Communications Specialist

06 Nov, 2022


Communications Specialist

American Institute of Research (AIR)
Washington, DC | Arlington, VA | Austin, TX | Chapel Hill, NC | Chicago, IL | Columbia, MD | Oakland, CA | Philadelphia, PA | Rockville, MD | Sacramento, CA


AIR is currently seeking a Communications Specialist to join the Youth, Family, & Community Development program area and work with us to foster equitable pathways for youth, families, and communities to thrive through cross-sector collaboration with programs, providers, and systems. The ideal candidate will translate research into communication strategies that affect change for our government and other clients. They will have strong project management skills and be a detail-oriented, proactive team player. They will own key project tasks and work with multi-disciplinary staff on the prioritization, coordination, completion, and delivery of key project deliverables. The role includes communication planning, digital/social analysis, material development, community outreach, and client interaction.


Candidates hired for the position might initially start working remotely but will eventually have the option to work from one of our U.S. office locations or continue to work remotely based in the U.S.


About AIR:


Established in 1946, with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. We advance evidence in the areas of education, health, the workforce, human services, and international development to create a better, more equitable world.



AIR’s commitment to diversity goes beyond legal compliance to its full integration in our strategy, operations, and work environment. At AIR, we define diversity broadly, considering everyone’s unique life and community experiences. We believe that embracing diverse perspectives, abilities/disabilities, racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds, styles, ages, genders, gender identities and expressions, education backgrounds, and life stories drives innovation and employee engagement. Learn more about AIR’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy and hear from our staff by clicking here.


The responsibilities for the position include:

  • Conduct research and provide strategic support to clients
  • Develop high-quality written components of communication plans
  • Develop and implement plans to enhance content and engagement on existing communication channels
  • Engage and connect stakeholders through social media, graphics, and creative campaigns highlighting client research-based projects, including outreach that is accessible to people with disabilities
  • Ensure program deadlines are met while handling multiple projects and managing junior staff
  • Lead the production of visual content, including promotional graphics, digital signage, social media shareables, and videos, including products that are accessible to people with disabilities
  • Compile and analyze metrics on external communications efforts; identify and propose effective metrics on outreach/communication initiatives and partner with clients to test new approaches for improved engagement
  • Maintain and utilize an editorial calendar to engage and inform stakeholders
  • Manage staff and timelines for web content development and updates, conduct regular usability assessments, and advise on search engine optimization strategy
  • Assist in the development of proposals including developing strategy and related solutions as well as budget development


Education, Knowledge, and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimal 6 years of experience in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, or relevant field  or master’s degree with a minimal 4 years of experience in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, or relevant field
  • Experience supporting external clients and managing small teams and working in a shared services model


  • Skilled in project management, including developing and adapting implementation plans, project budgeting, and timelines for multiple projects across several small teams
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to handle multiple projects involving numerous changes simultaneously
  • An effective communicator, including skills in copywriting—both technical and creative—and editing with attention to grammar, style guides, formatting, audiences, and tone
  • Highly familiar with tools for building and analyzing social media outreach (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other YFCD-identified channels) to inform data-driven continuous improvement of communications strategies
  • Experience using tools (like Google Analytics) to compile website performance and traffic metrics to generate robust analytics reports and inform strategy
  • Experience developing creative products (e.g., gifs, video) using digital-first, accessible design
  • Experience developing and implementing dissemination plans
  • Ability and interest in learning and using a variety of communication-focused, accessible technologies for website content management systems such as Drupal
  • Experience with business development strategy and proposal development




AIR requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a legally required exemption from AIR, as a condition of employment.  AIR will ask candidates to verify their vaccination status only after a conditional offer of employment is made.  Applicants should not provide information about their vaccination status or need for exemption prior to receiving a conditional offer of employment from AIR


Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the U.S. on a full-time basis. Employment-based visa sponsorship (including H-1B sponsorship) is not available for this position. Depending on project work, qualified candidates may need to meet certain residency requirements.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.


AIR adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


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Job posted: 2022-11-06