Down Home North Carolina (DHNC) is seeking a full-time Communications Director to develop and lead our organizational strategy, win the Battle of Big ideas, and shift the narrative about multiracial rural and working-class communities across North Carolina.
The Communications Director will develop and lead a team that works closely with our stellar organizing, political, and campaign departments to iterate and lead communications systems and projects that build the power of our membership, win real improvements in the lives of working people, and move us toward a future that reflects our values.
The Communications Director will be a member of Down Home’s senior leadership team, bringing their expertise to help lead the entire organization.
The ideal candidate is a people person who is highly motivated to build and give voice to a powerful multiracial base that wins changes for poor and working-class people in rural places. They are a systems builder, a strong manager, an experienced storyteller, and an effective marketer and project manager. As a senior leader in a young organization, they’ll be expected to create and sustain foundational communications infrastructure as well as an inclusive, equitable, and results-oriented culture.
About Down Home North Carolina
Down Home North Carolina’s is a growing statewide organization of rural and small town communities that advocate for economic, gender, and racial justice. We will move North Carolina toward the values of dignity, safety, and inclusion through leadership development, strategic campaigning, multiracial movement building, and civic engagement that advances positive, life-changing reforms for rural communities.
We are unique in our focus on building permanent, statewide organizing infrastructure in North Carolina’s rural places. Through our growing network of member-led, county-based chapters, we are engaged in year-round organizing. Our member-leaders, deeply rooted in their communities, are the heart and soul of We are Down Home’s work. Our organizational mission includes a deep commitment to building multiracial and working-class member leadership, and our chapter culture inspires the deep and necessary commitment required to transform small towns and rural places.
Founded in 2017, Down Home has built a strong organizational track record, including:
- Helping to elect the first Latinx state legislator in NC history
- Winning Medicaid expansion for more than 600,000 working Carolinians
- Winning local campaigns to raise the minimum wage for city workers and oppose the expansion of local jails
- Growing a statewide membership base that includes all 100 counties of North Carolina
- Establishing member-led chapters across 8 counties, stretching from mountains to sea
- Anchoring the first southern, rural deep canvass and race-class narrative tests
- Holding and growing a statewide coalition to fight for public schools
Buckets of responsibility:
- Lead the development and implementation of Down Home’s communication strategies and programs.
- Develop, manage and drive the organization’s media and messaging strategy coordinated through various channels, with input from staff and member leadership.
- Drive the organization’s message, policies and ideas in traditional and new media.
- Supervise the production of high quality, timely, original content, including social media and digital content, as well as print and marketing materials.
- Oversee the organization’s earned media and social media work, including the creation and oversight of the execution of editorial calendars and media plans.
- Work with other staff to develop long-term communications strategies, including developing future report ideas, identifying messaging opportunities, and partnership opportunities.
- Ensure that the organization has strong relationships with local, state, and national media, including bloggers and communications staff at allied organizations and in elected offices.
- Develop and implement organizational marketing plans to lift the profile of Down Home.
- Maintain best practices and operations for all digital technology systems used for the website and various platforms. Develop new platforms as needed
- Incorporate data-driven strategies to ensure top-notch digital programs.
- Stay current on best practices, trends, and technologies related to content creation and communications.
- Supervise up to five staff members and oversee the communications budget.
- Develop clear, coordinated processes for the execution of department responsibilities.
- Manage a multiracial, cross-class communications team
- Design a staffing structure to meet the organization’s broad communications needs.
- Recruit, hire, train, and retain a strong, diverse organizing team that will include up to 5 staff.
- Ensure that each member of the communications team has clear work plans and knows what success looks like for their role.
- Ensure that staff deliver great results using strong and equitable day-to-day management practices.
- Serve as a coach and champion for your staff and support them to do their best work through frequent feedback.
- Track progress towards goals; support and troubleshoot when a project is off-track.
- Manage personnel challenges directly, kindly and firmly using the organization’s progressive discipline procedures.
- Build a collaborative and inclusive team culture where all staff feel a sense of belonging.
- Be an organizational leader
- As a member of the Directors Team, help set the strategic agenda for the organization.
- Represent Down Home with coalition partners, as a media spokesperson, and with other key stakeholders.
- Develop and maintain strategic partnerships for the organization and for communications.
- Demonstrates deep appreciation for and wrestles with the contemporary and historical challenges of working across race and class
- Serve as an exemplar of our values and contribute positively to the culture of the organization.
- Model Racial, Equity, and Inclusion (REI) competencies at the highest level and is able to bring equity and inclusion lens to all aspects of our work; actively contribute to a more equitable and inclusive organization.
- Demonstrates a deep commitment to learning and continuous learning for self and others.
Required skills and experience:
- Communications and marketing expert: Has shown the ability to communicate with large groups of people across race and class for a cause or a campaign; has a true understanding of communication skills including maintaining a communications calendar, crafting talking points, building a strategic arch of communications, effective marketing practices, and building trust and credibility with people and communities. Has experience working in communications or organizing through electoral campaigns, nonprofits, grassroots causes, or other entities.
- Systems builder: Demonstrated ability to translate a vision into an effective program that gets results. Ability to create and document systems, practices, and standards from scratch and that can be used (and modified) for years to come.
- Strong staff manager: Demonstrated experience leading multiracial teams to accomplish results, ability to cultivate organizer’s development through direct feedback, and strong inclusive and equitable management practices. Able to work through conflict directly and in ways that build trust and relationships. Able to build an inclusive and equitable culture
- Effective project management skills: Demonstrated ability to successfully execute complex projects, including setting goals and developing a realistic work plan. Move people to action and hold them accountable with and without formal authority. Highly organized and strong attention to detail. Proven ability to manage complex schedules and responsibilities with minimal support or oversight
- Creative Strategist: Is able to work with a team to source, brainstorm, and execute creative communications strategies including digital content, creative events, experimental content, and compelling narratives that maximize engagement and enhance Down Home’s political narrative.
- Mission alignment: Committed to the vision of a powerful, inclusive, rural, multiracial, working-class movement-building as a path towards liberation for all people.
Previous experience in senior leadership roles is strongly desired. Familiarity with basic communications technologies including Word Press, CRM/Email Databases, Social Media, META Business Manager, HTML, Google Ads, Twitter Ads, basic video editing, basic graphic design programs, etc. strongly desired. Personal or professional experience living in rural communities, living in the South, rural organizing, and/or organizing in the South are a plus but not required. Experience developing and running strategic issue campaigns is desirable but not required.
Some irregular hours are required, including nights and weekends. Location is flexible within North Carolina. Applicants must be able and willing to travel regularly for work.
Compensation for this full-time staff position is $84,134 – 95,352 annually and includes best-in-class health and retirement benefits. We also offer unusual benefits, including a sabbatical policy and relocation stipend. Applicants must be able and willing to travel regularly for work.
How to Apply
Down Home NC is committed to creating a dynamic, multicultural, diverse working environment. Candidates of color and diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Down Home NC is an equal opportunity employer and a unionized workplace.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with a priority for applications received by February 15th. If this job description is posted on Down Home’s website, we are still accepting applications.
Please send a resume and a short cover letter that includes your experience working with organizations to: [email protected]