OVEC—the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition is hiring a communications specialist.
The communications specialist will be responsible for creating and implementing comprehensive communications strategies in order to advance OVEC’s mission, programs, campaigns, and specific events.
OVEC formed in 1987 to stop a toxic waste dump/incinerator proposed for a low-income community near Huntington, WV. We won that campaign. By supporting organized voices and empowered communities, we’ve been winning environmental and social justice campaigns ever since. Our members and volunteers are crucial to our work.
OVEC’s mission is to organize and maintain a diverse grassroots organization dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the environment and communities through education, grassroots organizing and coalition building, leadership development, strategic litigation and media outreach. Our work encompasses much of West Virginia.
Our current programs focus on defending our water, air, climate, and democracy. Specific programs include working to curb and ultimately stop the expansion of the petrochemical/plastics/fracking industries in West Virginia and our region, and working to restore and/or safeguard fair courts, judicial independence and clean elections.
The communications specialist’ responsibilities will include media relations, developing and executing media-related trainings for key volunteers, public campaigns, publication design, social media, developing website content and encouraging, collecting, editing and posting website content generated by others, utilizing our database (CiviCRM), and more.
The communications specialist will have direct responsibility and ownership for the following:
- Manage all media-relations activities, including building relationships with reporters, pitching stories, and coordinating interview requests.
- Update and expand OVEC’s lists of journalists’ contact information.
- Write press releases, media advisories, statements, op-eds, and letters to the editor.
- Help prepare staff and key volunteers for media interview opportunities and provide feedback to develop their skills.
- Organize press events, including press conferences and press conference calls and webinars.
- Coordinate daily tracking of news coverage.
- Maintain a list of OVEC’s contact with journalists, documentary filmmakers, etc.
- Maintain a comprehensive list of news stories that mentions OVEC’s work, staff, and/or volunteers.
- Work closely with all staff and key volunteers.
- Coordinate OVEC’s MEME team and WVCCE communications outreach activities.
Digital Media: Website, Blog, Social Media, and Email
- Manage OVEC’s website and blog, ensuring content is accessible, timely and well organized.
- Work to increase site traffic and improve SEO rankings.
- Develop and implement a plan for communicating with email subscribers regularly, working to increase the open-rate of action alerts we send out, as well as the size of the organization’s email lists.
- Compile and layout OVEC’s quarterly print newsletter, which is distributed by snail-mail and electronically.
- Manage OVEC’s social-media presence, implementing strategies to grow the organization’s following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and possibly other social media platforms.
Writing, Editing and Producing Content
- Write content and edit content submitted by others to ensure the materials can be easily read and understood by our members, the media, and a wider-audience.
- Write blog posts, website content and other materials, such as brochures and factsheets, as needed.
- Create visual and multi-media products that communicate OVEC’s work.
- Provide visual content (memes, charts, infographics, and short videos) for and from OVEC events, such as photography and graphics, which will be used to promote events and report-back on events for our members.
- Update OVEC’s stylesheet and utilize for copy-editing content; help train staff in its use, with the goal of attention to style detail and consistency throughout OVEC’s publications.
- Assist with the production and editing of OVEC’s Annual Report, fundraising mailings and e-mails, and membership renewal notices.
- Bachelor’s degree preferred but not required, plus demonstrated experience in media relations, communications, journalism, public affairs or a related field.
- Superlative writing and editing skills that demonstrate ability to simplify complex information.
- Knowledge of OVEC’s program areas helpful; willingness to learn about our programs and issues a must.
- Able to perform assigned duties in a time-efficient manner.
- Experience with Microsoft Office, presentation, and content management tools.
- Experience with Word Press a plus.
- Familiarity with visual design tools such as InDesign, Tableau, and Piktochart.
- Competency working with diverse audiences, including elected officials, community leaders, coalition partners, and the public.
- A keen eye for design, page layout, and general presentation.
OVEC recognizes that we all are imperfect beings who don’t always live up to our own expectations for ourselves or our organizations. The ideal candidate will strive to attain and maintain the following behaviors and characteristics:
- Strongly demonstrated commitment to OVEC’s values and vision (which can be found listed on our website).
- Strongly demonstrated commitment to environmental and social justice in West Virginia.
- Commitment to grassroots organizing and the training and development of community leaders.
- Self-motivated, creative thinker with the ability to work both independently and as part of the team; as a team player, able to help inspire collaboration, acknowledge conflict, and facilitate conversations that help the team resolve issues.
- With compassion, able to deliver and take constructive criticism aimed at improving learning and performance.
- Ability to be held self-accountable for actions and deadlines and able to hold others accountable.
- Self-aware, with the ability to check and modify oppressive behavior.
- Able to operate decisively; is flexible and is well organized.
- An energetic person who can handle and prioritize multiple activities and responsibilities, including, sometimes, duties ordinarily assigned to other staff members.
- Self-starter and finisher.
- Strong critical thinker and strategic planner.
- Willingness to learn OVEC’s history and culture, and to be a part of improving that culture moving forward.
- Commitment to personal growth and professional development.
- Ability to complete required administrative tasks on time.
- Emotionally mature and self-confident, with a diplomatic touch and sense of humor in order to maintain balance and perspective.
- Excellent listening and observing skills.
- Humility, self-awareness, an open mind, patience, resilience, accepting of appropriate guidance, and a willingness to learn more.
- Willingness to engage in self-critiques and participate in organizational and staff assessments.
- Available to work flexible hours, including some nights and weekends and available to travel around the state and make occasional trips out of state.
Commensurate with experience. Benefits package includes health insurance coverage, a generous vacation plan, and flex/comp time.
OVEC is based in Huntington, WV. Applicants are encouraged to be based in Huntington, although that may not be mandatory. The ability to attend monthly face-to-face meetings in the OVEC office, off-site staff meetings, and staff’s annual retreat is mandatory.
Submit a resume and a cover letter that explains how your past experience is applicable to the job requirements.
You may apply by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your resume and cover letter must be submitted in PDF format. Be certain that your name is in the filename of each attachment (e.g., cover-letter-Jones.pdf). Your e-mail submission subject line should read “Communications specialist application.”
You may also submit your cover letter and resume by mail to:
Vivian Stockman, Executive Director
PO Box 6753
Huntington, WV 25773-6753
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Receipt of your application will be acknowledged via email. Please, no phone calls to check on the status of your submission.
OVEC is an equal opportunity employer. We value and are striving to build an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.