Job Title:          Senior Communication Specialist
Status:              Full-Time
Location:          Alexandria, VA
Division:           Communications & External Relations

The Senior Communications Specialist works with a focus on ensuring that IRUSA internal stakeholders, including staff and board members, are kept informed and inspired about developments in and the impact of the work of Islamic Relief USA, the Islamic Relief global family, the humanitarian sphere, and more. The Senior Communications Specialist leads and manages the brainstorming, production, implementation, and auditing of internal communications strategies and channels, as well as editing, writing, and proofing related content. To achieve that, the Senior Communications Specialist leverages and works to enhance products and deliverables including the intranet, publications, talking points, reports, staff email bulletins, case uses, and more; and helps establish and enforce IRUSA’s corporate writing style. This specialist also works closely with the Communications, External Relations teams, as well as other IRUSA spokespeople, to develop and produce effective and efficient external and internal communications, and contributes toward content, speech, and presentation work within those realms. The Senior Communication Specialist additionally supports select Programs, Marketing, and Fund Development functions by providing high quality resources, content, editorial review, and fact-checks to enhance donor communication, and also contributes toward donor-facing publications, reports, case studies, blogs, and the monthly e-newsletter. The Senior Communications Specialist reports to the Director of Strategic Communications and ensures that IRUSA content assets at-large adhere to IRUSA’s writing style, brand, voice, campaigns, and policy, and follow industry best practices. This candidate must lead by example and demonstrate a commitment to IRUSA’s values, ethics, brand, vision, and mission.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Serves as editor-in-chief, lead writer and proofreader on the Communications team and for related content.
  • Works with relevant team members and executives to develop an IRUSA corporate writing style guide, and subsequently is responsible for its up-keep, use, and enforcement
  • Oversees and helps with the production of content-driven products for multi-channel use from pre-production to completion to post-mortem analysis; these include (but not limited to) internal resources such as talking points, the intranet, and corporate reports and presentations; web content; blogs; speeches; executive messages and presentations; monthly e-newsletter; press releases; donor reports and seasonal publications, including Partnership and Annual Report; and more
  • Develops strategies and solutions for improvement of internal communications and news- and report-based communications, factoring in data, and working to captivate and inspire internal audiences; this includes working with the Programs team to turn programmatic statistics, field-based reports, and more into user-friendly and easy-to-understand content
  • Reviews and audits content performance and/or engagement as well as internal client feedback, and presents analysis and recommendations to management to inform forward-moving plans
  • Works individually and/or collaborates with relevant stakeholders (including IR global family) to ensure synergy and accuracy across efforts, as well as adherence to brand, mission, vision, campaigns, style guides, subject-protection policy, redlines, etc., and enforces as appropriate.
  • Manages and ensures a robust and fresh catalogue of IRUSA content across various categories including news and research
  • Works closely with External Relations and Communications teams to implement and/or maintain successful and data-driven content campaigns
  • Researches, proposes, and implements as appropriate innovative internal communications technologies, techniques, and training to advance work efficiency and impact.
  • Manages the housing, organizing, archiving of all internal content related items, historical and current.
  • Actively develops and/or works on content-related tasks and projects across organization, including production, editing, reviewing, etc.
  • Performs other tasks as assigned.

Qualifications and Competencies:

  • Bachelor degree or higher in Communications, Creative Writing, Journalism, or a related field; Master’s degree preferred.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in a related communications role
  • Demonstrably strong portfolio of effective news-based writing and speech-writing samples
  • Excellent command of AP Style
  • Mastery of editorial principles and techniques of communicating information
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills
  • Impeccable writing, editing, and proofreading skills, with an acute attention to detail
  • Ability to translate technical programmatic jargon and statistics into easily-digestible information
  • Effective communication and problem-solving skills and ability to manage day-to-day work challenges
  • Excellent track record of solutions-driven teamwork
  • Exhibits sound decision making, prioritizes work appropriately, and requires minimal supervision
  • Outstanding project-, process-, time-management, and organization skills
  • Track record in developing, executing, and evolving comprehensive and proactive communications plans, as well as specific programs and campaigns
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to perform in a highly professional and respectful manner with diverse work styles and personalities under tight deadlines and in a high-paced environment
  • Excellent ability to manage and handle multiple priorities and work effectively with others, in a fast-paced work setting with diplomacy and composure
  • Ability to take instruction, guidance, and constructive criticism well, work collaboratively and effectively with others, and implement as necessary
  • Self-motivated
  • Fluency in English
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office products including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and twin Google Drive products
  • Familiarity with communication information technology, including digital and video-based communications tools
  • Flexibility in work schedule (i.e. evenings and weekends as necessary), willingness to travel
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States

Preferred Skills:

  • At least two years working in a nonprofit environment
  • Prior editorial management experience
  • Project management certification
  • Experience with WordPress
  • Experience with surveying, feedback collection, and/or focus groups
  • Proficiency in written Arabic, Urdu, Farsi