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Director, Media and Public Relations

Title:                         Director, Media and Public Relations

Reports to:             Vice President, Communications

Job Summary:          The Director of Media and Public Relations is responsible for promoting Heritage Foundation policy solutions and ideas in print, broadcast, and digital outlets. The Director manages a team that fields all media inquiries and interview requests and also proactively pitches Heritage priorities, experts and opinion editorials to news organizations across the country. The Director serves as a Heritage spokesperson and works collaboratively with the Communications team to help shape Heritage enterprise communications strategy by developing the most effective messaging, training and deploying Heritage spokespeople and executing best-in-class media relations operations. The Director contributes to building a high-performance culture focused on measurable results.

Job Duties:

  • As a member of management, lead the department’s overall planning activities, developing specific and measurable department goals that advance Heritage’s vision and mission and complement or support the goals of other departments.
  • Establish department priorities, prepare and monitor the department budget, provide overall direction for staff activities, and lead by example. Use department resources effectively to achieve Heritage objectives.
  • Enhance the professional and career development of department staff through effective training, mentoring, and performance evaluations. Reward and motivate staff by using bonus and merit increase budgets effectively, and by developing promotion opportunities.
  • Recommend department staffing levels, recruit qualified staff to fill approved positions. Prepare job descriptions and advertisements and handle interviews.
  • Position, promote, and defend The Heritage Foundation and its related brands by developing and executing media relations strategies that advance policy priorities.
  • Systematically develop, maintain, and cultivate relationships with key influencers at traditional and emerging media platforms in high-ROI markets domestically and internationally.
  • Lead a robust, local, national and international opinion editorial and commentary placement operation.
  • Monitor ongoing policy debates for focused, high-impact opportunities to go on offense and, where necessary, take appropriate defensive action.
  • Guard the Heritage reputation as a key crisis communication leader and grow the Heritage brand as the leading policy think tank in the world.
  • Develop and lead training program to coach Heritage experts as effective communicators who are able to deliver strong, consistent, and winning arguments that advance policy ideas in all public communications contexts.
  • Serve as a key communications adviser for senior management and coalition partners, providing strategic analysis and detailed reporting on the evolving ideas landscape, intelligence reports and competitive analysis to secure, solidify and multiply Heritage’s leadership position into the future.
  • Offer communications training and education through original programs and curricula for the Heritage enterprise and coalition members in partnership with the Truluck Center for Leadership Development and other organizations.
  • Act as content and operations lead for major partnerships with media organizations.
  • Work with Communications VP and department’s Communications Mangers to set messaging priorities daily and weekly and generate storytelling and creative content concepts to promote policy priorities to a growing audience.
  • Collaborate with colleagues throughout the Heritage enterprise to gain an understanding of how conservative policies can best be advanced in the media.
  • Lead enterprise- and coalition-wide messaging development operation.
  • Advise research departments on effective framing of ideas presented in Heritage reports, issue briefs, backgrounders, and major research projects and publications.
  • Direct and approve all Heritage statements to the media, and ensure those statements are widely distributed to print, broadcast, and digital outlets, as well as posted on Heritage.org and social media.
  • Ensure media pitches are aligned with Heritage policy messaging points, media relations standards, and institutional priorities.
  • Provide leadership for each research institute’s Communications Managers, the national media team and the editorial team to set messaging priorities, resolve conflicts, and communicate those decisions internally at Heritage.
  • Work with Daily Signal staff to ensure their stories are reaching print, broadcast, and digital outlets, and their reporters and editors are being pitched for media interviews.

Qualifications:

Education:             BA/BS

Experience:           Minimum 10 years of media relations experience, including a focus on developing public policy media relations strategies.

Management:        Key management skills, including strategic planning and goal setting, budgeting, staffing, performance counseling, mentoring, and career planning are required.

Communication:    Excellent writing, presentation and public speaking skills. An articulate advocate of Heritage’s vision and mission.

Technology:          Microsoft Office and Outlook

Other Requirements:

  • Understand and support the Heritage mission and vision for America, True North conservative principles and the team’s goals and objectives.
  • Strong working knowledge of political and policy processes and players in Washington, D.C., including Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, regulatory agencies, and influential media players.
  • Ability to incorporate market research and data analytics as well as work with multiple brands to target unique audiences in the advancement of policy and media relations initiatives.
  • Discipline to stay focused on important policy debates and high-return, high-impact opportunities; rather than follow every issue and news cycle opportunity.
  • Superior writing, editing and public speaking skills; an articulate advocate of Heritage’s vision and mission.
  • Experience working in and a strong commitment to creating a high-performance, results-driven culture.
  • Commitment to getting the job done and willingness to work hours required.
  • Demonstrate an interest in public policy, strategy, and project management execution.
  • Outstanding attention to detail.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to provide and receive direction and feedback.
  • Comfort in social and professional settings with editors, producers, and reporters. 
  • Familiarity with AP style.
  • Intimately familiar with print, online and broadcast media needs, processes, and priorities, and how to meet those needs with Heritage resources.
  • Creative thinker able to market Heritage media products to the media and to conceive new products and marketing methods by using existing and acquired resources.
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