Director of Storytelling

Posted by

American Civil Liberties Union

Published 29 days ago

January 21, 2021


The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Director of Storytelling in the Communications Department of the ACLU's National office in New York, NY.

The ACLU Communications Department creates, maintains, and expands message narratives to engage our supporters and other target audiences, to help protect and expand civil liberties and civil rights, and also illustrate the value and impact of the ACLU's transformational work. Through our messaging, engagement with newsmakers, our written content, creative branding, and visual identity, we encourage support for the ACLU and help to build a more perfect union.

Reporting to the Deputy Chief Communications Officer, the Director of Storytelling will be responsible for developing ambitious strategies for audience-centric storytelling, informed by internal and external best practices and consistent with our organizational mission and values. The Director of Storytelling also provides training, instruction, and leadership to a team of communicators and content creators, within the Communications, Digital and Development departments, in order to build capacity, deliver compelling content and expand the ACLU's reach to a wide range of audiences.


Principal responsibilities include setting and implanting innovative communications strategies, unifying an overarching ACLU narrative, guiding a nationwide ACLU story across a federated network of offices, monitoring and measuring messaging objectives, fostering strong stakeholder relationships, and building capacity among communications professionals.

  • Establish ambitious nationwide narratives and targets for extending our reach and deepening our engagement with supporters (subscribers, donors, activists, etc.) in order to win communications campaigns anchored in authentic voices
    • This involves working closely with those contributing to, and executing, said campaigns within Communications, and other departments such as Digital, Development, National Political Advocacy Department, and external third-parties and stakeholders as relevant
  • Foster integration of communications, mobilization, and fundraising/growth objectives & measurements around shared narrative and integrated content strategy
  • Ensure that brand communications through a diverse representation of voices is calibrated to our issue areas and the overarching ACLU story, continually evolves, and is translated into consistent individual campaign and project strategies
  • Ensure the overarching ACLU story gains momentum through a collaborative, open source approach which actively involves supporters and collaborators of all forms
  • Guide National & affiliate staff in the development of ambitious nationwide audience-centric storytelling and collaboration with national coalitions and community voices
  • Assist with multi-faceted communications campaign implementation as needed to overcome challenges or embed new approaches.
  • Ensure that issue narratives reinforce the overarching ACLU story, advising core teams on their development
  • Manage a team of content creators and editors, supervising their work and directing priorities
  • Work with priority affiliates and campaigns, identifying opportunities and strengthening storytelling in their approach to working with people and communities
  • Develop ambitious storytelling strategies, providing nationwide best practices, tools and techniques for proliferation of successful approaches
  • Build storytelling capacity and understanding across ACLU by providing capacity building support and hands-on assistance as needed in order to embed proposed changes, including but not limited to developing and executing storytelling workshops and skill-sharing opportunities across the ACLU
  • Spot innovation and encourage new approaches; ensure these approaches are shared across the ACLU National & affiliate offices
  • Monitor delivery of agreed storytelling objectives nationwide and issue-specific strategies in order to encourage and share innovative approaches
  • Establish audience-based reporting mechanisms with Analytics team to provide holistic feedback across news and social media.
  • Troubleshoot and provide hands on support as needed to overcome challenges to implementation
  • Build strong working relationships with colleagues and stakeholders within and outside the ACLU in order to represent ACLU's interests and to realize effective cooperation and sharing of knowledge
  • Responsible for vendor management including: defining business need and scope of services, sourcing and selecting vendors, negotiating contracts, managing budgets, and ensuring deliverables are met
  • Engage in special projects and other duties as assigned
  • Center principles of equity, inclusion, and belonging in all work, embedding the values in program development, policy application, and organizational practices and processes


  • Significant professional experience of developing new communications strategies and leading diverse communication teams
  • A track record of delivering audience-centric communication/engagement strategies, and a deep understanding of storytelling approaches
  • Understanding of a range of audience segmentation and identification approaches, brand communication techniques (segmentation, test matrices etc.) and channels
  • Experience in working with multi-cultural staff and communities
  • Experience in implementing and bringing about significant positive changes in work culture, practices, and performance
  • Strong influencing skills - the ability to lead diverse teams to achieve agreed goals and to drive change without direct authority
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent negotiation, communication, and presentation skills
  • Experience in working effectively under very tight deadlines and under demanding conditions
  • Experience evaluating and managing vendor relationships, including contract negotiation
  • Strong financial and budget management skills
  • Commitment to the mission of the ACLU
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts


For 100 years, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it's ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law

The ACLU makes every effort to assure that its recruitment and employment provide all qualified persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions.

The ACLU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need assistance applying online, please e-mail . If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


The ACLU seeks a full-time position of Director of Storytelling in the Communications Department of the ACLU's National office in New York, NY.

The ACLU Communications Department creates, maintains, and expands message…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


New York, NY

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