Movement Communications Director

Job Description: Movement Communications Director

Citizen Action seeks applicants hungry for the opportunity to build the power to achieve the sweeping changes Wisconsin needs to become a just, equitable, and sustainable multiracial democracy.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin works to advance a long-term agenda for racial, economic and gender justice through state and local organizing campaigns that win real change in people’s lives. Through strategic issue campaigns, electoral campaigns in support of progressive candidates, and grassroots action and base building, we engage the leadership of everyday people to build an economy and a democracy that puts people and the planet first.

This position is best suited for creative and effective out-of-the-box thinkers deeply committed not only to being on the right side, but effectively building the grassroots power to make tangible progress on the big challenges confronting the multiracial working class.

Description of Work

The best fit for this position is a communications practitioner or someone with substantial communications background interested in working in a social movement paradigm.

While conventional communicators accept public attitudes and biases as they stand today, movement communicators strive to develop and deploy effective messages that help advance the worldview shifts needed for sweeping structural reform. While conventional communicators often seek to prompt a target audience to approve of a brand (a product, a candidate, or a corporation), movement communicators develop messages which outrage and inspire to motivate collective action and build grassroots power.

The person holding this position will have the facility to produce communications content for a variety of mediums; website, earned media, email, social media, and other digital communications. 

They will work directly with the Executive Director, program directors, and our statewide multiracial team of organizers to develop and disseminate effective messages, with a special focus on Citizen Action’s cutting-edge health care, climate/economic equity, and electoral campaigns. They will also work to develop messages that bridge the divisions that block social solidarity, such as racial and class cleavages, and the urban/rural divide.

Citizen Action considers organizing a medium of communications, which can be improved with good coaching and mentorship. The successful applicant will train colleagues and members to communicate more powerfully in their own organizing and activism.

Primary Job Responsibilities:

  • Work with the Executive Director, thought partners, allies, and staff colleagues to develop and execute cutting-edge messaging, narratives, and framing to advance Citizen Action’s major issue and electoral campaigns.
  • Help develop and drive the organization’s media and messaging strategies, coordinated through various channels (social media, earned media, digital, new media, etc). 
  • Work to align the communication strategies of Citizen Action organizers (and local coalition partners) across campaigns to maximize our collective impact on the evolution of public attitudes.
  • Support our organizing campaigns by amplifying grassroots voices and leveraging local and state media.
  • Rapidly and efficiently produce communications content as needed to support Citizen Action’s organizing and campaigns.
  • Orchestrate the production of high quality, timely, original social media and digital content.
  • Draft materials (news releases, statements, talking points, etc.). 
  • Develop messages for Citizen Action website and social media streams and lead the evolution of these communication channels.
  • Edit and disseminate Citizen Action’s digital weekly newsletter, with raw content provided by organizers and program managers.
  • Train organizers and program staff in basic communication skills and in Citizen Action’s messaging approaches.
  • Work in alignment with the Executive Director to manage media relationships and press inquiries. 
  • Stay current on best practices, trends, and technologies related to content creation, narratives, and messaging frames.
  • Support Citizen Action’s fund development by working with managers to craft compelling narratives for potential donors.

Desired Experience:

  • Experience leading a fast-paced and effective communications program for progressive organizing and/or advocacy organizations, labor unions, or political or issue campaigns.
  • Experience managing communications strategy development.
  • Experience with developing/executing both digital and traditional media campaign plans.
  • Experience creating, maintaining, and executing content and digital strategy for progressive organizations.
  • Deep commitment to working on racial justice issues, working with communities of color, and with a multicultural base of individuals.
  • Commitment to getting beyond the base of current progressive activists to engage the multiracial working class statewide which does not speak in the nomenclature of the movement left.
  • Experience with planning earned media events, direct action, marches, rallies, and other social movement tactics.
  • Experience with large and/or small dollar fundraising, grant writing, and grant management.
  • Experience in social justice organizing and progressive issue and electoral campaigns is a plus.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Ability to be a leader in further developing a positive and authentic multiracial staff culture which strives to meet rigorous standards of performance in achieving our campaign goals.  
  • Philosophical commitment to progressive values of economic, gender, racial, anti-oppressive, and environmental justice.
  • Commitment to unwinding the structural racism and other structural inequalities built into local, state, and national policies and governance structures.
  • Ability to understand public policy issues and translate them into organizing issues that motivate average people to act 
  • Track record of successfully developing and executing integrated communications strategies for an organizing or advocacy organization or political/issue campaigns.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Ability to work with diverse people and organizations.
  • Excellent relationship-building skills with ability to influence others to move toward a common vision or goal.
  • A proven ability to perform under pressure while juggling multiple tasks; and sound judgment.
  • Strong creative and strategic thinking skills and willingness to innovate in fast moving issue campaigns and meet deadlines.
  • Public speaking and networking skills
  • Experience with cutting edge progressive messaging strategies, such as the Race Class Narrative, a plus.
  • Bilingual/multilingual a plus.
  • Degrees in Communications or other related fields a plus but not required.

Organizational Background: Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an issue focused non-profit membership organization committed to achieving racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice. We bring together thousands of members, activists and allied groups across Wisconsin to deepen democratic participation that advances a strongly progressive public policy agenda. Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an affiliate and a leader within People’s Action, a network of 38 independent social justice organizations in 26 states which is playing a growing role in national progressive politics.  We are also an affiliate of Power Shift Action, a network of 20 multiracial power building groups focused on economic and racial justice. More on Citizen Action’s cutting edge progressive structural reform agenda, which is the basis for all our candidate endorsements, can be found here. For Citizen Action’s positioning in Wisconsin politics read here. General information on current Citizen Action of Wisconsin programs can be found at

Position Details: The position reports to Citizen Action’s Executive Director, who has a PhD in Communications at UW-Madison, publications on political persuasion, and two decades of experience as a communications practitioner.

This is a full-time management position which includes comprehensive gold-plan health care and dental with additional reimbursements for co-pays, 401K (both direct organizational contributions and match of employee contributions), life insurance, disability insurance, mobile phone allowance, computer allowance, travel reimbursements, substantial paid time off, and other benefits.  Some weekend and evening hours are required.  Base salary rate is $53,000 to $70,000, based on experience and demonstrated accomplishment. Automatic Cost of Living increases, and seniority bonuses annually. Eligibility for merit raises annually based on demonstrated performance. For highly qualified candidates, Citizen Action is also open to consulting relationships.

The Communications Director is a member of the management team and reports directly to Citizen Action’s Executive Director. This position is ideally located in Milwaukee where Citizen Action’s office is located, but could be based anywhere in Wisconsin. Citizen Action also has staff who live in Eau Claire, Wausau, Green Bay, and the Driftless Region. 

Application Process:  Email cover letter explaining your interest in the position and résumé to Robert Kraig (Executive Director) [email protected]

Citizen Action of Wisconsin and Citizen Action of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate based on age, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual preference, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, or former incarceration status. Women, people of color, formerly incarcerated individuals, individuals from the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *