Senior Manager, Public Policy Communications
This job description is intended to convey information essential to understand the scope of the position. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, or responsibilities associated with the position.
The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center is seeking a Senior Manager of Public Policy Communications to join the communications team at BISC. This individual will be a storyteller and strategic thinker, as well as a skilled communicator, manager, collaborator, writer, and researcher. They will have the ability to work independently and write in short and long formats, use visual storytelling tools such as Canva (and/or other graphic design software), and be able to synthesize complex information and policy issues into clear and persuasive narratives with close attention to accuracy and nuance. BISC seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice and knowledge of progressive policy. Experience with ballot initiatives is a plus. This individual reports to the Director of Strategic Communications and will work as part of a three-person communications team along with an external PR agency, that advances the organization’s impact and mission. This is a new role – so there is opportunity to explore and create. Knowledge of a range of communications software, tools, and platforms is required.
Location: BISC HQ is located in Washington, DC, but the location for this position is flexible in the US. This position will require occasional travel to the D.C. office, staff retreats, and BISC’s annual Road Ahead conference.
Responsibilities included but not limited to:
The position will work directly with the Strategic Communications Director and Communications Manager, and closely with program team members to:
- Strategy – Work with the communications team to develop and implement our annual communications plan, election media plan, and content strategy that supports BISC’s Strategic Framework
- Remain current on emerging news and trends in progressive public policy, communications technologies, and key issue areas related to ballot initiatives and the progressive movement/ecosystem; make recommendations to the Director on how BISC can use this to evolve our communications work
- Narrative and Writing – Work with the program team to translate a variety of research, policy analysis, and other materials into clear, compelling impact stories and content such as website content, blog posts, case studies, impact reports, fact sheets, infographics, maps, e-newsletters, press releases, presentations, and slide decks
- Manage the creation and maintenance of issue-related talking points
- Develop, conduct, and publish interviews with campaign leaders, staff, partners, board members, etc (for e-newsletters, hub, etc.)
- Manage the creation of a new monthly e-newsletter that provides summary updates from our Hub on the ballot measure landscape, trends, and insights
- Manage and maintain BISC’s editorial calendar
- Manage the copy editing and proofing of written materials and decks
- Manage content workflows, approvals, and calendars
- Uphold BISC brand standards and style guidelines
- Website – Manage BISC’s Ballot Measure Hub content (with support from our web masters); keeping it updated and introducing improvements and new features as time and resources allow
- Social Media – Work with social media manager on policy-related content and infographics that can be used on social media
- PR/Earned Media – Work in partnership with BISC’s PR agency to develop media pitch angles, assist agency with developing media pitch materials, TP’s, and op-eds
- BISC’s Road Ahead Conference – Work with the program team and conference manager to develop conference session slides, talking points, and other conference materials as needed
- Manage the conference email schedule and draft conference emails
- Other duties and responsibilities as assigned
- Aid in the implementation of BISC’s 5-year strategic plan focused on changing culture, centering directly impacted communities, capacity building, convening, and internal continuity and growth;
- Represent BISC by attending meetings and convenings of stakeholders and partners;
- Work with organizational leaders to deepen BISC’s racial equity work, both internally and in the field;
- Support other BISC and BISC Foundation projects and activities as needed; and
- Assist with the planning and execution of BISC’s annual conference.
The Ideal Candidate will:
- Have exceptional communication skills, including written and verbal communication
- Have excellent organizational skills, including time management and ability to prioritize tasks
- Be a strategic thinker, strategic collaborator, and a detail-oriented planner and implementer
- Be open-minded to diverse ideas and approaches and able to prioritize choices aligned with strategic priorities and direction
- Be innovative with an eye for identifying practical solutions and knowing what it takes to bring them to life
- Bring a “can-do” attitude and have a willingness to adapt as the work evolves
- Be a good steward of relationships
- Thrive in an environment that values equity, transparency, collaboration, accountabilty, and an orientation for results.
- At least five years of work experience working in communications, public policy, journalism, or related work
- Meticulous writing and editing skills in long and short-form formats
- Curiosity mindset and attention to detail
- Expertise in fact-checking
- Research and planning skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Ability to collaborate effectively
- Excellent time management and organizational skills and the ability to multitask
- Ability to translate complex policy issues to clear, persuasive, and comprehensive narratives
- Knowledge of and interest in social, economic, and racial justice and progressive policy
- Proficient in Google Workplace tools, Google Analytics, Adobe Acrobat, Slack, graphic design tools like Canva, and social media platforms.
We seek candidates who are:
- Collaborative: You know that building true partnerships takes time, trust, and transparency. You understand the complexities of coalition work, including the inherent race, power, and privilege dynamics often present, and can address them. You also are collaborative with your co-workers: willingly sharing information and tasks to get a job done.
- Results and evaluation driven: You show relentless commitment to meeting a high bar and a history of getting things done even in the face of obstacles. You are receptive to feedback and know that evaluating and re-adjusting is critical to long term learning.
- Organized and flexible: You have a plan, but you can quickly adapt when needed. You understand the plan is better when you collaborate with those around you.
- Effective interpersonal skills: You have a proven ability to communicate effectively with different personalities to move projects forward.
- Strong time management skills: You can balance many projects at once and prioritize accordingly.
- Movement Focused: You have a demonstrated commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
Notice of Exempt Position:
This is a full-time position and in accordance with the provisions of Federal and DC wage and hour laws, this position is classified as Exempt, which means that you will not be eligible for overtime for hours worked in excess of forty (40) during a work week.
Salary & Benefits:
- $75,000 – $85,000 per year
- 100% Medical insurance for family paid for by employer
- Dental Insurance
- Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage
- Paid vacation
- Sick leave
- Generous 401(k) plan with employer contribution
Submit a cover letter and resume through BambooHR. Applicants will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
BISC’s mission is to strengthen democracy by implementing a national progressive strategy for ballot measures rooted in building state-based power.
The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC), a 501(c)(4) organization, is the only progressive organization that works across many policy, organizing, and political organizations, with local, state, and national leaders to analyze and support the ballot measure landscape.
We believe direct democracy can be a tool for liberation. We leverage ballot measures across the United States as part of a larger movement to strengthen democracy, center people of color, queer, low-income, immigrant, indigenous and other marginalized communities, move towards racial equity, build and transform power, and galvanize a new progressive base. In February 2020, we launched our strategic framework to help move towards our vision of building a world where all people are fully liberated, live with dignity and thrive so that equity and justice prevail.
We lead by supporting the use of ballot measures as a tool for transformational impact, not just in a measure’s outcomes, but at every stage of the ballot measure process—from policy development, signature gathering, civic engagement, the campaign itself, implementation and beyond. We believe in movement building and empowerment, bringing communities into the work and leaving lasting infrastructure for continued social change.
We know that success isn’t just defined by getting 50% + 1 of the vote. If we’re serious about building a more equitable world, we also must consider who’s driving the change and whether it will have a transformational impact on the people and communities who have been pushed to the margins for too long.
We achieve impact through training the field and developing leaders, convening state and national leaders and funders in a co-created strategy that results in transformative wins, leading innovative research and providing assistance to support ballot measures as a tool to build long term power.
BISC’s Racial Equity Stance:
At the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, we work to transform our country into one that is equitable and just. In our work, we strive to challenge structural racism, and center the people most impacted. BISC works with commitment to racial equity inside our organization in our operations and management processes, and externally through our research, training and organizing work with ballot-measure campaigns, partners and funders.
BISC’s Compensation Philosophy:
The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center seeks to recruit, retain, and develop high-talent individuals in order to achieve our mission. In 2022, BISC created a compensation philosophy that provides a framework for compensation decisions and shows how those decisions are a reflection of our organizational values. Salaries are benchmarked to the most expensive geographic markets in the U.S. Incoming staff have the opportunity to negotiate within the published salary range but final offers will preserve relative salary parity with similarly experienced staff who have similar roles at BISC. Annual raises (budget permitting and after one year of tenure) are flat rate rather than percentages of salary and are not connected to annual performance reviews. We have chosen to structure salary bands so salaries can continue to grow even without a promotion (BISC is a small organization and upward mobility may be more limited than in larger entities). We offer above-market benefits to support employee medical, retirement, and other needs and strive to create opportunities for continued learning and investment in staff professional development.
BISC follows an Equal Employment Opportunity Policy and employs personnel without regard to race, ethnic or religious background, descent or nationality, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy), gender identification, disability, marital status, age, height, weight, or military service. This policy applies to employment, internships, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, terminations, relationships with vendors, use of contractors and consultants and in dealing with the general public.