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National Communications Director

The Urban Alliance
District of Columbia, United States
$95,000.00 - $105,000.00
Closing date
Oct 13, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Employment Type
Full Time
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Position Summary

Urban Alliance (UA) believes that all young people deserve equal access to the paid work experiences, professional networks, and skills training needed to achieve economic mobility. We are currently seeking a creative, strategic storyteller with a passion for advancing equity to serve as Communications Director. This role leads the organization’s external communications strategy to drive increased visibility and partner and donor engagement – including media relations, marketing, messaging, and strategy. The Communications Director is an integral part of UA’s national team, reporting to the Chief Development Officer, and provides communications oversight and support to four UA regions: Greater Washington, DC, Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit. The Communications and Advocacy Associate reports to this position.


The ideal candidate is a hard-working self-starter with a demonstrated track record of successful media engagement, a knack for building relationships, and excellent writing skills. The position is ideally based in our Washington, DC headquarters (currently on hybrid remote work schedule), but could be based in one of UA’s other regions (Chicago, Detroit, or Baltimore). Occasional travel to other regions is required.



About Urban Alliance

Urban Alliance provides economically-disadvantaged young people with the exposure, opportunity, support, and training needed to prepare them for lifelong economic self-sufficiency. Urban Alliance’s core program matches underserved high school seniors with paid, professional internships, job skills training, one-on-one mentoring, and ongoing post-program support to expand their idea of what is possible for their future. Founded in Washington, D.C. in 1996, Urban Alliance has since expanded to Baltimore, Chicago, and Northern Virginia. To date, Urban Alliance has placed over 4,000 students in paid internships and served more than 18,000 through job skills training.



  • Media Relations Serve as UA spokesperson, leading all media outreach, building relationships with local and national media, and developing a proactive media strategy for all major organizational announcements.
  • Writing and Storytelling – Serve as the organization’s content lead, supporting the Communications and Advocacy Associate and external vendors in producing external content including press releases, student and job partner stories, articles, op-eds, reports, white papers, marketing materials, external newsletters, blog posts, web graphics, and more. Manage relationships with external design vendors.
  • Marketing and Messaging Platform – Lead marketing efforts, including the production of external materials and advertising, developing and refining messages, and audience targeting. Ensure message cohesion and brand unity across the organization. Manage relationship with external communications firm to develop new messaging platform.
  • Social Media and Website – Oversee Urban Alliance social media and website strategy (day to day content will be created and managed by Communications and Advocacy Associate). Manage overall relationship with external website vendor(s).
  • Executive and Partner Communications – Provide direct support to senior and regional leadership in preparation for speaking engagements and media interviews, train new public-facing staff in media best practices, and produce and edit written content for CEO. Lead and build relationships with communications staff at partner organizations, including Fortune 500 companies and major foundations.
  • Regional Support – Develop and execute regional communication plans for events and other announcements to increase regional visibility. Act as communications liaison with regions. Ensure brand cohesion across regions.
  • Strategic Planning – Regularly advise CEO and other senior leadership on visibility, messaging, and public engagement. Lead on communications aspect of organization’s strategic planning. Create and streamline communications policies and processes as needed. Create specific annual and multi-year communications plans to meet overall organizational goals. Monitor and analyze communications metrics.
  • Public National Events Oversee the Communications and Advocacy Associate in her work executing national public-facing events, including logistics, booking guest speakers, managing graphic design, photography and videography vendors, preparing or approving written and designed event materials, and developing comprehensive pre- and post-event media outreach strategy.
  • Staff and Vendor Management – Manage and oversee the professional development of the Communications and Advocacy Associate. Manage multiple external vendor relationships, including negotiating contracts and tracking deliverables.


Required Qualifications

  • 7-10 years of progressively responsible communications experience (nonprofit, political, or agency experience is preferred) with 2-3 years of management experience
  • Experience leading a communications team or communications projects across an organization
  • Demonstrated track record of successful earned media placements
  • Meticulous attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Ability to juggle multiple projects and problem-solve independently
  • Strong interpersonal and collaborative skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills with the ability to quickly adapt to different voices and audiences
  • Passion and empathy for UA’s mission and students
  • Creativity and a deep understanding of the elements of compelling written, oral, and visual storytelling
  • Experience with media relations and external communications vendors


Preferred Qualifications

  • Adobe Creative Suite and other graphic design tools, including Canva
  • Photography and video editing expertise
  • WordPress or other website management experience


Compensation and Benefit Package:

At Urban Alliance one of our core values is taking care of each other, and this includes offering competitive benefits, paid time off, and options for remote work.


The total compensation package for this position is between $95,000 -$105,000. In addition to having paid time off between December 25th and January 1st, we provide 18 days of paid time off plus 10 paid federal holidays, as well as birthday and diversity paid holidays. Additional days are provided to staff after three years.  Depending on the calendar, additional paid closure days and early closure days are established each year.  Our benefits include a comprehensive health plan with 90% individual healthcare coverage for employees, 403(B) retirement plans with a 3% match, whole life insurance and pre-tax commuter benefits. In addition, depending on responsibilities, we offer working remotely up to two days per week and flexible hours when possible.

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