The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a nonpartisan Quaker lobby based in Washington, DC, is seeking a Media Relations Director. This new position is designed to build FCNL’s presence in both traditional and digital media. This includes positioning FCNL and its experts as credible sources of information and a moral voice on the issues that it lobbies on. The Director develops relationships with journalists and bloggers in the national media and in smaller media markets in target states and districts. The Director generates coverage for FCNL and its issues not only via the news section but also in the opinion sections of the mass media.
The Organization The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCN) works for social justice, peace, and stewardship of the environment. Since 1943, FCNL has brought Quaker values to bear on national policy through congressional testimony, Capitol Hill visits, media outreach, grassroots lobbying and long-term campaigns. We accomplish this work through focused legislative campaigns, educational activities, publications, mass emails, and digital tools like social media.
FCNL witnesses from a basis of spiritual and ethical purpose and seeks to change government policy and practice for the better.
FCNL is growing. In the last decade, tens of thousands of new people have been drawn to join the FCNL network to learn more about federal policy issues, lobby their elected representatives and help to rebuild our democratic system. Today, our nationwide network of some 70,000 includes people from many different faiths and backgrounds.
FCNL is governed by a General Committee of about 190 people, who are members of the Religious Society of Friends. This committee meets annually.
FCNL offices are located on Capitol Hill, directly across from the Hart Senate Office Building. We currently have a staff of 43. We take joy in having a multitude of voices and talents working together to strengthen our impact in the world. In keeping with our Quaker testimony of equality, we strive to be an organization that welcomes, values, and respects the diverse perspectives of the people who work here.
The Position The Media Relations Director is a new position designed to build a presence for FCNL in both traditional and digital media. This includes positioning FCNL and its experts as credible sources of information and a moral voice on the issues that it lobbies on. The Director develops relationships with journalists and bloggers in the national media and in smaller media markets in target states and districts. The Director generates coverage for FCNL and its issues not only via the news section but also in the opinion section of the mass media.
The Director works with FCNL’s lobbyists and leadership in developing media-friendly messages and strategies. The Director works in both national and international issues covering peace building; diplomacy; nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; human rights, civil liberties, militarization, solutions to climate change; federal budget priorities; compassionate and comprehensive immigration reform; economic justice; criminal justice reform and Native American issues.
The Media Relations Director, a member of FCNL’s communications team, reports to the Associate Executive Secretary for Communications.
Key Priorities and Responsibilities
•Develop and implement and FCNL’s media strategy to support our lobbying work, whether outside Washington, DC or inside the Beltway. Strategies should have clear goals, defined audiences, and effective messages, while keeping it flexible.
•Generate print, radio, television, and digital media coverage in the local and national mass media on FCNL and its various advocacy issues. Leverages FCNL’s grass tops and other influential members to generate media coverage.
•Position FCNL and its lobbyists as a credible source for reporters, other journalists, and bloggers searching not only for information but also for a moral and a faith perspective.
•Develop relationships with and pitch stories about FCNL’s take on an issue to reporters, other journalists, bloggers, columnists, and editorial boards. This not only includes mainstream media, but also Native American, Hispanic, and African American media.
•Build FCNL’s media contacts list in the top 20 media markets, specialized markets (e.g., religion news outlets), and smaller media markets in target states and district. Track and analyze FCNL’s media coverage.
•Monitor the news cycle to identify opportunities to generate or influence news coverage in ways that advance FCNL’s work.
•Serve as a point of contact for all media requests, whether the inquiry comes by phone, email, or social media.
•Draft and edit op-eds, press releases, and other articles for placement in national and local mass media channels.
•Negotiate regular FCNL columns in key publications like the Huffington Post and in platforms where there are existing audiences FCNL should reach like Medium and Patheos.
•Organize press conferences as needed, whether these are by phone or in-person. •Provide media coverage for FCNL’s events, including Spring Lobby Day.
•Organize radio or television media tours as needed.
•Conduct media training to prepare FCNL staff for media interviews. Such training will include best practices in the industry and dealing with conservative media.
•Manage relationships with vendors that FCNL uses, like Business Wire and Cision, and, as needed, any media relations consultants.
•Establish FCNL’s presence in key annual conferences of journalism associations like the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and the Religion Newswriters Association (RNA).
•Other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned by the Associate Executive Secretary for Communications.
Experience & Attributes
•A bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications is required.
•At least 6 years of experience in media relations. Background in journalism helpful.
•Experience with issue advocacy preferred. Hill experience is a plus. •Willingness and ability to work independently in a fast-paced environment, while being an effective team member.
•Demonstrated ability to be patient and persistent, especially when making cold calls or striking up a new relationship with journalists and bloggers.
•Collaborative and able to build relationships with people at all levels in FCNL.
•Experience with content management systems and media contact databases, like Cision.
•Facility in using social media as a media relations tool.
•Self-starter and able to multi-task.
•Writes clearly and can translate policy language so that it can be easily understood by the public.
•Agreement with FCNL’s policy positions and understanding of faith-based perspective of lobbying.
Salary and Benefits The salary for the Media Relations Director is comparable to other nonprofit organizations. FCNL offers a generous benefit package which includes health, disability, vision and dental insurance, paid holidays and vacation, medical, personal and other leave, and employer investment in a 401(k) plan. This is a full-time exempt and salaried position. It is based in Washington, D.C.
To Apply Send cover letter, resume, and three writing samples (or links to published articles or press releases) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. No phone calls please.
FCNL seeks to create a diverse workplace. We are actively soliciting applicants from all ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds.
About Friends Committee on National Legislation
The Friends Committee on National Legislation lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, opportunity, and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1943 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), FCNL fields an expert team of lobbyists on Capitol Hill and works with a grassroots network of tens of thousands of people across the country to advance policies and priorities established by our governing General Committee. FCNL is a nonpartisan organization that seeks to live our values of integrity, simplicity, and peace as we build relationships across political divides to move policies forward.