Company Description

The American Civil Liberties Union of the District of Columbia (ACLU-DC) seeks a Communications Strategist to collaborate on the development and implementation of the ACLU-DC’s media relations and strategic communications strategies to achieve the organization’s priorities. The position will report to the Strategic Communications Director and in close collaboration with the Policy and Legal departments, as well as with the ACLU national office, local coalition partners, and community members. This is a permanent, full-time, salaried position.

The ACLU-DC is a non-partisan, non-profit public interest organization devoted to protecting civil rights and civil liberties of those who live and work in the District of Columbia. Our 20 staff members work daily to achieve this mission through advocacy before the D.C. Council, litigation, public education, and organizing in all eight wards of D.C. ACLU-DC is an affiliate of the national ACLU, the leading defender of civil liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The ACLU works in communities, in the legislature, and in the courts to defend and expand individual rights and personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Job Description


Strategy & Messaging

  • Work with communications team to develop and implement an integrated, strategic, and digital communications plan that promotes ACLU-DC’s work across a broad platform of media and community-based outlets.
  • Draft messaging and talking points for staff and coalition partners on campaigns and issue areas assigned by the Strategic Communications Director to advance organizational communications.

Media Relations & Outreach

  • Write press releases, pitch stories, arrange interviews with ACLU-DC and/or coalition spokespersons, and facilitate media coverage for designated Legal and Policy department initiatives under the supervision of the Strategic Communications Director.
  • Proactively developing relationships with reporters in key issue areas.
  • Draft op-eds and letters to the editor.
  • Facilitate media training for new staff, clients, and community partners through interview prep, talking points, and branded messaging.
  • Coach current staff on effective messaging and on-camera speaking in conjunction with the Strategic Communications Director.
  • Track and measure earned media impressions/reach to use data for continuous improvement.
  • Manage and update the database of media contacts in Cision.

Content Production

  • Engage with clients, community members, and coalition partners to identify and develop stories about civil liberties issues and that advance ACLU-DC’s strategic goals. Write blog posts and articles for email and print newsletters and develop other materials that advance ACLU-DC Policy, Development, and Legal department priorities throughout the District.
  • Edit and produce blog posts that engage constituents and decision-makers with ACLU-DC priority work and issues. Work with the Strategic Communication Director to plan and write the ACLU-DC newsletter. Assist in the development of ACLU-DC marketing, fundraising, and education materials.

Community Relations

  • Attend coalition meetings with local partner organizations and supporting coalition communications and outreach work.
  • Assist with planning in-person and virtual events, such as mobilization activations, and issue teleconferences.
  • Other projects and responsibilities as required.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Strategic Communications Director.


  • Minimum of five years of experience and demonstrated success in media relations or related field, preferably in the nonprofit sector.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills; ability to translate complex legal and policy language into understandable messages that inform and engage targeted audiences
  • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency with Cision or similar software, Microsoft Office 365, Asana, and Slack. Experience with Adobe Creative Suite and social media platforms a plus.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, including the ability to work collaboratively both within and outside the ACLU-DC, and a personal approach that values and respects individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression/identity, religion, ability, and socioeconomic circumstances.
  • Awareness of, and willingness to engage in, the difficult and transformative work of challenging systems of oppression, institutional and structural racism, and implicit bias.
  • An effective team player who works collaboratively and independently and shares responsibility and credit
  • A creative and strategic thinker with a passion for stories that move public opinion in favor of social justice.
  • A talent for distilling complicated narratives, issues, and data into values-based, human-centered stories that inspire people to take action.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment with fellow ACLU-DC staff and outside contractors while managing several projects simultaneously and adjusting to frequently shifting demands with a diplomatic touch.
  • Individuals who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Ability to work irregular hours including some nights and weekends.
  • Ability to travel within the District when needed.
  • Must live in the District/Virgina/Maryland region. (Position is currently remote and will likely be a blend/hybrid work environment in the future.)

Additional Information


The salary range for this position is $70,000 - $90,000 depending on experience and qualifications. Generous benefits include medical and disability insurance, 40l(k) and vacation, holiday and sick leave. This is a permanent, full-time position.


The deadline for applying is January 14, 2022. Applications must be submitted via the Smartrecruiter application page at If you have a disability/ies and need accommodation regarding any part of the application process, please contact us. To complete the application, you will need to upload:

  1. A copy of your resume that lists relevant experience.
  2. A cover letter explaining your interest and qualifications.
  3. A sample press release that you drafted
  4. A sample op-ed or blog post that you drafted
  5. Three professional references, including their relationship to you and contact information.

The ACLU-DC is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU-DC encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other classification protected by the D.C. Human Rights Act or federal employment law.