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Communications Officer I

Permanent

Communications

Union of Concerned Scientists

Remote

Bargaining Unit Position: Yes

Our organization

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent nonprofit that puts rigorous, independent science into action, developing solutions and advocating for a healthy, safe, and just future. We envision a peaceful, healthy, and just world where science serves people and the planet by guiding policy decisions, reducing risks, and improving lives.

For over five decades, we have been working as scientists, engineers, economists, advocates, and everyday people to create and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting disinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.  Values informing our work include:

  • Science in the service of people and the planet. 
  • Justice and Equity for people of all races and incomes—now, and for future generations. 
  • Courage to take principled, science-based stands in the public arena. 
  • Integrity to always examine evidence critically, openly, and honestly. 
  • Democracy to promote a voice for all in government decisions. 
  • Action inspiring and mobilizing people to build a healthier, safer, and more just world. 

UCS’s Communications Program

The Communications Officer I develops and implements strategies and tactics to maximize earned media visibility for UCS, our issues, experts, and products to contribute to campaign impact and raise visibility among supporters and potential supporters of our work. 

Serving as the media point person for one or more UCS campaigns, the position requires the ability to rapidly assess short and long terms tasks and pivot quicky to respond to changing priorities within the workday, juggling assignments while meeting deadlines and responsibilities.  

Responsibilities

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include but are not limited to:

Serve as the media point person for one or more UCS campaigns, with flexibility to jump on media opportunities that may arise for other issue areas.

  • Keep abreast of campaign goals, targets, strategies and activities and develop proactive strategies to garner earned media for our work, including helping campaigns conceive newsworthy analyses and products; reactive strategies to insert our experts and issues into stories journalists are covering; and create a calendar of activities that occur at regular intervals to obtain ongoing and widespread visibility for UCS, our experts, positions, and products in opinion leader online, print, radio, TV, and video news outlets, as well as podcasts. Develop cross-channel ideas (social media, digital ads, blog posts, etc.) in coordination with department and program staff that can be leveraged for earned media purposes to support the campaign’s content drumbeat. Represent UCS campaigns in coalition media efforts, assisting with the development of coalition messages/media strategy.
  • Write, edit, and distribute media material including press releases, op-eds, factsheets, pitch memos, letters to the editor, backgrounders, and social media posts.
  • Stay on top of messaging research and polling and develop messaging documents and talking points with program staff based on a deep understanding of campaign issues.  

Establish relationships with journalists to garner coverage of UCS material, positions, and experts.

  • Pitch reporters with suggestions for stories or articles and respond promptly to requests for interviews and information.
  • Track outlets and journalists, including through social media, execute strategies to cultivate and communicate with reporters as well as top experts who reporters (and others in the field) go to for information. Arrange and staff UCS press briefings and reporter meetings.

Enhance media and interview skills of UCS staff.

  • Conduct media trainings.
  • Develop talking points and soundbites for UCS experts.

Track UCS press hits and contribute to quarterly media reporting.

Other Duties as Assigned include but are not limited to:

  • Maintains understanding of UCS issues and positions.
  • Maintain awareness of role as representative of UCS; ensure activities and statements enhance organization’s reputation and credentials among press, public, and private sectors; promote UCS; advance organizational objectives; and enhance funding opportunities.

PEOPLE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITY

Manage media consultants and interns as needed or for specific projects.

Requirements

Qualifications and Experience

KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCE

Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

  • Bachelor’s degree required. At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.
  • Position requires three to five years of experience in media relations or journalism.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills are required, as is a demonstrated ability to conceive of and execute successful earned media strategies with guidance and input from supervisor. Also required are related technical skills, including ability to write press releases, op-eds, and other press materials; identify and maximize media opportunities; and develop messages and sound bites.
  • Social media and visual communications skills a plus.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for long periods of time.
  • Continuously operate a computer and must have the ability to control a mouse and keyboard.
  • Communicate in verbal and written formats with internal staff and external constituents.

WORK SCHEDULE

Regular Office Hours that accommodate the East Coast media market. May include occasional nights, weekends, and on-call on a rotational schedule over holidays or as needed.

Travel

Some travel may be required, totaling 0-5 times a year.

UCS is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities.

Benefits

Details:

This is a full-time remote position. For those who meet all position requirements, the salary range is $71,581 to $80,530. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. *CA Resident Only, we offer a 12% salary differential*

Information about the organization is available at http://www.ucsusa.org.

Comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.

More about the team:

Our team is made up of a dedicated group of researchers, scientists, communicators, campaigners, and advocates from wide-ranging backgrounds and experiences. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive team and a collaborative and supportive work environment where all staff can thrive. We continually strive to create an environment which is a welcoming place for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color, parents, empty-nesters, and people with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.

To Apply: We know there are great candidates who won’t check all of these boxes, and we also know you might bring important skills that we haven’t considered. If that’s you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. Please upload a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.

This position is in the bargaining unit.

Covid Mandate for New Hires:

For in office roles, UCS employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Employees are considered fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC. All new hires who will be reporting to an office location must provide notice of their vaccination status and vaccination documentation, on or before their first day of work. For all others, UCS strongly encourages full vaccinations among its employees, up to and including booster shots, even if working remotely.

All new employees must comply with the mandatory vaccination requirements outlined in UCS policies as soon as practicable. Union of Concerned Scientists will notify candidates for employment of the requirements of this policy before the start of employment.

Deadline: Until filled.  

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