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Senior Communications Officer in Oakland, CA USA

Senior Communications Officer in Oakland, CA USA

29 July, 2022

At College Futures Foundation, we believe there is nothing more transformative for individuals, our economy, and our society than educational opportunity, and that the pathway to a college degree should be clear and open to the diverse students of California.

Right now, that is not the case. Not all hardworking young people are getting a fair shot at a better life. The vast majority of our state’s K–12 students are of color and low-income, yet when it comes to graduates from our public universities, they are in the minority. At every step, they face roadblocks. We are working to change that.

Name of JobSenior Communications Officer
Post of LocationOakland, CA USA
Name of OrganizationCollege Futures Foundation
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We partner with organizations and leaders across the state to catalyze systemic change and close equity gaps so that this vision of a seamless, student-centered educational path to opportunity becomes a reality—and one that’s available to every student, regardless of zip code, skin color, or income.

Position Summary

Working closely with, and under the supervision of, the Director of Strategic Communications, and with a Communications Associate as part of the team, the Senior Communications Officer is responsible for a range of institutional, programmatic, and initiative-specific communications.

These fall under the broad areas of strategic communications, branding, issue framing, messaging, research, media relations, and related projects.

The Senior Communications Officer we seek will bring a range of experience in developing and implementing communications strategies, has familiarity with multiple media platforms (traditional and digital), and has worked in a multi-layered field shaped by policy, social, and economic factors. We especially want to find someone who understands how to utilize storytelling—written, oral, and/or visual—to powerful effect. The Senior Communications Officer must be adept at working across departments with colleagues on collaborative efforts and managing relationships with partners outside of the Foundation as well.

Activities include developing content for the Foundation’s major communications platforms, managing and staffing communications campaigns, and assisting in the development and administration of news media grants and research projects.

The officer may at times lead communications efforts specific to various program areas and initiatives and act as an advisor to program staff or grantee partners. The role requires staying abreast of research as well as news media and thought leader coverage of relevant topics, developing an understanding of diverse student experiences, conducting research to assist us in case-making and position articulation, and acting as an ambassador for the Foundation’s work.

Key responsibilities include:

Developing and/or implementing communications strategies, workplans, narratives, and messaging.

Developing, drafting, and/or editing high-quality, compelling content for the Foundation’s major communications platforms and externally-facing staff, and engaging key audiences. This may include a range of materials such as reports, blog posts, op-eds, talking points, presentations, videos, podcasts, fact sheets, press releases, infographics, and social media content and toolkits. (We employ contractors / freelancers to assist with content production and design work as needed.)

Incorporating strategic communications thinking (e.g. as regards goals, target audiences, engagement plans, and resources needed) into programmatic planning.

Developing and managing relationships with journalists and thought leaders. Representing College Future Foundations with the media and at select external events.

Communications-related grantmaking and contracting.

Supporting grantees and partners by offering communications counsel and delivering capacity-building assistance.

Coordinating and managing activities of communications-related consultants and vendors.

Managing complex projects, communications work plans, and editorial calendars.

Special projects and responsibilities as assigned.

Preferred qualifications:

5+ years of work experience in communications, media, journalism, public relations, advocacy, or related field, particularly within a mission-driven effort or policy arena.

Knowledge of higher education or other major systems, multi-stakeholder movement-based advocacy, or policy work—especially in California—a plus.

Highly motivated, creative, and strategic thinker with strong interpersonal skills.

Exceptional writing, editing, and oral communication skills.

Experience developing and implementing strategic communications, narrative, and messaging plans and campaigns. (Experience with policy, education, or social justice initiatives a plus.)

Understands good practice in communicating with system leaders and policymakers, engaging media and thought leaders, and/or partnering with nonprofit organizations.

Ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Ability to manage projects with precision, remain organized, and pay close attention to detail while simultaneously attending to the big picture. Excellent time management. Uses discretion and sound judgment.

A strong commitment to equity.

Ability to contribute to a collegial, respectful, and supportive work environment We believe that ensuring the college success of students facing the most formidable barriers will help all of us thrive—our families, communities, economy, society, and state.

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