Communications Strategist

Article Media

ACLU of Northern CA

The Opportunity

The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) seeks a Communications Strategist based in either the San Francisco, Sacramento, or Fresno office. This full-time position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule, working from their ACLU NorCal home office a minimum of one day per week and telecommuting for the remainder of the work week.

The Approach

Our work is guided by the principles of freedom, equality, and justice enumerated in the Constitution. However, we know that because of historic and systemic racism and other forms of oppression, these principles are not equitably applied to all. In an ideal world, everyone would have equal access to justice and equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, neither our world nor our country is ideal. Our work involves hard subject matter that can be emotionally draining for some people. Ideal candidates will understand that as a mission driven organization, we strive to make the world a better place knowing that the road is long and hard. At the same time, we understand the importance of self-care, and do our best to reflect that in our practices and values.

The Position

This position is represented by IFPTE Local 20.

About the Organization

The ACLU of Northern California is an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, a nationwide, non- profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Northern California (ACLU NorCal) is comprised of two distinct corporations, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California (the “Foundation”, a 501c3) and the ACLU of Northern California (the “Union”, a 501c4). The incumbent is a joint employee of both corporations. For most of the last century, ACLU Nor Cal has been part of many of the most major – and sometimes controversial – struggles for civil liberties and civil rights in our state.

Our mission is to ensure that Constitutional rights don’t just exist on paper but are protected in practice. As we move into a new era, we face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms. At the same time, ACLU NorCal is committed to advancing proactive and positive change to transform laws and institutions to advance our values. We are committed to fostering an anti-racist work culture and support anti-racist principles and learning.

COVID-19 Prevention

The ACLU NorCal physical offices are open.  Masking is required for in-person work at this time.

Duties & Responsibilities

Develop and execute strategic communications plans that advance ACLU NorCal’s priorities.

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of communications strategy for litigation, advocacy, public awareness, and other reactive/proactive campaigns. 
  • Apply a strategic communications framework to assignments by focusing on goals, audiences, messaging, and engagement channels.
  • Create, develop, and implement short- and long-term strategic communications plans.
  • Advise and engage the Legal-Policy and Organizing departments on communications requests for integrated advocacy.
  • Serve as Communications Liaison to one or more of the Legal-Policy issue teams.

Content Creation

  • Own the development and implementation of assigned projects and campaigns across paid, earned, shared, and owned media channels.
  • Draft, edit, and finalize talking points, press releases, media advisories, opinion pieces, social media content, email action alerts, blog posts, white papers, video/audio scripts, ACLU News articles, and other written materials as assigned.
  • Ghostwrite and edit content for program staff as needed.
  • Adhere to established affiliate and national brand and editorial guidelines.

Media Relations

  • Manage incoming media, email, and direct messages related to assigned cases or matters; schedule media interviews with the appropriate spokespeople.
  • Coach and prepare spokespeople for interviews, events, press conferences, or other speaking engagements.
  • Cultivate professional relationships and build knowledge of journalists' beats, writing styles, and editorial viewpoints.


  • Engage the Senior Digital Strategist at the planning stage on digital campaign content strategy, data metric review analysis, asset creation, and paid digital ad plans to further communication campaign goals.


  • Work with other communications and programmatic staff as needed to implement communications plans.
  • Contribute to refining and updating the Communications Department best practices in strategic communications.
  • Other projects as assigned by the Communications Director or Deputy Communications Director.


Education / Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree; at least three years in public interest communications, journalism, or social justice advocacy.
  • We welcome you to include any lived experience you are comfortable sharing in your cover letter or an additional attachment.

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Solution-oriented approach, with a willingness to take initiative, while juggling several priorities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and social justice.
  • Dependable, punctual, and able to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office.

Preferred Skills

  • Fluency in Spanish (read, write, speak).
  • Video/audio production skills.
  • Prior experience and familiarity with state and federal court rules and procedures.

Total Compensation

We are committed to creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through equity initiatives, which includes equitable pay practices. Competitive compensation is commensurate with experience. Starting salary range for this position $74,132.19 - $86,487.56 / annually.

An additional 5% differential will be given for Spanish language fluency (speak, read, write).

We understand how vital our work is and at the same time understand the toll engaged activism can take. Our goal is to retain staff and we believe that having a robust benefit offering is vital in meeting that goal. Our benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; fully employer-paid medical, vision and dental insurance for staff members, their dependents and spouse or domestic partner; life and long-term disability insurance; and 401(k) plan with employer match. We have a robust Employee Assistance Program and emerging Employee Resource Groups.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position has been filled. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as we will be evaluating applications on a rolling basis. Applications must include (1) a resume, (2) a cover letter  (3) Two writing samples. Please submit your application online at:

The ACLU NorCal 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 of Northern California advances equity and inclusion in the workplace by providing equal employment opportunity to support a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (over 40), sexual orientation, military and veteran status, and any other basis prohibited by law. The organization also provides reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. This equal employment opportunity policy applies to all aspects of employment, including recruitment, selection, advancement, training, problem resolution, and separation from employment. Through this policy, the ACLU NorCal strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is free from discrimination and supportive of a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of our communities and the people we serve. ACLU NorCal will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).


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