Director, Communications

  • Job Reference: 121270565-2
  • Date Posted: 21 November 2019
  • Recruiter: Autism Speaks
  • Location: New York
  • Salary: On Application
  • Sector: Broadcasting, Journalism, Production
  • Job Type: Permanent

Job Description

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. Come join us as a Director, Communications in NYC!

PURPOSE: Develop and execute national media campaigns and video productions that advance Autism Speaks' mission by communicating its strategic objectives, progress and impact. Pitch and place media interviews and speaking opportunities for Autism Speaks leadership and experts. Provide training and support to internal teams to manage local campaigns and media coverage. Manage relationships with external partners on global campaigns, strategic partnerships and public service campaigns.


  • Lead story development and proactive placement in major print, broadcast and online news media; respond in timely manner to inquiries from national news media
  • Provide direction to public relations agency to drive additional media coverage; ensure consistent delivery of results through earned media placements
  • Work closely with senior writer/producer to edit press materials, executive communications, articles, scripts and public service announcements
  • Supervise the development and execution of photography and video productions, working closely with senior writer/producer, videographer/multimedia producer and digital team
  • Develop and implement organization-wide media training webinars/meetings
  • Work with internal communications leads across advocacy, field, science, public health and services & supports to provide direction on PR initiatives, fundraising events and media campaigns; ensure alignment with national communications strategic priorities and identify opportunities to collaborate or streamline efforts
  • Collaborate with mission delivery areas and marketing teams on annual reports, special reports and other printed materials
  • Lead communications component of signature awareness and fundraising campaigns, through partnership with field communications teams
  • Manage production of live and videotaped elements of special events
  • Maximize the impact of collaboration with nonprofit and corporate partners by securing media coverage for joint initiatives
  • Partner with senior leadership team to capitalize on media opportunities and to create strategic partnerships
  • Support global public health and inclusion initiatives as primary liaison for external partners

· Drive media metrics

  • Collaborate with social media team to create original video projects
  • Work with senior leadership team on ongoing maintenance and implementation of crisis communications plans
  • Provide writing and editing support to all teams as needed, including science communications, services and supports, marketing, digital/social, major gifts, corporate development, field and signature events

(The responsibilities listed above are representative and not all inclusive. Other duties may be assigned by supervisor/s. As outlined in your performance goal setting forms, you will be responsible for achieving the goals provided by and agreed upon with your manager.)


Education: Bachelor's degree in English, Journalism, Communications, Media or equivalent experience required


  • 10+ years' experience in a media or public relations capacity
  • Experience working with journalists from a variety of media outlets (print, broadcast and digital)
  • Experience managing and leading PR campaigns, including development and execution of proactive pitches

Related Skills and Knowledge:

  • Storytelling
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Knowledge of AP Style
  • Intermediate proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite for PC, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Understanding of graphic design
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Professionalism and resourcefulness under deadlines
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative
  • Ability to lead multiple projects simultaneously
  • Flexibility to work extended hours as needed to meet deadlines, including occasional evenings and weekends


  • Building Collaborative Relationships
  • Professional Behavior
  • Results Driven
  • Customer Orientation
  • Flexibility

You are responsible for protecting the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all Autism Speaks data and information to which you have access.

Autism Speaks offers a competitive compensation package and the opportunity to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow for individuals with autism and their families.

For consideration, please forward your resume and cover letter.

Only those applicants who meet the hiring criteria will be considered and contacted by Human Resources. Autism Speaks is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for job openings. Reasonable accommodations will be provided.