Director, Media Advocacy

American Lung Association   •  

Sacramento, CA

Industry: Healthcare


8 - 10 years

Posted 48 days ago

The American Lung Association has a great opportunity for a Director, Media Advocacy to join our incredible team in California. Working as a member of the Advocacy and Public Policy Team you will join an outstanding group of professionals dedicated to our mission: to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education, and advocacy.

In this role, you will be responsible for maximizing public awareness and visibility of the mission of the American Lung Association in the state of California in local, regional and statewide media and amplify critical lung health messages to help achieve our lung health policy and advocacy goals. Focused on successfully harnessing traditional and non-traditional communications methods to support and promote important news, reports and announcements focused on our government relations and public policy work on air quality, tobacco, climate and other lung health issues. This position will work with the Vice President Strategic Communications and the communications teams to make outreach for the organization seamless. Develop proactive media campaigns in California and effectively manage relationships with key stakeholders on behalf of the organization, including but not limited to health professionals, patients, volunteers, internal team members, and local and national media. Work with market Advocacy Managers, Advocacy Directors and Executive Directors to drive media outreach and promotion of advocacy work at the local level.

Strategic Planning

  • Develop and drive a comprehensive public relations vision and strategy for the Advocacy and Public Policy department to elevate the visibility of the organization’s key lung health advocacy and policy goals. Includes proactive messaging and media outreach on lung health, lung cancer, air quality and tobacco control issues
  • Work with the AVP Media Advocacy & Patient Engagement, as well as the Strategic Communications team to incorporate the advocacy messages into the larger media strategy for the organization.
  • Work with Directors of Tobacco Control & Lung Health and Air Quality, as well as other statewide coalition partner organizations, to identify key times, activities, metrics for engaging media into policy campaigns.
  • Work with AVP Media Advocacy & Patient Engagement to develop a plan for engaging more patient and health professional voices into media opportunities.

Media Relations Outreach

  • Prepare, organize, edit, pitch and distribute fact sheets, news releases, Op Eds, LTEs, editorial board memos, media alerts, and other materials to media representatives and other relevant or interested parties.
  • Respond to inquiries from the public and media representatives, coordinate media interviews with staff and volunteers.
  • Monitor and respond to news. Look for media opportunities for our organization’s volunteers.
  • Create and manage the delivery, communication and progress reporting of consistent messages in California.
  • Coordinate news conferences.
  • Coordinate media relations activities with external public relations and advertising agency contractors as needed.
  • Serve as a media spokesperson in California on priority lung health, lung cancer air quality and tobacco control issues as needed.
  • Cultivate, nurture and expand the Lung Association’s relationships with state, regional, local, ethnic and fringe media outlets, including but not limited to bloggers, producers etc.
  • Create, implement, and oversee the Lung Association digital and social media strategy for the government relations department working in close communication with the Statewide Manager - Digital & Social Media.
  • Work closely with Spanish media to broaden reach of lung health messages in diverse communities.
  • Compile and disseminate media mentions of Lung Association to staff, volunteers.

Constituent Cultivation

  • Coordinate and cultivate volunteer media spokespersons (board members, physicians, lung heroes, patients, etc.)
  • Provide trainings for both staff and volunteers on media outreach, acting as spokespersons.
  • Prepare internal materials and messaging to disseminate information about advocacy wins, work, and campaigns to staff & boards.

Mission Integration

  • Partner with EVP, Mountain Pacific & California to ensure media stories, media opportunities, advocacy messaging and advocacy successes support development work.
  • Work with local offices and Executive Directors to cultivate to drive media outreach and promotion of advocacy work and more general market goals at the local level.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications with eight plus years’ experience in communications or related field.
  • Experience in journalism, editing and/or writing preferred
  • Ability and experience in interacting with news media and high level medical professionals
  • Experience in researching information and resources online
  • Consummate, self-motivated team player who can work effectively in a highly-integrated team and thrives in an entrepreneurial, network-driven environment where everyone rolls up their sleeves and does whatever it takes to get the job done.
  • Proven experienceworking with media; established relationships with media statewide a plus
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, effective presentation skills
  • Experience creating messages for associations around a public policy issue, event, announcement or other newsworthy activity.
  • Experience translating technical issues for the non-scientist, broader public
  • Knowledge of tobacco, air quality, climate change, health care policy and other lung health issues preferred
  • Proven experience leading comprehensive social and digital media strategies
  • Ability to turn things around quickly and to meet deadlines on or ahead of schedule.
  • Well-organized and detail oriented
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities in a dynamic environment
  • Experience writing and executing a successful media and digital media plan with proven results
  • Experience working with science and business media
  • Experience writing and successful placement of press releases, Op Eds, Letters to the Editor, Editorial Board memos, and organizing news conferences.
  • Strong knowledge of California legislative and political media structures highly preferred.
  • Committed to the mission of an organization devoted to helping improve lung health and prevent lung disease.
  • Spanish speaking preferred with experience working in Spanish media.
  • Consistent with its mission, the American Lung Association maintains a smokefree work place; all employees must abstain from tobacco use in any form.