Communications Officer at Heifer International
Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. Dan West was a farmer from the American Midwest and member of the Church of the Brethren who went to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War as an aid worker. His mission was to provide relief, but he soon discovered the meager single cup of milk rationed to the weary refugees once a day was not enough. And then he had a thought: What if they had not a cup, but a cow? That “teach a man to fish” philosophy is what drove West to found Heifer International. And now, nearly 70 years later, that philosophy still inspires our work to end world hunger and poverty throughout the world once and for all. HOW IT WORKS We empower families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – but our approach is more than just giving them a handout. Heifer links communities and helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.
As part of the Communications Team, the Communications Officer is a strong storyteller who is able to conceive and write engaging multimedia content that is focused on Heifer’s work around the world for use on a variety of platforms including the web, in World Ark Magazine and other media channels.
S/he works to expand Heifer’s outreach and communications plan with existing and new audiences by bringing their writing expertise as well as their creativity, planning and organization skills and their commitment to continuous learning.
This role requires a willingness to collaborate on projects, a proactive approach to gathering information, as well as self-motivation to meet critical deadlines.
Responsibilities & Deliverables
A. Research, produce, and deliver creative and immersive content in support of Heifer’s work for Heifer-owned and external channels (60%)
- Research work includes building relationships and conducting interviews and meetings with country, project and regional teams and others to understand Heifer’s work and identify and develop story leads connected to Heifer’s core themes.
- Contribute to the planning and organization of stories using a layering approach to enhance traction in the marketplace and optimize for SEO on the web.
- Work with Senior Communications Officer and team on concept development for multimedia content
- Collaborate with graphic designers and other team members to create first-rate print and digital content
- Work with Public Relations staff to explore and secure opportunities to promote content outside of Heifer-owned channels
- Regularly contribute and bring forward-looking ideas to Communications Team weekly editorial meetings
- Contribute feature-length articles to World Ark magazine and the Heifer blog
- Post content to the web including Heifer blog
- Understands social media best practices for content creation and posts.
B. Work with public relations staff to develop external-facing content related to Heifer’s work and tied to the news agenda (25%)
- Collaborate with staff across the organization to write and edit relevant expert commentary for the Heifer blog and external channels (op-eds., LTEs )
- Counsel, support, and encourage staff across the organization to share their opinions and expertise in ways that can be used to promote Heifer’s work
- Provide copy-editing and proofreading support to staff across the organization
C. Develop and explore opportunities to promote Heifer in new channels with different content types (10%)
- Develop and test new approaches and products designed to maximize the reach of products and expand Heifer’s core audiences
- Review and update brand and identity of Heifer blog and World Ark
- In collaboration with the Senior Communications Officer and team, analyze and interpret information and audience insight metrics in order to add value and SEO to content, platforms and utilization of existing resources to enhance effectiveness.
D. May perform other job-related duties, as assigned (5%)
Bachelor’s degree plus five (5) years’ job-related experience.
- Demonstrated grasp of traditional and social media landscapes.
- Experience conducting interviews and research.
- Visual literacy and experience working with foreign language translators and/or directing freelance photographers.
- Proficiency in a foreign language, preferably Spanish.
Most Critical Proficiencies
- Demonstrated writing craft and an eye for a story.
- Ability to cultivate relationships to deliver stories showcasing the active agency of project participants, protecting their dignity.
- Strong writing and editing skills with the ability to demonstrate a diversity of writing skills.
- Excellent organizational skills including strong attention to detail.
- Knowledge of the non-profit sector and the context to which non-profit organizations operate.
- Willingness to collaborate to meet the needs of the organization.
- Self-motivation to meet critical deadlines.
- Excellent English language skills.
- Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, database, and email software (Microsoft Office Suite preferred).
- Understanding of and connection to Heifer’s core values.
- Experience working on issues relating to small-scale farming, food security, economic development, women’s rights.
- Commitment to social justice and equity.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands
- May require constant sitting, working at a computer for extended periods of time.
- Ability to lift and carry up to 30 pounds (14 kilograms) floor to waist.
- Uphold journalistic excellence and credibility in all assignments.
- Ability to interact with diverse individuals and groups tactfully and assertively with the ability to listen attentively and creatively, leaving only a positive impression.
- Ability to produce accurate documents in a well-designed and attractive format appropriate for Heifer’s worldwide audience with impeccable attention to detail.
- Ability to handle multiple tasks with inflexible deadlines and constant interruptions.
- Proven ability to consistently meet deadlines.
- Willingness and ability to travel internationally and domestically, as needed.
- Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with internal and external colleagues at all levels and ethnicities.
- Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.
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