Since 2003, The Opportunity Network has ignited the drive, curiosity, and agency of students from historically and systematically underrepresented communities to connect them to college access and success, internships, career opportunities, and personal and professional networks. Our two core programs, OppNet Fellows and Partnerships, are anchored in our proprietary Career Fluency® curriculum, which articulates the necessary skills and mindsets for college and career readiness. All of the work OppNet leads is in service of realizing our vision of a nation connected through vibrant communities and networks actively in pursuit of social justice and educational equity – a nation where all young people can freely create their own path to enduring success that honors their passions, ambitions, and full identities.
The Opportunity Network (OppNet) is seeking a Director of Communications (DOC) who will help propel our rapidly growing organization by developing and overseeing a dynamic, strategic communications and marketing plan to expand OppNet’s brand awareness, storytelling, and thought leadership. Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the DOC will supervise one full-time staff member—a Communications and Engagement Coordinator—and will be a key member of the Strategic Advancement team as well as the organization’s Senior Management Team.
The DOC will need to be an experienced and creative leader who can create strong alignment between organizational values and strategy, external relations, marketing strategy, and communications tactics and then lead the implementation of these strategies and campaigns for showcasing OppNet’s innovative programs and impact. The ideal candidate will be someone who can conceptualize and execute campaigns from start to finish, with autonomy, confidence, and experience. The DOC will have the opportunity to leverage and engage our diverse community of leadership, staff, students, alumni, and partners.
This position also requires skills with building relationships within an organization and working cross-functionally as well as with our student/alumni community and robust network of partners. We are seeking a candidate deeply invested in racial equity in youth development, and someone who is excited by this unique career opportunity to develop and lead a powerful communications function in service of our students and organizational impact. It will be critical that the DOC center racial equity into all marketing and communications strategies and tactics, amplifying the voices of our BIPOC communities through practices that honor the experiences and voices of people of color and other historically marginalized communities.
The Director of Communications responsibilities include:
- Strategic Communications: Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan—reflective of the organization’s vision and values—that enhances OppNet’s brand visibility and thought leadership and broadens OppNet’s reach and impact across key stakeholder audiences, including OppNet students, alumni, program partners, media, donors, corporate partners, and the general public.
- Manage robust content calendar and processes and systems for all external communications vehicles: website, social media, speaking engagements, national and local PR, media relationships, intellectual capital, etc.
- Define key performance indicators and develop analytics that show the effectiveness of OppNet’s communications activities and drive the continuous improvement of strategy and tactics
- Ensure coordination with Strategic Advancement and Program teams on external communications that impact donor-facing audiences and student programming, respectively
- Bring passion and vision conceptualizing OppNet’s advocacy muscle for long-term impact: what can like-minded organizations working toward similar goals achieve? How can the power of a collective wield more influence than any solo organization?
- Media, Marketing, and Content Creation: Oversee all content creation, marketing, and media opportunities to ensure alignment with overall strategic goals and values
- Manage one full-time direct report, as well as any budgets and relationships with vendors, publicists, agencies, freelance designers, photographers, videographers, printers, and other independent contractors
- Collaborate with leadership, the Strategic Advancement, and Program teams to lead the production of creative and compelling communications and marketing collateral and materials, including monthly e-newsletters, e-blasts, website, decks, one-pagers, scripts, content, videography, brochures, digital and social content, invitations, annual reports, etc.
- Actively engage, cultivate, and manage press inquires and press relationships to maximize coverage surrounding programs, special events, public announcements, and other projects, including on-site management of OppNet’s annual gala red carpet
- Work with senior leadership to help OppNet lead in fieldwide dissemination and impact, i.e. case studies, practitioners guides, etc.
- Craft policies and protocols for engaging our students and alumni in media and story telling opportunities
- Prepare CEO and staff for PR-related appearances and opportunities, liaising with publicists and across internal teams and colleagues
- Work with the CEO and Senior Management Team to manage crisis communications
- Brand Integrity and Management: Ensure that OppNet’s brand identity, messaging, and assets are strong, compelling, values-aligned, and infused in all organizational efforts
- Ensure visual and editorial integrity of the OppNet brand in all public facing communications by designing and implementing systems and processes that allow for all staff across the organization to access and adopt clear and consistent messaging and branding, including talking points, style guidelines, photo archives, and media trainings for staff as well as students
- Edit/proofread various teams' written materials and oversee design of branded products and collateral across teams
- Remain informed and develop core messages re: relevant industry trends in youth development/college and career field as well as field-wide learnings and continuous improvement re: anti-racist communications and storytelling
The ideal candidate will personally connect to the important work we do and value diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) across the organization. Additionally, the candidate will demonstrate DE&I values by actively participating in all organizational-wide learning sessions and self-reflection as well as working with others to enact changes that contribute to meeting the organization’s DE&I goals.
- 10+ years of experience in strategic communications, preferably with organizations that operates with strong anti-racist and equity lenses
- Demonstrated success in developing strategic communications plans to increase brand awareness leveraging all marketing and communications channels
- Outstanding writing and editing skills across a variety of disciplines and a range of audiences; Able to edit and review content for messaging, style guidelines, brand consistency, correct grammar/punctuation, and voice;
- Ability to compel others to take action as a key storyteller and skillfully synthesize complex ideas into sophisticated writing in a variety of styles and formats
- A flexible and adaptive work style, commitment to continuous improvement, and able to reprioritize quickly and function at a high-level in a fast-paced environment
- Comfort in team-oriented environment based on open, transparent and continual communication, feedback, information sharing, and inclusive decision-making
- Personal dedication to the quality of work produced and a high level of accountability
- Excellent people and project management skills, including staff development and agency/vendor management
- Comfort developing and implementing strategy and leading various stakeholders and team members through complex and multi-faceted projects
- Strategic mindset, with the ability to build systems that will support OppNet’s goals and operations for today and in years ahead
- General technology and social media fluency
This is a full time, exempt position. Location is flexible, candidates in the New York City area preferred.
Due to COVID-19, all OppNet staff currently operate virtually. Staff will plan to continue working virtually until January 2022, at which point we will reassess public health regulations.
Commensurate with experience, plus benefits including 401K and retirement matching, generous paid and sick time off, and professional development.
How to Apply
Please send a resume and cover letter, including salary requirements and available start date, to email@example.com. Please put “Director of Communications” in the subject line.