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Senior Press Secretary

Washington DC


Context: Provides strategic media planning, oversight and implementation of Sierra Club's efforts to move beyond gas, including extraction, pipelines, and power plants portfolio of clean energy for all initiatives, including but not limited to Beyond Coal and, Beyond Dirty Fuels, Ready for 100 and Clean Transportation Beyond Coal related local and regional campaign objectives. Serves as a communications strategist for national and federal efforts state, regional and local campaigns and coordinates communications with the appropriate regional staff and across regional coalitions where appropriate. Writes long-term and rapid-response media outreach plans that strategically advance campaign Beyond Coal outcomes in the region of responsibility. Oversees editorial production process for media communications, ensuring timely and accurate materials with a consistent tone and message. Develops relationships with local, state and, where appropriate, national reporters and producers, pitching stories, to thoughtfully advance the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign’s narrative. 

Scope: The Senior Press Secretary acts as a liaison between communications department teams and state multiple Beyond Coal campaign teams to plan and carry out media strategies. Aligns strategies between local Sierra Club energy campaigns. Also serves as a liaison between the Sierra Club and key media contacts and will develop relationships that advance the Sierra Club’s media coverage -- identifying, training and forwarding compelling spokespeople to tell the campaigns’ stories. Serves as Sierra Club representative to key local, state, and regional/national stakeholder groups for matters of communications strategy. Develops and drives overall media strategy, writes media messages, op-eds, press releases, talking points and other materials, and coordinates media events as necessary. Works with other environmental groups in the region to guide the strategic objectives and communications tactics for state and target specific campaign projects.

Job Activities:

  1. Oversees regional national rapid-response programs, developing messages and writing op-eds, letters to the editor, talking points and other media materials. Creates strategic media responses to published comments regarding the Sierra Club and to the positions of politicians, institutions or groups.
  2. Oversees strategy, message and materials development for the assigned campaign(s), serving as liaison across various teams and committees.
  3. Performs necessary research and crafts long-term strategic vehicles for promoting Sierra Club messages and stories, including but not limited to writing letters to the editor, reports, op-eds, radio actualities, press releases, fact sheets, and talking points.
  4. Collaborates with departmental leadership as well as coalition partners and outside consultants, to provide assistance and guidance in developing long-range media strategies. Drafts communications plans and coordinates communications work around Sierra Club campaigns across internal work groups including but not limited to web, social media, Online & Field Organizing, Programs and Campaign leadership, Sierra Magazine, and the creative and video teams.
  5. Develops relationships with local, state and regional and national trade reporters and serves as primary Sierra Club point of contact for those reporters.
  6. Trains and coaches staff and volunteers in media skills – acting as a peer mentor to fellow press secretaries where appropriate.
  7. Contributes to state and regional staff strategy meetings, and stays current on substantive and political developments in major program campaigns by reading latest literature, attending meetings and maintaining contact with relevant sources.
  8. Advises and assists communications staff to pitch other Sierra Club messages, events, and reactions to the working press as needed.
  9. Mentors, trains and coaches volunteers and interns in media skills while working alongside them.
  10. Performs miscellaneous duties as assigned.

Seasonal Activities:

Heavier seasonal workloads may occur as a result of project deadlines, staff absences and vacancies, and during peak activity periods.  Frequent weekend and/or evening work required. Occasional overnight travel required, up to 10% of time as needed.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • B.A. degree in communications, journalism, or a closely related field, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 5 years prior experience as a journalist, media liaison or other position involving media/press relations.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills
  • Demonstrated knowledge of environmental issues and a working knowledge of the media landscape in their region of responsibility
  • Ability to interact cooperatively and effectively with staff, volunteers and the public
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines and work under pressure

This position is represented by a collective bargaining unit and is subject to the terms and conditions of the contract between Sierra Club and Progressive Workers Union.

The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

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Posted November 6, 2019


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$500,000/yr