Director of Media Relations

Defenders of Wildlife   •  

Washington, DC

Industry: Non-Profit


8 - 10 years

Posted 340 days ago


Location: Headquarters, DC
Department: Communications
Supervisor: Vice President for Communications
Salary Range: 80,000 - 85,000 yr.


The Director of Media Relations is responsible for developing both proactive and reactive communications campaigns and strategies to inform targeted audiences and the public about Defenders of Wildlife and its conservation policies, and to build support for Defenders’ conservation positions with the public, decision makers and elected officials, both nationally and locally. The position has management responsibility for three additional media staff.


  • Work with management, program and field staff to develop and implement strategies, tactics and news hooks to raise the visibility of the organization and advance Defenders and our priority issues with key national, regional and local media.

  • Manage earned media activities related to high priority issues, such as the Endangered Species Act, Arctic Refuge, the Farm Bill or other issue areas of importance to Defenders of Wildlife.

  • Work with communications team to pitch stories and appearances to targeted media outlets.

  • Work with communications team to develop and implement strategic plans for all priority issues.

  • Develop targeted advertising campaigns, as resources are available, around top priority issues.

  • Work with the Vice President for Communications to develop communications strategies for engaging and building partnerships with diverse communities.

  • Maintain a reactive press function within the organization to allow for quick response tobreaking conservation news and developments.

  • Participate in the development and implementation of the communications department’s annual plan.

  • Oversee production of press outreach materials and content for the online newsroom and liaise with online staff to ensure our web site and blog are up to date and engaging for visitors. 

  • Effectively deploy program staff, legal and scientific experts and board members in the execution of media strategies.

  • Oversee the logistics of all media relations functions, including internal press systems, training materials, blogs and social media.  Explore new communications tools and evaluate their usefulness for Defenders.

  • Assist and train program staff on message development and delivery.

  • Hire, manage and evaluate communications department staff.

  • Ensure communication of duties and responsibilities to direct reports and monitor performance. Provide regular coaching and counseling. Identify training needs. Prepare and deliver performance reviews.

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education:  Bachelor’s (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent in English, public relations, journalism, environmental communications, public policy or related discipline

  • Experience:  7+ years of progressively responsible direct experience working in media relations, journalism, broadcasting or on Capitol Hill. Experience organizing media and outreach campaigns or projects.  Two plus year’s relevant management/supervisory experience.  An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Other:

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills, especially when dealing with the media

  • Strong analytical, editing, and leadership skills

  • Well-established contacts with both the broadcast and print media

  • Knowledge of the environmental field and/or political campaign experience helpful

  • Fluency in Spanish helpful


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.


  • General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

$80K - $85K