Communications Fellowship (Paid)
ForwardTN seeks a full time, paid, Communications Fellowship to help lead our effort to diversify the voices, issues and perspectives influencing public policy and the well-being of Tennesseans.
The ideal candidate will have a proven ability to absorb information and write well, quickly and for various audiences. He or she will be committed to getting results in a fast-paced environment and able to handle a heavy workload without dropping the ball. This position is an opportunity to engage with national and state nonprofit, political and communication professionals to help bring about real legislative change. We are looking for a fellow we can invest in. Opportunities for growing responsibility and experience will grow based on the fellow and their abilities, interest and performance.
Forward Tennessee promotes public policies which make Tennessee a fairer, healthier, more equitable state by advocating solutions to critical community challenges. ForwardTN is a non-profit project dedicated to elevating voices of forward-thinking Tennesseans who want a balanced approach to government, where policy affecting the wellbeing of people’s lives is shaped by evidence and results, instead of extreme partisan ideology.
ForwardTN’s goal is to educate Tennesseans about the negative effects and extreme policies certain elected leaders and organizations have on their quality of life through organizing, social media and action. ForwardTN provides issue and opinion research, shared message development, technical assistance and shared technology and resources to partner progressive advocacy groups.
The Communications Fellowship, who may be based anywhere in Tennessee reports to the Communications Director, and is responsible for the following:
- Develop and implement earned media and communications strategies in coordination with the Executive Team.
- Participate in regular briefings with the research team, communications director and national coalition briefings to learn and inform your ability to edit and consult on state communications.
- Build and maintain relationships with key reporters, editors, and producers in print, television, online, and radio
- Develop template social media materials based on tested messages.
- Monitor media regularly for opportunities to amplify our issues in political debates in Tennessee with key constituencies.
- Maintain our media list to ensure we know the reporters for various issues and are regularly engaging with them correctly.
- Curating, editing and supplementing content for social media assets (blog, twitter, facebook) to help connect people online to the story of volunteers and their work and to lead them to offline action and advocacy.
- Draft communications for partners and allies: edit often already available, tested communications language to make it more accessible for partners.
- Prepare message points for various validators & audiences (Faith Leader, Business Owner, etc) on a variety of issues (health care, climate change, immigration, etc.)
- Create materials so that communications material is easily accessible and distributable: templates and toolkits. Examples:
- Template Op-Ed from a Faith Leader
- Press Release Statement from a Small Business Owner
- Template social media for allied organizations to promote
- Press Conference Host Kit for activists
- Digital assets for social media
- Rapid Response communications support: Edit rapid response talking points, template press statements, etc. to be released by organizers in response to specific news stories.
Qualifications: If you have some, but not all the qualifications, consider applying anyway.
- Experience or education in public relations, communications.
- Demonstrated excellence in writing for public and press audiences.
- Ability to work quickly under pressure and juggle several projects at one time.
- Ability to write and edit well and quickly.
- Degree in Journalism, English, Political Science or related field is a plus.
- Political campaign experience strongly preferred.
- On-record experience and a history of placing stories preferred.
- Commitment to progressive causes and issues.
ForwardTN is deeply committed to social, racial, gender, and economic justice. We strongly encourage persons of color, women, LGBT individuals, and those who are unemployed to apply.