Who We Are
At iCivics, we are deeply committed to elevating the importance of civics in our schools. We are a fast-growing civic education nonprofit founded by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Our mission is to collaborate with teachers and leaders across the country to re-imagine civic education for American democracy. We champion equitable and nonpartisan civic education, while providing engaging resources that empower educators in the critical task of preparing young people for lifelong civic engagement.
In partnership with iCivics, nearly 10 million students learn about our government, the rule of law, and civic issues. We make civic education relevant to new generations of Americans through online games and innovative classroom resources available at no cost. Our reach is substantial: 145,000 teachers across all 50 states are registered with iCivics–and we are growing by leaps and bounds based on a 30% increase in just one year in teacher accounts and active users. Student engagement is at the heart of the iCivics story: our games have been played by students a staggering 148 million times.
But we’re not only the leading provider of civic education, but also working to catalyze a movement to prioritize civic education in the United States and demonstrate its impact in sustaining and strengthening our nation’s constitutional democracy.
What You’ll Do
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and serving as an integral member of the executive team, the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer (CCMO) serves as principal adviser charged with executing comprehensive marketing and communications strategies to promote and amplify the iCivics brand on multiple platforms. As the CCMO, you will lead all iCivics communications externally, will oversee iCivics marketing operation, and will ensure timely and consistent communication internally in an effort to create awareness and plans and initiatives across the organization. The CCMO will work collaboratively with iCivics leadership and other key stakeholders in setting the vision for and leading the Communications and Marketing Team, including media relations, social media, marketing elements of iCivics websites, creative, and strategic communications. Product marketing experience will be a key factor for a successful leader in this role.
The CCMO drives the promotion and management of the organization's brand reputation, its most important asset. The leader in this role will be responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of a wide range of public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership. Our CCMO may also serve as an ambassador for the organization with the goal of advancing the organization's position with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness and support for the organization.
Your Key Responsibilities (The “What”)
Marketing and Communications Strategy, Vision, and Leadership
- Serve as chief communication strategist on iCivics strategy, initiatives, and priorities with focus on forward-looking message and communications planning.
- Develop, lead, and evaluate iCivics’ integrated marketing and communications strategy to advance iCivics’ brand identity, broaden awareness of its programs and priorities, and increase the visibility of iCivics programs and products across key stakeholder audiences.
- Play a key role in partnerships, public events, and launches of initiatives and products with the goal of making iCivics the go-to source on civic education and related policy.
- Create marketing/public relations strategy that will allow iCivics leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media and key influencers.
- Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with the leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
- Serve as strategic marketing and communications adviser to iCivics leadership, particularly with respect to product strategic direction.
- As part of the senior leadership team, advise on all marketing and communications priorities, including the nature and timing for all public engagements and partnership alignments.
Marketing and Communications Operations
- Communicate and represent iCivics’ vision and perspective internally and to the general public/community.
- Build and maintain public support for civic education and iCivics in collaboration with the executive director, leadership team, and coalition and other partners.
- Oversee a marketing program that enhances iCivics’ image across diverse key stakeholder groups (from the public to the donor community) with a recognizable “brand” reflective of a strong organization on an upward trajectory.
- Oversee messaging for external iCivics communications vehicles, including the annual report, print materials, iCivics’ public-facing website, and newsletters, among other; provide support and direction in effective communications and marketing to school, district, and state-based stakeholders.
- Staff or assign staffing for media interviews and events.
- Develop and oversee editorial content strategy that leverages core team expertise and partner experiences that makes iCivics the go-to source for information on civic education.
- Identify and develop strategies for dealing effectively and proactively with external issues and concerns; interact with diverse stakeholder groups, and represent iCivics as needed.
- Build capacity of iCivics leadership in marketing and communications by providing training on a variety of topics, including public engagement, marketing, media, and social media.
- Assess, evaluate, and enhance formal, informal, internal and external communications programs, leading implementation of regular communications impact monitoring, including web and social media analytics and strategy benchmarks.
- Oversee day-to-day activities of the marketing and communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development to ensure resources are used effectively in service of the strategy.
- Lead a strong, vision-focused, service-oriented team of professionals across all aspects of media, internal and external communications, web design, and marketing. Foster collaboration, teamwork and creativity and a deep commitment to teachers and students.
- Build, supervise, and support a communications and marketing team that will execute and, in service of the communications strategy, write briefings for media and speaking events, blog and social media posts, op-eds and white papers, and oversee messaging for iCivics communications vehicles.
- Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
- Monitor established staff performance and development goals, set priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals.
- Manage communications consultants, inducing media relations consultants, designers, event firms, etc., to advance iCivics’ strategic goals and key initiatives.
What You’ll Need to be Successful (The “How”)
Commitment to World-Class Civic Education
We are committed to the success of our mission to bring a high-quality civic education to every student nationwide. We believe all our work should be done with purpose and a focus to further our mission. You are a growth-minded, entrepreneurial leader who is ready to make a difference in education and work in a collaborative and fast-paced environment.
Goal-Oriented and Equity-Centered
There is an urgency to our work, and we are relentless in achieving our goals. We believe that equitable civic education must acknowledge students’ identities, knowledge, and lived experiences through diverse histories and a teaching of American government that is truthful and transparent. It must be inclusive, representative, and relatable across lines of race, gender, and ability.
Collaborative and Innovative
We prioritize all of our activities around what’s best for teachers and students in teaching civics knowledge and skills in a relevant, equitable, and engaging way. For this reason, we collaborate with educators, partners, students, and with each other to continue to develop and share the best educational materials. We understand that all great things start with a groundbreaking idea or strategy, and are followed with diligent and collaborative execution and insight.
Service-Minded and Accessible
We prioritize all of our activities around what’s best for teachers and students to increase educational opportunities in civic education. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. We are friendly and accessible, so all educators and organizations feel comfortable trusting and partnering with us.
What You’ll Bring
- Bachelor's degree in journalism, marketing, communications, or related field is required; an advanced degree is preferred
- Minimum of 10 years’ experience of accomplished strategic marketing and/or communications experience of increasing scope, including experience in a senior management role either in-house or with an agency
- Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output
- Experience functioning successfully as a marketing and communications strategist and spokesperson in a politically charged environment
- Product marketing experience is a must have; nonprofit, agency, and consulting experience in an entrepreneurial context is a powerful plus
- Proof of effective communication skills, partnership and relationship building, and experience as a leader in communicating with a diverse community
- Extensive successful writing and editing experience (externally focused) with a variety of print and online communications media
- Experience working directly with executives or other high-profile individuals
- Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives
- Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management and staff
- Fiscal accountability and budget management experience
- Knowledge of:
- Current education trends, issues and research
- Current literature and best practices in public relations, marketing, communications, and public affairs
- Marketing and communications theory, principles, practices and strategies
- Diversity, sensitivity, and competence with regard to issues of race, learning or other ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, socio-economic group, sexuality or other orientations or cultural markers
What We Offer
Salary for this integral position starts at $160,000 and is commensurate with experience. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package will be included in the offer to the finalist candidate. We look forward to discussing details with you as the interview process progresses.
This is a virtual role. iCivics is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. iCivics is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or political or other viewpoint in making any employment decisions.