Washington, D.C. | The Century Foundation (TCF), a leading progressive think tank, is seeking a Press Secretary to help spearhead media relations across the organization’s work in education, health care, and economic policy. The Press Secretary will serve as TCF’s chief media point of contact, focused on generating quality press coverage for TCF’s research and experts, elevating TCF’s reputation and impact, and helping coordinate state and national strategic communications efforts. The Press Secretary will also assist with media outreach for Next100, a start-up think tank launched by TCF two years ago and built for a new generation of policy leaders and policy ideas.
Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Press Secretary will proactively and aggressively pitch TCF’s research and experts to reporters and thought leaders, in addition to maintaining the core media relations infrastructure (e.g. press lists, media clips, interview coordination, and prep). They will take an active role in supporting organizational leadership, including TCF’s president and congressional affairs director, in addition to supervising a senior communications associate who leads TCF’s digital and social media programs.
This is a full-time position, with competitive salary and benefits. The position will be remote until TCF resumes in-person operations, and then will be based out of TCF’s Washington, D.C. office. The ideal candidate will have an established network of reporters, producers, broadcast bookers, opinion leaders, advocates, and congressional staff in the nation’s capital. They should be comfortable providing high-level advice to senior staff and experts, while also willing to jump in to get the job done.
- Create and execute media strategy. Develop and drive earned media strategy for TCF and Next100 research reports, campaigns, and experts.
- Proactively pitch. Implement day-to-day press outreach by pitching local, regional, and national media. Work to secure high-profile coverage of TCF and Next100’s work, especially on TV and radio.
- Develop materials. Write and edit persuasive external and internal documents such as press releases, media advisories, op-eds, letters to the editor, editorial board memos, fact sheets, talking points, funder documents, and communications plans.
- Identify media opportunities. Have a strong understanding of the media landscape surrounding TCF’s issues and identify opportunities to participate in ongoing conversations.
- Field media inquiries. Coordinate interview requests, prep experts for media appearances, and help to hone TCF’s message across policy areas.
- Manage rapid response. Monitor breaking news events, develop messaging, and conduct rapid response outreach to the press.
- Maintain media relations systems. Develop and consistently update press lists across TCF and Next100’s issue areas, compile news clippings, and coordinate with external vendors.
- Assist in Hill outreach. Assist with outreach to congressional staff and the White House and liaise with stakeholders and partners on TCF’s research, briefings, and events.
The ideal candidate is:
- A news junkie. You consume a lot of news—reading it, listening to it, watching it. You have a keen eye for media trends and storylines, and how they are shifting. You love to brainstorm how to make news and insert TCF’s ideas into the conversation. You have strong media instincts, and know what to do when faced with difficult decisions on whether/how to engage.
- Interested in politics and policy research. You believe public policy can be a force for good, and you’re clued into what is happening in Washington, D.C.. Your Twitter following includes a lot of reporters and policymakers. You don’t mind reading wonky research reports—but you really enjoy thinking through how to synthesize them and make them pop for the media and public.
- Not afraid of the telephone. You have significant experience and confidence (and success!) with pitching reporters and landing stories. You’re not concerned with a pitch being turned down, or being hung up on, or with following up too many times.
- A good writer. You have excellent verbal and written communication skills, and you can write well for a wide variety of audiences, voices, issues, and formats.
- Excellent at multi-tasking. You have the ability to handle multiple assignments at once, work quickly, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment while paying attention to details.
- Committed to racial justice and social change. You’re aligned with TCF’s values and vision, and have a passion for advancing progressive change that has a real impact on people’s lives. You want to work alongside colleagues who share that commitment.
- Five to seven years of experience working in progressive politics, strategic communications, media relations, advocacy, journalism, or a related field. Direct or indirect management in those fields is a plus.
- Demonstrated ability to secure print, radio, and TV coverage on issues related to TCF and Next100’s core issue areas.
- A strong network of national media contacts, including D.C.-based reporters and producers. Experience maintaining strong relationships with journalists.
- Contacts on Capitol Hill and experience working in a legislative or advocacy environment to push for policy change.
- Exceptional writing and editing skills, and the ability to write clearly and concisely about complex topics.
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and copies of (or links to) at least one writing sample. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
The Century Foundation is committed to diversity and building an inclusive environment for people of all backgrounds. Everyone is encouraged to apply, including women, LGBTQ people, non-gender conforming individuals, people of color, and people with disabilities.