Director of Communications
OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION
SCORE is seeking a mission-aligned, experienced communications professional to lead all aspects of the organization's communications strategy in an effort to improve public education outcomes in Tennessee. The Director of Communications will be responsible for developing and executing a multichannel communication, public relations, and media strategy, aimed at advancing policies and practices that will improve student success in K-12 and higher education in Tennessee. The Director of Communications will collaborate deeply both internally and externally. Reporting to the Senior Director of Advocacy, the Director of Communications will manage at least one other communications team member, manage multiple external consultants, collaborate with communications leaders across the education sector, and collaborate with the organization’s 30+ team members to establish a unified voice that brings together SCORE’s diverse voices, priorities, and initiatives.
“The progress that our students have made in recent years is inspiring – there is no doubt that they are capable of achieving at high levels and leading Tennessee into a bright future. While education stakeholders are already working together in exciting ways in Tennessee, it is our responsibility to redouble our innovative efforts to ensure that we are supporting our students to truly excel and thrive. The future of our state depends on it.”
- Senator Bill Frist, Chairman and Founder, SCORE
Tennessee has been making significant progress in advancing bold education improvement efforts over the last 15 years and has been a leader in the nation in dramatically improving student achievement. Over the last decade, Tennessee has been among the fastest improving states for K-12 student achievement according to the Nation’s Report Card and a leader in removing barriers to postsecondary access.
While Tennessee has made significant gains, there is much still to do — in public K-12 education, in college and career readiness, and in postsecondary completion. The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) plays a critical role in advancing student achievement, aligning K-12 and postsecondary education, and ensuring that all students can achieve career and life success. We work to inform and improve state education policy, support and invest in innovative education leaders and promising proof points in both K-12 and higher education, and monitor progress and data to measure impact and identify challenges for students.
SCORE is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization founded by former US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and is dedicated to the goal that all students can achieve success in college, career, and life. SCORE supports student success in public schools across Tennessee by ensuring all schools and systems meet high expectations; preparing, recruiting, supporting, and retaining excellent teachers and leaders; and aligning K-12 and college with career and life success.
SCORE is based at Vanderbilt University’s John Seigenthaler Center. This role is eligible for hybrid work with the expectation of at least 15-20 hours per week in the organization’s Seigenthaler Center offices. For more information on SCORE, please visit www.tnscore.org.
- Lead SCORE’s communication strategy, including developing and executing a multichannel communication, public relations, and media strategy focused on improving education policy and practice in Tennessee
- Manage the organization’s communications team and communications consultants, collaborate on communications activities across the SCORE team, and serve as a peer leader among communications professionals across the non-profit education sector
- Develop and guide SCORE’s organizational “voice”, bringing together and highlighting SCORE’s priorities and initiatives across the organization’s workstreams
- Develop and manage close working relationships with members of the Tennessee and national media, with a particular focus on education-focused journalists; write press releases, brief staff for interviews, and proactively identify opportunities for the organization’s subject-matter experts to be highlighted in education-focused news stories
- Develop a strategy for and manage a consistent cadence of relevant content that engages SCORE’s key audiences across the organization’s communications platforms including the SCORE blog, social media, podcasts and videos, mass email communication, and other channels
- Research and develop messaging on important education topics, from increasing the postsecondary college going rate to elevating achievement gaps in early literacy; as appropriate, manage focus groups and opinion research to understand and create effective messaging
- Manage the production, design process, and editing of major reports, policy documents, external newsletters, blogs, and other key communications and policy material; work collaboratively with the program team on the content for these publications
- Maintain a deep understanding of the local, state, and national media narrative around education issues and ensure that SCORE’s voice is advancing our priorities within that context
- Oversee strategy for SCORE’s digital channels including the organization’s website and social media accounts
- Work across the organization to identify and develop strategies addressing internal communications needs, including communications needs related to the launch of new initiatives, networks, and reports
- Strong alignment with SCORE’s mission and education priorities, and demonstrated commitment to SCORE’s core values (student-focus, excellence, collaboration, innovation, optimism)
- Outstanding writing, editing, and proofreading skills across a variety of communications channels including written reports, social media, and email communication
- Outstanding oral communication skills and experience speaking on-the-record with the media
- Experience cultivating successful relationships with traditional and new media on a local and national basis; existing relationships with journalists covering education is preferred
- Demonstrated track record of designing, developing, executing, and assessing large-scale communications campaigns
- An understanding of the world of advocacy is required; the ideal candidate can synthesize qualitative and quantitative data and perspectives quickly to formulate insights, draw conclusions, and communicate complex information to a wide range of audiences
- Knowledge of the contours of education policy, an understanding of key education stakeholders, and an awareness of important education-related audiences is preferred
- Prior management or coaching experience is strongly preferred
- The ideal candidate is able to work in a nimble and responsive way, understanding that communications needs can rapidly evolve
- Previous experience in journalism, public relations, or corporate or non-profit communications is preferred
SCORE offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.
SCORE deeply values team members and their well-being and is proud to offer a comprehensive benefits plan. All full-time SCORE employees are eligible for benefits, including:
- Medical insurance, including access to a high-quality network with SCORE paying for most medical coverage costs for the employee; dental insurance options; vision insurance options; employer-paid disability, life insurance, and EAP benefits; access to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) benefits
- Eligibility for participation in a 401K program with employer match after 90 days of service
- Eight weeks of paid parental leave time (as well as four weeks of unpaid leave and four weeks of flex time), including paternity, maternity, and adoption leave, available after six months of service
- Paid time off, teamwide mental health and no-meeting days, holiday office closures, and paid floating holidays
- Free on-site parking
COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
At SCORE, we are committed to creating a workplace where all team members bring their whole selves to work and thrive both personally and professionally. We deeply value collaboration, optimism, excellence, and innovation in our student-centered work and in how we work together and support each other as a team. We also believe that it is important for our team to reflect the rich diversity of students in Tennessee, and that we intentionally create space for diverse viewpoints to meaningfully contribute to our work.
SCORE is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic or status.
To apply, please complete the application at this link. SCORE will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We recommend interested applicants apply as soon as possible.