Title: Communications Director
Salary Range: $95,000-$130,000 Depending On Experience
Location: Indianapolis, IN strongly preferred (Hybrid or in-office)
Target Start Date: Early June to end of July
ABOUT FAITH IN INDIANA
Faith in Indiana unites tens of thousands of people across faith, race, and place to work together for racial and economic justice in Indiana. In our work, we center the leadership of Black people, immigrants, Muslims, returning citizens, women, and young people.
In the ten years since our founding, Faith in Indiana has grown from 20 congregations in a single city to 125 congregations and partner organizations organized in six counties.
Faith in Indiana and our county chapters are run and led by our grassroots leaders, who are the drivers of our campaigns for criminal justice reform, climate justice, immigrant rights, health care for everyone, a caring economy, and freedom to vote.
We also have a political arm, Act Indiana, which is a 501c4 sister organization that runs large-scale voter engagement programs holding deep canvassing conversations with people of color, women, and young people often ignored by traditional campaigns.
We believe strongly that:
- Power must be shared equitably in our organization and our society;
- Leaders are developed, not born; and
- Relationships grounded in trust and vulnerability coupled with radical accountability and direct, courageous communication allow for each of us to bring our full, brilliant selves to the table.
As both Faith in Indiana and Act Indiana, we seek to build a more robust social movement ecosystem and understand that driving narrative change requires a chorus of voices singing in the same direction.
For these reasons, we play an important role in facilitating the development of shared advocacy, political and narrative strategies among our coalition partners in Indiana.
We also provide training and technical assistance to our partners about the implementation of the Race-Class Narrative, an empirically tested narrative framework we employ that neutralizes dog-whistle racism, builds cross-racial solidarity, and employs a people-centered storytelling approach to win change.
Strategic communications and grassroots organizing go hand-in-hand, so communications has always been an important part of our work.
Much of our press and earned media work has been done (and will continue to be done) by our organizers and our grassroots and grass-tops leaders, who do a good job of using comms to push our campaigns forward.
But as our membership base and our impact has grown, so too has our desire for additional staff capacity to bring our communications work to the next level.
We’re now at a point where we can devote the staff time and resources to create a Communications Department that will increase the range and scope of our comms efforts, led by a Communications Director who will be responsible for making sure our communications work as a whole is narratively and strategically cohesive (whether that’s with our allies in the larger progressive ecosystem in Indiana, or across our own channels, campaigns, or audiences).
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Director will (at the broadest level):
- Collaboratively develop the vision, narrative strategy and communications plans for Faith in Indiana’s and Act Indiana’s internal and external communications efforts across all channels – and then oversee and take fundamental responsibility for their implementation.
- Build out our communications department, including: hiring, managing, mentoring and leading a small team of 1-3 staff members plus outside consultants; and establishing the necessary systems and infrastructure to support their work.
- Mentor and coach the communications staff at allied organizations around integrating Race-Class Narrative messaging into their campaigns, and play a leading role in aligning allied organizations in the state around a shared narrative strategy.
We are not expecting deep expertise in all the communications disciplines, but we are looking for someone adept at assembling and leading a team of traditional comms and digital staff plus creatives, and managing them in a fast-paced, campaign environment to amplify the same narrative drumbeat in the service of our organizing goals.
Are you a seasoned communications professional who knows how to integrate communications and organizing to support long-term narrative strategies that change what is possible?
Are you a social justice advocate who is passionate about race-forward messaging, and places storytelling of directly impacted people at the center of social change?
Are you a skilled manager of people and projects who has the drive, the know-how and the emotional intelligence necessary to build a communications department from the ground up – and then lead that department to do big things?
If so, please read on!
WHAT YOU’LL DO
- Be the primary organizational leader on all things related to our strategic comms work across all channels, and build a department to execute the vision, strategy and plans you develop in consultation with other organizational stakeholders.
- Take ultimate responsibility for ensuring the stories we want to tell get to the right internal and external audiences (i.e. to our grassroots and grass-tops supporters, the media, government officials, allied organizations and the public).
- Collaboratively develop and oversee the execution of a cohesive communications and narrative strategy for Faith in Indiana and Act Indiana rooted in the Race-Class Narrative framework, and advanced as a common drumbeat across all our channels and through all of our advocacy and electoral campaigns.
- Recruit, manage and lead a small team of communicators growing over time to include a communications manager, a digital strategist, and a network of content creators (or another team structure that better aligns with your vision).
- As much as possible, create a team culture that is just, inclusive and equitable – one where everyone is treated with (and treats others with) the full measure of respect and dignity they are owed as human beings.
- Build relationships with policy-makers, coalition partners, and media influencers to align broad constituencies around a shared narrative framework for progressive change.
- Identify creative and strategic opportunities for high-impact earned media, and help us capitalize on them.
- Identify and provide ongoing training to a choir of narrative practitioners – diverse clergy leaders, grassroots leaders, and partners – amplifying our collective narrative to shift power towards justice, equity and democracy.
- As a senior communications leader within the organization and the larger progressive ecosystem in the state, be proactive about supporting the leadership of and the development of robust career pathways within our sector for Black people, women, and immigrants with deep roots in Indiana.
- Bring an intersectional lens to all aspects of your work, including both your own work product and how you show up at work as a manager and colleague.
WHAT SUCCESS IN THE FIRST ~6-8 MONTHS LOOKS LIKE:
We anticipate the day-to-day of this job looking very different initially compared to when the department is staffed up, long-term plans have been finalized, and there is more infrastructure in place.
We see the first 6-8 months (until roughly the end of 2023) as a mixture of onboarding and getting up to speed, keeping the cadence and effectiveness of our communications work where it needs to be (with support from contractors), and doing the planning and infrastructure work necessary to lay the foundations for long-term success.
Here are the main goals and outcomes expected in this initial phase:
- Initiate a collaborative process you will lead to develop a multi-year strategy to shift the dominant narrative in Indiana to advance progressive power and governance in Indiana.
- Make significant progress toward coming up with a plan and a budget for all of our communications work through the 2024 election, including with respect to organizing communicators in the state on a shared narrative strategy.
- Make decisions about the department staffing structure and the timing and order of filling the roles – and drive these processes forward.
- Take over ownership of the organization’s voice and branding, and lead the creation of an organizational style guide.
- Establish communications infrastructure to amplify on-the-ground organizing, maintain brand and narrative integrity across all platforms, and evaluate progress and impact.
- Build good working relationships with your coworkers, key organizational stakeholders (e.g. grassroots leaders, clergy, and possibly some funders or major donors) and relevant staff members at allied organizations.
- Oversee the development and execution of our digital work across channels, making sure we’re leveraging email, social media and (where necessary) online event management tools to support our organizing, fundraising and communications programs – and doing so in a narratively cohesive way.
- Providing training and coaching to organizers, clergy, and grassroots leaders in strategic communications (e.g. coach a team of leaders to secure press for events, give our organizers a 101 training on using our email tool, etc.).
- Develop, manage, and track relationships with the media, and monitor the media landscape to pitch stories and intervene in the news cycle.
- Set up systems to monitor the news and social media to ensure we can react quickly and appropriately to breaking news or emerging developments that are relevant to our work.
- Developed clear and effective processes for content creation and approval.
(Note: If you’re interested in the role and think you could do this job successfully we welcome your application even if you might not check all of our boxes.)
You might be a good fit for this role if:
- You have a passion for grassroots progressive political change, shifting power to marginalized communities, and amplifying the moral authority of diverse faith leaders.
- You have a strong social justice analysis that recognizes the impact of White Supremacy on all our lives, and are committed to bringing racial equity, inclusion, and intersectionality to all aspects of your work.
- You have at least 7-10 years of relevant communications experience in a fast-paced, mission-driven environment, including a track record of leading effective narrative campaigns and/or leading a communications team.
- You’re a supportive, collaborative manager with a high degree of emotional intelligence and at least 3 years of supervisory experience.
- You’ve led or co-led a project from beginning to end (or built something from scratch) where you took on a big challenge or did something at scale and your leadership was essential in bringing it to fruition.
- Your orientation towards strategic comms is proactive, opportunistic and flexible. You’re good at balancing the need for intentional, long-term comms plans with the need to adapt to shifting landscapes and capitalize on emergent opportunities that can’t be planned for far in advance.
- You’re a strong, persuasive writer, editor and all-around communicator. You know how to make a clear point using personal stories and have the ability to quickly write clean, compelling and well-messaged copy for a variety of audiences.
- You have a good understanding about the different ways both traditional and digital communications tools and tactics can be leveraged in different campaign contexts (e.g. driving event attendance vs. legislative advocacy vs. culture change; rapid response vs. planned campaign arcs; etc.).
- You know how to make things happen. You possess a high degree of initiative, good problem-solving skills, and an adaptable style that can drive progress even amid ambiguity and complexity.
- You’re a good project-manager who can thrive in a fast-paced environment. You are highly organized, have a strong and consistent attention to detail, and are able to juggle multiple competing priorities without letting something fall through the cracks.
- You have strong interpersonal skills. You are good at managing up, down and laterally, getting input and buy-in from key stakeholders, organizing people around shared goals, giving and receiving feedback, and managing conflict while maintaining strong and effective relationships.
- You thrive working in majority BIPOC spaces, and possess the cultural competency to work across multiple differences. In addition, you have a track record of building trust and good working relations across lines of personal difference such as race, immigration status, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
- You have the ability to remain calm, grounded and positive even when time is tight or the pressure is on.
While not required, a strong candidate might have some of the following:
- Experience working for an organization, family of organizations or campaign like Faith in Indiana/Act Indiana that combines grassroots organizing, advocacy campaigns and electoral campaigns.
- Experience integrating communications and organizing to support long-term narrative strategies.
- Enough experience with grassroots organizing and/or grassroots organizers to be able to wrangle organizers, “speak their language” and speak to the values of organizing.
- Experience leading a communications hub, a coalition table, a group of affiliates/chapters, etc. to execute a shared communications or narrative strategy from the initial strategy sessions to evaluation. (Bonus points if the partners had a wide variety of comms capacities.)
- Experience building new relationships and developing people to take risks they never thought were possible in support of something they cared deeply about.
- Community roots in Indiana or meaningful connections to the cultural or political landscape of Indiana.
- Experience working in or with the Black Church, Spanish-speaking immigrant communities, religious minorities or other multiracial communications or organizing spaces.
- Other faith-based organizing experience in an electoral, legislative or social justice context.
- A track record of developing and implementing high-impact advocacy communications campaigns that used a wide range of traditional and digital communications channels and tactics.
- Significant experience with budgeting, strategic planning and priority setting for an organization, department or large team.
- First-hand knowledge of and experience with narrative organizing, especially with a Race-Class Narrative communications framework (this includes anything developed by We Make the Future) or other empirically based narrative strategies or frameworks.
- Experience in public opinion research and/or message testing.
- Solid design chops. You don’t need to be a graphic designer, but you should have an eye for design and at least some ability to use software like Photoshop or Illustrator, meme & GIF generators, and/or apps like Canva to make basic graphics.
- A history of active involvement in social movements that work to support racial justice, immigrant rights, economic justice and/or protect our democracy.
- Experience building a network of vendors or managing graphic designers, coders and/or videographers to produce content on spec, on time and on budget.
- Demonstrated knowledge of and proficiency with common communications technologies and organizing tools (particularly EveryAction, VAN, Spoke, WordPress, Cision, Meltwater, social media tool sets, and/or any similar tools).
- Significant experience working in a multi-racial, setting, including experience successfully managing people who carry historically marginalized identities.
- Experience as an on-the-record spokesperson for an organization or campaign, or experience working directly with journalists behind the scenes to shape their coverage.
COMPENSATION, BENEFITS & WORK SCHEDULE
The role has a salary range of $95-130,000 (depending on experience) and includes excellent benefits including full medical and dental coverage, a 5% retirement match after 2 years, and generous paid time off.
We also provide a cell phone, zoom subscription, with unlimited talk and data and a computer at the beginning of employment.
This role will be based in Indiana with a very strong preference for the role to be based out of our office in Indianapolis (but other locations within the state are possible for the right candidate).
Employees working out of our office often work from home a few days a week, but are expected to come in most days. In addition, there are generally a few days per month when employees will not be able to work remotely because of in-office meetings or other in-person activities. Some additional travel within Indiana and to national conferences/trainings/convenings will also be required.
This will be a full-time, exempt position that will periodically require working some nights and weekends, especially during campaign season.
HOW TO APPLY
Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis until this role is filled, with preference given to those who apply by 11:59pm PT on March 17th, 2023. We would like to begin offering interviews before that, so we encourage interested applicants to apply ASAP.
We center the experience of Black people, people of color, people from working class backgrounds, women and LGBTQ people, who are strongly encouraged to apply.
To apply, please send application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include your last name and “Communications Director” in the subject line of the email.
Applications should include:
- A resume
- Answer the following questions in lieu of a cover letter:
- Why are you applying for this job? (Suggested word limit: 200)
- Some of the constituencies we organize are Black people, immigrants, Muslims, returning citizens, women, and young people. What is something you’ve done that demonstrates your commitment to serving or organizing BIPOC folks in one or more of these constituencies? (suggested word limit: 200)
- In the About You section of this job listing (see above) there is a list of bullet points under the heading “While not required, a strong candidate might have some of the following…” Which of these bullet points do you believe you bring to the table? Please list examples of how you’ve demonstrated these characteristics with a few words of explanation if that’s useful. Note, where there is a list of different ways to meet the criteria of a single bullet point, please specify which one(s) you bring to the table.
- How did you hear about this role? Please be specific.
- (Optional) Professional work samples relevant to this role.
Requests for accommodations or questions about this position or the application process can be sent to email@example.com.
ABOUT THE HIRING PROCESS
The hiring process will consist of 2-3 initial interviews conducted over the phone or on Zoom that will last 45-60 minutes, the last of which will be with our Executive Director. We select 1-2 finalists who will be invited to come to our office to meet our team and participate in some in-person interviews (one of which will be a panel interview with some of our grassroots leaders).
In addition, we may ask for candidates at some point in the process to complete an exercise that should take no more than 3 hours as part of the evaluation period. If we ask you to complete the exercise, you will be compensated for your time spent on it.
We would like to complete the process in time for the person we hire to start sometime between early June and end July, with a preference for the candidate starting as soon as possible within that time frame.
Faith in Indiana provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, criminal history, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.
Please note: This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. The duties, responsibilities and activities listed here are subject to change based on organizational needs.