Communications Manager

Audubon Society

Phoenix, AZ, US


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

The Communications Manager holds primary responsibility for Western regional communications and state-level water policy and conservation communications to members and the public. In that role, and in coordination with counterparts in the Audubon network such as communications staff in California and New Mexico, the Manager develops regional communications strategies for Audubon’s priority issues, frames messages, develops content, develops earned and digital media strategies, and maximizes use of marketing tools including print and digital media. S/he will work closely with the news media and relevant news outlets to deliver Audubon’s conservation message and to engage constituencies and donors.
The Communications Manager is also responsible for print and online content and for managing consultants, vendors and staff to implement an aggressive communications program in the region. The Manager coaches program leaders to develop and deliver quality materials and generate social and digital media in support of strategies to publicize programs and conservation goals, as well as works to deploy board directors and other volunteers to support communications and development strategies as needed.  

This position will report directly to the Vice President of Communications in Audubon’s national headquarters, but will be based in Arizona and work closely with Arizona, Western Water, and Policy leadership. 

Essential Functions

  • Develop communications strategies and talking points for Audubon’s priority issue campaigns in the region making use of earned and digital media strategies.
  • Frame and deliver communications that inform and engage members on local, state and national conservation issues with a focus on water and the Colorado River Basin, as well as Audubon’s other priority conservation campaigns.
  • Plan and manage a calendar of print and digital communications including issue materials, newsletters and the Audubon Western Water Network and/or Western Rivers Action Network. 
  • Work with the news media to communicate to the public and promote Audubon programs and public policy positions.
  • Responsible for managing all aspects of conservation communication campaigns in the region.
  • Work closely with other parts of the Audubon network to build and manage communications lists and digital networks.
  • Develop budgets and manage vendors and contracts for communications services.
  • Along with program leaders, conduct strategic communications and outreach to influence policy makers.
  • Manage communications staff and interns, as needed.
  • Evaluate results of communications program. 
  • Engage a variety of stakeholders, including recruiting and training volunteer leaders and staff on communications skills and strategies, as well as coaching Audubon State Directors, chapter leaders, and volunteers to become effective spokespeople for the organization.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant area as well as 3 years’ professional experience with campaign organizing, public relations, fundraising, project management and/or advocacy required.  An equivalent combination of education and experience may also be considered.
  • Superior communication and interpersonal skills a must; ability to work with multiple stakeholder groups across a decentralized organization also necessary.
  • Strong leadership skills and experience managing and mentoring volunteer groups.
  • Excellent writing skills with a knack for online communications and messaging required.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and obvious ability to easily learn how to use tools to manage online communications tools.
  • A flexible approach to work, with a willingness to travel, as needed, and participate in programs occurring after typical business hours.
  • Strong personal presence and demonstrated interest in wildlife conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society.