Position description: Communications Manager
7 / 8 / 21
About Great MN Schools: We believe great schools matter & that they change lives
We see first-hand how some schools demonstrate that children from all races, means, and origins can achieve. We need more of them—district, public charter, and independent—because all children should be able to attend high-performing schools that prepare them to thrive in their lives, careers, and communities.
Our school-centered approach starts with identifying schools with strong leaders and culture, and helping them diagnose their strengths and gaps. We facilitate the development of a strategic roadmap, and surround schools with support to ensure the implementation of strategic interventions and evidence-based solutions. Together, we partner for continual progress toward excellence. This is a unique model in Minnesota, and we’re initially focused on Minneapolis.
We also build community partnerships to support underserved families’ ability to navigate K-12 systems and advocate for their children through tools and resources. This work will lead to families choosing better options for their child, and stronger family-school relationships and stronger schools.
By working alongside schools and supporting families, we’re committed to transforming education equity for students—of all backgrounds—and elevating what’s possible. We believe that great schools are the cornerstone of a just and thriving community. Ensuring that every child is able to attend one is our moral and social imperative—our children deserve no less.
Great MN Schools is looking for a Communications Manager to help bring the urgent work of more great schools and educational equity to life, as well as to maintain—and deepen—engagement in our work across broad constituency groups that range from schools and funders to community partners and advocates. A value for relationships, a knack for project management, and an ability to blend technical writing and storytelling are must-haves for this position.
Key activities include:
● Lead the creation of authentic, content-rich, and multi-media storytelling—especially that which is grounded in perspectives and experiences of communities historically underserved and marginalized, as well as explaining the work of Great MN Schools, its partners, and the opportunity to dramatically improve schools across Minneapolis
● Develop and execute social media campaigns to boost awareness of Great MN Schools’ portfolio of schools, community partners, and tools and resources
● Draft organizational statements, emails, and publications, advancing Great MN Schools’ point of view, reaching funders, schools, advocacy organizations, and community partners
● Engage media and reporters
● Support development of materials, including annual reports
● Help plan various virtual and in-person coalition events
● Ensure alignment and usage of organizational brand guidelines and messaging across external communications
● Collaborate with and help manage external vendors (e.g., graphic designers, printers)
Community tools & resources:
● Project management: Development/production and product management for family resources (e.g., How to Pick a School Tool)—projects involve internal stakeholders, third-party contractors, and tight timelines
● Manage contractors: Draft RFPs, manage selection and contract negotiation process; manage contractor to produce a high work product within timeline and budget
● Understand audiences and user experiences; ensure the on-going quality, availability, and accessibility of online and print family tools and resources (e.g., website updates and management, availability of print materials in needed languages, and delivery to community partners in timely manner)
● Manage tool/resource usage tracking; manage Google Analytics and track physical tools and resources to best ascertain market penetration of Great MN Schools tools/resources
● Support the execution of family resources promotional campaigns
● Table and staff various events
Other projects and tasks, as needed:
● Development—story ideation and grant report copywriting
● We’re a small organization and are looking for a team player to pitch in
The ideal candidate has bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public relations, or a relevant field, and a minimum of 5 years of experience supporting communications, public affairs, and/or external affairs across the enterprise. They are detail oriented, able to juggle multiple priorities at once, are savvy with social media, enjoy working in a team setting, and are able to bring a diversity, equity, and/or inclusion lens to their work. They are passionate about education and closing opportunity gaps. They bring the following skills and personal characteristics:
● Experience supporting the development and implementation of an organization’s strategic communications program (e.g., earned and social media campaigns and website development to producing coalition emails, flyers, and PPT decks for external presentations)
● Project management: Familiarity drafting RFPs and reviewing proposals; experience collaborating with external consultants and managing contractors (with particular emphasis on graphic designers, web developers, and videographers with a community-focused lens); creating and executing against project plans
● Prior experiences working alongside racially or ethnically diverse organizations, people, or cultures; the ideal candidate knows different communities across Minneapolis
● Exceptional written, verbal, and listening communication skills
● Experience managing multiple priorities simultaneously with strong attention to detail, ability to operate independently and in collaboration with others
● Demonstrated ability to manage timelines and meet deadlines, and proactively identify problems and potential solutions, resulting in an ability to move forward work in a fluid environment with significant flexibility
● A high bar for quality and accuracy, and strong attention to detail
● A knack for follow through, thoroughness, and project completion
● Experience with social media platforms; comfort with website editing, Microsoft Office, Google Suite and Analytics, Dropbox, MailChimp, Zoom, and online platforms (e.g., HotJar)
● Preferred skills:
o Familiarity with K-12 education in Minnesota or Minneapolis
o Familiarity with the Minneapolis community and experience working with the Native, Latinx, African American, and/or Hmong communities
o Fluency in Hmong or Oromo
o Prior experience working in a communications firm, managing communications for a community organization, or a fast-paced environment with competing demands and deadlines
● Strong commitment to Great MN Schools’ vision and passion for transforming K-12 education so that children of all races, means, and origins access high-performing schools; a commitment to the organization’s values:
o Results for kids, schools, families
o Purpose with bold optimism and belief in all kids
o Integrity with our partners, our investments, our decisions
o Humility learning and working together, with community
o Commitment to our city and our future
● Quick learner, interest in a diverse work portfolio with changing priorities and deadlines; growth mindset; a good attitude and willingness to get the job done and done well!
● Motivated by supporting others to collectively achieve organizational goals
● Ability to apply an equity lens and actively participate in the organization’s DEI work
● Enthusiasm, team-orientation, strong work ethic, and positive energy
● Results orientation; ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with a strong commitment to collaboration
Great MN Schools offices in the Uptown Minneapolis WeWork office located at 1330 Lagoon Ave.
Great MN Schools team members have the flexibility to work remotely part-time.
This position requires some travel across Minneapolis; readily available transportation is required.
$60,000-75,000, plus a competitive benefits package.
Apply soon—open until filled
Submit your resume, cover letter, and one social media post (that you wrote) to Nicholas Banovetz, Chief of Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Communications Manager” in the subject line.
Great MN Schools is an equal opportunity employer.