Communications Strategist (San Francisco; Sacramento, or Fresno)

Article Media

Location: San Francisco; Sacramento, or Fresno

Date Posted: January 3rd, 2020

The Opportunity

The Communications Strategist is a member of the Communications Department’s team efforts to ensure top-notch strategic communications to advance the legal and policy advocacy goals of the ACLU-NC. The Communications Strategist directly contributes to this work in key ways by providing an integrated approach to strategic communications utilizing media relations, digital communications and writing. This role will enhance the profile of the ACLU-NC and ACLU-CA by deploying goal-oriented, strategic communications tactics to amplify and publicize our work, educate the public, engage our base online, and influence how our issues are framed in the media.  There are two Communications Strategist positions open at this time. One will be based in San Francisco and the other will be in either Sacramento or Fresno. 

The Approach

You are a self-starter who thrives in a busy, bustling environment with the ability to easily balance multiple projects coming at you at once while staying focused on the details that matter. You work well under pressure and are professional at all times with strong oral and written communication skills. You are committed to racial and social justice and you treat every person with whom you work with dignity and respect and actively work to foster an equitable and inclusive experience for staff and other partners in your work.

The Position

The Communications Strategist directly contributes to the Communications Department team’s efforts by providing strategic thinking and analysis and a willingness to dive deeply into the day-to-day work of the ACLU of Northern California. This position is one that will lead with authenticity and be guided by a strong sense of curiosity for all communities and individuals. The Communications Strategist is passionate about telling stories and will work to bring relevant experiences to light.

About the Organization

The ACLU-NC is an affiliate of a nationwide, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to the defense and expansion of civil liberties and civil rights. For most of the last century, it has been at the heart 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 and face dangerous policies that threaten our civil rights and civil liberties, we remain dedicated to confronting these issues and defending the progress we have made. We must use our decades of experience in impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and fearless organizing to fight these un-American policies and protect our most cherished rights and freedoms.

Duties and Responsibilities  

Strategic Communications

  • Plan and implement communications strategies for litigation and other advocacy projects, working closely with Legal-Policy, Organizing, and ACLU-CA staff. This often includes collaborating with other members of the Communications team. Some of these projects are very short-term, others span several months, and some litigation may span several years from start to finish.
  • Define messaging frames and craft talking points to be used in press releases, media interviews, blog posts, social media, and email action alerts.
  • Use the Communications Department’s strategic communications process to manage requests from program staff for communications support.
  • Contribute to refining and updating the Communications Department guiding processes and protocols about best practices in strategic communications.
  • Other communications projects as assigned by the Communications Director.

Media Relations

  • Be in frequent communication and maintain relationships with traditional news media and emerging digital news outlets about ACLU-NC’s work. This includes pitching news and editorial coverage, and other types of engagement.
  • Draft press releases and other media materials.
  • Place Op-Eds.
  • Identify media opportunities.
  • Train and prep spokespeople, including ACLU-NC staff and clients, for media interviews.
  • Monitor news coverage on key issue areas.
  • Work to ensure that media coverage of ACLU-NC issues reflects the organization’s analysis and perspective.

 Writing and Editing:

  • Write and edit blog posts for the ACLU-NC blog, including ghostwriting for program staff.
  • Ghostwrite and edit Op-Eds.
  • Craft email action alerts, and participate in email action network strategy, in close collaboration with the New Media Strategist/Web Content Manager.
  • Write articles for the ACLU News, a print member publication.
  • Draft and edit other ACLU-NC written materials as assigned by the Communications Director.

 Digital Communications:

  • Identify social media opportunities to promote ACLU-NC’s work and resources, and to help reach goals for increased reach and engagement on ACLU-NC’s social media platforms, email action networks, and website.
  • Incorporate current and emerging digital media strategies in strategic communications plans.


Education / Experience: Education - Bachelor’s Degree. At least three years in public interest communications, journalism, or social justice advocacy.

Required Skills / Competencies:

  • Excellent oral, written and editing skills.
  • The ability to distill complex legal concepts into narratives that are compelling and accessible to target audiences.
  • Solution-oriented approach, with a willingness to take initiative, while juggling several priorities.
  • A willingness to be flexible and adapt to quickly changing priorities.
  • Ability to both work independently with personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor, and as a team member in a busy office with competing demands.
  • Commitment to racial and social justice.
  • Strong media and press strategy acumen.
  • Dependable, punctual, and able to maintain a high level of confidentiality
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office programs.

Preferred Skills / Competencies:

  • Fluency in Spanish is preferred and highly valued, but not required.
  • Experience in journalism is preferred, but not required.
  • Video and audio production and editing skills preferred, but not required.
  • Experience in public interest and/or social justice advocacy work.
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite preferred, but not required.


Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks paid vacation in addition to 14 office holidays; 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. Starting annual salary is: $74,132.19 to $86,487.56

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applications must include (1) a cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and the ways in which you satisfy the qualifications specified above, (2) resume, and (3) a list of three references. Applicants concurrently applying to any other position with the ACLU should state what other position they are applying for in the cover letter.

For San Francisco, please submit your application in PDF form here:

For either Sacramento or Fresno, please submit your application in PDF form here:

The ACLU-NC 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, arrest or conviction record, 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-NC strives to establish and maintain an equitable and accessible work environment that is supportive and free from discrimination.

Main Article Content