Temporary Associate Press Secretary

Job Title: Temporary Associate Press Secretary

Department: Communications

Location: Remote  

Reports ToRegional Director of Communications

Supervises: None

Duration: 4-6 months

Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of interdependence. 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 injustice, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our future. 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.

Scope: The Associate Press Secretary coordinates and executes communications strategies on key priorities determined in collaboration between themselves, their manager, and the Regional Field Director relating to the Sierra Club’s Energy and Conservation work in a set portfolio of states as designated on the Regional Turf Map. Any changes to the Regional Turf Map will be discussed and agreed upon in writing. Working with local staff, volunteers, and intersectional partners, the Associate Press Secretary is responsible for developing and disseminating strategic narratives that advance Sierra Club’s goals while remaining rooted in our organizational values: balance, collaboration, justice, transformation, and anti-racism To support that work, the Associate Press Secretary coordinates  the development of 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. 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 Associate 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 climate and environment issues, 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:

  1. Plan and implement communications strategy for the Sierra Club in a portfolio of states. 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 relevant issues. Develop and execute long-term and rapid-response media outreach plans to advance narratives and outcomes in a portfolio of states in adherence to the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. 
  2. Develop messaging, written, and produced assets to advance Sierra Club goals in collaboration with state teams. Develop media messages, op-eds, press releases, video/audio, talking points, and other materials, and coordinate media events as necessary. Work with federal press secretaries to localize federal agency media opportunities. Create strategic media responses to relevant reports, Environmental Law Program work underway, and other external developments. 
  3. Contributes to staff strategy meetings, and stays current on substantive and political developments in major conservation campaigns by reading latest literature, attending meetings and maintaining contact with relevant sources.  
  4. Build relationships with local, regional, 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. 
  5. Train and coach state-based staff and volunteers in strategic communications skills. Identify, train, and place compelling spokespeople. 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 Sierra Club goals. 
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skillsYou 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 partnersYou think collaboratively and can build strong relationships with staff, volunteers, and other stakeholders. You are capable of navigating challenging dynamics to achieve shared goals. 
  • Committed to evolution. You are committed to continuously deepening and evolving your own understanding of systems of oppression through study, openness, and humility. And you easily recognize your own relationship to privilege and power, examining and shifting your behaviors as appropriate.
  • Uplifting and additiveYou see mistakes as opportunities for growth; problems as catalysts for solutions, and inspire others along the journey. You carry a constructive approach, can-do attitude, a sense of humor, and authentic kindness wherever you go.

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

  • Demonstrated knowledge of energy, lands, and/or climate issues and relevant media landscape
  • Experience executing creative tactics including audio/video, podcasts, projections, murals, performance art, and advertising
  • Ability to build alignment between stakeholders while project managing competing priorities
  • Proficiency with Cision and/or other media outreach and tracking tools 
  • Spanish language proficiency preferred 

Compensation and Benefits

The salary for this position is based on a non-negotiable annual salary of $71,000.

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