Strategic Communications Director

About California Calls

California Calls (501c3) and its sister organization California Calls Action Fund (501c4) is a powerful alliance of 30 local community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state. We engage, educate and motivate new and infrequent voters, including young people, communities of color, and poor and working-class neighborhoods to make sure who votes in California reflects who lives in California. Through our bottom-up approach, we organize people most impacted by decades of disinvestment, deteriorating public services, mass incarceration and growing inequality in support of systemic, progressive policy solutions. Working together and building the power of communities who are often left out of policy decisions, we believe we can reclaim the California Dream of equality, opportunity, and prosperity for all Californians.

With our headquarters in Los Angeles, remote staff based in the Bay Area, and partner organizations anchored in 14 counties, we advance state-based structural battles that strengthen democracy, fully fund schools, affordable housing and local services, and expand racial, gender and economic justice. Knowing no one organization alone can win the bold policies needed to address poverty and inequality, we strengthen the capacity and build collaborations with organizations across the state to build a strong movement capable of winning structural change.

The Opportunity: Strategic Communications Director

Dominant narratives are the “common sense” stories we learn and share—whether consciously or unconsciously—that uphold existing power dynamics. These stories hold values – like individualism, competition, an unregulated free market, meritocracy, anti-government, and racism, that divide communities and mute public support for policies that advance justice and equity.  California Calls seeks to build “narrative power” – new stories and a growing pipeline of messengers to inspire our communities to come together and fight for the changes we deserve.

We are seeking a Strategic Communications Director to develop and implement California Calls’ narrative and communications strategy.  Working with an incredible team of organizers, policy experts, coalition builders and ally organizations, the Strategic Communications Director will shape the messaging and communications strategy for our statewide campaigns, like Schools and Communities First which seeks to undo a 40 year corporate property tax loophole resulting in billions lost to our schools and local communities, Housing is a Human Right, a new campaign to expand funding for housing off the speculative real estate market, and the Budget Power Project, which supports local partners in their battles to ensure city, county and local district funding is invested in our communities’ needs.  The Strategic Communications Director will also work with California Calls’ staff and coalition members to raise the profile of campaigns with key audiences including the media, new and infrequent voters, movement allies, state & local decision makers and donors.

As Strategic Communications Director, you will..

Lead our team and allies in shaping winning framing and messaging by staying current on public opinion and narrative research, craft messages that can be tested in the field, and evaluate and update our narrative strategy based on-the-ground lessons.

Develop a communications strategy to inspire more people to join our movement and shape the debate to build broader public support for the structural policies we need and deserve.

Work with our staff and a team of consultants to develop compelling digital and field content to grow our movement and build a base.

Support the development of a pipeline of narrative strategists through training, coaching and coordination to align and expand an echo-chamber to push out our messaging into our communities and networks.

Specifically this means:

Narrative and Communications Strategies & Campaigns

  • Working closely with staff and coalition members, identify opportunities and craft strategies to shift the public consciousness on the Alliance’s policy campaigns
  • Develop and implement multi-faceted communications strategies, which integrate message development, digital communications and advocacy to educate, motivate, and influence target audiences.
  • Generate ideas and produce collateral materials and other key communications products including organizing scripts and voter engagement materials, and digital content
  • Support and position California Calls staff and leaders as experts in the work 
  • Participate in statewide narrative projects and research as needed.

Media Relations

  • Prepare California Calls staff and leadership for media opportunities with talking points, remarks for press conferences and other training and preparation.
  • Increase coverage of California Calls campaigns and analysis by cultivating and maintaining relationships with key reporters, editors, producers and bookers.
  • Stay current on the Media Landscape, research media opportunities.

Organizational Leadership

  • Participate in the Senior Leadership Team and Represent California Calls to allies, decision makers, the media and others
  • Manage the California Calls Strategic Communications team, which includes the Communications Coordinator and various consultants.
  • Help lead the Alliance’s Strategic Communications committees

We are looking for someone who

  • Has at least 5 years of communications, campaign and/or management experience
  • Has a strong commitment to social, racial, gender and economic justice and an understanding of the needs of low-income communities in California.
  • Has expertise in developing high-level strategy and executing tactics.
  • Is able to simultaneously manage multiple projects while maintaining a firm grasp of individual project details and meet deadlines.
  • Is a self-starter with demonstrated good judgment, critical thinking, flexibility, resourcefulness, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Has strong organizational skills, is detail-oriented, and follows projects through to completion.
  • Has excellent written and verbal communication skills, along with the ability to compose and edit effective communications across a variety of platforms.
  • Has strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with others in a team environment, has experience wrangling stakeholders to secure the necessary input, buy-in and approvals.
  • Has experience crafting and implementing a communications strategy, particularly through digital platforms and traditional media outreach.
  • Is able to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Has experience in communicating complex issues to varied audiences.   
  • Has experience working with the media and cultivating relationships with print, radio, television and online journalists

Compensation and Benefits

Status: Full-time, Exempt

Salary Range: $100,000-$130,000

Location: Ideally based in Los Angeles, but can work remotely anywhere in California

Reports to: Vice President of Policy and External Affairs

Supervises: 1 Strategic Communications Coordinator

Travel Requirements: Mostly in state, 1-2 times a quarter

Benefits Include:  Full Family Health Insurance, Dental Insurance and Vision Insurance, Medical after 30 days of employment and Health and Dependent Care Flex Spending Account after 90 days, 401K plan, 10 paid holidays and accrued vacation time up to 20 days after 7 years of employment.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:  California Calls is an Equal Opportunity Employer, women people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQI people are strongly encouraged to apply.

Vaccination Transparency:  Due to travel requirements and in-person meetings during employment, candidates will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated (Two Doses as well as appropriate booster doses) against COVID-19 before commencing employment.  Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for exemptions to this requirement in accordance with applicable law.

Email resume, cover letter, and three references to Melinda Ealy .

Women, people of color, people with disabilities and LGBTQI people are strongly encouraged to apply.