Assistant Director of Communications for Politics
Job Title: Assistant Director of Communications for Politics Grade
Annual salary $120,449
Location: Washington, DC (HQ)
ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW: The 2 million members united in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are at the forefront of a movement to build power for working people and empower all workers to form unions, no matter what job they do. SEIU members are from every walk of life, every political party, every background, every faith. They come from communities with their own stories and strengths, and that makes the Union all the more powerful because there’s strength in numbers. SEIU members work across the healthcare spectrum providing high quality care and services. They are the workers who keep our nation’s airports running and make sure landmark buildings are clean and secure. They provide essential public services and give a foundation of learning to our youngest and brightest. SEIU members believe in and are fighting for a Just Society where all workers are valued and all people respected—no matter where they come from or what color they are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.
PURPOSE: Directs and provides overall leadership to all SEIU political communications and media work to support priorities for growth and improving working families’ lives and communities, to involve members and the public in achieving those goals, to run campaigns that help elect pro-union leaders to office, and to brand SEIU as the national union on key political issues.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)
- Directs communications strategy and execution of communications work for SEIU’s political campaigns and initiatives.
- Oversees political communications budget and program that includes earned media, advertising, digital activations, member political communications, research, data, and general communication needs.
- Directs, develops, and drives both proactive and daily rapid response communications focused on winning the public debate over SEIU’s key political campaigns at the national and/or state level, among partners, opinion-makers, and Congress.
- Works with data and research teams to conduct polling and analytical data reviews of on-going campaigns.
- Oversees digital advertising program for SEIU’s electoral and legislative campaigns.
- Serves as primary press contact at national level on political issues and campaigns. Focus includes all print and electronic national media, national columnists, news magazines and shows, Capitol Hill media, commentators. Will also lead other direct communications aimed at opinion-maker audience.
- Supervises other SEIU communications staff and consultants assigned to national level work on political campaigns, and directs SEIU communications staff focused on in-state communications in priority congressional districts, and for state-wide or national elections. Works with the digital team to integrate online strategies and initiatives.
- Directs and coordinates all communications work with electoral coalitions and strategic political partners.
Overall SEIU Communications: Helps to develop and implement overall SEIU strategy as part of the International union’s communications lead management team.
- Directs strategies and activities to improve the public image and visibility of the labor movement and SEIU and to maintain effective relations with national and local media.
Management and Administration: Coordinates with the Executive Office, political department and field on strategies, budgets, resource allocation, staffing, and other issues.
- Serves as surrogate for the Deputy National Communications Director in a wide variety of settings.
- Serves as part of the senior management team of SEIU’s Communications Department and Political Department.
- Helps manage the Communications Department, including planning, budgeting, and project management, and coordinates with departments and field on those issues.
- Directs vendor management for political communications work.
- Prepares and monitors political communications budget, including budgets for campaigns.
- Directs allocation of staff team resources.
- Directs recruiting, reviewing, and recommending hiring for all political communications staff.
- Directly responsible for retention of political and legislative communications staff, including training, feedback, reviews, skill and career development.
- Performs other duties as assigned in support of the work of the department.
CONTACTS: Must be able to represent the International Union with local leaders, members, staff, and outside organizations utilizing independent judgment and the highest level of professionalism. Interfaces with highest level organizational and external contacts, including:
- SEIU officers, division leadership, International senior staff, project and program managers, field and organizing directors, local union officers and staff.
- External: news media, politicians, government officials, elites, partners and allies.
- Vendors: consultants, pollsters, freelancers, video and multi-media producers, advertising agencies.
- Ensures that sophisticated choices are made about appropriate vendors and support services.
DIRECTION AND DECISION MAKING: Reports to the Deputy National Communications Director, and works with extreme independence.
- Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work and work of others without supervision.
- Requires a high level of judgment and ability to take initiative and work independently.
- Must use a high level of judgment and discretion in resolving problems within the Communications Department, the division, and throughout SEIU.
- Must maintain the highest level of confidentiality in handling SEIU affairs.
- Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations.
- Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
- Must be able to handle multiple “priority” projects simultaneously and set and meet deadlines, and ensure that staff team does the same.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
Bachelor’s Degree in communications-related field required. Eight or more years of experience in communications or related work, including at least five years managing communications and/or political strategy, planning, and program development; or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
- Experience working in fast paced environments, collaborative and in a digitally native environment.
- Proven track record developing and implementing communications and/or political strategy on a wide range of campaigns, including organizing, contract, political, electoral, and legislative.
- Experience managing community partner relationships, including collaborating on large scale campaigns and events.
- Thorough and extensive knowledge of media relations strategies, including relationships with key political reporters and developing new earned media ideas to amplify the work of SEIU members.
- Thorough knowledge of digital and social media. Knowledge of advertising techniques and familiarity with all aspects of literature, audio-visual, and online production process required.
- Excellent writing, verbal, and analytical skills.
- Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills related to use of rapidly changing technology.
- Knowledge of unions or other advocacy organizations.
- Proficient in the use of managing files in cloud-based systems like Google Suite, Slack, or Trello.
- Experience in multilingual communications is a plus.
Work is generally performed in an office setting, but job may require work in the field or in other settings to perform the tasks required to complete assignments. Must be available for frequent travel with overnight stays. Long and irregular hours.
Learn more here
Job posted: 2021-09-21