Deputy Chief: Communications and Spokesperson, School District of Philadelphia

Posted by School District of Philadelphia on November 5, 2019

Are you a skilled communications strategist and operator with at least 10 years of experience, looking to be part of a dynamic team that champions K-12 public education? Do you get a thrill out of using your communications and media relations skills to help drive the local and national conversation about topics of strong public interest? Are you a collaborative and action-oriented team leader who has implemented strategic communications plans for cause-driven organizations? Then come be a part of The School District of Philadelphia’s Communications and External Relations Team as its Deputy Chief of Communications and Spokesperson (DCCS). Help us champion the amazing work of one of the nation’s largest K-12 School Districts and develop key messages, stories and engagement strategies that promote a positive narrative about the School District of Philadelphia and public education, especially in large urban areas.

Job Summary

The School District of Philadelphia seeks a strategic and highly skilled organizational leader to help advance the District’s long-term goals and elevate its profile locally and nationally. Reporting to the Chief of Communications and External Relations, the Deputy Chief will help maximize the positive impact of the Communications and External Relations Team by proactively leading media relations and web management strategy. She/he will work collaboratively with a dynamic Communications and External Relations Team, including three direct reports, as well as senior leaders, principals, teachers and support staff to: develop, implement and assess media engagement strategies that expand positive and balanced news coverage of SDP news, information, initiatives, students and staff; further strengthen positive relationships with print, television, radio and digital media reporters; provide effective crisis communications support for schools; and help make important information on the District’s website easy to understand and readily accessible for current and prospective families and community members

Essential Functions

  • Coordinates and assists with developing the long-term communications vision and strategy for the School District of Philadelphia and the Communications and External Relations Team.
  • Strategically leads the development and flawless execution of a biweekly (minimally) calendar of press events to support the School District of Philadelphia communications goals and strategies.
  • Shapes the narrative for all media engagement efforts.
  • Works with leaders across the organization to stay abreast of the latest programs, news and information to inform District messaging.
  • Works closely with school principals and other senior leaders to provide timely support to schools in rapid-response situations.
  • Oversees daily press outreach, including responding to media inquiries and Right to Know requests, writing and editing of press releases, statements and op-eds.
  • Manages the day-to-day activities for and professional development of the senior communications officer, media relations specialist and web content manager.
  • Builds and strengthens positive professional relationships with top local and national reporters, producers, correspondents and editors.
  • Collaboratively establishes work priorities with web content manager to continually strengthen the user experience for families and community members when they are seeking information from and interfacing with the District’s website.
  • Helps develop and design media strategies that support the District’s government relations goals and legislative agenda.
  • Develops and conducts workshops to build organizational capacity in key areas including best practices for interviewing with media.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

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