XQ’s mission is to fuel, inspire and catalyze America’s collective creativity in order to transform our high schools so every student can succeed. XQ: The Super School Project launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and design the American high school. More than 10,000 students, educators, parents and community leaders from all 50 states and representing nearly 4,000 communities answered this call by proposing innovative, student-centered models for 21st century learning. To date, XQ has pledged $115 million to a growing number of the most promising ideas, actively supporting these teams on their journeys to become Super Schools.
To meet its ambitious goals, XQ Super Schools is looking for a Communications Manager, who will report to XQ’s Communications Director.
We have a story to tell and we want you to help us tell it. XQ believes in the power of imagination, innovation and creativity to transform high schools and working with the Communications team, you will manage crucial communications related to press, media and special events.
You will have a solid understanding of education news, the education press and a passion for current events, with a strong background in writing pitches, press releases and interacting/pitching with journalists and members of the press. You are an inspiring editorialist with a flair for voice/tone and command of the latest trends. You will generate a drumbeat of ongoing coverage in target publications. You will work across national, regional and local (district and state-level) coverage and will monitor coverage & trends to pro-actively identify opportunities for XQ’s work and leadership.
XQ is a dynamic environment and we are looking for an equally dynamic team player who is passionate about our mission, compassionate and driven to delivering results. We are looking for someone who seeks and sees opportunities – who is both pro-active and re-active – and someone who gets excited by our brand attitude which is: bold, smart, non-conforming, imaginative and hopeful.
Working with the Communications Director and the wider communications team you will:
- Help craft the ongoing communications strategy & plan for XQ & advise senior staff members on responses to the media.
- Support the 18 XQ Super Schools:
- Secure press stories about the schools’ innovative new ways of teaching
- Support the schools in press training & internal communications capacity building
- Secure press for XQ the organization:
- Identify and pitch stories from XQ Schools to press to help amplify, inspire and raise awareness around high school redesign to the public, both education and general audiences (national & local).
- Develop and foster relationships with media outlets and key journalists.
- Write pitches, press releases and media statements related to XQ’s work or within the education space.
- Strategize, develop and execute on ideas for PR campaigns.
- Listen and track press coverage (XQ & wider education coverage) & press requests:
- Provide weekly round-up of relevant education news to the whole XQ team to help us as a team be informed.
- Provide immediate summaries around crisis communications & assist in responding to the media during any crisis communications situations.
- Identify opportunities for XQ press pitches based on timely and topical news.
- Help manage incoming press request.
- Organize and appropriately tag all earned media
- Manage & secure speaking opportunities:
- Manage communications and executive appearance logistics for events and speaking engagements for XQ team.
- Help craft talking points and presentations for XQ speaking opportunities.
- Staff XQ spokespeople at events including any interactions with press.
- You will also need to:
- Occasionally be on call to deal with urgent media inquiries during evenings/weekends.
- Attend XQ events and meetings.
- Be available to travel across the country frequently.
Key Skills We’re Looking For
- Strong interpersonal skills: Whether it’s over the phone, by email or in person, you know that communication is all about people, story-telling and relationships. You will be approachable, personable, friendly and empathetic, and be able to relate to people on different levels within XQ, the 18 Schools, our partners, journalists and with the media. We are looking for someone who is not too big to do the small things or too small to do the big things. We are looking for someone who is a strong relationship builder.
- Copywriting skills: You need to be exceptional in spelling, grammar and proofreading, as well as have a creative flair for producing engaging copy. Attention to detail is a must.
- Presentation skills: From communicating ideas to your team to presenting stories to journalists, you’ll organize information in a succinct and interesting way to capture the audience’s attention.
- Excellent telephone manner: You’ll spend a lot of your time communicating with partners, journalists and other team members, so you need to have the confidence to pick up the phone and speak to them and maintain a positive, friendly and upbeat tone.
- Time-management skills: You have the ability to work with tight deadlines as well as meeting the demands and pressures of your team and partners. We are looking for someone who is comfortable working quickly and efficiently, without compromising on quality.
- Resilience: You’ll be comfortable picking up the phone speaking with national journalists and resilient enough to handle criticism and rejection.
- English language fluency: This role requires excellent written and spoken English.
What You’ve Done Before
- We’re looking for someone with 5+ years of experience in public relations and/or journalism.
- Prior experience working in a PR agency, press office or fast-paced media environment is a must.
- Knowledge of the education space, education policy or working in education is required.
- A passion for and understanding of equity and social justice is required.
The Green Stuff
- XQ Institute offers competitive benefits and salary for this role.
XQ is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. At XQ promoting, celebrating, and supporting diversity is a core value. Individuals are considered without regards to race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual expression, religion, color, veteran status, disability, marital status, or ancestry.
Minimum Education Required