Position: Press Secretary
Classification: Full-time, Exempt
Location: Oakland or Los Angeles
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), a progressive, statewide California union of more than 100,000 hospital workers, patients, and healthcare activists, has an immediate opening for a Press Secretary to develop and execute our media relations strategy and serve as a spokesperson engaging with local, state, and national reporters.
The Press Secretary performs a wide range of duties to promote and support our Healthcare Justice mission of securing affordable, accessible, high-quality care for everyone provided by valued, respected healthcare workers everywhere, including:
1. Developing earned media strategies to proactively place stories that further SEIU-UHW campaign goals, elevate the voices of our hospital workers, patients, and healthcare activists, and that increase the profile and visibility of SEIU-UHW as a leading healthcare justice organization.
2. Engaging with the press by serving as SEIU-UHW spokesperson, fielding and being responsive to media requests, leveraging social media to identify and communicate with relevant reporters, pitching creative and timely story ideas, and by developing and maintaining substantive relationships with reporters, columnists, and editors.
3. Supporting rapid response to developments and emerging stories affecting SEIU-UHW issues and campaigns by actively following relevant news outlets and developing reactive media strategies.
4. Coordinating media events, including timing, staging, messaging, logistics, and briefing for key event participants;
5. Writing various materials, including press releases/advisories, statements, pitches, talking points, op-eds, letters to the editor, background pieces, fact sheets, press kit materials, and other items as needed.
6. Preparing SEIU-UHW members, leaders, and staff for media interviews and conducting ongoing media spokesperson trainings to build our organizational capacity to engage with media.
7. Acting as a liaison with media relations staff and communicators from collaborating labor unions, community organizations, elected officials, and coalition partners as needed for various campaigns.
8. Developing collaborative working relationships with SEIU-UHW officers, directors, and rank-and-file leadership and fostering a deep knowledge base of SEIU-UHW programs, campaigns, and general operations.
9. Tracking the outcomes of our media relations work: Monitoring coverage, maintaining and distributing relevant clips, maintaining updated media contact lists, analyzing results and adjusting media strategy as needed.
10. Participating actively in the SEIU-UHW Communications Department, collaborating with fellow communications staffers, and performing other duties as assigned.
Requirements and qualifications:
The ideal candidate is a strong writer who loves to learn, improvise, experiment, and stay on the cutting-edge; is wildly curious and studies and “steals” best practices from other campaigns and organizations; enjoys the thrill of advocacy and campaign work; and is passionate about improving people’s lives by fighting for social justice and to improve the lives of working people and their families.
Requirements and qualifications include:
• At least eight years of experience in a newsroom or in public relations work, preferably with experience working with California media.
• Demonstrated experience in performing pro-active media outreach, maintaining good working relationships with journalists and generating positive media coverage.
• Excellent writing and oral communications skills (media/press-specific). *
• Bilingual English-Spanish strongly preferred.
• An entrepreneurial and creative mindset to develop ideas that generate media coverage and define core campaign issues.
• Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds/cultures.
• Ability to work independently as well as on a team.
• Commitment to social justice for all people.
• Willingness to work long and irregular hours.
• Willingness to travel.
• Previous experience with/knowledge of labor unions, political campaigns, and/or other advocacy organizations strongly preferred but not required.
Scope and Nature of Supervision:
• Reports to the Communications Director and Public Affairs Director.
• Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
• A high level of independent judgment and initiative is required.
• Must be able to work with elected leaders, members and staff in complex and sometimes sensitive political situations.
• Must be able to handle multiple “priority” projects simultaneously and meet established deadlines.
• Position may include leading other staff in a non-management role.
This is a high-level job with commensurate salary and benefits.
Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
* Writing test required.