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  • Communications Specialist

    • Employer: Defenders of Wildlife
      Location: Washington, DC
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 08/10/2019
      Open Until Filled: Yes



    JOB TITLE:   Communications Specialist

    GRADE: 25

    SALARY: Up to $68,000

    FLSA:  Exempt

    DIVISION/SITE:  Headquarters, Washington DC

    DEPARTMENT:  Communications

    REPORTS TO:  Director of Media Relations

    LAST REVISED:  July 2019

    Basic Summary:

    The Senior Communications Specialist is responsible for helping to plan and implement a wide variety of media activities to gain coverage for Defenders of Wildlife and the issues on which Defenders works.  S/he is responsible for developing and implementing media plans and coordinating events; writing news releases, factsheets and other press materials; building relationships with and contacting reporters and broadcast journalists; identifying spokespeople; and other activities as assigned by the Media Relations Director and/or Vice President for Communications.

    Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

    •             Writing: Generate press releases, statements, talking points, advisories, factsheets, OpEds, letters to the editor, editorial board memos and other press materials

    •             Media & Messaging Strategy: Work with program staff and communications team to develop and implement media plans 

    •             Participate and represent Defenders on key coalition teams, collaborating with coalition partners in strategy, materials development and action.

    •             Media relations: Establish working relationships with reporters in beat areas. Call and email reporters to pitch Defenders-related stories; field inquiries from the media and forward reporters’ questions to pertinent program staff members

    •             Research: Conduct research to develop factsheets, legislative bill summaries, talking points and other media relations and programmatic materials as needed

    •             Press events: Work with appropriate program staff to coordinate, execute and publicize press events, teleconferences, and other promotional activities

    •             Advertising: Develop strategies for digital advertising in relation for appropriate use within advocacy campaigns. Develop messaging strategy, copy and manage design of print and digital advertisements; work with vendors to place advertisements

    •             Attend press briefings and activities and help prepare senior executives for interviews and media appearances. General support: Collaborate with and support Communications Team colleagues in daily communications department work

    •             Compile weekly/monthly media coverage and analysis reports for sharing with senior leadership and others as appropriate

    •             Perform all other work-related duties as assigned, including, but not limited to, coordinating focus groups, and polling. Collaborate with Defenders’ Conservation Program Teams and Marketing Team for seamless communications across all forms of Defenders of Wildlife Communications including but not limited to publications and reports, press materials, social media, blog, web site and other outreach, etc.



    Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) or equivalent in Journalism, English, Communication Studies, Public Policy, Broadcasting or other related discipline (including Biology of Environmental Studies).  Master’s degree in journalism or related field desirable.


    ·         At least 4+ years of experience working with news media and strategic communications

    ·         An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.


    ·         Ability to manage several tasks at once, use sound judgment, and follow up on prioritized assignments 

    ·         Excellent writing and verbal communications skills; working knowledge of AP style a plus

    ·         Work effectively with others on team assignments, including in situations are working in separate locations.

    ·         Excellent project management skills required.

    ·         Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word and other Windows applications

    ·         Fluency in Spanish a plus


    Work Expectations:

    Work Environment:

    General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

    Physical Demands:

    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.

    All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

    How to Apply:

    Interested applicants please apply with a cover letter through our indeed jobs portal at http://www.defenders.org/jobs

    About Defenders:

    Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.

    Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.


    It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.



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