Senior Communications Officer

Job Title: Senior Communications Officer

Join Heartland Alliance International to support our innovative programs serving marginalized and vulnerable communities.

Summary: Heartland Alliance International (HAI) seeks a Senior Communications Officer to support the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy. Applicants must be excellent written and oral communicators and have a demonstrated record of success coordinating marketing/outreach campaigns across web, print, and social media platforms. The ideal candidate has experience working on international development and human rights issues. The Senior Communications Officer will help HAI engage with different communications, and grow as an organization through storytelling, marketing, PR, and social media initiatives.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Helps create and implement an integrated and innovative communications strategy that supports HAI’s evolving goals.
  • Contributes to the design and content of the website, print publications, social media channels, original content, and other outlets that help HAI engage with relevant communities and supporters.
  • Collaborates with HAI team members around the world to understand and support HAI’s diverse country offices and programs.
  • Creates country-level communications and outreach plans in coordination with key country level staff.
  • Coordinates and works with designers and other experts on developing compelling and effective visuals and communication assets relevant to the website, mass emails, social media posts, and select printed materials.
  • Ensures the organization’s brand identity and enforces its guideline to maintain consistency across initiatives, productions, and channels.
  • Leads in the development of case studies chronicling HAI’s successes and lessons learned.
  • Ensures strong coordination with HAI’s learning staff and Heartland Alliance’s Communications department to ensure proper external representation.
  • Writes, edits, and designs HAI’s capacity statements, country and technical brochures, press releases, website, quarterly newsletter, and other external materials.
  • Trains staff in Chicago and international offices on communications practices, company style, and branding, including reviewing materials developed by field offices.
  • Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or higher in communications, social sciences or related field, or commensurate work experience

Technical Skills:

  • Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree and five years professional experience in communications, design, storytelling or related fields, or a Master’s Degree and four years of professional experience.
  • Excellent personal communication, presentation, and writing skills are a must.
  • Documented experience in print, web, and social media management required.
  • Working knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, or similar software.
  • Experience with WordPress and interest in photography are a plus.

Other Competencies:

  • Forward and strategic thinking – Has an understanding of broad and interconnected systems within which HAI works. Able to provide thoughtful contributions to the strategic process. Able to monitor and make recommendations on how to respond to changing conditions.
  • Motivation – Able to help others see the personal benefits to doing their job well. Able to recognize and tackle morale problems, and uses a variety of approaches to energize and inspire others. Signals own commitment to a process by being personally present and involved at key events.
  • Written Communication – Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Uses audience appropriate business writing style; Able to submit communications to senior leadership for final review with minimal edits and revisions required.
  • Professionalism – Understands how they are perceived by others based on words and actions, in addition to quality and consistency of work product. Takes actions calculated to have a positive effect on others. Able to provide clear and specific guidance to direct reports who do not meet organizational standards or expectations.
  • Reliability – Shows commitment, dedication and accountability in one’s work, and follows through on all projects, goals, and aspects of one’s work, including meeting commitments to provide supervision, training and other support to direct-reports.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration – Listens and responds constructively to other team members’ ideas. Communicates key HAI or regional priorities and how one’s team or department contributes to achieving those priorities. Fosters and rewards a collaborative team environment. Able to coach an individual team member to improve teamwork and collaboration, and appropriately engages HR or Senior Leadership to identify and/or address team or department wide obstacles.
  • Adaptability – Manages the change process and energizes it on an ongoing basis, taking steps to remove barriers or accelerate its pace. Able to manage personal emotions about change and understands staff may feel anxiety, fear, or anger due to the change. Realigns resources to meet changing needs and takes feedback into consideration while implementing change.
  • Integrity and Authenticity – Maintains confidentiality, admits mistakes and takes stands based on principles and values in spite of the potential for negative consequences, and challenges others who are not acting with integrity.
  • Cultural Humility and Interpersonal Awareness – Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations. Finds non-threatening ways to approach others about sensitive issues. Able to coach direct reports to recognize and adjust behaviors when they are not demonstrating cultural humility or interpersonal awareness.
  • Resilience and Stress Tolerance – Able to not only recognize and mitigate personal stressors, but understands how to monitor work climate and respond promptly to signs of heightened stress in the team or individuals, seeks support from Human Resources and Senior Leadership (or keeps them informed)
  • Service Orientation – Able to recognize need for assistance or guidance without being asked, able to reprioritize staff projects and/or responsibilities redistribute tasks to other team members, or solicit support/approval from senior leadership to obtain additional resources. Publicly acknowledges and thanks staff who take on higher volume of work or duties not part of their position.
  • Technical Expertise – Possesses an in-depth knowledge and skill in a technical area. Effectively applies technical knowledge to solve a range of problems.
  • Detail Oriented and Thorough – Sets up procedures to ensure high quality of work. Questions others to assess whether they have thought through a plan of action; and assess their confidence in solving a problem or tackling a situation. Checks the accuracy of own and others’ work.
  • Time Management – Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time and complete projects in a fast-paced, changing environment with minimal supervision.

Language Skills:

  • Excellent oral and written English language communication skills
  • Knowledge of French or Spanish preferred
  • Demonstrated competency in public speaking

Computer Skills:

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee is required to travel regularly to often insecure and limited-resource environments.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization’s AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at +1 (312) 660-1431.

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