Communications Director

  • The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
Full Time Communications Nonprofit

Job Description

The ACLU of New Jersey seeks a creative and visionary leader to fill the position of Communications Director. The Communications Director - based in Newark, but remote during the coronavirus pandemic - plays a vital role in shaping a bold vision to protect and promote racial justice, immigrants’ rights, and the liberties that define our democracy. We need a strategic thinker with a passion for our mission, a vision for applying communications tactics to reach organizational goals, and a meticulous approach to conceiving and executing plans of action.

We’re looking for a strategic leader who will develop and achieve short and long-term strategic goals across issue areas. The right candidate will collaboratively lead a team to spearhead content development for advocacy campaigns and public-education initiatives across multiple platforms. The Communications Director will drive initiatives for communications, marketing, and digital advocacy, working closely with leaders in other departments to share the ACLU-NJ’s work with the public and shape public perception. Indeed, the Communications Director will play a major role in building the ACLU-NJ’s political power in the state.

Our next Communications Director will exhibit outstanding interpersonal, project-management, and supervisory skills and be able to plan and execute a vision, problem-solve, multi-task, respond swiftly, and balance priorities in a sometimes wildly changing landscape.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Director will manage a team of three employees.

The Communications Director will have a commitment to racial equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging, with an approach that values the individual and respects differences and builds networks that move items to action.


  • Set and execute the goals and vision for the ACLU of New Jersey’s public engagement – with press, the public, members, and clearly defined target audiences - as a part of the management team;
  • Lead, manage, and foster talent and professional growth within the Communications Department;
  • Lead the strategic development of communications priorities and opportunities to best amplify our work and affect the public narrative;
  • Oversee the ACLU-NJ’s presence in the New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia media markets by developing relationships with media contacts and fostering relationships between key staff and spokespeople with reporters, editorial boards, producers, and other stakeholders and influencers;
  • Ensure that communications products are produced cost effectively and on deadline, where appropriate. Possess sufficient operational and technical knowledge of various communications media so as to be able to make informed business decisions.
  • Develop innovative communications plans for our issue areas and campaigns;
  • Identify and advance new strategies for injecting ACLU issues into the public debate to help sustain and grow a civil rights and civil liberties narrative;
  • Elevate the ACLU’s digital presence, including but not limited to social media platforms, and organic and paid content, identifying key performance indicators along the way;
  • Develop, manage and monitor the annual Communications Department budget, and maintain ongoing evaluation and reporting of key performance indicators;
  • Help foster healthy relationships with and strategically engage with key program staff within the organization for proactive planning and narrative shaping of our issues. Maintain and manage relationships with advocacy partners, national ACLU colleagues, and outside consultants.
  • Bring sophisticated framing and messaging skills and tools to our core issue areas;
  • Oversee creation and deployment of print and digital promotional materials, such as the annual report and other collateral publications and digital assets;
  • Ensure organizational compliance with ACLU branding guidelines;
  • Participate in the leadership of the organization as a member of the management team.

Desired Qualifications

  • At least ten years of experience in communications, particularly advocacy or campaign communications. Significant experience managing multi-faceted programs, direct experience with new media, traditional media, digital communications, graphic design, branding, and/or message development;
  • Significant management experience with a demonstrated track record of effectively running a team or organization;
  • Excellent skills in interpersonal, spoken, and written communication, along with presentation skills to communicate effectively, comfortably, and respectfully with many audiences, including members of the general public, press, donors, staff at all levels, and lay leaders in conversation or print;
  • Ability to prioritize concurrent tasks and expertly manage projects; manage a high-volume workload in a fast-paced environment; delegate deliberately and ensure follow through; adapt quickly to changing priorities; and help set and meet moving deadlines;
  • Experience with recruiting, developing, and managing a highly talented and diverse staff;
  • Experience with overseeing budgets and departmental administration;
  • Substantive knowledge of the operation of the media, political, public policy and advocacy arenas in New Jersey preferred.
  • Ability to plan and meet deadlines, making judicious use of organizational resources and colleagues’ time and effort.