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Center for Responsible Lending
Holly Johnson

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Durham North Carolina United States 27701-3215


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Director of Communications/

Job ID: 60611
Job Views: 1153
Location: Durham, North Carolina, United States
Postal Code: 27701
Job Category: Public Relations | Marketing,Media Business Positions,Advertising,Corporate Publications | Newsletters
Employment Type: Full time
Posted: 04.12.2021

Job Description

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization working to ensure a fair, inclusive financial marketplace that creates opportunities for all. Through research, legal analysis, policy development, and state and national advocacy engagement, CRL fights for economic equity for underserved communities—particularly Black and brown communities and low-to-middle income families. CRL’s staff, allies, and funders reflect a collective commitment to eliminating systemic injustice in America’s financial services.
CRL provides a strong voice on both the state and national levels for these families to expand family wealth and financial stability through sustainable homeownership, affordable higher education, and support for small businesses, and protect their financial stability by preventing abusive products that trap families in debt and strip away their income, by ending payday lending and other predatory high-cost lending, exorbitant bank fees, and abusive debt collection practices.
CRL is an affiliate of Self-Help, a community development lender founded in 1980 that has provided more than $9 billion dollars in financing to help 164,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, build businesses, and strengthen community resources.
Role Overview:

Position reporting to the President and integral part of and contributor to the senior management team as an Executive Vice President (EVP), the Director of Communications will be responsible for the development and deployment of CRL’s communication strategy and will contribute to CRL’s equity leadership in organizational operations, strategic planning, and resource and staff development. The Director of Communications will develop a world-class communications plan—directly managing communications activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s research and advocacy campaigns. The Director of Communications will be responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of media/public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership. This individual will be an ambassador for the organization and will guide the staff in building effective relationships with the media. The goal is to advance the organization’s position with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness and donor support for the organization. The Director of Communications will be responsible for CRL’s various and integrated communications products and strategies including, but not limited to supporting research and advocacy campaigns; newsletters and other print publications; website, e-news, and other online communications; media and public relations, and philanthropy.
The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated commitment to CRL’s culture of collaboration, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and its mission to eliminate the racial wealth gap through opportunities for wealth building and economic security for underserved communities.
Essential Responsibilities:
  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to broaden awareness of its programs and priorities through a social justice and racial equity lens (strategic narratives/messaging); and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Create proactive and effective media/public relations strategy that will allow CRL to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including diverse media, key influencers (e.g., partners, legislators, members of Congress), and prospective donors.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization; work with CRL leadership to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • In collaboration with other teams assist and support development and dissemination of CRL communications, including research reports, policy reports, and press statements.
  • As a member of CRL’s senior leadership team responsible for CRL’s planning and program execution, fiscal and operational management and fundraising, staff development and office climate, diversity, equity and inclusion, and communication as well as ensuring adequate staff and resources for effective organizational operations.  Serve as communications counselor to CRL leadership.
  • Carry out core components of CRL Team Leaders: develop team goals, manage and develop staff, provide input on priorities and resource allocation (e.g., annual/team budgets), and support development aspects of CRL’s strategic plan—including, but not limited to SharePoint implementation, customer relationship management (CRM), and fundraising.  Oversee development, production, promotion, and dissemination of CRL’s website, social and new media (e.g., podcasts)—and strategies associated with each—and manage relationships with associated vendors.
  • Work closely with Director of Philanthropy to shape strategic narratives and messaging that support CRL’s development communications strategy (e.g., campaigns, newsletters, annual reports, and marketing materials).
  • At times may serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and impact the organization.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting materials as needed.
  • Actively engage, cultivate, and manage press relationships to ensure coverage surrounding CRL’s advocacy campaigns, initiatives, special events, public announcements, and other projects.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development.
  • Develop staff capacity to engage in effective media communications.
  • Recruit and manage a communications team to support the development and execution of the communications strategy.
  • Ensure adherence to professional standards and ethics; create work guidelines and oversee quality control.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality and inclusion.
  • Supervise communications staff; set individual employee goals and provide routine feedback and evaluation of progress toward these goals; conduct annual performance appraisals and administer salary adjustments.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis; identify and promote professional growth opportunities.
  • Carry out core components of CRL Team Leaders: develop team goals, manage and develop staff, provide input on priorities and resource allocation (e.g., annual/team budgets), and support development aspects of CRL’s strategic plan.
  • Model inclusive behavior, continuously build cultural humility, and support staff interested in deepening their DE&I knowledge—including requesting and raising awareness of learning resources.
  • Act as a change agent to drive Self-Help’s economic inclusion initiatives by integrating supplier diversity and the use of businesses owned by women and people of color in third party contracting and vendor management for relevant products and services.
  • Perform other duties as may be deemed necessary.
Credentials, Experience and Skills:
  • Bachelor’s degree or comparable relevant experience. Undergraduate degree in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, public policy, or related field(s) preferred. Advanced degree a plus.
  • Minimum five (5) years of actual communications experience, including one year of supervisory experience, to include people and/or projects.
  • Experience working in a diverse environment committed to racial justice executing in media relations, advocacy communications, and general communication operations.
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive, strategic communications, media relations, and/or public relations program to advance an organization’s mission and goals.
  • A clear understanding of message development—compelling, relevant messages that communicate an organization’s vision and value and resonate with target audiences—and the delivery of them.
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with top-tier reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements.
  • Extensive, successful writing and editing experience (externally focused) with a variety of print and online communications media.
  • A demonstrated commitment to low-income families, communities of color, past experience in racial justice analysis and understanding of how federal/state/local policies contributed to and sustained racial wealth disparities.
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, Board of Directors, and staff.
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator.
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive.
  • Creative and thoughtful on how new media technologies can be utilized.
  • Experience with media monitoring and constituent relationship management (CRM) software a plus.
  • Ability to supervise a robust social media program; experience in managing social media platforms, high-functioning websites and understanding of search engine optimization (SEO) a plus.
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output.
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills.
  • Preference for working in organizations that place priority on teamwork and collaboration.
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers.
  • Ability to effectively manage bi-coastal media markets.
  • Ability to gain the credibility and respect of high-performing Board of Directors.
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects through to completion.
  • Passion for CRL’s mission; interest and commitment to social justice work.
  • Proficient in Microsoft, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • English/Spanish proficiency a plus.
Physical Requirements:
Frequently requires use of manual dexterity and repetitive motions, primarily with the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.  Must be able to occasionally lift and exert force of up to 40 pounds.
Competitive nonprofit compensation, based on experience, plus a generous benefits package.
Visit our Careers Page to apply for this position.  A resume and cover letter confirming your interest in this position must be uploaded with your application.  This position will remain posted until filled.
Self-Help is committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all persons, regardless of race, religion, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression (including transgender status), age, sexual orientation, military and veteran status, class or family status.

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