Communications Director

  • Raleigh, NC
  • Full Time
  • Communications
  • Senior Manager/Supervisor


Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBTQ people, fighting to achieve racial justice, pushing to eradicate our broken and racially biased criminal legal system, defending freedom of speech, religion, and the right to protest, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach.

Founded in 1965, ACLU of North Carolina, an affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that stands as the state’s guardian of liberty – working in courts, the General Assembly, and communities to protect and advance civil rights and civil liberties for all North Carolinians. ACLU-NC brings together litigation, legislative advocacy, communications, and organizing strategies to empower communities and achieve our objectives in major issue areas including criminal law reform, racial justice, LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, and the rights of immigrants. With over 30,000 members and supporters across the state, the ACLU-NC has a staff of more than 20 people with a central office in Raleigh and a satellite office in Charlotte.


The Communications Director is a member of the ACLU of North Carolina (ACLU-NC) senior leadership team based in the Raleigh office and is responsible for the planning and execution of communications strategies that advance the ACLU-NC’s mission across multiple initiatives, advocacy campaigns, and platforms. This position leads the communications department and oversees all external and internal communications including earned media, digital and social media, publications, creative content, online campaigns, and rapid response. As a member of the senior leadership team, the Communications Director participates in strategic planning, managing the communications budget, and setting organizational goals and priorities in alignment with our core values. This is a full-time, salaried position within our 501(c)4 that will work out of our Raleigh office (temporarily remote) and will include some evening and weekend work. 


Strategic Communications

  • Build and direct a strong, well-designed, well-defined strategic communications plan that promotes the constitutional rights of all North Carolinians and empowers members, supporters, and communities to help advance the organization’s work in priority issue areas and campaigns, leveraging earned and paid media, digital organizing tactics, social media strategies, and crafting compelling and persuasive narratives.
  • Collaborate with colleagues in the legal, policy, organizing, and development teams, as well as with national ACLU communications staff, to develop communications strategies and produce, edit, and approve public-facing content.

Content may include, but is not limited to:

Press releases, public statements, blog posts, op-eds, action alerts, fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, email blasts, social media copy, digital graphics, digital organizing tools, webpages, and print publications

  • Serve as the organization’s primary point of contact with media outlets. Build relationships with print, broadcast, and online reporters to place and generate earned media coverage of the ACLU-NC’s work. Respond promptly to daily media questions and requests.
  • Oversee development of online advocacy campaigns and other digital engagement efforts.
  • Oversee the preparation and execution of crisis communication and rapid response plans.
  • Lead training, preparation, and feedback to other team members for public speaking engagements and media interviews, as well as serving as a spokesperson for the organization when needed.
  • Tell the story of the ACLU-NC’s mission through compelling, effective, and values-based narratives that center people impacted by our issues and are tailored to reach specific audiences.
  • Coordinate shared messaging with staff and partners that is based on research, best practices, and the organization’s values.
  • Lead communications research efforts such as public polling or surveying key constituencies to inform messaging and communications goals.

Leadership & Management

  • The Communications Director will lead, manage, and foster talent and professional growth within the Communications Department, with an inclusive perspective;
  • Hire, onboard, and evaluate the work of the members of the Communications Department, including developing work plans, managing professional relationships and cross-team collaboration, facilitating a positive team culture, and holding self and staff accountable.
  • Develop metrics for measuring the effectiveness of the communications programs of the organization.
  • Develop and manage Communications Department budget, as well as budgets for communications components of grants.
  • Implement and improve practices to keep ACLU-NC staff and board members informed about important updates within the organization, the ACLU-NC’s issue areas, and the work of team members, ensuring there is a consistent and effective flow of information.
  • Help foster healthy relationships with and strategically engage with key program staff within the organization for proactive planning and narrative shaping of our issues.
  • Maintain and manage relationships with advocacy partners, national ACLU colleagues, and outside consultants.
  • Play a leading role in creating, distributing, and facilitating internal organizational communications.


  • Experience in strategic litigation communications, including but not limited to reviewing and analyzing legal decisions in order to be able to accurately represent litigation developments, as well as distilling complex legal issues into various forms of content to educate multiple audiences about the scope, impact, and importance of pending or anticipated lawsuits.
  • Working knowledge and broad understanding of civil liberties and civil rights issues, integrated advocacy, and strategic communications.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, with the ability to produce clear, concise, and persuasive materials in a fast-paced environment on tight deadlines.
  • Basic graphic design skills, including following and implementing brand standards.
  • Superior analytical, critical thinking, problem solving skills.
  • Meticulous attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to look at situations from several points of view and take a collaborative approach to problem-solving, working effectively with individuals at all levels (internally and externally), including deferring, where appropriate, to the specialized expertise of colleagues and external partners.
  • A demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards and sound ethical and editorial judgement.
  • Ability to identify and segment multiple audiences, determine the best distribution channels for each audience, and transform key messaging points depending on the intended audience.
  • Ability to plan and meet deadlines, making judicious use of organizational resources and colleagues’ time and effort.


  • Experience working at an organization with an integrated advocacy model where legal, legislative, advocacy, and organizing tactics are used collaboratively and cohesively to achieve results.
  • Experience with media training and/or public speaking
  • Knowledge of and demonstrated interest in North Carolina politics and ACLU issues.
  • Experience with North Carolina media.
  • Experience overseeing the design and production of print and digital materials including working with freelance graphic designers.
  • Experience with the Adobe Creative Suite and Canva.
  • Basic HTML proficiency and experience managing Drupal, WordPress, and Squarespace websites strongly preferred.
  • Familiarity with digital analytics and digital content management systems.
  • Spanish language proficiency.


  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and goals of the ACLU, racial equity, and the ACLU’s priority issue areas, including criminal law reform, racial justice, LGBTQ equality, reproductive freedom, and the rights of immigrants.
  • Significant (5+ years) professional, managerial, and leadership experience in strategic communications and media relations including:

Experience serving as a spokesperson for campaigns or organizations.

Experience with writing, editing, and producing effective communications materials for publication in print and online.

  • Experience effectively managing, supervising, and developing individual staff and teams; creating and meeting measurable targets; and holding self and staff accountable.
  • Success in managing multiple short- and long-term projects simultaneously, including the ability to respond rapidly to significant developments.
  • Experience with digital media including email marketing, social media, website administration, and other web-based content.
  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout North Carolina and occasionally to other states for conferences, training, and other communications-related work.
  • Proficiency with office technology including online communications and word processing and a willingness to learn new techniques, procedures, processes, and computer programs as needed.


The hiring salary range for the Communications Director is $93,000 - $105,000 depending on experience. Excellent benefits include paid time off, generous paid holidays, medical, dental, and vision insurance, 401k retirement plan with employer match, life insurance, and short-term and long-term disability insurance.


Applications may be submitted via this link ( and should include a cover letter explaining your specific interest in working for the ACLU of North Carolina, resume, and three writing or work samples demonstrating a range of communication styles. Please note that we will only be able to follow up with those candidates under consideration. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the Communications Director position is filled, with priority given to applications received by May 31st, 2022.

The ACLU-NC and the ACLU-NCLF is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Recognizing that strict minimum requirements tend to disproportionately discourage women and people of color from applying for jobs for which they would otherwise be competitive, we encourage all qualified individuals to apply -- especially people of color; women; people from low-income backgrounds; people with disabilities; people who identify as LGBTQIA+; and people who are formerly incarcerated or otherwise directly impacted by the criminal legal system.

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