Communications Director

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Minneapolis, MN, US

Organization Description

Through education and advocacy, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness works to protect, preserve and restore the wilderness character of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Quetico-Superior ecosystem.

Over the last 40 years, our work has focused on defending the BWCAW against activities that erode its wilderness character and working to ensure that the BWCAW, Superior National Forest, and Quetico-Superior ecosystem are managed according to sound ecological principles. Our core programs are designed to serve as the lead advocacy voice in protecting the BWCAW from environmental and development threats, engage communities, facilitate the collection of scientific information, and promote the development of wilderness ethics in youth.


The Communications Director manages the communications strategy and activities of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. The Communications Director communicates with supporters, partner organizations, media staff, and the public via numerous channels. They often represent the organization publicly, and supports the rest of the staff in doing so. This position utilizes project management skills to build a coalition of communications and network leaders within peer and partner organizations to maximize our impact and move other leaders of conservation forward.

Primary Relationships:

  • Works closely with the Executive Director on the organization’s overall communications and engagement strategies
  • Works in close support of the Advocacy, Northern Communities, Science and Conservation, and Membership Directors and committees of the board, ensuring that all organizational messages are consistent with Friends’ mission and core work
  • Builds and leads member engagement in support of all phases of the Friends’ work


  • Create strategic communications plans and manage execution
  • Engage audiences on social media with regular posting with consistent organizational voice
  • Stay up-to-date on evolving and emerging tools and adapt strategy as needed
  • Serve as community manager for Friends social media
  • Update and maintain website content using WordPress content management system, lead website redesign project
  • Write and edit – often collaboratively – blog posts, articles, opinion pieces, and letters
  • Write and manage petitions and email campaigns using latest software
  • Develop relationships with reporters, pitch media stories, and write press releases
  • Serve as a spokesperson for the organization in all media
  • Coordinate advertising and public relations campaigns with contractors, as needed
  • Represent the Friends in coalitions relating to our work
  • Manage triannual print newsletter publication and produce monthly e-newsletter
  • Work with other staff to develop and execute public events
  • Create and edit photos, graphics and video using editing software
  • Manage any specific communications interns
  • Monitor media outlets for relevant news and information and disseminate
  • Contribute to advocacy strategy and policy implementation
  • Other duties as needed in a team-based, entrepreneurial environment operating with urgency in ambiguous and changing conditions


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications or related field
  • Three or more years’ experience managing the communications of an organization
  • A track record of successfully pitching stories and effectively working with news media
  • Strong and efficient writing skills, including press releases and opinion pieces
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines while remaining detail oriented
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated experience managing strategic communications programs on complex issues
  • An excellent, tactful listener with a willingness to seek solutions and an ability to recognize when others need to be involved in activities or decisions
  • Strong initiative
  • Proficiency in the computer software, programs and applications needed to effectively meet the job responsibilities
  • Ability to handle confidential information
  • Experience managing websites (using platforms such as WordPress), social media, and digital assets such as photos and video
  • Willing to be a flexible member of a small but effective and passionate team that creates impact above its size, including some evening and weekend work
  • Passion for preserving the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its ecosystem

Preferred Attributes:

  • Master’s degree in strategic communications or related field
  • Experience working at a communications or public relations firm
  • Sense of humor


Salaried position at $55,000-$60,000 per year, based on experience. Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation time, sick time, and holidays. Employee is also eligible for wilderness travel benefits, including up to 5 paid days and $300 in expenses for a wilderness canoe/camping trip.