Communications Associate

Smart Growth America
Job Status
Position Type/Sector

Are you interested in land use, planning, transportation, placemaking or economic development? Do you have communications experience for an issue-based advocacy organization? Are you eager to use your communications skills to change federal, state and local policies in order to build and sustain walkable places and great neighborhoods? Smart Growth America is seeking an experienced Communications Associate to join their communications team, tasked with developing and spreading SGA’s core message to a national audience: What is smart growth, what are the benefits and why it is urgently needed in towns, cities and rural places of all sizes across the country?

Position Description

The ideal associate will first and foremost be an exceptional writer and editor with subject matter knowledge of smart growth, land use and transportation; with something to say and a desire to write about these issues on a regular basis. They are plugged into news about these issues and can turn that information into engaging, original content for their website, email lists and social media. They will be detail-oriented project managers who can juggle multiple projects, deadlines and timelines without dropping the ball. They have firsthand experience with producing, posting and evaluating social media content. They are dependable team players who can perform regular duties, but also enterprising and creative self-starters who can offer up new ideas or content. This position reports to the Director of Communications.

Roles and Responsibilities

The communications team is the hub of SGA, always connected to and sharing the multi-faceted work of their many programs. The associate will produce thousands of words of written content, covering a range of subjects including land use, economic development, racial equity, placemaking, transportation and transit-oriented development, and planning. They will help manage the communications team’s day-to-day operations and coordinate sending emails to their lists, serve as a liaison with all of SGA’s varied programs, manage their digital advocacy efforts to change policies, and help coordinate the release of all publicly released content. This position features significant freedom and responsibility, regular contact & collaboration with our supporters, the opportunity to shape the direction of the smart growth movement and valuable hands-on experience with room to advance. The associate’s core responsibilities are:

  • Develop and write regular blog posts about their work, as well as enterprising, original content about their issues and/or current events
  • Draft and edit email blasts and advocacy alerts on their issues and send them out to tens of thousands of supporters using Salsa Engage
  • Execute social media strategy and manage social media content day-to-day. This includes posting and scheduling content, and evaluating analytics to inform future strategy
  • Develop, write, edit and sometimes help design or lay out SGA’s numerous publications and reports, and then help manage those public releases
  • Conceive and help produce visualizations that tell compelling stories
  • Maintain their calendar of all external communications, brainstorm ideas for creative campaigns throughout the year on notable days, milestones, anniversaries, etc.
  • Develop & maintain relationships with media, other reporters and bloggers
  • Manage their website (WordPress) and other online presences
  • Help plan and execute their on- and off-line year-end fundraising campaign, as well as other one-off fundraising efforts throughout the year
  • Help build and hone the organization’s brand and overall message

Required Skills and Qualifications

The candidate should have demonstrably excellent and efficient (i.e, fast!) writing and editing skills. Candidates should have some proficiency using a constituent relationship management database and with issue-based, digital advocacy. (SGA uses Salsa CRM and Engage.) Candidates should have a solid understanding of how nonprofits use social media effectively. Experience with Adobe Creative Suite is a definite plus, though our preferred candidate will have some design skills. A basic understanding of HTML and CSS will be a boost. A demonstrated interest in smart growth, urbanism, equity, economic development, transportation, community growth or related areas is essential, as is a desire to communicate your thoughts about smart growth to the world. The ideal candidate will have a minimum of a four-year college degree, and at least 3 to 5 years of related experience.

How to Apply

If you possess the desired qualifications, please send a resume, a cover letter that describes your interest in smart growth and what you would bring to the position, references and 2-3 writing samples (700 words or less) to with “Communications Associate” in the subject line. Selected applicants will be contacted via email. In your cover letter, please indicate how/where you learned of this job opportunity. Applications will be accepted immediately on a rolling basis until the position is filled. No phone calls please.