Communications Manager

SALARY AND TERM: $72,000 – $75,000/year for a Full Time exempt position

POSITION SUMMARY: River Network is looking for an experienced and highly organized storyteller. This position will lead our communications work as part of an ambitious community-grantmaking and technical assistance initiative funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and focused on disadvantaged communities in EPA regions 1, 2, and 3.  

This role is fully remote, and the ideal candidate has comfort and experience leading remote projects and teams, including with external partners. Individuals with interest and experience in the following areas are encouraged to apply: public relations, media relations, storytelling (case studies, blog posts, op-eds, story maps, social media, etc.) communications, data science and visualization, project management, federal grants, environmental justice, climate resilience, climate change, and organizational capacity building.  

The Communications Manager will contribute to River Network’s communications efforts by leading production and placement of stories across various media, with a focus on federally funded awards from EPA’s Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking Program. This role will collaborate with our five nonprofit partners, leading the project’s communications team members to develop stories with grantees across EPA Regions 1, 2, and 3, integrate data visualization into said storytelling, and lead media outreach and public relations to share these stories with regional and national audiences. In partnership with staff, the Communications Manager will also help River Network build organizational public relations infrastructure and develop other emergent promotional strategies. The Communications Manager will work closely with staff and our five nonprofit partners under the guidance of River Network’s Senior Director of Brand & Communications and in close collaboration with the Senior Director of River Programs. Partners in this work include Institute for Sustainable Communities, Trust for Public Land, Groundwork USA, and Urban Sustainability Directors Network, and Emerald Cities Collaborative.  

Candidates must be willing to travel for story development, staff retreats, partner gatherings, and River Network’s national conference, River Rally.  

  

ABOUT RIVER NETWORK:  River Network grows and strengthens a transformational national network of water, justice, and river advocates to support healthy rivers, safe and affordable drinking water, and climate-resilient communities across the United States. We envision a powerful and inclusive movement that ensures abundant clean water for all people and nature to thrive. Visit www.rivernetwork.org to learn more about our current priorities. Our headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado and we have staff located in communities across the U.S. We are committed to embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (EDI) in all areas to achieve our mission – explore our core values and commitment to EDI, our explanation for why EDI is the foundation of our mission, and our principles for equitable and inclusive work. Through our programs, we seek to connect with all communities and increase the impact of their efforts towards healthy rivers, safe and affordable drinking water, and climate-resilient communities. Through our internal practices and external leadership, we seek an inclusive workplace culture that attracts diverse staff, board, members, and supporters.  

 ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:   

Lead production of storytelling with a focus on grantee projects and River Network’s and partners’ support of said projects.  

Create and manage story collection workflows among the River Network team, grantees, and other partners to ensure efficient processes for storytelling development.   

Create and manage public and media relations processes to amplify stories of success from grantees.  

Place stories about grantees and River Network in local, regional, and national outlets. Build relationships with journalists and reporters, representing River Network, our nonprofit partners, and grantees.  

Lead communications team members from all five nonprofit partners, managing internal communications and communications calendars, budgets, and project plans, ensuring successful delivery of program goals.  

Collaborate with all five nonprofit partners to ensure storytelling is woven throughout other program elements (data collection, program evaluation, etc.). 

Develop and participate in communications training services provided to program grantees and other River Network members, in collaboration with the Leadership Development team.  

Support communications and public relations efforts related to our national conference, River Rally.  

Requirements

BASIC QUALIFICATIONS:   

Four or more years of communications and public relations experience.  

Knowledge of current and evolving trends in digital communications, social media, and public relations.  

Exceptional oral and written communication skills, proven experience translating complex and technical concepts into clear messages for teammates and partners.  

A curious storyteller with experience in a variety of formats.  

Familiarity with impact reporting (data collection, analysis, and visualization) to develop and share stories in unique ways.  

Working knowledge of inclusive communications best practices, including a demonstrated ability to build relationships, honor stories shared by participants, and avoid extractive processes.  

An ability to effectively build relationships with and engage individuals working on the ground in distant locations.   

Detail-oriented and organized, with experience in simultaneous oversight of multiple projects, completing tasks on often stringent timelines, and communicating effectively around shifting needs and/or priorities.  

Technologically savvy, with proficiency in MS Office programs (Word, Excel, PPT, Outlook, SharePoint), WordPress, Campaign Monitor, Hootsuite, media tracking and outreach platforms (Cision, Meltwater, etc.), data analytics and visualization tools, and other digital media platforms.  

Background or knowledge of environmental projects and systems, and environmental justice, climate resilience, and climate change concepts.  

Commitment to River Network’s vision and mission, and to our core values of strength, mutual respect, integrity, balance, growth, and inclusion.     

   

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:   

Experience working with federal awards and knowledge of federal compliance requirements.   

Experience with graphic design, directly and/or in collaboration with contract designers.  

Experience managing small teams, including both internal staff and external partners and contractors. 

Highly proficient in written and spoken English and Spanish languages. 

Please apply by May 27, 2024.

WHAT TO EXPECT: We’ll review your application materials for experience, knowledge, and abilities required to successfully perform the job. Only those selected to advance in this process will be contacted for an interview. Candidates must possess current and valid U.S. Work Authorization and be eligible to work for any U.S. employer without sponsorship. As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.

   

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they meet every qualification. We are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with each qualification in the job description, please go ahead and apply anyway! You might be just the right candidate for this role.

Consistent with our values and our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion as stated above, River Network is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.    

Benefits

River Network offers medical, dental, and vision health insurance; 403b retirement savings plan; vacation and well-being leave; life insurance; technology stipend; and paid holidays. River Network works on a 32-hour/4-day work week, with our offices closed on Fridays.