Director of Communications and Outreach
Full-time, exempt position
Disability Rights Florida was founded in 1977 as the statewide designated protection and advocacy system for individuals with disabilities in the State of Florida and is the third-largest Protection and Advocacy system in the nation representing a growing, diverse state.
Since 1977, DRF has operated under the authority of nine (9) federal statutes and regulations and is funded largely through federal appropriations. These federal programs exist to protect people with disabilities against abuse, neglect, and to provide legal and advocacy assistance to those whose rights are threatened or violated in areas like special education, housing, public access, employment, waiver services, and more. Created within this position is an opportunity to work for a dynamic organization on the frontlines of protecting and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. The Communications and Outreach Director will have the opportunity to partner with other passionate DRF staff in helping Florida’s designated protection and advocacy agency to significantly raise its profile and subsequently its effectiveness. Our mission is to advance the quality of life, dignity, equality, self-determination, and freedom of choice of persons with disabilities through collaboration, education, advocacy, as well as legal and legislative strategies. We are a passionate, highly motivated group and we are looking for exceptional talent to join our team. Disability Rights Florida offers an excellent comprehensive employee benefit package. Some of the benefits included are paid vacation time, contributed employer medical, vision and dental insurance, 401(k) plan with an impressive employer match, life, short and long-term disability insurance, and generous paid holidays.
This position will be located in one of our four Florida offices (Tallahassee, Gainesville, Tampa, or Hollywood).
This position represents a unique opportunity to create a cohesive and successful communications strategy while working alongside highly talented and motivated staff doing cutting-edge civil rights advocacy work. The Communications and Outreach Director promotes disability rights issues and Disability Rights Florida (DRF) in the media and with the public in order to further DRF’s goals. The Communications and Outreach Director helps DRF provide effective information to consumers, advocates, media, and the public at large. The Communications and Outreach Director will develop and implement effective branding and messaging to support DRF’s goals and vision, to build greater awareness of DRF’s legal and advocacy services, and to help enable DRF to reach Florida’s diverse disability community. This position will report to the Executive Director and will work with DRF staff, board members, external stakeholder and allies to develop and implement effective branding and messaging to support the DRF’s organizational goals and mission.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Leads the design and implementation of an annual communication plan. Develop and implement strategies for media campaigns or press events to support DRF litigation and advocacy.
- Works with the Executive Director, Legal Director, and senior legal and advocacy staff to develop and coordinate advocacy and educational outreach to be carried out by staff, including metrics to measure the effectiveness of the program.
- Serves as main contact for press calls, identify press needs, respond or identify staff spokespersons on issues and cases for press follow up.
- Supervises the External Affairs Coordinator, Technology and Communications Manager and the Communications Intern to ensure appropriate coordination and presentation of the organization’s marketing, outreach, public speaking and media events.
- Develops a list of working press in Florida and cultivates relationships. Identifies press who have covered DRF or a disability issue and establishes ongoing relationships with those showing particular interest or expertise.
- Develops media training and materials to assist staff with press interactions, including with broadcast, print or online media; work with staff to develop their media skills and offer training as needed.
- Supervises the Technology and Communications Manager’s creation and maintenance of content for website, e-newsletters, social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn) and other internet related programs on a regular basis.
- Supervises the Technology and Communications Manager’s development and coordination of online communications to ensure accuracy, effectiveness of the material and clarity of the message, including creating, editing and posting timely materials to the organization's website and social media accounts.
- Ensures that all print and digital media produced by DRF for the public is accessible to people with disabilities.
- Oversees the drafting of DRF annual report and other promotional and/or informational publications as part of communications team and supervise production.
Education, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Bachelor's degree (BA or BS) from four-year college or university in a relevant field such as such as communications, journalism, public relations or a related field or equivalent job experience; plus 7 or more years of professional experience in areas such as media relations, website and social media content development.
- Minimum of three (3) years supervisory experience preferred.
- Strong understanding of disability services, laws, acclimation, awareness, interaction and communities preferred.
- Appreciation of and sensitivity to the concerns of persons with disabilities and persons from multi-ethnic communities, emphasizing self-determination and empowerment.
- Demonstrated track record of generating consistent and high-level media exposure for issues, campaigns and organizations in a competitive news market.
- Knowledge of best practices in various aspects of communications, including print, radio, tv, online and social media; media contacts, video production and media relations.
- Ability to synthesize complex information and communicate clearly and concisely both in writing and orally for the media and the general public. Ability to read, analyze, and interpret documents and laws.
- Ability to manage projects from start to finish.
- Enthusiasm and aptitude for working collaboratively within DRF and with other organizations.
- Ability to manage complex assignments, prioritize multiple tasks, meet deadlines, work well under pressure, and maintain confidentiality, with minimum supervision.
- Ability to maintain a working knowledge of federal and state laws regarding rights of people with disabilities.
- Competent in the use of Microsoft Office products.
- Some travel required; including driving.
To apply, please submit a cover letter and current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for application is September 30, 2019.
When you apply for a position at Disability Rights Florida, you may need to complete our employment application. It is an accessible PDF file that you can fill it out and signed electronically, save it, and send it to us.
If you want to request an accommodation or need any assistance in completing the application, please contact us at 1-800-342-0823.