Media and Communications Manager (Press Secretary)

  • Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 20 November 2020

Job Description

Job Summary:

Every employee of IRI is responsible for carrying out the Mission of IRI and demonstrating the Core Values in their day to day operations. The Core Values, which are IRI’s foundational building blocks include: Excellence- We believe in quality results delivered by investing in people. Freedom- We believe in exploration and experimentation to be agile and responsive. Respect- We believe in trust, empathy and empowering people. Teamwork- We believe in diversity, inclusion, and the power of global collaboration. Transparency- We believe in open communication and clear decision-making. Accountability- We believe in personal responsibility as the foundation of success.

IRI has an incredible story to tell – from our mission to our history to today’s work in some of the most demanding and exhilarating places in the world. Our work matters, and we know it. The communications team at IRI tells that story to our key stakeholders around the world. We are growing to meet increasing demand for our products, both internally and externally.

Working closely with Communications leadership, the Media and Communications Manager will develop and execute a proactive, strategic media program for IRI. He/she will develop strategic outreach to the media to raise IRI’s profile and develop positive, consistent narratives. We are seeking an assertive, experienced press officer who is passionate about the power of engagement. The new member of our team will work across the organization to gather information from our programs, develop proactive strategies to work with the media, develop media relationships, and identify and train the right people to tell our story.

This position reports to the Deputy Director of Communications and will work closely with all members of the team including the Director of Communications and the Vice President for External Affairs.

Position Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree required in communications, political/social science, international relations or related field.
  • Proven experience managing press relationships and speaking to the media on behalf of an organization
  • Demonstrated interest in foreign affairs, national security and/or development issues, and domestic and international politics.
  • Minimum 5 years relevant experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
  • High proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite required; proficiency with Cision or other media monitoring tools strongly preferred.
  • Ability to exercise judgment on the quality and messaging of external content.

Primary Functions & Responsibilities

· Speaking to members of the media on behalf of IRI and its experts and leadership, both informally and on the record;

· Establishing and maintaining strategic relationships with members of the media, bookers, and other influencers;

· Providing strategic advice to IRI’s program teams in crafting and executing local press strategies, responding to media inquiries, and building high-impact press relationships;

· Developing and executing a media training curriculum and program;

· Leading day-to-day press operations, including drafting targeted and timely media advisories, proactively identifying media “hooks” for experts and strategically pitching and placing IRI experts with high impact media outlets, and crafting creative and timely responses to media inquiries;

· Drafting and maintaining relevant IRI website content including expert bios, news releases, IRI media hits, and press kits/resources;

· Maintaining and regularly updating a talking points database;

· Maintaining and regularly updating regional and topical press lists;

· Designing and executing media strategies for IRI events, campaigns and other high-profile initiatives both domestically and overseas;

· Staffing IRI principals for media appearances such as interviews and TV hits, negotiating ground rules in advance as appropriate;

  • Overseeing IRI’s media monitoring and analytics, including managing IRI’s media monitoring vendor and software and regularly assessing and reporting on the effectiveness of and adjusting IRI’s media strategy;
  • Coordinating IRI press strategy in crisis response situations in consultation with External Affairs and Institute leadership;
  • Working with other members of the Communications team to support programs as well as IRI events like all-staff and town halls

About the Organization

IRI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more issue-based and responsive, assisting citizens to participate in government planning, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth.

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