Chief Communications Officer

Website Linked Learning Alliance

About the Linked Learning Alliance

The Linked Learning Alliance (“the Alliance”) leads a movement to help every young person determine their own future through Linked Learning. It’s a proven approach to education that integrates rigorous academics with real-world learning and strong support services to prepare all students for success in college, career, and life. Our role is to advance research and practice, policy, and communication in support of Linked Learning for students and the field of K–12 districts, higher education institutions, and employers dedicated to establishing these accelerated, seamless learning experiences that lead to postsecondary success and high-opportunity careers.

About the Position

The Chief Communications Officer will be responsible for strategy and execution of all field and public communications. This position will elevate the Linked Learning and Alliance brands and design and lead implementation of all communications strategies—including message and content development; outreach campaigns for educators and employers; advocacy campaigns for policymakers; promotion of certification platforms used by Linked Learning sites to improve student outcomes; digital strategy (website, social channels, blogs, etc.); and media relations strategy.

The Chief Communications Officer will be based in California and be a vital member of the Linked Learning Alliance’s executive management team. In collaboration with the President, Board of Directors, and colleagues, this position will help the Alliance activate the strategic vision, which is anchored in achieving equity and excellence for students across the U.S. through high-quality college and career preparation. It focuses on the growth of the Linked Learning field as well as organizational sustainability via expanded applications of Linked Learning in communities and districts throughout California and the country, government policies that are supportive and aligned to this approach, and public and donor commitment to college and career preparation for all young people.

Executive Team: Roles and Responsibilities

The Chief Communications Officer will work closely with the Alliance president and executive team colleagues to advance the key elements of the Linked Learning Alliance strategic plan. This individual will play a senior role in:

  • Creating a healthy, sustainable, and thriving nonprofit organization as it completes a critical transition and moves beyond its start-up and implementation phases
  • Setting annual implementation goals and milestones against an ambitious strategic vision
  • Supporting fund development efforts—helping identify opportunities, conveying Linked Learning and Linked Learning Alliance value add to external partners, participating in funder relationship/cultivation, and assisting with grant proposal development
  • Developing the annual communications budget for the Alliance
  • Representing the Alliance at external functions and presenting at conferences and events; serving on or staffing relevant field panels and task forces
  • Managing special projects and strategic initiatives as identified and needed

Strategic Communications Leadership: Roles and Responsibilities

The Chief Communications Officer will drive the planning and implementation of Alliance communications strategies and investments, working collaboratively and synergistically with all Alliance functions to achieve measurable results. More specifically, this position is responsible for formulating, integrating, activating, measuring, and improving strategies in all areas described below.

Brand elevation and development: Building awareness and reputation for the Linked Learning brand, including deepening field affiliation with this brand and simultaneously developing the Alliance brand.

Message development: Stewarding the Linked Learning narrative and effective messages in the context of strategic plan goals and target audiences and advancing corollary messaging for the Linked Learning Alliance that supports ongoing audience engagement.

Direct marketing and content development: Creating, or overseeing the creation of, compelling content and marketing materials that promote the Alliance’s expertise and Linked Learning’s benefits to students. This includes marketing Linked Learning Certification; developing and disseminating content that informs understanding and application of Linked Learning; and securing thought leadership opportunities for senior staff (including drafting and securing the publishing of regular articles, blogs, and op-eds).

Digital strategy and platform development: Elevating the value of and audience engagement with the Linked Learning Alliance website, e-newsletters, and related social media sites—including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and overseeing a robust blog platform; building and managing subscriber lists for Alliance communications.

Audience outreach and campaigns: Advancing Alliance priorities through engagement of key target audiences including employers, educators (K–12 district, County Office of Education, as well as postsecondary), policymakers at the local, state, or national levels, funders, and media.

Media relations and outreach: Identifying and pursuing earned media coverage of Linked Learning outcomes and stories of impact, including national, state, and local story placements; maintaining relationships with reporters at select educational and general news outlets.

Field communications and capacity: Delivering ongoing content that informs and inspires the growing Linked Learning field, supports members’ expansion and practice of Linked Learning, and motivates and enables their affiliation with the Linked Learning brand; equipping and inspiring field members to be visible champions for Linked Learning.

Advocacy: Identifying strategic moments and new champions to influence target stakeholders and amplify the Alliance’s policy goals.

Partnership development: Getting partners and coalitions on the same page through careful coordination, relationship management, and message alignment.

Conference and events: Supporting the annual Linked Learning Conference and providing a range of communications supports for this multi-day event (on-site materials, plenary session messaging, backdrops, slides, etc.); marketing to attendees; supporting a range of convenings, webinars, and other events hosted by the Alliance.

Vendor Management: Cultivate and manage strategic relationships with key consultants and vendors (graphic design, public relations, website maintenance, social media, etc.).

Qualifications

  • Deep commitment to equity and inclusion
  • Bachelor’s degree in a communications or marketing discipline
  • Minimum of eight years of strategic communications experience, ideally in an organization working to advance educational or economic justice; significant experience with advocacy, policy, media relations, and field-building preferred
  • Strategic communications acumen—this position requires familiarity with and ability to lead an array of approaches and multi-platform communications (see section above) in a complex and dynamic landscape; most important is the ability to strategically assess opportunities and needs, and design solutions that combine messages and methods to achieve a desired communications outcome within available budgets
  • Executive and leadership abilities, personal preference, and skills for team-based approaches—this position must contribute to positive and productive collaboration at multiple levels, including full participation in the Alliance executive staff team, contributions to fund development efforts, leadership of communications team/s (comprised of staff and consultants), board of directors, and engagement with field groups and partnerships
  • Comfort and confidence working in a fast-paced environment and at the forefront of a growing field—including the ability to manage multiple priorities and tasks simultaneously, adapt to new inputs or opportunities/needs, and have equal comfort managing and participating hands-on in any/all communications endeavors
  • Proven abilities and desire to supervise, coach, and develop staff
  • Superior communication skills, both written and oral
  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Suite, SalesForce, MailChimp, Canva, TypeForm, Zoom, Adobe Photoshop, and other Adobe Creative Suite software is a plus
  • Ability to travel up to 20%

Compensation

The salary range is $160,000-$185,000 and will be determined commensurate with experience.

Location

The position is based in the San Francisco Bay area. Applicants in the Los Angeles, CA area will be considered.

Vaccination for COVID-19

Unless otherwise required by law, an employee hired into this position will be required to have received the most current COVID vaccination shot for which the employee is eligible. Proof of vaccination will be required before starting work.

To Apply

Please send your resume and a cover letter as separate attachments to hr@linkedlearning.org. Write “Chief Communications Officer application” in the subject line. In your cover letter, please share how your experience, competencies, skills, and interests are a good match for this position.

For questions, please contact hr@linkedlearning.org.

Priority deadline: July 31, 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Applications received by 7/31/24 or earlier will be given priority. Applicants may apply after the priority deadline if the position is not yet filled.

The Linked Learning Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. The Alliance is committed to equity, embraces diversity as an asset, and practices inclusivity. These values strengthen our culture, help us fulfill our mission, and contribute to a better world. We are an equal-opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, national origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

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