The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative–to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, policy advocacy, organizing, and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) seeks an experienced communications professional to serve as its Chief Communications and Marketing Officer. The Chief Communications and Marketing Officer will report to the President and Director-Counsel and the Associate Director-Counsel. S/he will be primarily responsible for strengthening and bringing greater visibility to the LDF brand, including LDF’s substantive litigation, policy, and organizing work to enhance the fulfillment of its mission, increase supporter engagement, support development and fundraising, and, critically important, further its public education function. S/he will supervise and work collaboratively with the Communications Team to develop and execute a comprehensive strategic plan for LDF, including traditional and digital communications, media relations, marketing, branding, promotion of publications and other work-product, public relations, and LDF’s overall public engagement. S/he will also work with the Chief Development Officer to coordinate consistent messaging between the Communication and Marketing Department and LDF’s development and fundraising efforts, and also with the Director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute to develop specific strategies to amplify and support the work and profile of the Institute.
As a member of LDF’s Senior Management Team, the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer will also help execute the strategic direction of the organization and contribute to its strategic plan. S/he must also work in collaboration with LDF staff attorneys, the President and Director-Counsel and Associate Director-Counsel, and other members of LDF Senior Management, to develop effective communication strategies for LDF programs and initiatives, especially its litigation and advocacy. S/he will be expected to become familiar with the goals, priorities, interests and activities of the LDF legal program to maximize the impact of the organization and its work through various public channels.
- Develop and oversee an ambitious, comprehensive, forward-thinking, and aggressive multi-year communications strategy to promote LDF’s overall brand, programs (including, litigation and advocacy), research, and special initiatives through public relations, media relations, digital and social media, and event publicity to a wide range of audiences, constituents, supporters, influencers, decision-makers, funders, and media;
- Steward the LDF’s external image, messaging and positioning in various arenas;
- Identify and secure opportunistic and cyclical media platforms and projects;
- Establish and implement short-and long-range departmental goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures, monitor and evaluate program effectiveness, effect changes required for improvement;
- Expand, deepen and cultivate relationships in print, television, radio, as well as digital and social media;
- Manage rapid response and crisis control strategies, providing both direction and resolution;
- Provide strategic communications counsel to LDF’s management, legal and development staff;
- Oversee the writing and editing of short-and-long form media and press materials;
- Generate and implement new content ideas for various media platforms;
- Advise on key communications product development, including website, video content, publications, and brochures (digital and analog);
- Proactively coordinate and collaborate with the other internal teams and departments, including Development, Policy, Litigation, and LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute to support their work and identify areas of intersection and opportunity;
- Manage in-person communications support at key events and appearances;
- Ensure quality and appropriateness of marketing/communications activities and materials;
- Establish and implement short- and long-range departmental goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures, monitor and evaluate program effectiveness, effect changes required for improvement;
- Coordinate evaluations and assessments of external communications activities to determine the effectiveness of the organization’s marketing and communications plans and strategies.
- Define marketing strategies to support the organization’s overall and long-range mission and objectives and to promote the organization, its work, and members of its legal team;
- Establish marketing operational goals and key performance indicators; monitor progress and effectiveness of marketing campaigns through measurable metrics;
- Develop a feasible marketing plan for the department and oversee its day-to-day implementation;
- Design, coordinate, and execute promotional campaigns, PR and other marketing efforts across key channels including advertising, continuities, website, and creative;
- Study market trends and direct the organization’s market research efforts;
- Ensure all digital marketing channels (website, blogs, emails, and social media) deliver brand consistency;
- Oversee outside contractors related to marketing and promotions, including negotiating compensation and managing projects;
- Identify strategic partnership opportunities for the organization that will promote its brand.
Administration and Management
- Supervise, manage and foster the professional growth of members of the Communications and Marketing Department, a team of 7 growing to 10 full-time employees
- Create and manage annual budget for the Communications and Marketing Department;
- Encourage excellence, cooperation and collegiality in coordination with existing department professionals; recruit and supervise additional staff as required;
- Travel to LDF’s headquarters or D.C. office, and to other locations throughout the country for special events, as needed; and
- Other responsibilities as assigned.
- Bachelor’s degree required; graduate degree strongly preferred.
- Minimum of 8 years of experience in communications, marketing or public relations, and extensive experience working in an industry or institution that with similar complexities and challenges to LDF;
- Excellent leadership, creative and analytical skills;
- Successful track record in managing and executing media campaigns across all various channels and to multiple audiences;
- Strong knowledge of and experience in publicity, rapid response, and crisis control with excellent contacts;
- Ability to understand, distill, and translate complex legal concepts for a variety of end-users, ranging from judges to laypersons;
- Ability to develop, direct, execute, manage, and evaluate strategic communications plans and programs;
- Superb writing and verbal communication skills;
- Demonstrable experience in developing successful marketing strategies and business plans;
- Expertise in market research and data analysis methods;
- Ability to apply marketing techniques over digital and non-digital channels;
- Excellent judgment and editorial capabilities, including clear, concise and creative writing skills and ability to line edit with a critical eye for detail;
- Ability to thrive in deadline-oriented, multi-tasking and team environment;
- Team-oriented leadership and excellent vertical and horizontal people management skills, including demonstrated ability to develop and motivate staff;
- Excellent people management skills and a track record of interdepartmental collaboration;
- Ability to supervise departmental staff, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community;
- Ability to work closely with other departmental heads in implementing shared goals, as well as with external vendors and consultants;
- Ability to make thoughtful administrative and procedural decisions. Skill in examining operations and procedures and then developing and implementing new strategies;
- Familiarity and affinity with the history, goals and mission of LDF.
This is not an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts or requirements or working conditions associated with this position. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current position, management reserves the right to revise the position or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned. This description does not constitute a contract of employment and LDF may exercise its employment-at-will rights at any time.
* * * * *
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to you without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, veteran status, medical condition or disability, genetic information, gender identity, or any other protected status under federal, state, or local law.