Home » Jobs » Director of Strategic Communications

Director of Strategic Communications

Essential Partners
Job Title: Director of Strategic Communications
Job Type:
Job Search Ends:
May 4th, 2018
Organization's Website:

Essential Partners (EP), a non-profit whose mission is to equip anyone facing divisive difference with skills for connection through conversation and curiosity, seeks someone smart, creative, and dynamic to help us share our mission far and wide. The DSC will report directly to the Executive Director and work closely with the Director of Development. We’re located in Cambridge, MA, and are looking for someone who can begin as soon as possible.

You’re the right person for EP if you:

  • Embrace and want to magnify the mission of equipping individuals and communities to stay connected in the midst of differences of all kinds (in politics, religion, race/ethnicity, class, gender identity, sexual orientation…) without the goal of persuasion;
  • Understand the skills and resources EP provides and how to package and deliver them to our audiences in accessible, relatable ways;
  • Have the experience and skills to craft and deliver on plans to build EP’s audiences - both participants and donors - for this work in clever, engaging, mission-centered ways;
  • Want to be a driver of scaling and sustainability through moving in-person practices into online engagement
  • Know how to get our stories of impact and success noticed by traditional and new media;
  • Mobilize teams of non-marketing professionals to understand their role in carrying forward the organization’s story and message in whatever they do;
  • Tell compelling stories in multiple media formats (e.g., writing, video, social media, audio, etc.);
  • Have experience designing communications that reach audiences of different politics, cultural backgrounds, and identities with impact that compels them to take action;
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the synergy between marketing and fundraising in a nonprofit and are eager to work at the intersection to increase broader awareness and, along with it, donor support;
  • Thrive on a team that gets all kinds of jobs done; and are ready to hit the ground running / can hold your own in an informal professional setting where humor is almost always the right answer.

What we offer:

  • A salary of $60-65K, health insurance, life/disability, and generous paid time off policy
  • Meaningful work with a stellar team
  • The opportunity to significantly influence the direction of our growth with your ingenuity and teamwork
  • An existing base of loyal supporters
  • An organization with a 28-year history and stellar reputation as pioneers and standard-bearers in our field

If you’re interested: read the full job description below and submit your resume, three writing samples from different media, an example of a communications campaign you have designed and delivered (with resulting metrics), and a letter explaining what makes you a fantastic fit for this job to: jobs@whatisessential.org

Essential Partners seeks to build the diversity of its staff team in all areas. Applicants from every racial and ethnic background, gender identity, sexual orientation and physical ability are encouraged to apply.

Reports directly to the Executive Director and works in close collaboration with Director of Development. Manages consultants, support staff, and/or interns for implementation of distinct tasks.

Primary responsibilities:​ Develop and implement strategic communications and marketing plans; oversee the production and management of all content on EP’s external-facing communications channels; ensure consistency of branding and messaging among internal audiences, support the work of the Executive Director by shaping organizational message, work to strategically align communications, marketing and fundraising efforts (in conjunction with the Director of Development), actively research and pursue growth opportunities in the areas of communications to build engagement for marketing and donors.


Reporting to and working closely with the Executive Director, the Director of Strategic Communications will set, guide, and implement the strategy for all communications channels, public relations messages and collateral to consistently articulate Essential Partners’ mission and impact. The Director develops externally facing marketing strategies and incorporate data and testing into the decision-making process to attract and increase subscribers, registrations, and traffic across all channels. The Director will work cross-functionally with Programs, Communities of Practice and Development teams including marketing and communications initiatives focused on fundraising a and business development to build strong financial support for the organization.

This role offers an excellent opportunity to develop multichannel marketing initiatives and strategies to drive awareness, engagement, loyalty, and retention through research and analysis of our target audiences and an awareness of the collective conversations occurring in the public square. Successful candidates will have experience with multi-channel marketing campaigns, planning for outreach to a variety of audiences, and knowledge of emerging technologies and trends in order to help Essential Partners meet our strategic goals: strengthening our core work, scaling our impact, growing our visibility and reputation and ensuring our financial future.


  • Develop and execute a comprehensive strategic communication plan for external audiences that proactively communicates Essential Partners’ mission and offerings and supports delivery of services and fundraising efforts.
    • Lead editorial direction, design, production and distribution of all collateral including, but not limited to newsletters, blog posts, topic-driven campaigns, event collateral, infographics, brochures, annual reports, etc.
    • Serve as executive editor for the organization’s website and social media channels. Develop and uphold an editorial vision for EP’s website and keep content dynamic, fresh, accurate, and updated.
    • Regularly generate fresh stories and content for use on EP’s social media platforms, web site and other channels that engage external audiences and leads to measurable action. Produce and publish story content in multiple formats (text, image, video, audio). Facilitate and empower story collection internally across the organization.
    • Test and analyze the effectiveness of communications activities.
    • Strengthen and expand the organization's social media presence, including use of social media advertising channels. Cultivate a strategic use of social media channels to position EP’s voice in the public square on relevant topics and issues.
  • Lead the EP launch of a Community of Practice/eLearning Platform to build program support, marketing reach and donor base. Collaborate across initiatives to identify synergies and interdependencies and oversee the coordination of execution of communications activities on behalf of the Programs, Communities of Practice and Development areas.
  • Formulate and reflect a donor-based perspective (including web and social media) where appropriate to ensure EP’s communications and marketing content serves supporters and positions the organization as one worthy of donor support.
  • Support the Executive Director by proactively recommending process improvements, attend events and participate in networking and prospecting opportunities, as necessary.
  • Lead projects as assigned, such as cause-related marketing and special events.
  • Cultivate media interest in the organization and provide appropriate responses to media requests. Write and disseminate all press releases and media alerts. Create and maintain key relationships with media, including professional publications, and proactively pitch stories to media outlets.
  • Be an internal champion for EP’s brand and voice and ensure consistent application in communications across the organization including practitioners, staff, volunteers and Board members.


  • Knowledgeable and passionate about the mission of Essential Partners
  • At least 5 years of communications experience, ideally in an “in-house” leadership role within a nonprofit entity
  • Experience in developing and implementing organizational communications strategy
  • The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and useful content and publish to the right audiences through the best distribution channels
  • Excellent writing and storytelling skills and a passion for bringing creative ideas to life
  • Proficiency with various social media platforms and the ability to produce content for those sites is a must
  • Demonstrated success in conceiving and developing creative brand campaigns and communications for external audiences. Portfolio of creative, compelling communications campaigns and content and writing/editing samples are required
  • Experience with a wide range of digital and social communication formats, channels and tools
  • Excellent cross-team collaboration, with a demonstrated ability to work across stakeholder groups, functional areas, geographies, and differing levels of seniority to get things done
  • Excellent project management and organizational skills, including proactive and independent development of work plans, timelines, and budgets; ability to manage multiple priorities; able to self-manage time, prioritizing and balancing across multiple competing demands
  • A strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently
  • High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, donors, program participants, and other supporters
  • Possesses personal qualities and traits that demonstrate a commitment to the tenets of reflective structured dialogue, a respect for difference and a willingness to employ inquiry when working with others


  • A bachelor’s degree is required with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in communications and marketing.
  • Expertise in desktop publishing (Adobe Creative Suite) and CMS systems (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress), social media marketing, email marketing, Microsoft Office applications, and strong database management is required.
  • Expertise in press relations is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Fluency in spoken and written English
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Close collaboration and communication with supervisor
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and pay attention to detail within a dynamic work environment
  • Knowledge of the principles of fundraising is preferred
  • The ideal candidate will embrace an independent working environment and creatively work to develop a vibrant marketing and communications program, involving key constituents depending on the project but will also understand the importance of the interrelationship between tasks performed and the overall operation of the organization.


133 Federal Street, Suite 802 | Boston, MA 02110
Phone: 617.426.2606 | Fax: 617.426.2849
© 2018 Philanthropy Massachusetts