Temporary Deputy Press Secretary, Federal Communications

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Job Title: Temporary Deputy Press Secretary, Federal Communications
Department: Communications
Location: Washington, DC or Remote
Reports To: Director of Federal Communications
Supervises: None
Duration: 6 months

: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel inequity, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our democracy. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it. Sierra Club has close to 800 staff across the country and a network of 64 local chapters that are led and fueled by thousands of volunteers. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with three labor unions representing more than half of our employees.

The Temporary Deputy Press Secretary plans, coordinates, and executes communications strategies related to the Fossil-Free Finance and Industrial Decarbonization campaigns. Working with the federal policy team, federal campaign staff, and intersectional partners, the Deputy Press Secretary is responsible for developing and disseminating strategic narratives that advance the goals of our campaigns in Beltway and national outlets while remaining rooted in our organizational values. To support that work, the Deputy Press Secretary works with the creative team to develop creative assets to inform and influence decision makers; project manages the creation and distribution of advertising, videos, and other produced media; drafts and edits written content; and ensures messaging resonates effectively with various audiences. Additionally, they will be expected to provide messaging guidance and materials for their respective campaign(s) to the regional press team. This position is responsible for an array of media communications, ensuring timely and accurate materials with a consistent tone and message. A key component of the Deputy Press Secretary’s role is leading media outreach by organizing press conferences and other media events; coordinating the submissions of op-eds and letters to the editor; pitching stories; tracking and reporting coverage; compiling data; and nurturing relationships to grow a diverse bench of spokespeople. The ideal candidate should have a solid grasp of Sierra Club’s legacy conservation work, a conversational understanding of the clean energy transition, a personal commitment to and knowledge of social justice, and a passion for advancing progressive social change. They will also have the ability to articulate and reinforce the intersections of Sierra Club’s legacy work and communicate the challenges and opportunities we face, centered on justice and equity.

Job activities include but are not limited to:

  • Plan and implement federal communications strategy for Sierra Club’s campaigns. Serve as liaison across internal teams and committees, as well as with external partners and stakeholders, to advise on communications strategies and tactics. Track media coverage of the issues covered in the campaign and report major narrative themes, inclusions and exclusions from coverage, and whose voices are represented out to campaign teams to inform future strategies. Develop and execute long-term and rapid-response media outreach plans to advance campaign narratives and outcomes at the national level, in adherence to the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing.
  • Develop messaging, written, and produced assets to advance federal campaign goals in collaboration with internal partners and with external partners as needed. Develop media messages, op-eds, press releases, video/audio, talking points, and other materials, and coordinate media events as necessary. Collaborate with internal creative teams, Digital Strategies department, and external contractors to develop and execute paid media tactics. Create strategic media responses to relevant reports, Environmental Law Program work underway, and external developments.
  • Provide drafted materials and guidance on federal efforts to regional teams as needed. Develop talking points and media materials on various campaign efforts to be disseminated and utilized by the regional press team.
  • Build relationships with national, Beltway, and trade reporters and influencers. Serve as a point of contact for those reporters in order to advance media coverage. Pitch relevant stories and connect reporters with spokespeople.
  • Train and coach key and relevant national staff and volunteers in strategic communications skills and messaging developed on key timely issues. Identify, train, and place compelling spokespeople to tell the campaign’s stories. Support staff, volunteers, and partners with media training, messaging guidance, and interview preparation.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • Experience with media relations. You have professional experience as a journalist, media liaison, spokesperson, press secretary, or other position involving public relations. You have an understanding of best practices for using media to advance campaign goals.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills. You are a strong writer and communicator who is comfortable interacting with reporters, developing compelling messages, and drafting written materials for various audiences.
  • Ability to interact cooperatively and effectively with internal and external partners. You think collaboratively and can build strong relationships with staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders. You are capable of navigating challenging dynamics to achieve shared goals.
  • Leading on equity. You model effective equity analysis and practice and have a track record of operationalizing equity, and have embedded justice and equity throughout team/department policies, structures, culture, and programs.

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of energy and/or climate issues and relevant media landscape.
  • Experience working with campaign teams to execute creative tactics including but not limited to audio/video, podcasts, projections, murals, performance art, and advertising.
  • Ability to build alignment between stakeholders while project managing competing priorities.
  • Proficiency with Cision, TVEyes, and/or other media outreach and tracking tools.
  • Spanish language proficiency is a plus
Compensation and Benefits
The salary for this position is based on a non-negotiable annual salary of $81,000.

This is a category 99 exempt non-represented, temporary position.