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Director-communications

New York, NY, USA | Columbia University

  • Industry:
    Education (Higher)
  • Position Type:
    Full-Time
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    5-7 years
Job Description:
107 people have viewed this job

The Justice Lab is a new initiative that aims to advance a community-centered future for justice. The Lab is recruiting a Communications and Public AffInstitutes Director to work across its projects.


The Communications and Public AffInstitutes Director will develop and lead all communications, media relations and publicity activities across the lab. The incumbent will work with project directors, staff, and principal investigators to identify communications objectives and develop a comprehensive strategy, a suite of communications tactics, and materials for the Lab. He/she will advise project teams and Lab staff on all communications-related activities.


The incumbent will participate in team meetings with project directors and staff, as well as principle investigators in order to support strategic communications objectives determined by Lab leadership.


Characteristic Duties And Responsibilities


Communications and PR strategy Build on the Lab’s project-specific communications to create and


execute a cohesive communications and PR strategy across the Lab. Determine key objectives and tactics


to achieve them. Coordinate project communications and vendors to maximize impact. Work with the


Director of Strategy and Chief of Operations to determine how communications will fit into the larger


strategic development of the Lab. Identify new ways of amplifying the work of the Lab and engaging


stakeholders and the public. 35%


Media relations Build on existing and develop strong media relationships across diverse media outlets,


with an emphasis on outlets focused on social and criminal justice. Maintain relationships by keeping


journalists abreast of the work of the Lab. Consistently place Lab-developed pieces in appropriate outlets.


Respond quickly and efficiently to breaking news to elevate the voice of Lab leadership. 25%


Content Creation Work with project leads to determine topics for press releases, media alerts, press


statements, letters to the editor or similar content in top tier outlets. Oversee a Communications


Associate in drafting these pieces. 15%


Project support Work with project teams on ongoing communications needs including amplification of


events, development of promotional materials, creation of outward facing visual and written materials,


and brainstorming creative strategies to achieve project-specific communications goals.15%


Social Media Develop a holistic social media strategy for the Lab and for projects. Manage the


Communications Associate’s development of a social media calendar and corresponding messages.


Oversee creation of graphics, videos and other multimedia content. Based on observed reach and


engagement, innovate creative social media strategies. 10%


Minimum Qualifications


Applicant MUST meet these minimum qualifications to be considered for the position


Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree desirable; 5–7 years of related experience


Additional Position-Specific Minimum Qualifications


At least 6 years of directly relevant experience managing communications, media relations and PR for a mission-driven organization


Experience writing and placing press releases, media alerts, press statements, letters to the editor or similar content in top tier outlets


Knowledge, experience or interest in criminal and social justice reform


Existing relationships with media contacts in the social and criminal justice space


Experience developing social media strategy and increasing engagement


Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills


Ability to work with limited supervision by driving strategic projects forward autonomously


Ability to manage and respond quickly to incoming inquiries from the news media


Flexible, organized, and comfortable with managing multiple projects on deadline


Preferred Qualifications


Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, or related field, graduate degree preferred


Experience amplifying and publicizing events


Previous experience in the criminal and social justice advocacy sectors


The Justice Lab values diverse experiences, including educational background and those with lived experience in the justice system, and we depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.


The Justice Lab is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status or caregiver status.


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