Communications Strategist

San Francisco Full-time

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 of Northern California (ACLU-NC) and the ACLU of California (ACLU-CA), a statewide collaboration of the California affiliates aimed at maximizing our impact and enhancing the protection of civil liberties and civil rights statewide.


The Communications Strategist directly contributes to this work in comprehensive ways including strategic communications, media relations, and writing. Digital communications is also a core function of the Department’s integrated approach to strategic communications. This role will advance the work of the ACLU-NC and ACLU-CA by utilizing 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.


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 and have 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.  You 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 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 policies that are antithetical to our most cherished rights, values and freedoms. Our Legal and Policy staff and Organizers are critical members of the ACLU-NC team, as is the ACLU-CA.  Join us. 

Duties and Responsibilities  

  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Prior experience and familiarity with state and federal court rules and procedures;
  • Solution-oriented approach, with a willingness to take initiative, while juggling several priorities;
  • Ability to both work independently and as a team member in a busy office with personal enthusiasm, optimism, and a sense of humor;
  • Commitment to racial and social justice;
  • Dependable, punctual, and able to maintain a high level of confidentiality; and,
  • Advanced proficiency with Microsoft Office programs.


Desired Qualifications

  • Experience in public interest or social justice advocacy work.
  • Spanish fluency preferred, but not required.
  • Proficiency with Adobe Photoshop and/or Canva.
  • Video/audio production and editing.



Competitive salary is commensurate with experience. The starting compensation range is $59,997 - $91,965.  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.

To Apply

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on December 20th, 2018.  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.

Please submit your application in PDF format to the attention of SF Communications Strategist Search:


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.