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Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch


Public Citizen seeks a skilled communications officer for our Global Trade Watch division. The role of the Communications Officer position is to expand Global Trade Watch’s impact by developing and implementing a significant new media strategy for our grassroots, national, international campaigns while maintaining a traditional press outreach program. Today’s “trade” agreements affect not only jobs and wages, but a vast array of non-trade matters from food safety, to medicine prices, to financial regulation, to climate and environmental policy. Ensuring that the public knows how these seemingly arcane agreements affect their lives is a major goal of Global Trade Watch – making the Communications Officer’s role central to all of our work. The Communications Officer works with communications staff of allied organizations in the U.S. and abroad and with field staff across the country.

The ideal candidate will have the following qualities, skills and background:

  • experience in a fast paced press operation where creative communications strategies are an integral part of multi-faceted campaigns;
  • a journalist’s curiosity and knack for capturing the story so as to be able to create and pitch winning story ideas on the array of subjects our work covers;
  • excellent writing skills to translate complex ideas into appealing prose;
  • indefatigable pitching zeal and excellent phone skills;
  • knowledge of press, broadcast and new media;
  • an editor’s knowledge of grammar and style rules;
  • extraordinary attention to detail;
  • an interest in trade and globalization issues specifically and/or public interest work generally.

About Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch:  

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1971 to represent the public interest in Congress, the executive branch and the courts. We fight for openness and democratic accountability in government; for social and economic justice in globalization and trade policies; for clean, safe and sustainable energy; for strong health, safety and environmental protections; for safe, effective and affordable medicines and health care and for the right of consumers to seek redress in the courts. We have six divisions based in our Washington, D.C. offices and an office in Texas

The mission of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division is to ensure that in this era of globalization, a majority have the opportunity to enjoy America's promises: economic security, a clean environment, safe food, medicines and products, access to quality affordable services such as health care and the exercise of democratic decision-making about the matters that affect their lives.

Public Citizen started working on globalization and ‘trade’ issues in 1991 when we recognized that this was necessary simply to remain effective advocates for the public health, consumer safety, environmental and economic justice goals Public Citizen had promoted over decades. Motivating this strategic initiative was our realization that today’s international commercial agreements, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), were no longer mainly about trade per se. Rather, these far-reaching agreements were backdoor delivery mechanisms to implement an expansive, enforceable package of non-trade policies  - limits on financial regulation and food safety, new monopoly patent rights over medicines and seeds that limit access, new investor rights that promote job-offshoring and subject public interest policies to attack and more. This corporate-led version of globalization is designed to limit governments’ role in regulating the economy and to eliminate many of the public interest safeguards Public Citizen and like-minded organizations and activists had won over decades. And, it shifts decision-making on matters previously determined in national, state and local venues to international bodies where those affected by the decisions have no meaningful role.

Since its inception in 1995, GTW has been a leader in popularizing the globalization and trade debate by connecting these seemingly arcane policies to peoples’ everyday experiences – and helping people make a difference in the future of globalization by giving them the tools they need to educate their communities, hold Congress accountable for policy choices, and hit the streets to protest. GTW works with diverse national and international coalitions. For more information, please see our website: www.tradewatch.org

General Description: The Communications Officer works with the Director, Deputy Director, Research Director and Field team to plan and implement media outreach strategies for national, international, regional and local issue and legislative campaigns. The GTW Communications Officer operates as chief liaison with an array of local, national and international press as well as helping shape the framing and messaging of GTW campaigns. The Communications Officer generates creative story ideas, works with an array of spokespeople and seeks to effectively communicate the amazing array of information, research and trend analysis generated by the GTW team and its allies in the United States and abroad.

Specific Responsibilities:

  1. In consultation with Director and Deputy Director, develop GTW’s media and communications strategy with the goal of enhancing overall capacity and maximizing the effectiveness of the communications components of each legislative or issue campaign;
  2. Develop and implement a comprehensive electronic media program including the GTW facebook, twitter and blog feeds.  
  3. Conduct free and paid media activities, including proactive pitching of stories, columns and editorials; organizing press teleconference calls and press conferences; obtaining coverage of  GTW reports and related research materials; responding quickly to inquiries; and press data research and maintenance.
  4. Utilize existing relationships and knowledge to develop and implement a robust blog outreach program with the goal of expanding coverage of GTW campaigns and issues and establishing GTW as the go-to source on trade and globalization-related issues in online media.
  5. Develop and maintain relationships with key reporters, producers, bookers, opinion leaders and editors, including organizing regular one-on-one meetings, press luncheons, briefings, and editorial board meetings;
  6. Implement programs to maintain constant information flow to these contacts including regular emails, preparation and distribution of editorial memos and other materials.
  7. Supervise the field department’s media outreach efforts, including tours, events, news conferences and editorial board visits around legislative and state and local campaigns.
  8. Write press releases, editorial memos, letters to the editor and op-eds in coordination with Research Director and Deputy Director.
  9. Monitor trade press news daily to track story trends so as to hone story pitching strategy and serve as media filter of relevant news and information to staff.
  10. Maintain media databases and press information distribution systems with assistance by administrative staff.

Requirements:

  1. Education:  Bachelors degree.
  2. Work Experience: Position requires a minimum of 2-4 years experience in communications or journalism dealing with legislative or issue campaigns.
  3. Knowledge: Familiarity with national media; Relationships with traditional and electronic national political or business reporters and/or working knowledge of trade and globalization issues a plus.
  4. Skills: Ability to coordinate multifaceted media campaigns and supervise a team for media outreach work; and proven experience in developing and executing media strategies. Excellent interpersonal, phone demeanor, writing and verbal skills are required. Spanish language skills desirable.
  5. Capabilities: High energy and enthusiasm. Ability to work well with a wide range of people, work well under pressure, handle multiple tasks at once, and adapt to changing situations on a daily basis. Demonstrated success in a fast-paced press environment where multitasking and priority-setting abilities were critical to success. Must be highly organized and detail oriented.

Conditions:

Strong interest in and commitment to promoting the goals of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.  

To Apply:

Send a letter of interest, resume, and writing sample to bshuff@citizen.org.

Public Citizen is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBT candidates are encouraged to apply. Public Citizen employees are proud members of SEIU Local 500.

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