The Los Angeles Conservancy seeks a strong leader to oversee the organization’s strategic communications. The Communications Department advances the Conservancy’s mission by cultivating awareness of, engagement in, and support for our work. The Director leads the communications team in working with all departments to enhance specific efforts while fostering a strong, cohesive voice and image for the Conservancy as a whole.
As a member of the senior leadership team, the Director of Communications also helps guide the organization’s overall strategy and operations. This full-time, exempt position reports to the President and CEO, and oversees two staff members.
Founded in 1978, the Los Angeles Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that works through education and advocacy to recognize, preserve, and revitalize historic places throughout Los Angeles County. With approximately 6,000 member households, the Conservancy has the largest membership of any local historic preservation organization in the U.S. We have a staff of eighteen and a budget of almost $2.8 million.
Our work is grounded in the belief that historic preservation empowers and nourishes communities by creating meaningful connections between people. We strive to preserve places that matter to all Angelenos.
We are looking for someone who, in addition to having the skills below, loves historic places and values their role in contributing to our communities.
Writing and Editorial Direction
- Set, convey, and maintain the public voice of the organization
- Write strategic materials on tight deadlines to meet diverse messaging needs, from advocacy position statements to public remarks and think pieces
- Edit all mass communications created by staff for clarity, consistency, voice, and message
- Oversee the use and acquisition of photography and video
- Create the visual presentation for our annual Preservation Awards Luncheon, including writing the script and overseeing image acquisition
- Set overall communications strategy, including goals, priorities, calendars, and measurement
- Craft strategy for public engagement, messaging, and storytelling related to preservation issues, educational programs, outreach in diverse communities, and donor cultivation
- Oversee marketing strategy, implementation, and evaluation
- Oversee website, email marketing, and social media strategy, including major enhancements
- Oversee member communications, including newsletter
- Manage media relations: cultivate relationships with journalists and influencers, pitch coverage of the Conservancy’s work and impact, field requests, arrange and prep staff interviews, and serve as spokesperson if needed
- Manage the Conservancy’s brand identity across programs and platforms
- Produce the annual Preservation Awards Luncheon program: create the visual presentation, coordinate remarks by project representatives, and manage the program on-site
- Ensure that communications strategy and decisions include a broad range of perspectives and experiences
- Ensure that communications reflect the vast diversity of Greater Los Angeles
- Measure communications efforts in order to evaluate return on investment and plan ongoing improvement
- Keep up with best practices in nonprofit communications and marketing
- Hire, train, manage, and coach/mentor communications staff; translate organizational and departmental goals into staff goals; provide direction, supervision, evaluation, and support
- Lead the communications team in working with other departments (Advocacy, Education, and Membership/Development) to use strategic communications to meet their goals
- Inform and involve the communications team regarding strategic decisions
- Ensure quality, timely, and effective communications through supervision, review, and hands-on effort
- Create, manage, and/or oversee departmental budgets
- Work with administrative staff to ensure the effective use and integration of communications technology (website, constituent relationship management system, and email marketing system)
- Report on communications efforts to the Board of Directors; engage board members by helping them understand and communicate our work
- Contribute to organizational strategic planning
Required Knowledge and Skills
- Exceptional writing and editing skills; bilingual (English and Spanish) a plus
- Ability to quickly distill complex information into compelling messages for different audiences
- Strong media relations skills and understanding of the L.A.-area media landscape; relationships with local outlets and journalists preferred
- Strong marketing skills, from audience identification and strategy to data analysis and measurement
- Exceptional project management skills
- Creative and analytical thinking; exceptional problem-solving skills
- Exceptional attention to detail
- Excellent interpersonal and oral communications skills
- Ability to prioritize and re-prioritize quickly and constantly
- Ability to quickly grasp organizational needs and goals, and determine how best to use strategic communications to support them
- Ability to lead through collaboration
- Thorough knowledge of best practices in communications, preferably for nonprofits
- Positive attitude; ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office; proficiency in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop preferred
- Five or more years of experience in strategic communications, preferably in a nonprofit setting
- Two or more years of experience supervising staff
- Track record of successfully driving projects to completion
- Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends
- Bachelor’s degree in communications or related field
- Three or more years of experience managing communications teams
- Experience managing web-based projects and systems, particularly Drupal sites
Salary is commensurate with experience.
Excellent benefits including health, dental, and life insurance; 401(k) retirement plan with 5% match (after one year of continuous employment); paid holidays and vacation.
Email cover letter, resume, and writing samples to Cindy Olnick, Director of Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org), with “Director of Communications” in the subject line. No phone calls, please.
Prepare responses to Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs) and other documents on preservation issues related to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
Monitor and track relevant public hearings and schedules for Conservancy issues.
Oversee the Conservancy’s preservation easement program, including the management and monitoring of properties.
Write and regularly contribute for newsletter and other outlets.
Represent the Conservancy at public hearings and meetings on preservation issues.
Help implement the Conservancy’s legislative initiatives on historic preservation policy in the City of Los Angeles and around Los Angeles County.
Coordinate semi-annual L.A. Historic Neighborhoods Conference and Landmark THIS! Workshop series, and additional training for Los Angeles’ Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ) boards, Realtors, etc.
Provide assistance to neighborhoods seeking designation as historic districts, or City of Los Angeles Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs), and to existing HPOZs.
Give presentations to community organizations on historic preservation and the work of the Conservancy.
Provide technical assistance and responses to email, telephone and online inquiries on preservation issues.
Provide support for the Conservancy’s Advocacy Committee and its all-volunteer Modern Committee (ModCom), focused on the preservation of Modern architectural resources.
Manage advocacy interns and Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Summer interns and oversee projects.
Occasionally, research and prepare nominations for City, State and National designations of historic properties.
Develop and prepares content for Conservancy’s website on advocacy issues and priorities.
Use Salesforce to track advocacy issues and as project management tool.
Provide support, when needed, on general office administration and with special Conservancy events throughout the year.
At least three years of relevant professional experience in historic preservation, or a Master’s degree in historic preservation or a related field.
Good working knowledge of historic preservation, urban planning, public policy, and architectural history.
Familiarity with and full understanding of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
Politically savvy and familiarity with government decision-making on historic preservation and planning issues in the City of Los Angeles, other local governments, and state and national levels.
Excellent writing, editing, research and analytical skills.
Ability to manage numerous projects and multi-task.
Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
Self-starter with good teamwork and organizational skills.
Good oral communication skills, and comfort with public speaking.
Ability to speak Spanish or other languages a plus.
How to Apply
Director of Advocacy
Los Angeles Conservancy
Since its founding in 1978, the Los Angeles Conservancy has been committed to educating the public about Los Angeles County’s history, architecture, and preservation efforts. Education programs teach students and adults to see beyond the traditional concept of “landmarks” in order to understand neighborhoods and buildings in a context that emphasizes the role of history, culture, and community. The Education Intern will work primarily on programs related to the Conservancy’s Youth Initiative, which focuses on students, teachers, and young people. Interns with a strong interest in teaching and education are encouraged to apply.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- With staff, research, write and implement a walking tour of the Downtown Los Angeles area suitable for 3- to 12-grade students groups. Adapt materials and lesson plans that accompany the tour for pre- and post-tour learning.
- Assist with the planning and teaching of Adventures in Architecture, a summer youth program co-presented with Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), as well as additional outreach youth programs.
- Assist in the research, writing, and creation of materials and visual aids to accompany new and existing programs as part of the Youth Initiative.
- Lead or team-teach student walking tours and/or workshops for students, if appropriate.
- Conduct preliminary research, resource gathering, and help scout sites for special fall/winter tours. Research may focus on neighborhoods and communities, historic buildings and sites, architects, and architectural styles. Research should utilize primary and secondary resources.
- Assist in the staffing of Last Remaining Seats, a three-week series of classic films in historic theaters, by working at several of the seven film screenings held on Wednesday and Saturday evenings in June.
- Assist with the staffing of walking tours or other education programs.
- Miscellaneous research, office, assessment and organizational work as needed.
Supervision, Nature of Training, & Workspace
The Education Specialist and Program Coordinator provide direct supervision of the intern’s work. The intern, as with all members of the education department, answers to the Director of Education.
The intern will work a Monday through Friday work week, with some weekends and after hour work required. Flexible hours are a must.
The intern will gain experience researching, creating and teaching educational programs for students, staffing educational events that reach audiences through various learning styles, and assessing the effectiveness of programs. In addition to these projects, the Education Intern will participate in many aspects of the Conservancy’s daily operations, including staff, board, and department meetings and planning sessions. The intern will gain experience working with volunteers, will be immersed in a collaborative team environment, and will gain an understanding of how the departments in a nonprofit organization work together to carry out a mission.
A designated desk, work area, computer, and telephone will be reserved for the Education Intern’s use for ten weeks between June and August 2018. The intern will receive a $5,500 stipend.
Email the below items to:
Make sure to include the following:
- Cover letter explaining your interest in teaching and education, and/or historic preservation, architecture, and public programming. Include a description of how you meet the requirements for the position (found at www.getty.edu/foundation/funding/leaders/current/mui_students.html)
- Current resume
- Writing sample (no more than two pages)
- Contact information for two references (teacher, professor, former employer, etc.)
The application deadline is Wednesday, April 25, 2018.