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Communications Director

Louisville, KY, USA | American Civil Liberties Union

  • Industry:
    Non-Profit / Social Enterprise
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
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The communications director is responsible for planning, supervising and executing the ACLU of Kentucky’s communications strategies. Through their work, and collaboration with staff, the communications director advocates for positive changes in the civil rights and civil liberties landscape in the Commonwealth and grows the ACLU of Kentucky’s political power to energize the fight for civil liberties and protect our hard-won victories. 

The communications director manages the work of the communications department and supervises the work of all other employees in the department, including communications interns and volunteers. The communications director works closely with the management team, which includes all other department heads. The communications director works from the ACLU-KY office in downtown Louisville. 

Primary Responsibilities/Essential Duties: 

Develop communications strategies - Collaborate with other staff to develop messaging about specific legal cases, policy issues, and programs that aid the organization’s legal, advocacy, and public education work. Implement strategies that engage members, policy makers, elected officials, public figures, and the general public in our work, encouraging them to support our mission to protect and expand civil rights and liberties. Spearhead multi-media public education campaigns that engage members and the broader public in the organization’s advocacy work. Enhance the visibility of the organization in communities statewide.  

Respond rapidly to emerging civil liberties issues with appropriate and influential messaging. Work with ACLU-KY staff, national colleagues, and allies to maintain consistent framing of current issues. 

Integrated Advocacy - Collaborate with colleagues in the legal and advocacy departments, as well as with national communications staff, to ensure communications, public education, and content support and serve ACLU-KY's goals and mission. Work in partnership with relevant staff to co-produce external communications on legal and policy issues, including legislative action alerts, fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, press statements, and op-eds. Work in partnership with staff and coalition partners to coordinate speaking requests and community education events. 

Directly supervise the work of, and delegate tasks to, department staff, interns, and volunteers. 

Media Relations - Manage media relations. Draft and distribute press releases and advisories, pitch stories to targeted reporters, field media requests, manage a media database, draft talking points and messaging grids, produce media statements, and arrange interviews with appropriate topic experts. Help ACLU-KY staff prepare for interviews, including practicing potential questions, how to appear on camera, and messaging. Monitor media for opportunities to engage and to evaluate success of media outreach. 

Manage written content for all ACLU-KY publications - including our newsletter, The Torch, the Annual Report, pamphlets, flyers, policy reports, event invitations, and other informational materials. Coordinate graphic design of print material with Communications Associate, volunteers, interns, outside contractors. Serve as the organization’s Editor-in-Chief. 

Online - Support the Communications Associate and work with outside vendors in developing strategies for online advocacy and social media. Ensure that online content is accurate, compelling, and strategically placed.  

Public Relations and Internal Communication – Primary person responsible for organizational promotion, coordinating communications for engagement events and public speakers, developing promotional materials, and advertising. Also responsible for keeping Board of Directors informed on organizational activities and current messaging on emerging issues. 

Other responsibilities 

Community Leadership - Provide support to ACLU-KY allies, including, but not limited to, cross-promoting events and activities, attending ally events as an ACLU-KY representative, and providing general communications guidance, support, and consultation as time allows. 

Other Duties as Assigned 


Critical Thinking: Ability to represent the Communications program in any matter of complex planning and coordination, including organizational strategic planning and formation of cross-departmental project teams.  

Decision Making: A member of the Management team that assumes significant leadership responsibility to develop and execute organizational strategy, mission, vision with organization-wide impact 

Leadership: Management experience, ideally in positions of increased responsibility; Manages the Communications program 

Performance Feedback: Able to provide critical and effective feedback to both staff and executive team. 

Training: Organizational and staff development expertise including demonstrated success building strong teams and cultures defined by excellence, professionalism, trust and respect 

Communication Skills: Exceptional analytical, research, writing and oral advocacy skills, as well as the ability to articulate complex issues and communicate them tactfully and effectively to a variety of audiences 

Organization: Excellent organization and administrative skills:a strong, consistent attention to detail, an organized work style, and the ability to follow through on work assignments with a minimum of direct supervision. 

A demonstrated ability to write clearly and precisely. Strength in editing and proofreading. 

Ability to work long hours, especially during legislative session and commute to meetings and events throughout the state, as needed. 

Ability to interact confidently and successfully with the media, donors, politicians, and community leaders.  


The Communications Director must have extraordinary leadership skills and demonstrate a commitment to civil rights and civil liberties consistent with the mission and goals of the ACLU with the following qualifications: 

Management experience and effectively handling multiple priorities and projects; 

Five years’ demonstrated ability to manage and work with professional staff and to motivate and interact with multi-racial, multi-generational activists and ACLU of Kentucky leaders; 

Experience in non-profit, advocacy, political campaigns, or community-based organizations is valuable. 

Graphic Design experience is valuable. 

Fluency in a second language (especially Spanish) valuable. 

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