GO Public Schools Oakland supports a network of families, educators, and community members with a deep moral commitment to the simple idea that every child deserves a chance to thrive, in school and in life. Together, we advocate for a school system that puts student outcomes first, demands that leaders do the same, and holds them accountable for keeping their promises.
GO develops leadership at every level—families, educators, school boards, district leaders and grasstops. These leaders inform and develop community visions for student success, and they shape, demand, and win system changes that improve student learning.
By providing data analysis and information, building leadership skills, and advocating publicly, GO’s network is working toward a day when every student has access to an excellent public school. Alongside policy advocacy, GO Public Schools Oakland Advocates (an independent 501c4 nonprofit organization) supports the GO network to elevate the work of the school board, elect school board leaders committed to advocating for all students, and to pass measures to provide needed funding and resources to schools.
THE OPPORTUNITY AND CHARGE
Communications is one of the most critical ingredients of our work at GO.
Our Communications Manager will be a critical member of our team, responsible for helping us broaden and deepen our network of informed and active education advocates. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Manager will be responsible for our team publishing high-quality content that moves forward policies and practices that support Oakland students.
This person must excel at: crafting, designing, and launching a wide variety of communications (including original advocacy tools and resources, as well as reports and publications) on behalf of our organization, and be very comfortable managing online platforms (email, website, social media) and creating hard-copy communications (e.g brand, event, and outreach collateral).
Our work environment is fast-paced and our local education ecosystem is dynamic, so the ideal candidate must be a natural self-starter who can manage multiple projects and work streams and be nimble to changing priorities. This person thoughtfully customizes content and messaging for different stakeholders, including families, educators, community members, and community-based organization leaders and partners from diverse backgrounds. This person pays extraordinary attention to detail and has a collaborative, values-driven work ethic.
This position is available immediately.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Write, Project Manage, and Publicize Clear and Compelling Communications – Create and curate resources and tools to share with our network about key issues in Oakland public schools aligned with our policy and political campaigns (our current multi-year campaigns are 1Oakland and Budgeting for Impact). Execute and project manage all communications, including drafting and posting all print, email, and social media content to support GO’s priorities, and to tell the story of the people, role, and impact of GO. Provide editorial and communications support for teammates in the form of ghostwriting and editing.
Maintain GO’s web presence – Create and manage the GO Public Schools Oakland and GO Public Schools Oakland Advocates websites -- keeping the sites error free and update them with written content, infographics, photographs, videos and other multimedia about GO and community campaigns.
Expand and Deepen Our Network of Engaged Followers – Using various communications strategies, and best practices in digital organizing this person will continually grow our network of informed, engaged followers on email, social media, and website. This person will collaborate with the team to develop goals and metrics for measuring progress (e.g. number of followers, actions / engagements, conversions).
Strengthen Organizational Brand – Create and upkeep marketing materials and tools that represent our organization, values, work, and impact. This includes owning the beginning-to-end content and design processes for GO Oakland’s overall brand collateral, as well as our event- and campaign-specific collateral.
Shine on Social Media – Create social media strategy that is connected to our short- and long-term advocacy strategies. Manage and continually evolving our social media approach, particularly on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to build our base, engage the public in ongoing dialogue, build leadership capacity among Oakland families and educators, and activate community members for campaigns and calls to action. This includes curating value-add actionable content, strategically boosting key messages via paid advertisements, and leveraging opportunities to engage with key community partners on social media.
Manage Media Strategy and Press Relationships – Keep pulse of local media coverage and placement opportunities. Develop and finalize press releases and media alerts to earn coverage of our work. Strategically cultivate key relationships with press (in a limited media landscape) while also growing GO Oakland’s team’s capacity to align around and articulate our key messages. Draft op-eds for GO staff, Leadership Council, and community members.
Mindsets and Skills
- Driven. You’re driven by a deep belief that all kids deserve a quality education, especially those historically and currently denied opportunities and resources.
- Values champion. Motivated by the overall vision and values of the organization, and a champion of diversity, equity and inclusiveness. Committed to executing strategies and systems that live out these values. You believe deeply that all students can reach their full brilliance and potential.
- Effective communicator. Able to effectively convey complex and difficult messages/concepts to a variety of audiences, using the appropriate medium and adapting content and style appropriately to the audience. Can bring disparate voices to the forefront, and is particularly focused on elevating the stories of students, parents and families
- Action-oriented, but passionate about the details. Can quickly moves from plan to action, following through on commitments with an appropriate sense of urgency. However, also knows that quality and precision in the details can make all the difference in a project’s success, and is a confident copy editor and a compulsive fact-checker Effective problem solver. Able to think critically in order to execute at a high level and make excellent decisions through a combination of data analysis, judgment and experience. Exercises initiative and proactively anticipates potential challenges to identify sound and creative solutions, and especially when facing ambiguity
- Systems thinker. Enjoys creating, implementing and streamlining processes and systems into a seamless operation. When facing a complex issue, instinct is to break it down into manageable pieces to determine the most efficient and effective solution -- and then prioritize against competing project needs in order to execute effectively
- Influencer. Can use a combination of active listening and questioning to understand motivations and barriers, and engage others to ensure that all voices are heard in the decision-making process. Able to motivate and influence effectively across a wide group of stakeholders
Education and Experience
- Bachelor's degree required
- At least 1-3 years of experience in communications, such as marketing, media relations, and/or journalism
- Excellent written and oral communications skills with ability to communicate effectively with internal and external contacts at all levels
- Excellent copy editing skills to ensure accurate, grammatically correct public-facing communications
- Experience and/or ability to quickly learn web publishing platforms (eg. WordPress, Facebook, Twitter), and management/design tools such as Sprout and Canva.
- Experience and/or ability to quickly learn basic level photo editing and image design, video editing, and HTML coding capability
- Experience in the education sector and familiarity with the Oakland education landscape preferred.
LOCATION, COMPENSATION, AND BENEFITS
This position is based in Oakland, CA.
The salary range for this position is $68,384 - $79,667 depending on experience. In addition, we offer an above-market average comprehensive benefits package, including:
- Healthcare (medical, dental, and vision) provided at 100% for employees and 75% for dependents
- Healthcare plan options - choose between Anthem PPO, HMO or Kaiser HMO
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Dependent Care Account (DCA)
6 - 7 Weeks Paid Time Off Annually
- 2 weeks of observed holidays annually
- 2 - 3 weeks of paid time off (grows with years of experience at GO)
- 2 additional weeks of paid time off during the winter break
- 40% pay for all new parents to match and supplement State of California Paid Family Leave and/or Disability benefits
- Simple IRA retirement plan with up to 3% annual salary match
- Paid life and long-term-disability policy (no cost to employee)
- Up to $75/month in cell phone reimbursement
- Paid professional development opportunities
- Support for new parents that are required to travel with partial reimbursement for accompanying caregiver travel expense or reimbursement for nursing mothers to ship breast milk
HOW TO APPLY
To apply: Send a resume and cover letter addressed to Jessica Stewart at [email protected]. Application materials should be submitted as attached documents and saved in the filename format LastName_FirstName_Resume.pdf or .doc with no spaces in the filename (use only underscores in place of spaces).
FAQ - THE HIRING PROCESS AND THE ROLE
The process: This hiring process will involve interview questions about work you’ve done before and how you prefer to work, performance tasks based on the actual work we do on our team, a writing sample submission, and interviews with team members.
Onboarding: We take onboarding seriously at GO - it is a critical time to get our team members setup for a successful (and hopefully long-term!) experience here. Your first few weeks will be spent creating relationships with your team in one-on-one conversations and a team lunch, building context about our work and our organization, and getting started on the work with the support of your colleagues.
Technical Skills: The Communications Manager will be supported by the design firm we have on retainer (One of One) for the design of major products and templates. Basic graphic design skills (Hello, Canva!) would be helpful in this role, but deep graphic design skills are not necessary. The same is true for video - it could be useful to have the skills to do basic editing like cropping a section of video to post and adding in a GO logo, but deep video skills are not a must-have. This person should be able to learn our systems (Campaign Monitor for sending emails, Wordpress for our website, Salesforce for contact management, Sprout for social management, and Facebook, Insta, and Twitter for social) quickly and/or recommend and bring new ones where appropriate.
Travel: There’s not much travel associated with this role. There will be some meetings in broader Bay Area and occasional conferences elsewhere. We support our team with professional development budgets, and you might choose to use yours to attend a conference or training somewhere that requires travel. Our team also takes occasional team retreats within a few hours’ drive.
Commute + Parking: Our office is about 10 minutes from the West Oakland BART station. We have dedicated parking spots in the lot at our office space. Some team members bike to work. Our office space gets a lot of positive feedback from those who visit - it has great common areas and dedicated desks for staff members as well.
Work Hours + Location: There are meetings where you will need to attend in person at the office, and we do like to be around each other for informal chats. But our team also works remotely regularly as well, based on our needs. Our work sometimes happens at community events or at the office of partner nonprofits. It also sometimes requires attendance at events that happen at night and on the weekends when parents, teachers, and other community members are available to attend. We make a deliberate point of flexing our week to “give time back” when we host or attend community events outside of our typical work days - for example, taking a morning off after we mobilized speakers at a school board event the night before.
The Team: Our GO Oakland team will be a team of 6 once we have found our Communications Manager, and we anticipate growing to a team of 7 within the year with another role to be posted soon. We are supported by our state-level team that takes care of organizational needs like finance, human resources, data, fundraising, and operations. We have colleagues who do similar work on teams in West Contra Costa and Fresno, and there are likely to be additional GO sites across California over time.
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICY AND COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY
GO Public Schools seeks individuals of all backgrounds without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, age, pregnancy, disability, marital status, genetics, or any other factor that the law protects from employment discrimination to apply for this position. We are committed to ensuring diversity within our organization and network, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to this effort.
ABOUT GO PUBLIC SCHOOLS
GO Public Schools is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that undertakes policy advocacy and public education efforts. Donations to GO Public Schools are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
GO Public Schools is related to GO Public Schools Advocates, a separate 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that engages in lobbying, ballot measure, and partisan elections work. Donations to GO Public Schools Advocates are never tax deductible. GO Public Schools and GO Public Schools Advocates - sometimes jointly referred to by the name “GO” - have the same overall missions and share office space and employees. They maintain separate boards of directors. The person filling this position will be hired by GO Public Schools, but on occasion will perform some or all of the duties described for GO Public Schools Advocates.