Director of Communications

Nashville, TN

OVERVIEW OF THE POSITION

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) is seeking a mission-aligned, experienced communications professional to lead key aspects of the organization’s communications strategy in an effort to improve student outcomes in Tennessee. The Director of Communications will be responsible for developing and executing a multichannel communications, public relations and media strategy aimed at advancing policies and practices that support SCORE’s mission to catalyze transformative change in Tennessee education so that all students can achieve success.

Reporting to the Vice President of Advocacy and Communications, the Director of Communications will manage at least one other communications team member, manage multiple external consultants, partner with communications leaders across the education sector and collaborate with the organization’s 30+ team members to advance SCORE’s student-focused priorities.  

ABOUT SCORE

“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

SCORE is an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan institution founded in 2009 by Senator Bill Frist, M.D., former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. Striving to be a durable partner and trusted adviser on Tennessee education, SCORE is focused on advancing change for students from kindergarten to career through policy and practice — and taking it to scale.

SCORE has three goals that guide the organization’s work to drive success for all students in Tennessee:

  • All students receive an excellent public K-12 education.
  • All students earn a credential or postsecondary degree of value that prepares them for a career enabling economic independence.
  • Economically disadvantaged students, students of color, and rural students see improved success across all goals relative to their peers.

 SCORE is based at 1801 West End Ave. in downtown Nashville. This role is eligible for hybrid work with the expectation of 20 hours per week in the office and the balance remote.  For more information on SCORE, please visit www.tnscore.org. 

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Partner closely with the Vice President of Advocacy and Communications to lead SCORE’s communications strategy, including developing and executing a multichannel communications, public relations and media strategy focused on advancing the organization’s mission and priorities.
  • 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 nonprofit education sector.
  • Informed by colleague collaboration and driven by communications best practices and innovative strategies, lead the development and execution of communications plans for SCORE priorities, including public product releases (e.g. reports, policy memos, data dashboards, etc.).  Provide project management to ensure communications and advocacy plans are executed efficiently and on time. 
  • Serve as the custodian of SCORE's brand identity, ensuring consistency and coherence across all communications channels and materials. Oversee brand guidelines and standards for internal and external use, and monitor adherence to these guidelines.
  • 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 and manage SCORE’s editorial calendar, ensuring a consistent cadence of relevant content that engages SCORE’s key audiences across the organization’s communications platforms, including the SCORE website, blog, social media, mass email communications, videos and other channels.
  • Research and develop messaging on important education topics across the kindergarten-to-career continuum. As needed, partner with Vice President of Advocacy and Communications to facilitate 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.
  • Establish metrics and KPIs to assess the effectiveness of communications strategies and initiatives. Regularly monitor and evaluate performance against these benchmarks, making adjustments as necessary to optimize outcomes.

IDEAL CANDIDATE REQUIREMENT

  • 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 communications
  • 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
  • Excellent project management skills, with the ability to juggle multiple projects at once and prioritize work appropriately--balancing needs for strategy and execution
  • 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 nonprofit communications is preferred 

COMPENSATION

SCORE offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience.

BENEFITS

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 the full medical premiums for the employee and 80% or more of premiums for plans including eligible dependents
  • Vision and dental insurance: including access to a high-quality network with SCORE paying 50% of premiums for employee-only plans and plans including eligible dependents
  • Employer-paid disability, life insurance, and EAP benefits
  • Access to Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) for medical and child care expenses and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) benefits
  • Eligibility for participation in a 401K program with employer match after 90 days of service
  • Paid parental leave time, including paternity, maternity, and adoption leave
  • Paid time off:
    • 15 days per year for years one through four, 20 days per year after five years
    • Holiday office closures (15 days total in 2024)
    • Six paid sick days per year
    • Teamwide mental health day office closures (two total in 2024)
    • No-meeting days (four total in 2024)
    • Paid floating holidays (three per calendar year, prorated for new hires depending on start date)
  • Free on-site parking
  • Free on-site gym

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

SCORE’s mission is to drive transformative change in education so that all Tennessee students can achieve success. From its founding in 2009, SCORE has been grounded in the belief that diverse perspectives are required to identify solutions that will best serve Tennessee students, so we seek to bring as many viewpoints as possible into our daily work and live out collaboration as a core value. 

Within our organization, we believe it is important for our team to reflect the rich diversity of Tennesseans and Tennessee students, and we aspire for our team to understand varied viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds.  We strive to build an inclusive organization where each team member feels respected and supported, knowing that when team members are empowered to use their individual gifts, we become more effective in advancing our mission. 

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. 

NOTE REGARDING APPLICATION PROCESS

SCORE will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We recommend interested applicants apply as soon as possible.