Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization with a mission to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world's oceans, is seeking a dynamic and experienced full-time Public Relations and Communications Director.
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been on the front lines of defending ocean wildlife and conserving ocean ecosystems for over 40 years. From seal defense campaigns on the ice floes of Canada to fighting for the vaquita porpoise in the Sea of Cortez, Sea Shepherd is at the forefront of direct-action marine wildlife and ocean protection.
Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Public Relations and Communications Director will develop and implement an effective strategic media relations program to enhance and influence the quality, quantity and tone of media coverage of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and to ensure that Sea Shepherd’s work is effectively promoted to various audiences and across various communications platforms to enhance the public’s knowledge of the organization.
The Public Relations and Communications Director is a member of the senior communications staff, responsible for strategic planning, proactive and reactive media relations and issues management, entrusted with confidential and sensitive material, exercises independent judgment and acts as spokesperson for SSCS in media relations and issues management situations. Significant independence is inherent in this position.
As a member of the Media Team, this position works closely with the Social Media Manager and Director of Major Gifts, coordinating all media outreach, consultations regarding media strategies, digital promotion, content for social media channels and website, donor newsletters, and more.
Responsibilities and Duties
- Build and implement a comprehensive media and external engagement strategy that elevates Sea Shepherd’s mission and programs.
- Act as spokesperson for SSCS with the press and the public in both proactive and reactive situations, including crises. Serve as media liaison, handling all incoming inquiries. Generate compelling stories to pitch to the media. Manage issues to limit reputational damage. Ensure that all media inquiries received or initiated are logged. Serve as on-call media spokesperson for SSCS nights and weekends.
- Develop and implement effective media relations programs with routine outreach to local and national news organizations. Develop and maintain relationships with key reporters and editors at top-tier and influential media outlets. In a cycle of continuous improvement, evaluate SSCS coverage annually and adjust media strategy accordingly.
- Write compelling press releases, news blog posts and articles and produce compelling video pieces about Sea Shepherd’s work. Work effectively with the Social Media Manager to coordinate the push efforts for all content across platforms.
- Coordinate with other Sea Shepherd entities worldwide on matters of communications and public relations as needed.
- Prepare press releases, backgrounders, Q&A, standby/press statements, media website content, etc. to ensure that SSCS is accessible to reporters and editors. Prepare statements for key issues that could affect SSCS. Plan, pitch, and oversee press conferences and ensure logistics and preparations are handled by staff.
- Develop new processes and ways of working that improves efficiencies within Communications and PR, as it relates to media relations and issues management.
- Provide media training to SSCS staff or volunteers, as needed.
Qualifications and Skills
- Five years experience in a public relations role at a non-profit organization, corporation or public relations agency.
- One-to-three years of relevant experience in animal or environmental advocacy preferred
- Mastery of skills in communications and public relations. Bachelor’s degree is required, graduate degree a plus.
- Ability to write and think clearly under stressful circumstances is a must. A sophisticated and balanced approach to volatile and emotional situations is necessary.
- Experience supervising the production of communication products (print, video, etc.).
- Superb writing and editing skills.
- Ability to write and synthesize complex material into compelling content for a variety of news formats and outlets.
- Expert knowledge of new communications channels/social media and other online technologies
- Ability to work independently
- Track record of developing and executing on long-range strategies and tactics
- Willingness and ability to travel
Minimum Education Required