Director of Communications

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The Marsha P Johnson Institute


The Director of Communications will report to the Executive Director and is
responsible for driving strategic marketing and communications efforts to
increase the MPJI brand, voice, and influence; deepen engagement with current
and prospective partners and stakeholders; and strengthen and protect the
organization’s brand and reputation. The Director of Communications
oversees a team of consultants and vendors, and develops the department’s
goals, activities, and annual budget.

The Director of Communications works collaboratively with senior leadership
to ensure an integrated, leveraged, digital-first marketing approach with key
positioning and alignment of messaging and themes for internal and external
audiences. The Director of Communications oversees the creation of MPJI’s
collateral, website, digital marketing, storytelling assets, video
production, and outreach activities, and provides strategic direction for
partnerships, media and public relations, influencer strategies, and thought
leadership to expand and amplify MPJI’s impact and influence in the social
change field – more specifically, black trans people. The Director of
Communications works particularly closely with the Executive Director to
build a holistic partner funnel, with a focus on using marketing strategies
to bring new partnership leads into the funnel. The Director of
Communications also works with the Executive Director to direct and support
their communications, visibility, and outreach efforts. The Director of
Communications oversees execution of internal communications strategies and
programs to help build culture, inspire, and motivate staff and facilitate
healthy organizational change management. This individual is also responsible
for leading crisis communications planning and preparedness planning to
protect MPJI’s brand and reputation and that of our partners as necessary.

Communications Strategy
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s overall communications strategy, including
setting key goals, identifying & refining key target audiences, and setting
objectives for each of the communications, marketing, and PR functions to
work towards.
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s integrated communications, marketing, and PR
plan, a coherent and consistent set of Executive Director ordinated
activities across each of the communications, marketing, and PR functions
aimed at delivering on the overall communications strategy.
•       Work closely with the Executive Director to ensure that this strategy and
plan are aligned with MPJI’s overall strategy, vision, mission, and
•       Work closely with the Executive Director to support the goals and
objectives set forth by the Board of Directors.

•       Maintain the MPJI brand, including its visual identity, verbal identity,
narrative, & positioning on key issues, and key themes to focus on.
•       Develop strategies and tactics to build MPJI’s profile with MPJI’s
key target audiences and priority partners.
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s content strategy for owned communication
channels, including our website, newsletter, social media, and other channels
as needed.
•       Identify and assess opportunities for new owned communications channels
(e.g., new social media channels, new newsletters, etc.) and work with key
team members to implement new channels as needed.
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s thought leadership strategy & plan, including
working with MPJI’s senior leadership team to identify thought leadership
opportunities in their areas of expertise, setting an overall thought
leadership publication schedule, and managing the development of thought
leadership content. (e.g., co-developing talking points, testimony, op-eds,
and infographics for MPJI policy communications and outreach)
•       Manage the production of MPJI’s creative content and assets, including
marketing & communications assets, website, videos, and other assets as
•       Manage the production of speeches & presentations to support members of
the MPJI leadership team in their public appearances.

•       Develop & maintain strategies to increase awareness about MPJI with key
target audiences and particularly with our priority partner segments,
including policy and thought leadership opportunities, sponsorships, and
other tactics.
•       Work closely with the Executive Director to develop & implement
strategies to bring new partnership opportunities into our funnel from
potential new partners within our partner segments.
•       Work closely with the Executive Director and external communications team
to develop & implement strategies to increase engagement with existing
partners, including developing marketing strategy to meet partnership goals
and measuring/reporting to quantify impact.
Public Relations
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s strategic approach to public relations,
including audiences we want to engage, priority target outlets and reporters
to reach those audiences, and the stories we want to tell.
•       Work closely with MPJI external consultants to oversee development of PR
assets including, press releases, media lists, talking points, and other
assets as needed.
•       Develop & maintain MPJI’s crisis communications strategy to protect the
organization’s reputation against threats and oversee crisis communications
as needed.
•       Work with MPJI’s designated spokespeople to provide media training
support as needed.
•       Speak directly with the media on behalf of MPJI, as needed.
•       Provide crisis communications support to MPJI partners as needed.

•       Oversee the work of the MPJI external communications consultants,
ensuring the highest level of service and best possible price, managing
vendors to performance targets, and selecting and onboarding new vendors as
•       Working closely with the Executive Director, manage MPJI’s marketing,
communications & PR budget, ensuring the organization’s resources are spent

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
•       A strong understanding and alignment with MPJI’s vision, mission, and
•       Ability to work effectively with people from different cultures,
backgrounds, and perspectives.
•       Strong strategic communications & marketing acumen.
•       Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to build trust and rapport
with internal stakeholders, including executive management, the Board of
Directors, and staff.
•       Excellent, proactive team player.
•       Strong leader and manager of people and processes.
•       Exceptional and persuasive written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation
•       Demonstrated ability to prioritize amongst multiple commitments, and to
drive multiple high profile and complex projects simultaneously in a
challenging and fluid environment.
•       Fluency in using and incorporating new and emerging technologies to
facilitate internal communications.
•       Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic
thinking into flawless execution.
•       A motivated, high-energy self-starter with a strong work ethic.
•       Process-oriented, with a high attention to detail.
•       Production and event management experience is a plus.

Education and Experience
•       Bachelor’s degree in marketing, journalism, communications, or related
field required (master’s degree is preferred).
•       15+ years of relevant and applicable work experience required, including
experience developing, executing, and evaluating results-oriented
communications and marketing strategies and tactics.
•       Demonstrated passion for community organizing and nature. Experience
working with social causes in a nonprofit, government, or related field is a
plus, but not required.
•       Experience leading broadly skilled, high-performing communications and
marketing teams is required.
•       Experience selecting and managing independent marketing and
communications contractors, consultants, and vendors is required.
•       Deep experience with Google and Salesforce suite of products is required.

Compensation: $75,000 to $90,000, depending on candidate experience. MPJI
offers a competitive benefits package including 401k, medical, dental, life
insurance, and paid time off.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send cover letter, resume and salary requirements to

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