Director of Communications

Washington D.C.
Sep 27, 2018
Nov 01, 2018
Full Time

SUMMARY: The director of communications plays a critical role in telling American Forests’ story and elevating our profile to a wide variety of audiences. The director is key to formulating the communications seen by conservation leaders, peer organizations and potential major donors – and to educating the public about the benefits of and threats to our nation’s forests. The director has direct responsibility for the organization’s digital content and is a principal in crafting message and marketing strategies. S/he is also a key liaison with the media and works across the organization to promote the work being conducted by our programs. The director plays an important role in developing and strengthening American Forests’ brand and identity. The position reports directly to the VP of Communications, has significant interaction with the senior staff, supervises the marketing manager and coordinates the department’s internship program.

Skills/Abilities Required:

  • Excellent communicator
  • Top-notch writing and editing skills
  • Collaborative team player
  • Proactive problem solver
  • Strong project management and supervisory skills
  • Strong design skills are a major plus
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite and photo editing
  • Fluency with basic HTML and CMS web publishing software (WordPress, ideally)

REQUISITE EDUCATION OR CERTIFICATIONS: Bachelor’s degree is required, preferably with a focus in communications/marketing, public relations or journalism.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE: Applicants should have a minimum of 5 years of public relations, marketing, message development and strategic communications skills. A passion for, experience with and knowledge of conservation and environmental issues are highly preferred. Excellent candidates will have experience in corporate communications in a nonprofit context, web content development, media relations, social and digital media marketing, print and online publications and production. We are looking for an individual who can manage initiatives, juggle competing priorities and work effectively within teams and across the organization. This person must be a self‐starter and be able to meet tight deadlines. In addition, this person should have a solid existing understanding of how the news and media business works and a passion for doing excellent public relations work on behalf of American Forests.

WORKING CONDITIONS: We work in a general office environment.


  • Strategic Planning
  • Develop and implement multichannel campaigns to enhance American Forests’ brand recognition among diverse audiences.
  • Manage the communications components of special projects and grants for program areas, corporate partnerships and individual giving.
  • With senior management and the IT department, help manage American Forests’ website content and overall website strategy
  • Provide direction on social/digital media strategies to meet the organization’s objectives.
  • Oversee management and strategy of additional digital properties housed within American Forests, including assets from coalitions and partnerships.
  • External Relations
  • Write talking points, core message documents and other marketing materials that contribute to the organization’s overall messaging.
  • Conduct media and other outreach activities to secure national and local media placements.
  • Manage the clipping service and update media lists.
  • Editorial
  • Serve as the organization’s primary copy editor for all external communications being developed within and between the various departments.
  • Act as editor of the American Forests blog, Loose Leaf, and as contributing editor for American Forests magazine, which is published three times a year.
  • Print/Design
  • Manage print collateral projects, including design, printing and distribution.
  • Act as in-house graphic designer on certain print products, such as donor emails, publications, invitations and flyers.
  • Supervisory Duties
  • Oversee responsibilities and professional development of Marketing Manager.
  • Coordinate communications internship program, including recruitment, management and evaluation.

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