Communications Specialist

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Sacramento, CA
United States

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The Communications Specialist is responsible for helping to plan and implement a wide variety of media activities to gain coverage for Defenders of Wildlife’s issues related to the organization’s mission.  In this role, the Communications Specialist’s primary responsibilities include developing and implementing media plans, drafting news releases, factsheets and other press materials and providing to members of the media. Interacting with members of the media and building relationships is also an integral responsibility. In addition to other activities as assigned by the Media Relations Director and/or Vice President for Communications.

Regular interdepartmental collaboration for determining media opportunities, deadlines and messaging priorities/materials is essential in this role.


Writing: Generate press releases, statements, talking points, advisories, factsheets, op-eds, letters to the editor, editorial board memos and other press materials
Serve as a lead/central point of contact where there are media opportunities that span across several different beats, specifically in relation to Defenders’ Hill work, such as Interior Appropriations, NDAA, among others
Media & Messaging Strategy: Work with program staff and Communications Team to develop and implement media plans
Participate and represent Defenders on key coalition teams, collaborating with coalition partners in strategy, materials development and action
Media relations: Establish working relationships with reporters in beat areas. Call and email reporters to pitch Defenders-related stories; field inquiries from the media and forward reporters’ questions to pertinent program staff members
Research: Conduct research to develop talking points and other media relations and programmatic materials as needed
Press events: Work with appropriate program staff to coordinate, execute and publicize press events, teleconferences, and other promotional activities
Advertising: Develop strategies for advertising in relation for appropriate use within advocacy campaigns
Develop messaging strategy, copy and manage design of advertisements; work with vendors to place advertisements
Attend press briefings and activities and help prepare senior executives for interviews and media appearances
General support: Collaborate with and support Communications Team colleagues in daily communications department work
Perform all other work-related duties as assigned, including, but not limited to, coordinating focus groups, and polling. Collaborate with Defenders’ Conservation Program Teams and Marketing Team for seamless communications across all forms of Defenders of Wildlife Communications including but not limited to publications and reports, press materials, social media, website and other outreach, etc
Supervisory Roles: When applicable, supervise seasonal Interns. Review candidate resumes conduct interviews, work with Communications Team to coordinate projects, roles and responsibilities


Education: Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent

Experience: 4 years of relevant experience

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

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