Communications Director

Posted by
San Francisco, CA

Who We Are:

Thorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse. We are committed to ending child sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. We build technology to find abuse victims faster, make online environments safer, and deter criminal behavior. 

We’re a nonprofit that operates like a tech startup. We build powerful products, lead new programs, maintain essential resources, and develop awareness campaigns to attack the issue from all sides -- because we refuse to live in a world where the technology to help children exists, but isn’t being used. We won’t stop until every child can simply be a kid.

In 2019, we took the stage at TED and shared our audacious goal of eliminating child sexual abuse material from the internet. 

What It's Like To Work Here:

At Thorn, we combine the nimbleness of a startup with the mission and values of a nonprofit. Our success is measured by how many children we've helped save, how many cases we've contributed to solving, and how much harm we've prevented. Our culture is built and stands on three shared values:

Trust. Our team’s ability to build networks based on trust is ultimately what delivers impact for the children we serve. Our investment in building trust in our lives, relationships, and company is an active resistance to the abuse we are fighting. 

Inclusion. With your different story, your different approach, your different opinions - we are stronger because of these differences. To succeed at our ambitious goal, we need solutions that have never been found before, from individuals willing to bring their unique personal and professional experiences to work on behalf of our mission.

Resilience. We love a challenge. We also know ourselves, and for the most part, we'll work non-stop if we aren't actively naming the trade-offs and costs of our work. To make sure we can keep building in the way that we love, we build personal, professional, individual, and group practices based on our hard-won wisdom so that we can sustain ourselves and our team for the long-term. 

About the Role:

Earned media is a primary channel through which Thorn advances our business goals and brand objectives. The role of the Communications Director reaches across nearly all areas of the organization to develop and distribute the stories that move our mission forward. Communications Director will be responsible for:

  • Ensuring the absolute integrity of the organization’s reputation in the media
  • Equipping internal and external stakeholders with clear and consistent messaging that empowers them to carry Thorn’s work forward
  • Advancing Thorn’s business goals with strategic press, event, and speaking opportunities
  • Driving awareness and consideration for Thorn products among tech industry decision-makers
  • Elevating Thorn’s thought leadership at the intersection of child protection and technology
  • Advancing communications around local, national, and international policies that support Thorn’s work to protect children

The Communications Director sits in Thorn’s External Affairs department and reports to the Vice President of External Affairs. This unique role works closely with all cross-functional partners to support our three verticals: enabling victim identification, equipping tech companies, and empowering youth & the communities that support them.

The Communications Director will join a passionate, dynamic, innovative, and ambitious team committed to doing whatever it takes to eliminate child sexual abuse. The right candidate is highly collaborative, native to technology and media, and ready to use their professional expertise for meaningful social impact. 

What You’ll Do:

  • Develop, oversee, and implement a strategic media relations plan to directly serve the sector and cross-functional partners in achieving Thorn’s key business objectives in alignment with the annual Marketing & Communications plan.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with consumer, tech, issue, and policy press. Drive year-round proactive strategy to secure high-value placements for Thorn in media and events around key issues. 
  • Develop and maintain clear, transparent metrics to track the efficacy of media relations efforts in advancing business goals. 
  • Develop and deploy a robust set of tools to inform and empower internal and external teams, including:
  • News tracking and analysis
  • Proactive messaging manual 
  • Crisis communications protocol
  • Media training 
  • Synthesize complex issues related to Thorn’s work to move diverse audiences - including tech leaders, policy-makers, NGOs, and the general public - to action. 
  • Manage inbound press requests, make recommendations on media engagement, write talking points, brief participants, and manage all press pieces through placement, including impact tracking. 
  • Develop press announcements, releases, internal communications, executive/spokespersons briefs, and oversee various press events. 
  • Ensure our key messaging, narratives, and FAQs scale across audiences. 
  • Plan and manage agency resources in the execution of press placements and events. 
  • Secure strategic speaking opportunities and appearances for key executives and spokespersons at high-profile events in the U.S. and internationally. 
  • Plan and oversee press visits and other in-person press cultivation opportunities. 
  • Manage crisis communications as needed, maintaining a current risk analysis and crisis comms plan across key issues. 
  • Support cross-functional leaders, serving each function’s communications needs and understanding the key role each plays in Thorn’s overall success. 

What We’re Looking For:

  • An unwavering commitment to putting the children we serve at the center of everything you do.
  • 10+ years of media relations expertise with the ability to quickly learn new issues and industries.
  • Proven solid relationships with major press outlets, including print, digital, and broadcast media. 
  • Ability to communicate complex subjects in a simple, accessible, compelling manner.
  • Impeccable writing, editing, presentation, and oral communication skills.
  • Experience working cross-functionally in a product/service-driven organization where communication results are directly tied to business metrics. 
  • Experience managing agencies and creatively resourcing needs to achieve business goals on a budget. 
  • Experience successfully planning and executing communications plans at the product and brand levels. 
  • Tech sector experience, with government affairs experience/knowledge a plus. 
  • Experience working in start-up, early and high-growth businesses. 
  • Calm, resourceful, critical thinker who thrives at problem-solving on a nimble, fast-paced team.
  • Transparency and integrity in all actions, demonstration of good judgment and keen instincts, strong team player.
  • A positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed.

At Thorn, we understand the value of developing a team with different perspectives, educational backgrounds, and life experiences. We prioritize diversity within our team and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. Your skills are needed here.

Who We Are:

Thorn builds technology to defend children from sexual abuse. We are committed to ending child sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. We build technology to find abuse victims faster, make online environments…

Details at a glance

  • Remote Possible
  • Full Time Schedule
  • Managerial


  • Fully covered health care for you and your family
  • Flexible work schedules and locations
  • Monthly individual and team wellness sessions
  • Flexible vacation policy, standard holidays and three weeks off as a company, one for Thanksgiving, two between Christmas and the first week of the new year.

Some other things we offer include:

  • Matched 401[k]
  • Annual professional development budget for continued education
  • Budget for a home office setup or coworking membership
  • Monthly home internet and cell phone bill reimbursement
  • New Macbook Pros for everyone
  • Fully covered health care for you and your family
  • Flexible work schedules and locations
  • Monthly individual and team wellness sessions
  • Flexible vacation policy, standard…


San Francisco, CA

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