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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Innocence Project Seeks Communications Director

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

  • Innocence Project

Communications Director Search

Organization: The Innocence Project

Title: Director of Communications

Location: New York, NY

The Innocence Project, a nationally recognized non-profit legal clinic based in New York City, is seeking to hire its first Director of Communications to oversee and strengthen communications activities. Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the organization founders, the Director of Communications will be dedicated to the management of the day-to-day operation of press activities, and will play a pivotal role in building a strategic communications function that effectively supports the organizations' programs and institutional goals. This role calls for a talented professional with broad experience in communications - including a thorough understanding of media relations - as well as expertise in criminal justice and public policy issues. The Communications Director will be the first and only person dedicated to communications on staff.


Professional Qualifications:

  • Strong writing, editing, presentation and analytical skills.
  • A sophisticated understanding of the criminal justice system.
  • Experience in media relations, with a flair for framing stories to suit any organizational need and convincing reporters and producers to create those stories.
  • Strong organizational skills including a well-developed attention to detail and follow-through and the ability to work well under pressure and deadlines. A client-service orientation.
  • A track record of making good judgments about media priorities and management of resources.
  • A collaborative nature.
  • A deep understanding of the role the Internet and the Web can play as part of a comprehensive communications program.
  • A passion for justice.

Personal Characteristics

  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; an approachable and collaborative personal style; an eagerness to learn as well as to teach; respect for the expertise and experience of colleagues.
  • A serious reader of newspapers, watcher of TV, surfer of the Internet
  • A lively, creative intellect. The ability to collaborate and engage thoughtfully with a team of world-class lawyers, scientists, and environmentalists passionate about their work. The capacity to understand and in turn distill complex policy issues and technical material.
  • Resourcefulness and initiative; a bias for action and an orientation towards measurable results.
  • Resilience, optimism, flexibility, and tenacity along with an abundance of energy, common sense, and good judgment. A high degree of personal grace and good humor.

Communications Director: Job Duties

  • Plan and manage an integrated communications plan for the organization to include a smart response and proactive media relations program.
  • Oversee and manage the production of all press and written materials: brochures, reports, etc., for public distribution. Produce or manage production of news releases, newsletters and alerts to organization supporters and friends.
  • Create protocols for media activities by other staff and colleagues, and insure that they are understood and working.
  • Work with the other key staff on media strategies around key legal events and court rulings.
  • Work with the policy staff to create media opportunities to accompany and support advocacy activities.
  • Supervise and strategically guide the organizations' web site; work with the web manager to insure that material on the site is timely and useful.
  • Assist fundraising staff in media activities and production of materials that support their work.
  • Develop and promote partnerships with journalists and Radio/TV producers that further our organization's agenda.
  • Monitor news media on a constant basis and respond as appropriate and opportune.
  • Coordinate and manage the activities of an outside public relations firm or other consultants, as needed.
  • Coordinate interviews and other media activities involving the co-directors, executive director and other professional staff.


The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience, and the Innocence Project offers a competitive benefits package.


Inquiries and resumes with cover letters should be directed to Please do not contact the Innocence Project directly.

Paper submission of resumes can be sent to:

Innocence Project Communications Search, c/o Fenton Communications

260 Fifth Avenue, 9th floor, New York, New York 10001

Electronic submission of credentials is strongly preferred.

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