Natural Resources Defense Council
Washington, DC Office
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit national environmental advocacy organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. We have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing. Our staff of nearly 300 includes attorneys, scientists, policy analysts and educators working to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.
NRDC seeks a press secretary to work as a part of its fast-paced Federal Communications program in Washington. The press secretary reports to the Federal Communications Director, and will work with other communications staffers and program experts in Washington (as well as in the other NRDC offices) to promote the full array of NRDC’s federal agenda, which includes air, water, clean energy, transportation and health issues. The press secretary will craft and implement proactive media strategies, respond in real time to media inquiries (from TV networks and cable television to the trade press and activists-bloggers), draft press statements, media advisories and talking points for our program experts, ghost op-eds, blogs and letters to the editor, and collaborate with other environment groups in joint efforts. We place a high premium on the ability to write fast, write well, and write clearly, in ways that help us break through -- both the clutter and the silence.
Skills and Knowledge Requirements:
- The press secretary occupies a key role on the communications team, projecting NRDC and its positions on a wide variety of environmental issues. The target audiences include not only the news media and the general public but also the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, as well as interest groups, stakeholders and NRDC donors, activists and the environmental movement writ large.
- The press secretary is expected develop, maintain and expand NRDC’s list of media contacts--and to reach out to them regularly in order to shape stories, thereby creating a desired narrative BEFORE a contrarian story line takes hold. Among the panoply of voices the press secretary will promote are members of Environmental Entrepreneurs, an affiliate of NRDC made up of clean energy business executives around the country.
- The press secretary may also be tasked with supervising media consultants who are periodically engaged to help NRDC execute specific media-outreach efforts (such field-visits to editorial boards in key regions of the country and the preparation of background materials for such efforts). In addition to attracting earned media (in stories as well as in newspaper editorials and opinion columns), the press secretary also will be closely involved in paid-media campaigns, helping shape ads (print and audio-video).
- The press secretary also will help program staffers conceive, develop and shape reports by advising on concept as well as structure—and ensure that the relevant messages and findings are clear, compelling and of interest to the press and decision-makers. Working in collaboration with program staffers, the press secretary will shape the content and messages on issues-papers and fact sheets.
At least seven years of experience in writing and editing is required, preferably involving public policy, with an emphasis on science and/or environmental issues. Strong organizational skills and project management capacities are essential. Initiative is highly desirable. Experience in, and detailed knowledge of, politics, particularly in the federal arena, are preferred. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to quickly conceive, organize, compose public messages, and to translate complex material into everyday but compelling language.
NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, a dynamic work environment, and we are committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. To apply, please visit www.nrdc.org/jobs and include a cover letter, resume and writing sample with your application. No phone calls or faxes. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. For further information about NRDC, please visit www.nrdc.org.