.

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to defending free speech, individual liberty, freedom of association, religious freedom, freedom of conscience, legal equality, due process, and academic freedom on our nation’s campuses. Please visit thefire.org to gain a better sense of our work and identity.

Working at FIRE

FIRE offers a relaxed yet lively working environment where the staff fights an ongoing battle to secure liberty on college campuses across the country. This type of working environment also promotes a culture where the Communications Coordinator will receive a well-rounded experience that familiarizes the individual not only with FIRE’s activities, but also with the moral and intellectual foundations of FIRE’s work.

The Communications Coordinator’s main responsibility will be the development and implementation of FIRE’s media outreach strategy. This will provide a valuable opportunity to gain experience in the crucial areas of non-profit communications and operations.

Position Description

FIRE is seeking an energetic Communications Coordinator to develop and implement FIRE’s media strategy. This position will be responsible for raising FIRE’s public awareness through successful media outreach. While the role and function of this position will largely be determined by the creativity and work-ethic of the individual hired, this individual will work with the Individual Rights Defense Program and the Senior Vice President to bring media attention to FIRE’s programs, including FIRE’s cases, videos, publications, Speech Codes of the Month and Year, Best and Worst Schools for Free Speech, and other special programs. Some other responsibilities include:

  • Developing relationships with partner organizations and media contacts through networking, including writing to writers/pundits who cover FIRE issues:
  • Assisting FIRE’s senior staff members in the drafting of press releases
  • Creating targeted media lists through CisionPoint to distribute FIRE press releases
  • Writing and editing articles about FIRE’s issues for outside publication
  • Pitching stories to various media outlets through personalized emails
  • Coordinating media appearances on television and radio for FIRE personnel
  • Sending out media advisories twice a year
  • Placing articles written by FIRE staff in online and print publications
  • Working with FIRE’s digital media coordinator to use social networking mediums to expand the visibility of the organization
  • Oversee FIRE’s video program that produces ~18 videos per year
  • Streamlining FIRE’s media program through the development of basic protocols to make it more efficient
  • Developing and maintaining FIRE’s media and supporter lists
  • Consolidating FIRE’s brand messages, program descriptions, visual identities, graphic standards, and communications protocol into a comprehensive “brand plan”
  • Maintaining FIRE’s media page on the website
  • Creating press packets to be distributed at FIRE events
  • Developing, coordinating, and placing FIRE advertising and marketing
  • Tracking FIRE’s media appearances and mentions
  • Assisting in the planning and promotion of FIRE events
  • Work with FIRE’s graphic designers to produce visually appealing graphic content for FIRE that is on message, on time, and will expand FIRE’s public awareness
  • Consulting with program directors to write talking points for FIRE programs and cases
  • Developing creative ways to engage the public and media in FIRE’s programs and messages
  • Maintaining an online folder for media material on Box, FIRE’s online file sharing and storage service

In addition, the Communications Coordinator must be available to assist with the execution of other FIRE programs, including but not limited to blogging and research, as possible and as needed.

In order for the Communications Coordinator to be effective, he or she must have an in-depth knowledge of all of FIRE’s programs, which will require attending Individual Rights Defense Program and Individual Rights Education Program meetings. The hired applicant must also be available to travel and work on the weekends in order to attend events and network with partner organizations and media contacts, and have around-the-clock availability to communicate with journalists, bookers, and producers who want FIRE personnel to speak on breaking news items.

This position is ideal for an individual seeking a mid-level job that will provide hands-on experience in multiple areas of the operation of a nonprofit, including the development of new programs.

The start date for this position is negotiable.

Qualifications

A successful candidate will have a good work ethic, be a self-starter, and have the ability to think creatively. Most importantly, because this is a young position within the organization, the applicant must be able to work independently to develop and launch new programs. The candidate must have an eye for detail and strive for perfection when executing job functions. Furthermore, a candidate must be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to exercise sound judgment
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • An ability to manage challenging and fast-paced situations
  • Exceptional planning and organizational skills
  • Strong copyediting skills
  • An understanding of social media and how to use different platforms for advocacy
  • An understanding of basic public relations, marketing, advertising, and communications principles

In addition, candidates must demonstrate superior computer proficiency, including the ability to use Microsoft Office products. Special consideration will be given to candidates with design and video production experience. Candidates must posses a four-year undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Graduate certificates or degrees, or a degree in journalism, communications, marketing, or a related field, are not required, but will be viewed favorably. A familiarity with the public policy media landscape is required. Also, candidates must demonstrate knowledge of FIRE’s mission and a willingness to advocate for that mission.

At least two years of work experience in a similar field is preferred. Candidates with two or more years of applicable work experience will be given priority. Full and complete consideration will be given to all exceptional applicants.

Salary and Compensation

FIRE offers a comprehensive benefits package and competitive salary structure. The benefits package includes employer-paid comprehensive health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance, matching retirement contributions, and a generous paid time off plan.

Starting salary is negotiable and depends upon experience and education level. FIRE conducts periodic evaluations where employees may receive raises or bonuses for outstanding and excellent work.

Applications

Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and at least two professional references. All applications are confidential.

Please address applications to Sean Clark, Vice President of Operations.

Applications can be emailed to jobs@thefire.org (preferred) or mailed to:

FIRE
Attn: Human Resources
601 Walnut St., Suite 510
Philadelphia, PA 19106