Communications and Outreach Director

09 Jan, 2022


Communications and Outreach Director

Friends of the San Juans
Friday Harbor, WA

Friends of the San Juans is looking for a skilled, organized, creative, and enthusiastic communications professional to join our team. The Communications and Outreach Director will set and guide the strategy for all communications, including online presence, media interactions, and public messaging, to consistently articulate Friends of the San Juans’ mission and programming. The Communications and Outreach Director will work closely with our team as the communications partner on a variety of strategic initiatives and programs and will play a key role in furthering our mission to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature.

Job Responsibilities

·     Create a broad understanding among the public about the scope and importance of the mission-driven work of Friends of the San Juans.

·     Develop and implement a strategic and visionary annual communications plan in collaboration with Friends’ team.

·     Track and measure the effectiveness and engagement of communications efforts, in both print and electronic media.

·     Position the Executive Director as the voice and “public face” of Friends, through essays, op eds, and video. Similarly, position Friends as a regional thought leader on the issues we specialize in.

·     Develop and distribute Friends outreach materials, including but not limited to press releases, electronic newsletters and action alerts, direct mail, program information, blogs, and brochures.

·     Administer the Friends website in WordPress, coordinating regular site updates and maintenance.

·     Ensure consistent organizational messaging on donor and member communications.

·     Write and distribute evocative press releases to local and regional media. Develop and manage relationships with all media contacts.

·     Work with graphic artists, videographers, and other outside contractors as needed to develop cogent, visually appealing presentations about Friends’ mission, goals, and projects

·     Lead the creation and dissemination of online, multi-channel content that educates and engages target audiences (such as members, specific demographics within our community, or local and state officials) and results in measurable action.

·     Conduct community outreach elements of Friends programs to create awareness, secure engagement, and achieve goals among target audiences.

·     Work with Friends staff, Board of Directors, and volunteers to plan and implement events for members and the community.

·     Other duties as needed to achieve our organizational goals, including occasional night and weekend responsibilities.

The Communications and Outreach Director will work closely with all members of the team, especially the Executive Director and the Director of Philanthropy; they will report to the Deputy Director.


·     At least five years of communications experience, preferably in a communications leadership role within a nonprofit and covering areas such as website content, newsletters, press, and donor outreach.

·     Preference for an undergraduate and/or graduate degree in Communications.

·     Exceptional writing, editing, and verbal communication skills, including public speaking.

·     Proficient in website HTML content, social media apps, CRM and marketing tools such as Constant Contact, Google Suite, MS Office, and Adobe Suite or equivalent image and video editing tools.

·     Commitment and passion for the mission of Friends of the San Juans; preference for knowledge of the Salish Sea ecosystem.

·     The ability to take scientific data and technical information and transform it into communications that are clear, compelling, and useful for target audiences, and that motivate them to action.

·     Experience developing and implementing communications strategies with the ability to manage a variety of initiatives concurrently.

·     Demonstrated strategic thinking, project-management experience, and a strong skillset in community-based social marketing and storytelling.

·     Highly collaborative style with a sincere commitment to work with all constituent groups, including staff, Board members, donors, volunteers, program participants, and partner organizations.

·     Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills; experience working with diverse stakeholders.

·     Strong servant leadership skills.

·     Self-starter, that can work independently and with the team.

·     High energy, maturity, and leadership skills, with the ability to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.

·     Enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.

·     Preference for experience in community and/or environmental journalism, crisis communications, and ethics.


The office of Friends of the San Juans is in Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, Washington. Our preference is that our Communications and Outreach Director will live in the San Juan Islands, in order to be an active and visible participant in our local community.

Application Timeline

The position is open until filled and we will review applications on an ongoing basis. The initial selection of first-round interviewees will likely occur no earlier than January 14th. The first round of interviews will take place via videoconference, and subsequent rounds will hopefully be in person, with travel arrangements provided by Friends of the San Juans.

Please direct your questions about the position or the application process to hiring @ Send your application materials as a single PDF to Shannon Davis, at hiring @

About Friends of the San Juans

A citizen group formed Friends of the San Juans in 1979 to help preserve the beauty, character, and wildness of the San Juan Islands in the face of increasing development. The organization’s first major effort was helping San Juan County adopt its first Comprehensive Land-Use Plan. Today, thoughtful, science-based decision-making about land use, habitat protections, and strengthening local ecosystems remains a high priority.

Friends’ primary goals are to foster wild and healthy shorelines, promote thriving and sustainable communities, conserve forests, farmlands, freshwater, and prairie habitats, and ensure the health of marine ecosystems in the Salish Sea. Friends uses science to inform decisions that conserve the county’s environment and economy. Friends also works in schools to develop young, local leadership in environmental stewardship, and we have a particular focus on climate action across our programming.

Friends works locally and throughout the region using innovative public-private partnerships, applied science, legal advocacy, and community-based initiatives to protect and steward the land, water, and sea for those of us here today and for future generations. More information about the organization’s programs is available at

Friends is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization with a staff of 9 people, including the Communications and Outreach Director. Beginning in the spring of 2021, Friends began a comprehensive Strategic Planning effort, through which the organization established its commitment to having greater communications expertise on staff to protect and ensure the environmental health and integrity of the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea.

Friends also took steps at both the Staff and Board levels to begin centering the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) in our work and in our organization’s culture. Preferred candidates for this position will: demonstrate a commitment that equity is a necessary prerequisite to building a more just and sustainable world; contribute to equity and inclusion work within the organization, including participation in relevant committees and trainings; demonstrate a deep understanding of their own race, culture, and identity, and how it relates to the staff and community landscape, as well as the world at large; model vulnerability and accountability; be comfortable giving and receiving feedback; model sensitivity toward the needs and priorities of diverse communities and individuals with a variety of backgrounds and identities; demonstrate the ability to communicate across power dynamics in a way that fosters learning, understanding, and mutual respect.

Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity or expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position. Note that our current office is on the second floor, without elevator access, and therefore it is not ADA accessible; accordingly, we have flexibility about where employees perform their work.

Job posted: 2022-01-09