The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks a Managing Director of Strategic Communications to advance the mission and vision of the organization.
The Bronx Defenders is a public defender non-profit that works to radically transform how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the legal systems. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic and diverse staff. Our staff of almost 400 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, team administrators, organizers, and communications specialists who collaborate to provide holistic advocacy to address the causes and consequences of legal system involvement. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have utilized a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.
Each year, we defend more than 20,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.
Practice & Position Description
Strategic communications play a key role in realizing the mission and vision of The Bronx Defenders. The Strategic Communications Team works to create narrative change about our clients, amplify the work of The Bronx Defenders, and respond to media requests.
The Managing Director of Strategic Communications will be responsible for developing a strategic communications plan and managing the Strategic Communications team. This communications work is vital to ensuring positive outcomes for our clients, improving governmental policies and practices, engaging key stakeholders, and garnering support for the communities we work with and the work that we do. We’re looking for someone who thrives in a complex, fast-paced environment that requires collaboration, impeccable judgment as it relates to media strategy, and the ability to solve problems under pressure.
A member of the Management Team, the Managing Director of Strategic Communications will report to the Chief of Staff and work in partnership with the Director of Advancement, who oversees external communication with donors, organizes fundraising events, coordinates email outreach campaigns, leads fundraising efforts, creates and produces video content, and works on the design and branding of publications. The Managing Director of Strategic Communications will also work with the Managing Team to identify opportunities to build the communications team. Responsibilities of the Managing Director of Strategic Communications include:
- Deliver strategic, actionable communications guidance that advances the organization’s goals and enhances its reputation
- Develop, execute, and measure the effectiveness of BxD’s short and long-term communications plan and strategy
- Ensure that all BxD communication is consistent and aligned with BxD’s values, mission and vision as well as informed by BxD’s Anti-Oppression Team
- Anticipate, advise, and manage BxD’s crisis communications
- Supervise and mentor communications staff
- Help build the capacity and confidence of staff to engage and participate in communications by identifying and creating training opportunities
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with media contacts
- Foster relationships between key staff and reporters, editorial boards, producers, and other stakeholders and influencers
- Oversee and expand the organization’s social media platforms and digital communications
- Survey the media landscape for opportunities and challenges based on national legislation, breaking news, and other trends
- Grow BxD’s capacity to create original creative content for our social media channels, email marketing, and website
- Collaborate with the Director of Strategic Partnerships and the Director of Advancement to develop a communications plan that cultivates understanding of and support for our work
- Create content for BxD’s monthly newsletter
- Assist with drafting monthly board updates and quarterly board reports
- Partner with the Director of Advancement to create content for BxD’s annual report
- Identify opportunities across various media to elevate the work of the organization
- Amplify fundraising events and donor engagement opportunities across BxD’s various channels
- Support the delivery of content for the website and email outreach
- Partner with the Managing Directors of BxD’s Criminal Defense, Family Defense, Immigration, Civil Action, Impact Litigation and Social Work Practices, as well as BxD’s Chief Policy Counsel, to drive narrative and policy change at the national, regional, and local levels in keeping with the organization’s systemic reform priorities
- Provide training and support for BxD staff engaged in external communications including testifying at public hearings, speaking at press conferences, hosting town halls, lobbying, and engaging with the media
- Identify opportunities to amplify the voices and experiences of the directly impacted people with whom we work and provide training and support as needed and desired
- Track, support and elevate public-facing work by BxD staff, including testimony, press conferences, media appearances, events, and panel discussions
- Assist the Executive Director and Chief of Staff in developing an effective internal communications strategy that is aligned with BxD’s values, mission, and vision
Qualifications and Experience
To be eligible, applicants must have:
- At least 5 years of work experience in communications, including at least 3 years of advocacy and/or campaign experience
- Experience directly supervising a communications team
Applicants must demonstrate:
- Experience and commitment to working on racial and social justice issues
- Experience working in and with racially, ethnically and socioeconomically marginalized communities
- Experience working with policy coalitions and community-based partners
- Familiarity with the criminal, family, civil, and/or immigration legal systems
- Ability to effectively and respectfully communicate, collaborate and connect with people with various backgrounds, identities and experiences
- Strong writing and research skills
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to manage relationships with colleagues as well as external partners and stakeholders
- Ability to adapt communication of organization’s vision in response to current events and a changing political climate
- Ability to consider multiple perspectives, think critically, provide an analysis of communication strategies and related risks as well as implement solutions to complex communication issues
- Persuasive and effective communication
- Commitment to raising one’s cultural consciousness and challenging oppressive practices on an interpersonal and institutional level
Salary is commensurate with experience. For candidates with directly relevant experience, the salary range is between $140,000-$150,000. Full-time employees are also eligible for a comprehensive benefits package including but not limited to medical, dental and vision coverage; a 403(b) plan with employer contribution; a generous vacation, sick leave, and parental leave policy. More specific information about salary and benefits will be provided when and if an offer is extended.