Director of Communications

  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Washington, DC
  • Jun 23, 2020
Full time Communications

Job Description

We strongly encourage people of color, transgender and non-binary people to apply. HRC is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone, including non-LGBTQ people, to join our team.


Position Summary: 

The Human Rights Campaign is seeking a creative, strategic, detail-oriented, and dedicated person to lead our talented communications team. The Director of Communications at HRC is a key role in the largest LGBTQ civil rights organization -- a unique organization with a storied history and fresh leadership poised to redefine the organization for the next generation.


The Director of Communications is a regular, full-time position which reports directly to the Senior Vice President (SVP) for Communications and Marketing and is based in Washington, DC. The Director of Communications is responsible for developing and executing communications strategies that advance organizational goals and amplify HRC initiatives, as well as managing a team of industry-leading communication professionals.


The Director of Communications works closely with the executive team, including the HRC President. The Director of Communications will work with the SVP to craft strategy, develop breakthrough messages, identify regular rapid response moments, and oversee the daily operations of the communications team and its budget.


Must have a demonstrated ability to lead, respond quickly and strategically, think creatively, deliver on ideas, and work well with others at all levels of the organization.

Position Responsibilities:

The Director of Communications will work with the SVP to provide strategic direction to the department, ensure tasks are consistently and swiftly executed at a high level, and manage a smoothly functioning communications team. The Director of Communications will also provide communications and media expertise to program areas throughout HRC. Specific responsibilities of the position are as follows:

  • Communications Strategy: Create and execute on a holistic organizational communication strategy that relies on earned media but also incorporates paid media, membership communication and digital/social media. Engage with executive team and program directors to develop strategies to support organizational goals.
  • Research and message development: Guide quantitative and qualitative message research that benefits the organization or particular issue area and develop messages and talking points based on that research. The Director will ensure that HRC materials across program areas and departments reflect organizational positions and are framed persuasively.
  • Effective media relations: A strong ability to develop and implement appropriate media relations strategies and tactics for a variety of situations is vital. The Director of Communications will also position HRC to react in breaking news stories and rapid response moments. Strong and demonstrated relationship-building skills and established relationships with national media are required. Additionally, a thorough understanding of and contacts within LGBTQ media are important.
  • Thought leadership: As the largest nationwide LGBTQ advocacy organization, it is crucial that HRC effectively communicate its leadership on a range of key issues and priorities. Must demonstrate the ability to shape the public conversation about these issues through not only effective media relations, but the placement of spokespersons, columns, and editorials on a variety of issues important to the LGBTQ community and a mainstream audience. Strong and proven writing skills and the ability to seize upon timely events are crucial. Building and maintaining relationships with key broadcast producers and reporters as well as editorial writers and columnists are a practical necessity of delivering on the Communications Director’s responsibilities.
  • Spokesperson: A strong and demonstrated ability to act as an on-the-record and background source is necessary.
  • Build relationships: Serve as the main point of contact with campaigns, elected officials, coalitions, stakeholders, and other high-level partners, including celebrity representatives.
  • Outstanding writing skills: Must have excellent writing skills, including the ability to write speeches, opinion pieces, press releases, statements, and other materials, and be able to work in a fast-paced environment under tight deadlines. As someone who will oversee the development of this content, the Director of Communications must be able to lead by example, execute when needed, and provide strategic feedback.  
  • Team and resource management: As the primary supervisor for a team of 10+ mid-level and junior communications staff, the Director must be able to mentor and guide other staff while being able to help staff deliver their full potential. The Director will also work with the SVP on planning and administering the department’s budget and outside media consultants.
  • Principal management: Work closely with HRC President on communications strategy and details, and occasionally travel together. Create a principal communications strategy.


Position Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s Degree preferred with at least ten or more years of cumulative work experience in positions of increasing responsibility in communications and media relations or journalism.
  • Staff and program management experience is required.
  • Must have a demonstrated record of success in advancing organizational goals and messages by communicating effectively and strategically in the media.
  • Extensive knowledge of the rapidly-evolving media landscape, including digital and social media.
  • Must be highly organized and detail-oriented, proactive and results-driven, and capable of working collaboratively and handling multiple projects simultaneously in a high-volume, fast-paced environment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Must be an experienced manager capable of effectively providing guidance, coaching, and critical feedback to staff both verbally and through written materials including performance reviews.
  • Prefer experience with department-wide budget development and management.
  • Proven computer skills including Google G Suite, Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet proficiency, and strong verbal communication skills.
  • Flexibility with work schedule; this position requires frequent evening and weekend work to respond to breaking news.
  • Must be willing to travel at least 15% of work time.
  • Strong commitment to and interest in the rapidly changing LGBTQ equality movement and a working knowledge of LGBTQ issues.
  • Must have exceptional writing and public speaking experience and skills, and be able to represent HRC in a variety of settings, including the media.
  • Must be creative and strategic, with the ability to balance long-term goals and day-to-day demands.
  • Good political judgement and a grounding in politics – campaigns, government, or advocacy.


All positions at the Human Rights Campaign may require travel on a regular basis or periodically. Where the need arises for business travel, appropriate compensation as outlined by the Fair Labor Standards Act will apply.


No phone calls or emails, please. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to queries about application status.


Please apply via the website with your resume and cover letter.