Communications Associate

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The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to promoting access to and success in higher education for all of today’s students, with a special focus on underserved populations. Based in Washington, D.C., IHEP develops innovative, equity-centered, policy- and practice-oriented research to guide policymakers and education leaders in developing high-impact policies that will address our nation’s most pressing education challenges.

JOB SUMMARY:

IHEP’s Communications & External Affairs team increases understanding of the critical importance of IHEP’s work to improve educational outcomes for all students, particularly historically underserved populations. We do this through strategic use of both online and offline mechanisms, including traditional press engagement, editorial content development, and digital and multimedia, to reach specific audiences, including policymakers at the institutional, state, and federal levels.

To this end, IHEP is seeking a Communications Associate support a diverse range of projects related to the organization’s communications and advocacy work, including content and materials development; media outreach and coverage; developing strategies to disseminate our work and message to a wide variety of stakeholders nationwide; measuring the impact of these strategies; and maintaining IHEP’s website and digital presence. This position reports to the Director of Communications and External Affairs, but will regularly collaborate with team members across the organization.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop public-facing communications including, press statements; communications to IHEP email subscribers; website updates; blog posts; infographics; op-eds; news releases; and fact sheets and talking points.
  • Develop creative approaches to disseminating IHEP research and policy proposals to both new and existing audiences, through digital, print, IHEP spokespersons, and social media platforms.
  • Assist in developing and implementing the organization’s social media strategy.
  • Assist in creating and developing IHEP design and multimedia content, including graphics, social media shareables, videos, and animation.
  • Assist with media outreach, including organizing media contacts and press interviews; and identifying media opportunities and securing media placements on behalf of senior staff and other spokespeople.
  • Support the day-to-day operations of IHEP’s communications function, including budgeting, planning, and maintaining a communications calendar.
  • Update and refine IHEP’s website regularly to maintain fresh content, a user-friendly design, and provide project support for organization-wide website redesign.
  • Monitor media coverage – both traditional and social – related to the organization’s key issues and circulate clips internally to staff.
  • Track and measure the reach and impact of IHEP’s public-facing statements, media hits, and staff and leadership speaking engagements to help evaluate and improve the impact of IHEP’s communications strategies.
  • Manage IHEP contact database to ensure upkeep, accuracy, and seamless communication with target audiences.
  • Other duties as assigned.
  • Desire to work in a social justice-minded, advocacy environment;
  • A passion for, or personal connection to, equity, education, public policy or economic mobility issues, and storytelling.
  • Experience in public policy, communications, higher education, journalism, or other relevant field.
  • Ability to thrive in a small team environment where teamwork, creativity, and flexibility are valued.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  • Comfort using digital platforms and social media dashboards.
  • PREFERRED BUT NOT REQUIRED: Experience working at an issue-based research, advocacy, or policy organization, a newsroom or media outlet, a content production company or firm, or in a similar environment.

QUALIFICATIONS and EXPERIENCE

We are looking for a combination of the following qualifications and experience:

  • Desire to work in a social justice-minded, advocacy environment;
  • A passion for, or personal connection to, equity, education, public policy or economic mobility issues, and storytelling.
  • Experience in public policy, communications, higher education, journalism, or other relevant field.
  • Ability to thrive in a small team environment where teamwork, creativity, and flexibility are valued.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).
  • Comfort using digital platforms and social media dashboards.
  • PREFERRED BUT NOT REQUIRED: Experience working at an issue-based research, advocacy, or policy organization, a newsroom or media outlet, a content production company or firm, or in a similar environment.
  • PREFERRED BUT NOT REQUIRED: Knowledge of communications data management platforms (e.g., Lightful, Canto, media management).

PROFESSIONAL SKILLS:

  • Excellent verbal, interpersonal, and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational and follow-through skills and attention to detail;
  • Strong analytical, critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively;
  • Ability to balance multiple competing priorities and operate on short timelines.
  • PREFERRED BUT NOT REQUIRED: Experience with graphic design and/or multimedia content development and/or web design. 

COMPENSATION

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. IHEP offers a comprehensive benefits package.

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, resume, and writing sample and apply through this website. Your writing sample can be anything you feel best captures your ability (i.e. press release, or other short written piece) and should be no more than two pages. If need be, excerpt the best two pages from a longer sample. Clearly state your role in creating and finalizing the piece. Your cover letter can qualify as your writing sample if it exceeds one full page and shares with specificity why you would like to be part of the IHEP team. Applicants may also submit multimedia content samples in addition to the writing sample. 

The Institute for Higher Education Policy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.

Location: Washington, DC
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