The People’s Lobby is a membership-driven organization of people across the Chicago region that work together to build widespread support for public policies and candidates – including people from our communities – that put racial and gender justice and the needs of people and the planet before the interests of corporations and the very rich. We train leaders to build bases of people power in our communities, organize support for progressive legislation, elect candidates and take direct action to pressure elected officials and other powerful people to act in our best interests.
Powerful stories move us to action, challenge our ideas about how the world works and expand our ideas about what is possible. The Communications Director is responsible for ensuring staff and leaders tell powerful stories about our issue and electoral campaigns that inspire our members to take action, reach new audiences with our worldview and ideas, and put pressure on elected officials and other power brokers to act in our best interests.
Using communications to support political education
The People’s Lobby is committed to organizing a multi-racial, working class base in order to challenge and dismantle the system of racial capitalism. In racial capitalism, wealthy people, who are overwhelmingly white, gain wealth, profit, and power from the exploitation and oppression of working class and poor people of all colors. Black, Indigenous, other people of color and women are exploited and oppressed more intensely under racial capitalism, which also makes it difficult to build the multiracial working class power we need to win the universal rights and public goods we all need. Racial and gender inequality are built into the structure of the economy. And race, class, and gender inequality are also advanced through government policies and cultural norms.
The stories and messages we tell should address the intersection of race, class, and gender to help build the multiracial base we need to win. They should also help our members and audiences understand the root causes of our problems, our theory of change, and motivate them to action.
Lead strategic communications on issue and electoral campaigns while supporting basebuilding
Organizing staff and member-leaders are primarily responsible for cutting and running issue campaigns, making electoral endorsements, and executing field work in support of endorsed candidates. The Communications Director is responsible for ensuring every issue and electoral campaign has a core message, a communications strategy, and a plan for developing and activating people. The Communications Director will both do this work directly and train, support, and agitate staff and leaders to develop their communications skills. Key elements of this work include:
- Develop communications and digital organizing strategies to build our people and money power and put pressure on our campaign targets
- Develop powerful messages and stories, including training spokespeople on how to share their stories most effectively
- Develop and maintain relationships with members of the press and get earned media coverage of issue and electoral campaign work
Move our messages to hundreds of thousands of people by creating and implementing communications campaigns that move people into action and shift narrative, while coaching TPL staff and member-leaders across campaigns to do that work as well, including:
- Build relationships with reporters who cover our issues and politics, as well as assignment editors at TV/Radio news desk, and pitch those reporters on our work
- Write and distribute media advisories and press releases
- Create quality content for social media channels on platforms used by our members to keep them connected to our work and inspire them to take action
- Create and implement digital strategies and advertising campaigns to build TPL’s list and reach potential members and supporters with our message and opportunities to take action
- Update, manage, and maximize usefulness of website, email list, peer-to-peer texting, broadcast texting, and Customer Relationship Management tool (we are currently using Spoke via Scale to Win and Action Network)
- Manage e-mail communication to TPL list, including creation of quarterly email newsletter
- Create time sensitive print and digital materials like annual reports and campaign demands
- Other as needed
Other organizational leadership
This is a senior level position at The People’s Lobby. We are seeking someone who demonstrates commitment to:
- The methodology of the organization, including clarity about your own stake in our work, a commitment to regular reflection and risk taking, and a willingness to agitate and be agitated about overcoming personal obstacles to effective leadership.
- Work with senior staff team to develop overall organizational strategy
- Be a strategy partner on every campaign, not waiting for requests to come into the comms team before jumping into action
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Working as a team and developing the leadership of others
- Raising money for the organization
- Minimum of 5+ years of full time communications experience, along with at least 1 year of progressive movement, issue advocacy, or electoral experience
- Capable of supervising part-time or temporary communications staff and contractors and training, supporting, and holding accountable junior organizing staff for executing key communications and digital organizing tasks for their issue campaigns
- Demonstrated success in working with people from diverse race, class, and gender identities
- Demonstrated success in working with volunteers to complete group projects
- Demonstrated success using social media tools to bring new people into an issue or electoral campaign or as organization members
- Demonstrated success getting mainstream media coverage
- Ability to create simple, compelling messages and stories about complex ideas and issue campaigns