Media Relations Associate

This position will be based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C.

About FIRE

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on our nation’s college campuses. Please visit thefire.org to gain a sense of our work and mission.

Position Description

FIRE is looking for an enthusiastic and entrepreneurial media relations strategist to join our active Communications team. The Media Relations Associate will be responsible for FIRE’s day-to-day interactions with members of the media and developing strategies to strengthen existing and develop new relationships with reporters. The Associate will be responsible for developing creative media campaigns to bring media and public attention to FIRE’s work. Successful candidates should have a sincere interest in campus civil liberties, including freedom of speech, due process, and academic freedom.

The Associate will report to FIRE’s Director of Communications and work within FIRE’s Communications team. Specific duties for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Drafting press releases, media advisories, and statements on planned projects and spur-of-the-moment developments in our field;
  • Coordinating incoming media requests and actively pitching FIRE commentary and resources;
  • Building relationships with members of the media to strengthen FIRE’s ability to maintain an active presence in the media;
  • Working with FIRE staff to develop messaging strategy;
  • Building, curating, and maintaining media lists;
  • Coordinating the moving parts (video, graphic design, social media, web development, etc.) that contribute to successful media campaigns.

This position will also perform other support functions for the day-to-day operation of FIRE and will frequently collaborate with other staff members and departments on general duties and specialized projects, including but not limited to, contributing to FIRE’s Newsdesk blog and assisting the Communications team with other communications campaigns.

This position involves a limited amount of travel. Occasional work on evenings and weekends should be expected, including responding to urgent media requests.

This position has an immediate start date.

Qualifications

A successful candidate will have a good work ethic, be a self-starter, and have the ability to work independently. Most importantly, the candidate must demonstrate a knowledge and passion for FIRE’s mission and an ability to articulate that passion in a way that will make others enthusiastic about our cause. A candidate must also be able to demonstrate:

  • At least 3-5 years of experience in media relations;
  • Keen instincts for analyzing the news and developing strategies for how FIRE’s unique perspective can add to the local and national dialogues;
  • Proactive, self-starting attitude;
  • Flexibility and creativity;
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and general copy-editing skills;
  • Exemplary planning and organizational skills, including an ability to handle dynamic, challenging, and changing situations;
  • Proven ability to collaborate and work with remote staff members successfully over email and phone.

Salary and Compensation

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. FIRE also offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes employer-paid comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance; a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account option; matching retirement contributions; and a generous paid time-off plan.

Applications

Applicants should provide a resume, cover letter demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of FIRE’s mission, three varied writing samples or other demonstrations of creative work (press releases, media kits, etc.), salary requirements, and contact information for at least two professional references. All applications are confidential. Please address applications to Peyton Cudaback, Director of Human Resources. Applications can be emailed to hr@thefire.org.

FIRE is an equal opportunity employer.