The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. CCSSO seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
The Press Secretary leads CCSSO’s proactive media relations strategy and works with the Council’s Director of Communications to provide communications support to CCSSO’s member states and network of state communications directors. This position serves as the initial point of contact for members of the media, and primary writer and editor for CCSSO content.
Essential Functions and Responsibilities
- Lead media relations for CCSSO by serving as Council’s initial point of contact for reporters
- Pitch stories and opinion pieces to national and education media outlets
- Coordinate interviews with members of the media and CCSSO’s Executive Director and content experts
- Write, edit, fact check, and format Op Eds, columns, web content, member correspondence, press releases, marketing materials, and publications
- Lead media relations for the National Teacher of the Year Program, which is run by CCSSO
- Assist the Director of Communications to implement the organization’s strategic communications plan
- Assist with the day-to-day management of CCSSO’s network of state education agency communications directors, providing strategic support, technical assistance, and logistical support, as needed
- Provide support to CCSSO programs and state education agencies as they work to improve communications at the state and local levels
- Develop monthly media updates for leadership staff
- Lead and facilitate trainings with CCSSO staff and members to ensure they master effective media relations
- Assist with the Council’s social media activity across multiple platforms
- Assist with the preparation of speeches for CCSSO leadership and other staff members Provide editorial assistance across the Council
- Update and edit content on the website, with minimal HTML formatting Ability and willingness to travel up to 25 percent of the time.
Education and/or Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Communications; Journalism; or similar course work
- 5-7 years of experience in communications (ideally in journalism, a communications firm, non-profit, state education agency, or on Capitol Hill).
To perform this job successfully, an individual should be able to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and have created or used charts, spreadsheets, and databases. Successful incumbents are proficient at using WebEx, Outlook, and Intranet/Internet tools.
The individual should have strong writing skills and visual and written storytelling skills, knowledge of social media, a proficiency with Microsoft Suite, and basic experience with, and knowledge of, HTML.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel. The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.