Public Relations Officer

23 Dec, 2021


Public Relations Officer

Heifer International


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

For 76 years, Heifer International has worked with more than 36 million people around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 21 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.

The Public Relations Officer will work with the Public Relations Manager and Vice President of Communications to refine and evolve Heifer International’s PR strategy, ensuring a robust program to raise Heifer’s profile in the media and through events. The Public Relations Officer will develop and cultivate relationships with key journalists, working with leaders across the organization to position Heifer as a leader in the international development and food and farming spaces.

This is a remote position.

Essential Character Traits:

  • Strong interpersonal communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Strong collaboration and partnership skills with people and teams across organizational levels and with colleagues of diverse backgrounds
  • Highly organized and able to work within existing systems or build new ones to collaborate across departments and teams
  • Collaborative and empathetic team player who can communicate directly
  • Skilled listener who wants to learn and contribute, who is transparent and accountable
  • Creative and able to think outside the box, enthusiastic about sharing and discussing new ideas and approaches
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Able to re-prioritize and pivot quickly as new areas of work emerge
  • Discreet and able to handle confidential information


A. Build and strengthen relationships with journalists, write media relations materials, position content and develop media partnerships to secure media coverage, (50%)

  • Work with PR Manager and VP of Communications to refine and evolve Heifer’s PR strategy
  • Develop and maintain media lists
  • Write media releases, pitches, spokesperson briefings and other materials
  • Cultivate relationships with key journalists covering international development, agriculture, sustainability, foreign affairs, social justice and business.
  • Pitch Heifer International content, stories and experts, securing coverage in target media outlets
  • Liaise with partner organizations to plan and implement media activities
  • Compile weekly media clippings/reports highlighting what did and did not work, and why.
  • Provide media training and support to spokespeople

B. Identify and manage opportunities to elevate Heifer’s program and thought leadership work (30%)        

  • Work with PR Manager and leaders across the organization to position and place op-Eds.
  • Support media launches and activities connected to major programs and initiatives, working in coordination with external partners.
  • Explore opportunities to elevate stories at the local and regional levels in the countries where Heifer works.
  • Develop and secure opportunities to position the organization as a thought leader in key areas related to its programs.
  • Write content and talking points for Heifer hosted events and spokespeople’s participation in external events
  • Collaborate closely with colleagues in content production part of the Global Communications Team to align content with PR opportunities and outreach, engaging in information sharing and opportunity mapping.
  • Leverage paid media and partnership opportunities to raise profile.

C. Manage Heifer’s reputation (15%)   

  • Work with the VP of Communications and other key stakeholders across the organization to manage Heifer’s reputation.
  • Provide training and mentoring to staff to strengthen reputational risk management.

D. Perform other job-related duties as required (5%)

Minimum Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree plus minimum of seven (7) years’ experience in media relations, public relations and/or communications
  2. Experience in media relations, including building media lists, writing pitches, pitching journalists and securing coverage
  3. Experience with and understanding of international development and food and farming sectors
  4. Strong written skills and experience writing media releases, speaker briefings and other PR materials
  5. Fluent in English
  6. Alignment with Heifer International’s values and community development approach
  7. Experience with Cision and/or other media management tools

Preferred Requirements

  1. Fluent in Spanish
  2. Demonstrated experience building and working in media relations at an international development and/or agriculture organization or in an agency setting with relevant clients
  3. Contacts with journalists in international development and agriculture sector
  4. Experience in reputational risk management

Most Critical Proficiencies

  1. Brings ideas and pushes others to think further
  2. Strong writer
  3. Discrete and able to handle confidential information
  4. Comfortable working in collaborative environment and with shared systems
  5. Ability to think critically about Heifer’s work
  6. Creative and able to think outside the box
  7. Commitment to Heifer International’s values and mission to end hunger and poverty
  8. Eagerness to jump into fast-paced work environment with multi-cultural teams across different time zones

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands

  1. May require working in front of a computer for extended periods
  2. Ability to work independently and perform multiple tasks with minimal supervision
  3. Regular telephone, face-to-face and electronic communication with colleagues and external groups
  4. Ability to maintain or communicate sensitive information appropriately to internal and external audiences
  5. May require working outside of normal business hours to accommodate different time zones

Job posted: 2021-12-23