Chief Communications Officer
Southern Poverty Law Center
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is seeking a strategic, innovative and experienced Chief Communications Officer (CCO) to provide vision, leadership and direction for SPLC’s communications. Through crafting the organization’s communications strategies and messaging at the state and national levels, the CCO will play a critical role in the SPLC’s programmatic and branding work, leading SPLC’s engagement of the media and enhance SPLC’s visibility, image and influence through effective media and marketing.
Reporting to the SPLC president and working closely with senior management team members, the CCO will spearhead efforts to weave together organization-wide communications around litigation, legislative and advocacy work and educational programs. The CCO will lead departments in media, creative and design services, editorial and digital engagement and will collaborate on marketing programs that intersect with the division’s functions.
This is an incredible opportunity to serve as SPLC’s Chief Communications Officer as the SPLC leads the fight against an emboldened extremist movement and expands its litigation and legislative advocacy at this critical moment in the country’s history. At a time of unprecedented growth for the organization, including within the communications department, the CCO will help chart the course in a new era for this storied civil rights organization and impact the work for years to come.
The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
SPLC’s lawsuits have toppled institutional racism and stamped out remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups; and protected the civil rights of African Americans, children, women, the disabled, immigrants and migrant workers, the LGBT community, prisoners, and many others who have faced discrimination, abuse or exploitation.
The SPLC’s Intelligence Project is internationally known for tracking and exposing the activities of hate groups and other domestic extremists. Its Teaching Tolerance program produces and distributes – free of charge – anti-bias documentary films, books, lesson plans and other materials that reduce prejudice and promote educational equity in our nation’s schools.
SPLC also built and maintains the Civil Rights Memorial and its interpretive center, the Civil Rights Memorial Center, in Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement.
Today, the SPLC has a dedicated staff of 300 in six permanent offices – Montgomery (headquarters), New Orleans, Jackson, Atlanta, Tallahassee and Miami. In the last year, it has opened five small satellite offices in remote locations in the Deep South to represent those facing deportation. The communications teams – media relations, editorial, digital, and design – consists of nearly 30 talented individuals and is slated to grow to meet the needs of an organization that has grown dramatically in the last two years.
- Create and implement forward-thinking, organization-wide branding, messaging and communications plans to promote SPLC’s legal advocacy and education programs to diverse audiences, including the media, policy makers, political leaders, the legal community, and donors.
- Manage a large and growing communications department that includes media relations, digital, editorial, design functions.
- Work with senior management team to develop SPLC’s brand and engagement strategies.
- Provide strategic direction to media relations, with particular responsibility to drive media narratives on SPLC and their campaigns.
- Aggressively recruit, train, and support diverse and growing communications teams.
- Create and drive plans for public and media engagement of the SPLC president.
- Serve as a member of the senior management team and craft the communications strategy for all major initiatives of the organization.
- Manage the development and administration of departmental budgets.
- Develop new structures and processes to best serve the organization in a time of significant growth.
- Manage crisis communications as needed.
- Minimum of 10 years of related, progressively responsible work experience.
- A record of success in senior-level communications positions in the legal, advocacy, not-for-profit, political, or government sectors.
- Superb interpersonal skills, with an impressive history of forging strong relationships with multiple stakeholders. A record of success creating and implementing communications strategies for a large, complex organization. Successful experience in challenging, hard-hitting public policy campaigns.
- A record of recruiting, developing, mentoring, and managing a diverse and talented communications staff.
- Significant experience dealing with the national media.
- Ability to partner with subject-matter experts to develop communications plans.
- Excellent writing and editing skills and demonstrated ability to handle controversial issues and translate information about them to broad audiences.
- Ability to be available off-hours for rapid response and crisis communications.
- Demonstrated experience at integrating communications strategy into the fabric of the organization and effectively reaching and influencing intended audiences.
Compensation, Benefits and Location
The position will be based in Montgomery, Alabama and some travel is required. Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits, including great health insurance plans, a liberal vacation policy and a generous 401k plan.
To apply for this position, submit a cover letter and resume online at https://grossmanheinz.com/jobs/. The cover letter should be concise and compelling and outline the specific ways in which you would be a good fit for this position. Only applications submitted through this website will be considered. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
Other Special Considerations:
This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.
The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.
An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.