Responsible for developing and implementing the communications plan and tactics that provide service to key constituent groups, such as grower-leaders, state affiliates, media, public policymakers and NCGA staff. Assist with overall communication objectives of NCGA.
Coordinates daily with the Executive Vice President in Washington, DC
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Assist in developing annual goals and strategic plan for the Communications Department to support the mission of NCGA.
- Work with Vice President of Communications to develop and manage communications plans and tactics that achieve organizational objectives set for the Washington, D.C. office.
- Provide input to and coordinate with St. Louis-based Communications team and other NCGA staff regularly for general NCGA communications use/tactics.
- Develop and coordinate messaging and its use by corn growers to the media.
- Initiate conversations with media and other constituents to be informed of issues and to pitch and write stories, talking points, and other tactics
- Write news stories on policy issues for posting on website and daily email newsletter.
- Provide editorial and consultative support to Executive Vice President of Public Policy and the Washington, D.C. staff on strategic methods to handle communications issues as well as what tactics to use, such as Issues Briefs, Insiders, Call to Actions, speeches, talking points, and related documents.
- Write and edit news articles, news releases, editorials, speeches, background papers, testimony and other written documents as well as electronic-based documents (including but not limited to website articles).
Media Relations/Public Relations:
- Develop proactive media relations program by identifying and cultivating relationships with Washington, D.C. reporters-editors to effectively position NCGA as a leading agriculture organization. Become DC media’s “go-to” source on legislative issues affecting corn growers.
- Work with key Washington, D.C. media for placement of stories that promote NCGA’s role and position on issues.
- Organize press conferences for policy-related events
Coordinate and respond to media inquiries.
- Initiate pitches to media on NCGA topics of interest/news.
- Assist with lobbyist deliverables, including letter-writing and phone-calling campaigns, fly-ins of growers for Capitol Hill visits, development and placement of advocacy advertising, etc. Coordinate with St. Louis on support needs.
- Update daily all media requests, interviews, outcomes via Cision.
- Exercise editorial management of the Legislative Action Center. Update and maintain “Current Legislation” section. Post “Action Alerts,” write letters and generate member use.
- Suggest and provide web content, as needed or feasible.
- Respond to state affiliates’ request for information or assistance on communications and policy-related activities.
- Initiate and maximize photo opportunities to promote NCGA. Maintain electronic photo files accessible to Communications team electronically.
- Prepare timely oral and written reports on communications efforts.
- Initiate and maintain continuous contact with Vice President of Communications and other department staff on the status of projects and other issues requiring inter-office coordination.
- Oversee and direct the work of outside vendors, as needed (i.e., public relations and advertising agencies) to meet project/campaign needs, deadlines and budgets.
Required Knowledge and Skills:
- Background and knowledge of agriculture (preferably corn) and/or federal and state government procedures (Congress, Agencies, Administration).
- Able to take initiative and drive projects from concept through implementation and evaluation.
- Enjoys fast-paced work environment.
- Good interpersonal, oral, written, and presentation communications skills.
- Ability to initiate, build, nurture, and leverage relationships with all segments of the industry from corn growers to legislators to media for the purpose of advancing NCGA’s mission and goals.
- Ability to maintain confidentiality on all projects and data.
- Ability to work independently and collaboratively.
- Good computer and photography skills.
- Excellent writing, proofreading, editing, investigative, and initiating skills.
- Ability to project a positive image for NCGA and maintain professional standards in all areas of behavior and work habits.
- Able to travel, as needed.
A Bachelor’s degree in agriculture journalism, journalism, communications or related field with a minimum of 8 years of proven experience in journalism, investigative news gathering, agribusiness, strategic communications management, public and government relations or related field and Capitol Hill work.