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The core task of the Communications Director is to position CNT, both nationally and locally, as a leading source of strategies, tools, and policies that promote urban sustainability and equity.
CNT’s Communications Director is a strategic thinker adept at communicating with a range of key audiences, including policy makers, practitioners, local officials, industry leaders, and the media, at the local, regional and national level. The Communications Director will help CNT shape key messages and position the organization and its strategies with target audiences. Working with the CEO and senior staff, the Communications Director is responsible for raising the visibility of CNT as a thought leader and effective practitioner in its program areas, and assist program managers in achieving their communications objectives.
The Communications Director reports to the Senior Vice President, and supervises a Communications Associate and Graphic Designer. S/he will work closely with CNT’s Development Team and program staff to implement communications and fundraising strategies.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Raise awareness locally and nationally of CNT’s urban sustainability work in multiple regions around the country
- Work with Board and staff to frame CNT’s core messages and ensure their broad understanding and adoption
- Help program managers advance their specific programmatic goals through strategic communications planning and guidance; identify target audiences for each program area; develop and implement a communications strategy for each major program initiative
- Monitor and evaluate news, trends and events, with an eye toward opportunities to communicate CNT’s work
- Provide editorial and messaging support to CNT program staff on all communications materials, as well as communications training/coaching for program staff to build skills and capacity
- Edit and write speeches, talking points and presentations for senior leadership
- Increase CNT’s national media visibility and thought leadership recognition
- Build relationships with reporters, bloggers, etc.
- Manage communications for the launch of new programs, products and reports
Print and Electronic Publications
- Oversee the drafting, editing, design, publication, and distribution of written products, including annual report, research reports, newsletters, and other institutional publications and materials
Web Presence and Social Media
- Develop content for and maintain CNT’s web presence and social media channels – keeping abreast of trends and technology and making improvements when necessary
- Build capacity of staff to engage with audiences on social media as subject matter experts
- Work with staff to improve the usability of our web-based information tools
Minimum Qualifications and Skills
- Five or more years of experience in a senior communications and/or policy role, or related fields such as journalism or public affairs
- The ability to think strategically and to position issues and ideas within the public debate
- Superb writing, editing, and verbal communications skills
- Solid organizational and interpersonal skills
- The ability to collaborate with others and work in diverse effective teams
- Success in planning and implementation of communication strategies aimed at policy change
- Track record of communications products that are clear, persuasive and suitable for their target audience
- Established relationships with Chicago-area and/or national media
- Electronic media expertise in web development and social media
- A working knowledge of urban, environmental, and economic policy, community development, urban planning, housing, energy and/or environmental studies
This position requires a person of intelligence and integrity who is highly motivated and team-oriented; enjoys organizing and coordinating projects and processes involving many people and issues; has demonstrated a commitment to CNT’s goals and mission; can work under deadlines and maintain a cooperative spirit in a demanding work environment; and has a sense of humor.
How to Apply:
Send cover letter and resume to:
c/o Center for Neighborhood Technology
2125 W. North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647
Fax to 773-278-4877 or email to email@example.com
No phone calls please.
CNT welcomes inquiries concerning unpaid internships. Internships are decided on a case-by-case basis, matching a volunteer’s interests and skills with a project need. The internship opportunities listed below are just some of the positions that may be available. If you are interested an internship at CNT, study this website to see where your and CNT’s interests align. Unless specified below, please contact Stephen Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss opportunities.
Rain Ready Community Support Intern
CNT seeks an intern to support our national Rain Ready initiative. Rain Ready helps individuals and communities work together to find solutions to the problems of too much or too little water. We help people who find their lives disrupted by flooding or water shortages to come together to develop a Rain Ready Plan of action.
As a Community Support Intern, you will help us help communities seeking to get Rain Ready. Activities will be wide-ranging, including:
- creating online guidance and materials (such as factsheets, videos and photos)
- preparing presentations
- conducting online and telephone property surveys and analysis
- preparing community maps and other outreach materials
- expanding our social media outreach
The work will involve working alongside the Rain Ready staff, our partners, and the communities of Midlothian, IL and Chatham (Chicago) to help them prepare Rain Ready Plans.
We are looking for a confident self-starter, with the ability to undertake research and outreach. We particularly welcome skills in:
- Communications, including writing/photography/film
- IT, including PowerPoint, Excel, photo editing, GIS etc.
- Community engagement and planning processes
- Project management
- Public engagement and outreach
- Stormwater management
Internships are unpaid and you would need to commit to a minimum of 15 hours per week – ideally longer. We are looking for someone who is available to start work immediately.
The work environment is fast-moving, innovative, and fun. As a member of a small and diverse team, you will have the chance to experience and learn more about our innovative approach to promoting change – from legislation, to tools and support, and demonstration. You will be provided with a desk and computer and will have the chance to join staff meetings and relevant external workshops and discussions.
How to Apply:
Please send your resume to Harriet Festing, Director of CNT’s Water Program, at email@example.com
Transit Future Campaign Interns
CNT is looking for interns for its Transit Future Campaign aimed at dramatically expanding rail transit in the Chicago Region. A description of the campaign can be found at transitfuture.org.
- Outreach to constituencies
- Interest in sustainability and transit issues
- Proactive nature
- Skill at reaching out and enrolling diverse communities
- Work well in a collaborative context
Terms of Service:
Start Date – ASAP. Internships at CNT are unpaid. The usual time commitment is 15 hours/week for 10 weeks, at a minimum. CNT will assist the intern in acquiring course credit if possible.
How to Apply:
If interested, please send your cover letter and resume to Stephen Perkins, Senior Vice President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.