Communications Program Manager

Based in Washington, DC


Grade: MGT Annual Pay : $94,601/YR
Location: Washington, DC

Organization Overview:
The 2 million members united in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are at the forefront of a movement to build power for working people and empower all workers to form unions, no matter what job they do. SEIU members are from every walk of life, every political party, every background, every faith. They come from communities with their own stories and strengths, and that makes the Union all the more powerful because there's strength in numbers. SEIU members work across the healthcare spectrum providing high quality care and services. They are the workers who keep our nation's airports running and make sure landmark buildings are clean and secure. They provide essential public services and give a foundation of learning to our youngest and brightest. SEIU members believe in and are fighting for a Just Society where all workers are valued and all people respected—no matter where they come from or what color they are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.

The Communications Program Manager manages the SEIU Property Services Division communications and media work to support priorities for growth, to involve members and the public in achieving those growth goals, and to brand SEIU as the national and international union within the aviation, janitorial, security, and other industries.

Division Communications

  • Manages external media relations strategy and implementation.
  • Manages strategy and implementation of division communications.
  • Manages creation of division communications content.
  • Manages message development and work of pollsters.
  • Manages communications strategy for division growth and political/legislative/advocacy campaigns.
  • Manages communications with members of the division.
  • Manages communications with potential members of the division.
  • Provides spokesperson training for local leaders and members.
  • Manages speech writing and other visibility work for leadership.
  • Serves as a key contact for communications with allies and partners.
  • Manages campaign event communications – strategy, message, look and feel, materials, marketing, media outreach, event flow and agenda.
  • Oversees work of communicators within locals in the division to ensure high quality standards, best practices, and consistency of message.

Local Capacity

  • Helps division identify locals that need to increase communications capacity to carry out division priorities.
  • Works with division staff and local unions to develop trainings and build capacity.
  • Develops plans for local union communications staff development.
  • Provides training for local communicators.
  • Recruits local staff, and assists locals with evaluating and hiring candidates.
  • Ensures high quality standards and best practices in all division, campaign, and member communications.

Management and Administration:

  • Helps manage the communications work for the division, including planning, budgeting, and project management, and coordinates with divisions, departments, and field on those issues.
  • Assists with vendor management for division communications work.
  • Helps prepare and monitor division communications budget, including budgets for division campaigns.
  • Recruits, reviews, and recommends hiring for division communications staff.
  • Performs other duties as assigned in support of the work of the department.

Contacts: Must be able to represent the International Union with local leaders, members, staff, and outside organizations utilizing independent judgment and a high level of professionalism.

Interfaces with high level organizational and external contacts, including:

  • SEIU officers, division leadership, International senior staff, project and program managers, field, political, and organizing directors, local union officers and staff.
  • External: news media, politicians, government officials, partners and allies.
  • Vendors: design and production companies, consultants, pollsters, freelancers, video and multi-media producers, advertising agencies.
  • Ensures that sophisticated choices are made about appropriate vendors and support services.

Direction and Decision Making:

  • Reports to the Assistant Director of Communications and works with extreme independence.
  • Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work and work of others without supervision.
  • Requires a high level of judgment and ability to take initiative and work independently.
  • Must use a high level of judgment and discretion in resolving problems within the Communications Department and throughout SEIU.
  • Must maintain a high level of confidentiality in handling SEIU affairs.
  • Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations.
  • Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
  • Must be able to handle multiple “priority” projects simultaneously and set and meet deadlines, and ensure that staff team does the same.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in communications or related field.
  • Five to eight years of related work experience.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Experience developing and implementing strategy on a wide range of campaigns, including organizing, contract, political, and legislative, as well as experience working with community allies.
  • Thorough knowledge of media relations strategies.
  • Thorough knowledge of electronic and print media systems. Knowledge of advertising techniques and familiarity with all aspects of literature, audiovisual, and online production process required.
  • Excellent writing, verbal, and analytical skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills related to use of rapidly changing technology.
  • Knowledge of unions or other advocacy organizations.
  • Still in the use of personal computer including Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Written and spoken Spanish a plus.

Physical Requirements: Work is generally performed in an office setting, but incumbents may be required to work in other settings conducive to performing the tasks required to complete assignments. Some travel and extended hours may be required.

Application Requirements: A résumé is required for all applications (and a cover letter (highly recommended). The cover letter should explain the reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of a demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into the applicant's long-term career plan.

SEIU is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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