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, LGBTQ+ rights, immigrants’ rights, stopping government surveillance, and reforming the criminal legal 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 $2 million, and has more than 30,000 supporters across the state. The headquarters of the ACLU of Kansas is in Overland Park, 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 ACLU of Kansas seeks an experienced, mission-driven person for the position of Digital Communications Specialist to creatively, effectively and strategically develop and implement a variety of communications strategies, primarily involving digital content and platforms, to build support for the ACLU's work, further its programmatic goals, and increase public awareness and commitment to civil liberties.
 
The Digital Communications Specialist is a full-time position that shares responsibility for the affiliate’s digital content. This position will be responsible for the affiliate’s graphic design work, developing resources through digital content and printed materials that are consistent, persuasive, and informative.

This position will primarily work on developing and implementing communications strategies for the criminal legal reform campaign. However, the position will regularly be called on to provide communications support for other affiliate campaigns and initiatives.

The Digital Communications Specialist will report directly to the Communications Director and work in close partnership with the Multimedia Manager, and collaboratively across the field organizing, policy, development, and legal departments.

Our ideal candidate will be someone who tracks both the news cycle and internet trends, who cares about the future of Kansas, and who can marry an excitement for creative tactics with an appreciation for consistency when it comes to engagement and narrative change.


COMMUNICATIONS APPROACH

The ACLU of Kansas has adopted a “campaign” approach for its work. Our communications work is part of an integrated advocacy approach that works closely with other departments at the affiliate but that also serves as an advocacy strategy on its own. Our approach is thus to be both responsive and proactive when building and changing narratives and when educating and activating the public toward the expansion of civil liberties and civil rights, the long-term power of the ACLU, and the civil liberties movement.

For the foreseeable future, the ACLU of Kansas will focus on two campaigns: voting rights and criminal legal reform. As a result of this campaign approach, the ACLU of Kansas’s communications model focuses on educating Kansans residents about our campaign objectives but also on challenging them to interrogate the gap between the Kansas we have now and a Kansas that reflects our shared values—and invites them to participate in building and realizing that goal.

ACLU of Kansas communications work is intended to engage both existing ACLU members, supporters, and volunteers in the movement, as well as to reach new constituencies by spreading our message through multiple channels using a variety of methods. While we recognize the institutional power of the voice of the ACLU and use it accordingly, communications work at the ACLU of Kansas also centers the experiences and leadership of directly impacted people and partners with directly impacted people in the work of storytelling and narrative development.


RESPONSIBILITIES

Digital Content Strategy and Communications

  • Assist with developing strategies and planning for digital campaigns, track campaign performance, and identify trends.
  • Ensure that digital content tracks with other communications work, such as earned media, so our message is conveyed in multiple channels.
  • Work with the Communications, Field Organizing, Legal, Policy, and Development departments to plan and create content.
  • Track, analyze, and report on social media metrics, email engagement, and web traffic to evaluate and grow the ACLU of Kansas’s digital media presence. 
  • Keep up to date on digital best practices, industry standards, and trends.
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned by the Communications Director. 


Social Media Planning and Execution

  • Grow the organization’s reach and engagement by drafting, scheduling, and publishing graphic and text social media content, with a particular focus on ways to activate our audience into taking action.
  • In collaboration with Multimedia Manager, assist with planning and posting video content that tells powerful stories about the ACLU’s work via digital channels.
  • Engage in social media listening and identify opportunities for us to participate in relevant conversations; respond to incoming comments and messages in a timely manner when useful.
  • Identify trends in our niche of content as well as potential influencers and messengers to develop relationships with who may amplify our work.


Website and Email Content

  • Produce emails and landing pages for action alerts, news updates, blogs and other web content to drive brand awareness and community action.
  • Conduct content maintenance on website to ensure existing web pages are updated and relevant, working with other departments as needed.
  • Manage website dashboard via HEAP, produce website performance reports, and identify opportunities to optimize SEO.


Materials and Design

  • Design and produce educational and outreach materials (brochures, fliers, postcards, ads, etc.).
  • Track inventory of ACLU print and digital resources. 



COMPETENCIES

  • Mission: Commitment to and understanding of the mission and goals of the ACLU, including a demonstrated commitment to equity and racial justice. Interest in developing and deepening understanding of the history and current states of our government, institutions, law, and culture and how these intersect with the real experiences of the people impacted, in the context of the work for civil rights and civil liberties. 
  • Teamwork: A history of working collaboratively and successfully with people and organizations from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and a broad range of ideological positions and religious views. Brings a positive, problem-solving attitude to relationships with colleagues and partners. Relates well with people of different backgrounds and responsibilities. Demonstrates personal integrity, admits mistakes, and fosters trust. 
  • Technical Ability: Visual storytelling with an instinct for using graphics, video and other available media to move people to action. Has the media-specific knowledge and skills to do the job at a high level of accomplishment. Seeks out additional opportunities to grow. 
  • Dependability and Reliability: Communicates proactively and responsively. Follows through and meets commitments. Reschedules meetings and deadlines well in advance if necessary, but will give honest effort to meet initial expectations. 
  • Decision-making: “Owns” the work in the project area. Makes smart decisions that reflect clear reasoning and awareness of impact. Works with the appropriate level of supervision. Knows when to ask questions or when to ask for help.


QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least two (2) years of experience in digital communications work, with preference for experience with managing online grassroots digital campaigns and/or social media programs for political or social justice campaigns or nonprofits; strong preference for experience in the state of Kansas
  • Strong social media skills across multiple platforms 
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills, including the ability to synthesize complex ideas into understandable messages that inform and engage targeted audiences
  • Strong graphic design skills that translate into both digital and print material
  • Experience and competence with Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Experience with website content management systems and social media content production
  • Strong task, time management, and organizational skills; the ability to manage competing priorities and timelines 
  • Creative, results-oriented, self-starting, and willing to learn
  • Knowledge of the current political and movement landscape in Kansas
  • Unwavering commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, including a demonstrated commitment to equity and racial justice


BONUS QUALIFICATIONS

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Graphic Design, or related field
  • Spanish language competency or fluency
  • Experience in investigative journalism, quantitative or qualitative research, or data analysis
  • Working knowledge of HTML and CSS



HYBRID/REMOTE OFFICE SCHEDULE

The ACLU of Kansas uses a hybrid office schedule, where employees have the option of working remotely up to three days per week. This position is intended to be located at a new ACLU site in Wichita and preference will be given accordingly, but applications will be accepted from individuals interested in working out of the Overland Park office.

For Wichita-based staff, a minimum of one monthly visit to the Overland Park office is required.


COMPENSATION

The position is a full-time, exempt, & salaried position. This position is a part of the bargaining unit. Salary is based on the ACLU of Kansas’s comprehensive compensation scale as established in our collective bargaining agreement, starting at $48,000. The ACLU of Kansas offers excellent benefits, including medical and disability insurance (fully paid by employer), a 401(k) match program, professional development stipend and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave.


APPLICATION PROCEDURE

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

Vanessa Phipps, 
Sr. Human Resources Consultant
[email protected]

Include in the subject line: “Digital Communications Specialist.” In your cover letter, please indicate where you learned of this posting.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or in-person applications, please. We hope to have this position filled before the end of 2023.

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, former incarceration, 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.