Communications & Outreach Director

Oregon Environmental Council

Portland, OR, United States 🇺🇸

Title:                          Water Communications & Outreach Director

Status:                       Regular, exempt position

Reports to:                Oregon Environmental Water Program Director

Hours:                       Full-time

Location:                  Portland, Oregon

Starting Salary:        $55,000-60,000 annually



A new and emerging statewide water coalition is seeking the right candidate to elevate the profile of water in Oregon. As Communications & Outreach Director, you will be part of the core team managing and implementing an ambitious plan to improve water quality and management in Oregon. You will collaborate with staff from key partner organizations to lead the design and implementation of strategic communications and outreach efforts that engage the public and key audiences in understanding Oregon’s water challenges and supporting effective, equitable solutions toward:

  • Healthy rivers and clean water for all;
  • Better management and use of water, especially in face of climate change; and
  • Investment in protection of watersheds and rivers.

The Communications & Outreach Director will be housed in the offices of Oregon Environmental Council (OEC).  You will report directly to OEC’s Water Program Director, and will work closely with the coalition steering committee to develop a quarterly and annual workplan. You will have ultimate responsibility for developing, implementing and overseeing the coalition’s Communication Strategy & Outreach Plan.

Ideally, you are a highly motivated and mission driven individual with prior campaign experience in communications and/or public relations tied to the political process.


Working with the steering committee and staff, you will:

  • Develop key messages on water that will set the table for change, resonate with the public and decision-makers, and create a sense of urgency to do more to protect water in Oregon
  • Consider past polling and oversee new polling, as needed, to inform messaging
  • Create a Communications Strategy & Outreach Plan that includes strategy, tactics and content on water-related communications
  • Develop and implement an earned and paid media strategy
  • Develop and implement a social media strategy
  • Secure a steady drumbeat of earned media and social media using our messages and frame
  • Develop and train core staff on research-tested messaging
  • Work with coalition partners to produce content for the water campaign that can be used by a broad, diverse group of supporters
  • Ensure all communications materials are culturally appropriate and reach diverse audiences by engaging communities of color, including tribes, in early discussions regarding messaging and outreach
  • Find stories and create educational/marketing materials that highlight challenges and successes with a focus on positive solutions that are compatible with ecosystem health
  • Work with steering committee and staff to identify, cultivate and recruit diverse and effective messengers
  • Amplify stories that share water concerns in Oregon, the variety of available solutions and the need to act
  • Tailor messages and materials to key audiences
  • Create action-oriented Outreach Plan to engage partners, allies and industry in our work on water and build public demand for movement on water policy
  • Manage list building efforts and track contacts to grow Oregon’s movement to protect and ensure clean water


We are looking for someone who is outgoing and enjoys working with diverse people and organizations to get things done. The right candidate will be a consummate collaborator and a good listener. Experience and understanding of the public policy process is helpful and experience with political campaigns a must.


  • Strong communications skills, both written and verbal
  • Experience developing and executing both a comprehensive Media and Communications plan and a comprehensive Outreach and Engagement Plan
  • Track record of identifying and developing earned media opportunities and developing press relationships
  • Experience developing compelling content and ability to track coalition communications
  • Skilled at testing and using technology and software to expand traditional media and communications
  • Social media organizing experience
  • Experience with development of culturally appropriate outreach materials for target audiences
  • Respect for economic and cultural diversity and experience working with diverse groups of people
  • Powerful writer for popular audiences, especially short and catchy email actions
  • Can change directions quickly and frequently
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills with an ability to mobilize people toward positive ends
  • Strong time and task management skills; ability to manage multiple projects; works well under pressure and takes deadlines seriously
  • Demonstrated self-motivation and initiative
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team environment
  • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and presentation software and a willingness to 
develop additional skills as needed
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends
  • Is low-ego and high-output (like the rest of our team)
  • Likes working hard with a hard-working crew


  • Minimum five years of professional experience in communications, public relations, marketing or related position
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in Communications
  • Experience working in a non-profit setting with a mission-driven staff and board


Salary is commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits include four weeks of paid vacation annually, generous health insurance for employee and family, and employer contributions to a retirement fund.


No calls please. The position will be open until filled, but we will begin reviewing applications June 27, 2016. Please send a cover letter and resume via email to [email protected] with subject line “Water Communications and Outreach Director.”


Founded in 1968, OEC is a non-profit, non-partisan, statewide organization governed by a 16-person board of directors from throughout Oregon. Our mission is to advance innovative, collaborative solutions to Oregon’s environmental challenges for today and future generations. OEC advocates for impactful, lasting solutions that get at the source of Oregon’s environmental problems and have real benefits for people’s health and quality of life. These challenges include toxic chemicals in our environment, water pollution and scarcity, and climate change. We find common ground with a diverse group of stakeholders to create collaborative solutions that support social equity and a sustainable economy. Find out more at 
This is a responsible position in a fast-paced, mission-driven environment. OEC offers a collaborative, team-oriented, family-friendly workplace that treats employees as the responsible professionals they are. For several years running, we have been among the top 10 in Oregon Business magazine’s “Best Nonprofits to Work For” list. You will learn a lot, laugh a lot, and feel great about helping Oregon communities become better, healthier places to live. 

OEC is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply.