Communications Officer
Houston, TX Communications
Job Type
Full-time
Description

JOB TITLE: Communications Officer


REPORTS TO: Director, Communications


POSITION SUMMARY

The Communications Team at one of Houston’s largest place-based funders, Houston Endowment (the “Foundation”), is looking for an experienced and innovative communicator to join our team as a Communications Officer (the “Communications Officer”). We seek an individual who is passionate about telling stories that matter and thrives on creating impactful, strategic communications that engage and connect the Foundation’s work with the communities and partners it serves.


The Communications Officer will develop and execute communications strategies to support and elevate Houston Endowment’s brand, mission, and programmatic goals in Civic Engagement, PreK-12 Public Education, Arts & Parks, and Impact Opportunities.


This role will work closely with programmatic teams as a thought partner and collaborator to develop strategic communications plans that bring greater awareness to HEI’s work among key audiences and create narrative change on issues we care about. They will listen and understand project goals from the beginning of every initiative to develop targeted messaging, compelling content, and crisis communications strategies in collaboration with program teams, partners, and grantees. They may be tapped to pull together a convening or prep the team for an editorial board meeting. Writing ability is key — this role will distill data and complex ideas and tell human-centered stories in multiple formats, including original web content, op-eds, talking points, speeches, social posts, and media pitches, and must also know how to manage freelancers in writing, photo, video production. They will also work to maximize our engagement with key audiences in the community and generate positive coverage in the media. This position requires cross-organizational collaboration and relationships and the ability to quickly gain expertise in a variety of areas. Experience reporting on or creating content about grantmaking, research, and/or policy is ideal.


This is a unique opportunity to join a results-driven team as it grows and evolves to effectively tell stories around our community’s most significant challenges and reduce barriers to opportunity for all who live here. If you have a track record of thoughtful, goals-oriented communications and want to make a difference in the Houston community — and work hard and have fun while doing it — we want to hear from you.


KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

The Communication Officer’s role includes the following:

  • Work collaboratively with the program and communications teams, develop and lead integrated earned, owned, and paid media communications strategies that support and advance short- and long-term programmatic goals, reflect the Foundation’s mission, vision, and values, and effectively communicate the Foundation’s impact to the Board, staff, grant partners, and the communities it serves
  • Help the Foundation’s leadership cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with external audiences, including grant partners, civic leaders and communities served by the Foundation’s grantmaking
  • Support the program team in identifying and reaching key audiences and translating the impact of grantmaking and research into compelling, impactful communications 
  • Develop accurate and engaging content for various platforms and provide feedback on written materials related to program areas, including press releases, web stories, social media content, video scripts, data visualizations, newsletters, reports, and whitepapers
  • Cultivate and maintain strong working relationships with local, state, and national media and develop strategic media pitches and identify timely opportunities for internal experts and grantees to weigh in on relevant issues
  • Work collaboratively with grantee partners and other stakeholders on content development and media activity
  • Work collaboratively with programmatic teams, grantees, and Foundation leadership to be prepared to respond to crisis situations by developing crisis communication plans and coordinating responses
  • Stay updated on news and developments in programmatic areas to inform communication strategies and identify opportunities, challenges, and emerging issues
  • Provide program-related communications guidance to the Foundation’s leadership and program staff and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations and other materials as needed
  • Coordinate projects and priorities across program and communications teams, offering clear and timely internal communications and project management
  • Effectively manage freelancers and/or outside consultants as needed to build capacity and access expertise
  • Provide planning and support for major events, convenings, webinars, and announcements
  • Maintain stylistic and brand consistency across all communications



Requirements

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in communications, journalism, public affairs, media relations, or related area
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications, political science, public policy or related field
  • Passion for improving quality of life for the people of greater Houston
  • Demonstrated experience developing and executing high-impact communication strategies in partnership with diverse stakeholders
  • Extensive writing and editing experience, with a track record of creating high-quality materials that make complex issues accessible, relevant, and engaging to diverse audiences across a variety of platforms (i.e. print, digital, speeches)
  • Experience crafting messages for specific audiences (i.e. general public, media, public officials)
  • Exceptional attention to detail, accuracy, and quality and adherence to editorial standards
  • Experience working with a variety of stakeholders including nonprofit executives and boards and the communities they serve
  • Exceptional project management and organizational skills 
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle crisis communication effectively
  • Knowledge of industry trends and the ability to adapt strategies accordingly

VALUES

We believe it is both an honor and a great responsibility to work for Houston Endowment, so we are committed to our values and seek colleagues who share our commitment. 


High Performing: We bring our best every day so we: 

  • Hold high standards and drive for excellence
  • Challenge ourselves and show determination in pursuit of our collective goals
  • Pursue continuous improvement, even when we have achieved our intended outcomes
  • Stay curious to do our best work

Courageous: We know bold action matters so we: 

  • Hold an audacious vision for what we can accomplish together
  • Work proactively, take risks, and make difficult choices when necessary
  • Choose optimism, show resilience, and stay engaged in challenging situations

Committed: We care deeply about the organization so we: 

  • Prioritize and commit to the mission of the organization
  • Seek and act on feedback on our work, and devote energy to our own development to be at the top of our field
  • Gather diverse perspectives and expertise in service of better results

Connected: We care deeply about each other so we: 

  • Build relationships with one another to create a highly effective team
  • Start with trust, assume others have good intentions, and practice generosity of spirit
  • Address issues directly to resolve conflict or misunderstanding
  • Embrace inclusion and adapt as appropriate when partnering with others


COMPENSATION

Salary will be determined in accordance with the successful candidate’s experience. The candidate will be eligible for the Foundation’s comprehensive employee benefits programs, including health, dental and vision plans, time off, life insurance, short- and long-term disability as well as matching 401(k) and pension retirement plans.