Media Relations Associate-Communications Department

Posted On: December 27, 2012

Media-Related Job

Media Organization: American Civil Liberties Union

Company Description

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with more than 500,000 members and is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution.

Job Description

The ACLU has made an unambiguous and unwavering commitment to the importance of communications as a central and essential element in the success of its mission. The organization places great emphasis on the role of communications in framing the debate on its issues, building support, and increasing the impact of its work. The Media Relations Associate is a member of a team of Media Relations professionals based in the ACLU National Media Relations Office in New York and the Washington Legislative Office (WLO). The Media Relations Associate will work to support the WLO’s activities, which include lobbying on many issues. The Media Relations Associate will focus on women’s rights, reproductive freedom and criminal justice issues, and will report to the Associate Director for Strategic Communications in the ACLU’s Washington, D.C. Office.

The ideal candidate is an individual with a fine-tuned sense of “what sells” in the news business, is comfortable liaising with reporters affiliated with major news outlets and is familiar with the workings of the U.S. Congress. We are seeking a candidate who thrives in a fast-paced environment and who pursues a strategic approach to promoting issues and guiding prominent civil liberties experts on working with the media.


Cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and other media professionals with the goal of influencing Congress and the public.

Draft and prepare for distribution news releases, op-eds, blog posts, letters to the editor and other communications and press materials.

Develop and strategize short- and long-term media plans, develop and pitch feature stories.

Prepare fact sheets and talking points.

Prepare spokespeople for interviews with the media.

Work with the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office staff to publicize WLO’s lobbying work on many ACLU issues, specifically women’s rights, reproductive freedom and criminal justice. Work with other departments across the organization to promote their platforms.

Provide media advice and support to affiliate offices.

Work closely with and strategize with colleagues in the Communications Department including media associates, communications strategists and the web team.

Coordinate media relations efforts under the day-to-day supervision of the Associate Director for Strategic Communications.

Organize news conferences and conduct media outreach for panels and conferences organized by the Washington Legislative Office.

Raise the profile of the Washington Legislative Office and its priorities through media exposure.


Bachelor’s degree in a related field required.

A minimum of three years of media experience that includes involvement in advocacy-oriented media campaigns.

Experience pitching stories to major news outlets.

Familiarity with Congress and congressional issues related to civil liberties. Experience working on the Hill is strongly preferred.

Strong writing and editing skills; ability to produce clear, concise talking points, press releases and other materials within tight deadlines.

Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively independently and with others in a team environment.

Experience liaising with the media to promote civil liberties or social justice issues. Specific familiarity with the issues of women’s rights, reproductive freedom and criminal justice a plus.

Ability to identify and cultivate key media contacts and outlets that lead to the placement of ACLU stories.

Experience using public opinion research to frame issues and develop messages.

Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook) and Internet usage.

Demonstrated interests in civil liberties/civil rights.


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

To Apply

Please submit a letter of interest (with salary requirements), a resume and a writing sample (no more than three pages in length) via email to - reference [COMM-44/NYU] in the subject line.

This email address is specific to Communications Department postings. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Alternatively, materials can be sent via regular mail to:

Human Resources
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004

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

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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 description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.