About the ACLU of Kansas

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The ACLU of Kansas works in the state legislature, the courts, and local communities to protect the rights of all people living in Kansas. The organization’s work includes efforts to strengthen and defend First Amendment rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, immigrants’ rights, stopping government surveillance, and reforming the criminal justice system. The ACLU of Kansas often works in broad-based coalitions made up of individuals and organizations from across the political, partisan, and ideological spectrum. The ACLU of Kansas is an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, has an annual budget of approximately $1 million, and has more than 30,000 supporters across the state. The headquarters of the ACLU of Kansas is in Overland Park, Kansas, with a field office located in Wichita, Kansas.

 

The ACLU of Kansas comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and the ACLU Foundation of Kansas. Both entities have the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. The ACLU Foundation of Kansas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in litigation and public education. The ACLU of Kansas is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation that primarily engages in lobbying and advocacy.

 

Position Overview

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas seeks to hire an experienced, passionate, and innovative Communications Director to manage and direct the communications strategy for the ACLU of Kansas. The Communications Director is a full-time, exempt, & salaried position that will report to the Executive Director and work with the Communications team and other staff members across the organization to create high-impact communications.

The Communications Director is responsible for planning, supervising, and executing the ACLU of Kansas’ communications strategies. Through their work and collaboration with staff, the Communications Director leads the development of communications priorities and opportunities to best amplify our work, promote our brand, and steer the public narrative in a positive direction for civil rights and civil liberties. Under the direction and supervision of the Executive Director, the Communications Director supervises the Communications Manager. The Communications Director is a part of the leadership team, which includes all other department heads.

 

Primary Responsibilities

  • Create, manage, and execute all communications strategies to enhance the visibility of the organization in communities statewide, and measure the effectiveness of those strategies
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the Legal, Policy and Field teams to develop, execute, and track a communications plan for legal cases, policy issues, and organizational campaigns that engages members, policymakers, elected officials, and the general public in our work
  • Set and execute the goals and vision for the ACLU of Kansas’ public engagement – with press, the public, members, supporters, and clearly defined target audiences
  • Serve as editor-in-chief and executive producer for social media and audio/visual content and work in conjunction with the Communications Manager to maintain the ACLU of Kansas website
  • Manage the Communications Manager’s work as the primary manager and executor of social media tactics by ensuring that social media content is accurate, compelling, on-message, and strategic, and by acting as a backup executor as needed
  • Oversee the ACLU of Kansas presence in the statewide media markets by owning relationships with media contacts, building relationships between key staff reporters, editorial boards, producers, and other stakeholders and influencers, and arranging interviews with appropriate topic experts on staff or speaking with press on background
  • Provide media training to staff as needed, including how to participate in an interview, potential questions, and messaging guidance
  • Provide periodic media updates to the staff on key civil liberties and civil rights issues; share relevant news and information to departments and staff; identify and define important trends and issues before they become widely known
  • Work with ACLU of Kansas staff and, as appropriate national colleagues or external allies, to respond rapidly to emerging, strategically important issues with appropriate and influential messaging and tactics
  • Collaborate with the Communications Manager to set and reach goals for the ACLU of Kansas’ digital presence, including but not limited to social media platforms and website content, identifying key performance indicators along the way
  • Oversee creation and deployment of print and digital materials, such as newsletters, and other publications and digital assets
  • In collaboration with colleagues, coordinate ACLU of Kansas; speaking requests and our engagement in speaking events
  • Develop, manage, and monitor the annual Communications Department budget, and maintain ongoing evaluation and reporting of key performance indicators
  • Provide regular updates to the Executive Director and Board of Directors regarding Communications Department work

 

Qualifications

  • 5 years of experience in communications, particularly advocacy or campaign communications. Significant experience managing programs, direct experience with news media, traditional media, digital communications, graphic design, branding, and/or message development
  • Significant management experience with a demonstrated track record of effectively running a team or organization with highly talented and diverse staff[VP1] 
  • Excellent skills in interpersonal, spoken, and written communication, along with presentation skills to communicate effectively, comfortably, and respectfully with many audiences, including members of the general public, press, Board Members, staff at all levels, and lay leaders in conversation or print
  • Ability to prioritize concurrent tasks and expertly manage projects; manage a high-volume workload in a fast-paced environment; delegate deliberately and ensure follow through; adapt quickly to changing priorities; and help set and meet moving deadlines
  • Experience with overseeing budgets and departmental administration
  • Ability to plan and meet deadlines, making judicious use of organizational resources and colleagues’ time and effort
  • Ability to teach and educate others on social issues
  • Ability to communicate to diverse groups of community members through lenses of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  • A strong commitment to racial justice and civil liberties issues affecting all community members
  • A strong commitment to diversity- a personal approach that values the individual and respects difference of race, ethnicity, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion, ability, involvement with the criminal legal justice system, and socio-economic circumstance

 

Preferred Qualification

  • Substantive knowledge of the operation of the media, political, public policy, and advocacy arenas in Kansas
  • Experience in Communications for a civil liberty and/or social justice issue-centered organization

 

Compensation

The salary for this position is $76,000. The ACLU of Kansas offers excellent benefits, including medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a 401(k) match program, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

 

Application Procedure

To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample, and three references via email to:

 

Vanessa Phipps,
Sr. Human Resources Consultant

[email protected]

 

 

Include in the  subject line: “Communications Director.” In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of this posting.

 

Deadline

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please. The ACLU of Kansas strongly encourages formerly incarcerated individuals to apply.

 

Applicants will be reviewed beginning immediately and will be accepted until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please. The ACLU of Kansas strongly encourages formerly incarcerated individuals to apply.

 


 

 
   

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU of Kansas reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

 

The ACLU of Kansas is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU of Kansas encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status. The ACLU of Kansas undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.