JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

Location: Candidates may be based anywhere in Washington state. Position will require occasional in-person work in Seattle, Olympia, and elsewhere within the state

Reports to: Director of Communications 

Salary range: $74,000-$80,000

Apply by: January 7, 2024

The Washington State Budget and Policy Center (B&PC) is hiring a full-time Communications Specialist, focusing primarily on digital communications, to join our small-but-mighty communications team. We are looking for a creative, enthusiastic, and motivated Communications Specialist to engage and educate current and potential audiences. The strategic communications implemented by this role support the organization’s policy, advocacy, communications, and public relations goals. Our organization works to ensure Washingtonians have economic security and dignity, that our tax code is equitable and balanced, and that our budget invests in communities and disinvests in programs that are harmful and racist. A commitment to equity, anti-racism, and economic justice – and a willingness to help our organization make progress on advancing these commitments – are vital for this role.

General Scope of Work 

The Communications Specialist will work as a member of the communications team and work closely with the policy team. Specific responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital communications (60%)
    • Coordinate with colleagues and partners to create and strategize original content (occasionally in multiple languages) for social media, email, and B&PC’s websites 
    • Produce graphics, short-form videos, photos, audio content, and paid ads for social media; manage and participate in social media actions led by B&PC and partners 
    • Manage B&PC websites, blog, and email-distribution system – including developing, uploading, and updating content and graphics – and work with vendors to enhance platform performance and troubleshoot issues 
    • Research and implement accessibility best practices across digital platforms
    • Track performance analytics to determine ways to grow our audience
  • General communications (20%)
    • Edit, proofread, and provide thought partnership – as well as layout and graphic recommendations – for blog posts, marketing and development materials, earned media, research products, and other communications
    • Train and support team members on how to use digital communications tools 
  • Marketing and public relations (20%)
    • As part of events committee, support content creation, including slide shows, videos, digital promotion strategies, and branding development for digital and in-person events 
    • As part of public relations team, strategize and support marketing efforts to strengthen our organization’s impact

Qualifications

Please note that both professional and volunteer experience is valued. In addition, we do not expect candidates to come with all of the desired skills, and we are committed to supporting new hires with training as needed. 

Must have:

  • An understanding of (or an eagerness to learn about) how to communicate about inequities in public policies and institutions and how to communicate about economic and racial justice
  • At least one year of experience: creating and managing materials for social media platforms (like Facebook, Twitter/X, YouTube, and LinkedIn), including graphics, tweet threads, toolkits, and videos; and at least one year of experience with email-distribution systems (like Mailchimp), content-management systems (like WordPress), and open-source design programs (like Canva)
  • Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills as well as an ability to translate sometimes complex concepts into accessible written materials
  • Attention to detail and ability to coordinate multiple projects and deadlines in collaboration with others
  • Enthusiasm for helping others understand digital communications platforms
  • Understanding of digital accessibility practices and graphic design principles
  • A basic understanding of the policy landscape or politics in Washington state

Nice to have (optional):

  • A college degree or certificate in marketing, public relations, communications, English, journalism, political science, or a related field
  • Experience with design and video/podcast/audio editing programs such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and Podbean 
  • Experience with implementing best practices around accessibility, especially translation and language access
  • Experience implementing search engine optimization best practices on websites
  • A basic understanding of the media landscape in Washington state
  • Experience working in coalition advocacy spaces

Salary and Benefits 

The annualized salary for this position ranges from $74,000-$80,000 depending on experience. Salary ranges are set in alignment with our organizational compensation philosophy, which is reviewed and updated regularly by the board of directors. 

The Washington State Budget and Policy Center also offers a comprehensive benefits package including health, vision, and dental insurance, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, employee assistance program (EAP), and flexible spending accounts. We also offer four weeks of paid vacation and five personal days per year in addition to 12 paid holidays and generous sick leave. Each B&PC staff member also has a dedicated professional development budget of $1,000 per year. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.  

This position works weekdays during regular business hours; however, limited evening and weekend work may be required. B&PC prioritizes an organizational work week and scheduling policy that allows for employee rest, well-being, and flexibility and that meets the needs of each staff member, while balancing organizational and team needs. To support staff well-being, the Washington State Budget and Policy Center has a 32-hour work week. Staff have the option to work Monday through Thursday or to work a modified schedule of 6.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. 

Currently, B&PC staff are working primarily remotely, and we anticipate maintaining a hybrid work environment with remote work options in the future. This position does require occasional in-person work at the Budget and Policy Center’s Seattle-based office as well as some events and convenings in Olympia and other parts of Washington state, so candidates should be based in Washington state. Our office is located in the heart of downtown Seattle, with service from bus routes, light rail, and trains from around the region.  

Please note that B&PC requires employees to receive COVID-19 vaccination (defined as a two-dose vaccine series or a single dose of a one-dose vaccine approved by the FDA) and encourages employees to receive vaccine boosters as they become available.

To Apply 

Please send a resume, cover letter, one writing sample (no more than four pages), and one graphic design or audio/visual content sample to [email protected]. Put “LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, Digital Communications Specialist” in the subject line of the email. In your cover letter, please highlight 1) why you’d like to join our team, 2) your experience with digital and related communications, 3) how you incorporate racial equity into your work. 

The application deadline is January 7, 2024.

After an initial screening of applicant materials, we anticipate the following steps in the process. Please note the timeline may change based on candidate and hiring committee availability. We will keep candidates informed of changes. This process will be conducted virtually. We plan to provide a stipend to candidates for time spent in second interviews with the hiring committee.

  • Phone screen (1/2 hour) – tentatively mid-January
  • Virtual interview with hiring committee (1 hour) – tentatively late January or early February 
  • Reference checks – tentatively mid-February  

If you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. The Budget and Policy Center values a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; immigrants; people with disabilities; people of any sexual orientation or gender identity; and people with low-income backgrounds and other diverse life experiences. We value the lived experiences that our staff bring to bear on the work as deeply relevant expertise.  

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