Communications Director

The Communications Director guides and develops the strategy for all external- and internal-facing materials, communications, public relations messages, and collateral to consistently articulate Akilah’s mission and vision, including work on the soon-to-be-launched Akilah.com career development platform. The Communications Director will work closely with the communications department and campus teams to develop Akilah Institute and Akilah.com’s digital marketing strategy and narrative and is responsible for advancing the organization’s position with donors, media, and partners, as well as driving broader awareness and support for the organization with the general public. The Communications Director manages the overall development of Akilah’s varied and integrated communications products, including: marketing collateral and print publications; web, social media, and other online communications; media and public relations; and marketing.

The position requires excellent written communications skills, knowledge of graphic design principles and software (such as Adobe Creative Suite), significant digital project management experience, a highly collaborative style, and ability to manage complex projects with multiple stakeholders across several geographic locations and time zones.

Responsibilities

Strategy

  • Lead the development and execution of Akilah’s communications and marketing strategy for both local and international audiences
  • Develop and produce the communications strategy and materials for fundraising initiatives
  • Lead the generation of online content that engages audience segments and leads to measurable action
  • Put communications vehicles in place to create momentum and awareness as well as to test the effectiveness of communications activities
  • Maintain Akilah’s Communications Toolkit, including ongoing updates to internal messaging, talking points, style guide, etc.

Marketing

  • Guide artistic direction of graphics, web, and printed collateral to be on message with broader strategic communications goals
  • Manage the development, distribution, and maintenance of all print and electronic collateral including, but not limited to, newsletters, brochures, annual report, and website
  • Support the Development team in creating fundraising materials and collateral
  • Support the Admissions Director to develop marketing materials for prospective
 students

Website & Digital Products

  • Coordinate web page maintenance, ensuring that new and consistent information (article links, stories, and events) is posted regularly
  • Determine web development priorities, detail project scope, and project manage the rollout of web deliverables
  • Manage email marketing platform, determine email calendar, create layouts, and write email copy
  • Track, measure, and report on the level of engagement with website, email marketing, and social media tools
  • Work closely with Akilah partners, such as Catapult, Aid for Africa, etc., providing necessary materials and information for fundraising purposes

Press and Media

  • Maintain a proactive posture about current news and events in Akilah issue areas and conduct regular media monitoring to identify potential media targets and generate story ideas and/or news to share with supporters
  • Lead the development of and identify op-ed pieces or guest blog posts bylined by executive staff to further elevate Akilah’s global voice
  • Draft and manage press releases and public relations materials
  • Manages the media relations process during strategic pitch efforts, including identifying target media outlets and reporters, and writing pitch
  • Build strategic relationships & identify opportunities for publicity in the East African press
  • Manage all media contacts and field media inquiries

Requirements

  • Passion for Akilah’s mission to educate and empower young women in East Africa to launch professional careers
  • 4-7 years’ experience in a management role either as a content marketer, journalist, or communications specialist
  • 2-4 years’ experience as a digital project manager, managing websites and digital products including, but not limited to, CMS, email marketing tools, Google Analytics, etc.
  • 1-2 years’ experience with layout and graphics design software
  • Experience developing and implementing communications strategies
  • Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills
  • A strong track record in operations and implementation
  • Ability to manage and thrive while juggling a variety of key initiatives concurrently
  • Sincere commitment to work collaboratively with all constituent groups, including staff, board members, volunteers, donors, students, and supporters
  • Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial
  • Enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives
  • Extremely detail-oriented

Strongly Desired

  • Prior experience working in international development, especially in education, women’s empowerment, or youth employment
  • Experience with Google AdWords and keyword strategy
  • Intermediate Excel skills – can use pivot tables, sort and filter date, write nested functions, but no need for Visual Basic