Communications Director of South Dakota-ACLUF

Posted On: August 30, 2012

Media-Related Job

Media Organization: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Company Description

The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.

Job Description

The ACLU of South Dakota is the newest national chapter of the ACLU and it is quickly growing with the recent addition of a National Office in North Dakota. The ACLU of South Dakota and the National Office of North Dakota handle issues regarding reproductive freedom, voting rights, the rights of lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as well as many other civil liberties issues.

The ACLU of South Dakota seeks an experienced professional to serve as its Communications Director. The Communications Director will take a leadership role in the communications strategy and media relations for its offices in South Dakota and North Dakota. The position will report to the Executive Director of South Dakota, and will work closely with the Advocacy Director and the Community Organizer in advancing ACLU issues through a wide range of media outlets.


Manage media relations, maintain the media contacts database, prepare press releases and conduct news conferences. Develop media strategies, pitch stories and draft op-ed pieces.

Respond to press calls, develop talking points or quotes, and work with the Executive Director to determine the best spokesperson to convey the ACLU’s message.

Manage content for the ACLU of South Dakota and the National Office of North Dakota including web sites as well as social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.

Produce and coordinate the scheduling of advertising for media and event programs.

Write, produce and edit monthly email messages for members and supporters via the ACLU CAN network.
Write, produce and edit the yearly newsletter.

Work collaboratively with the Executive Director, Advocacy Director, collaborating partners and volunteers as needed.

Write and develop educational pieces in collaboration with the Advocacy Director in regards to specific ACLU issues for public education and outreach.


Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years of relevant experience.
Demonstrated experience in public relations, journalism, civil liberties law, or a related field requiring significant writing and public relations duties.
Demonstrated experience working in a multi-disciplinary team setting to develop communications strategy and message to the public.
Demonstrated ability to communicate complex and controversial issues and to convey information about the issues to both narrow and broad audiences.
Experience working in Latin American or American Indian communities is preferred.
Must work well in a small office and team environment.
Strong verbal, communication, and interpersonal skills.
Must demonstrate tact and grace under pressure.
Exceptional research, analytical, writing and editing skills with working knowledge of the production of printed publications, including layout and graphic design.
Outstanding skills in cultivating contacts in the news media and overseeing the press contact database, as well as responding to press inquiries.
Ability to multitask and work under tight deadlines.
Willingness to travel.
A strong understanding of civil liberties issues and the ability to explain the ACLU’s mission and issues.
Strong and demonstrated commitment to civil liberties and social justice issues.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name "ACLU."

To Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter (include salary requirements), resume, a list of three references, and a writing sample by email to – include Reference [SD-06/NYU] in the subject line-or by mail to:

Human Resources
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Re: [SD-06/NYU]
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.