Communications Director, South Dakota Chapter of the ACLU, South Dakota and North Dakota

National Offices, South Dakota
South Dakota
January 17, 2018

Career Opportunity

Communications Director, South Dakota Chapter of the ACLU [SD-09]

American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

South Dakota and North Dakota

For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Whether it’s ending mass incarceration, achieving full equality for the LGBT community, advancing racial justice, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties and civil rights cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach. With more than one million members, activists, and supporters, the ACLU is a nationwide organization that fights tirelessly in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, national origin, record of arrest or conviction.

Headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, the ACLU-SD defends civil liberties and civil rights in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming through litigation, legislation, and public education.


The ACLU of South Dakota (ACLU-SD) Communications Director spearheads the organization’s strategic communications programs for the ACLU-SD and ACLU-ND and ACLU-WY. The Director will work to advance the agenda of the ACLU through collaboration with the ACLU-SD Policy Director, ACLU-ND Policy Director, ACLU-WY Policy Director, and Legal Director.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Director will play a critical role in developing and executing communications strategies that advance the ACLU’s work on civil liberties in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Wyoming. The director will develop communications strategies to promote work of the chapters and develop press relationships and messaging that positions the ACLU as experts in civil liberties and civil rights issues in these states.  The Communications Director will supervise and direct the work of the Communications Associate.


  • Develop multi-faceted communications and media plans and strategies, including message development, web presence, advocacy and social media, to educate, motivate, and influence target audiences and support state policy and advocacy initiatives.
  • Work with the legal and policy staff to integrate litigation and policy advocacy with communications and public education, by collaboratively drafting external communications on legal and policy issues, including legislative action alerts and fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, press statements, etc.
  • Strategize with the Executive Director, Communications Associate, and policy staff to determine the most effective spokespeople for disseminating the ACLU messages and brand.
  • Develop and manage the social media strategy for the ACLU-SD, ACLU-ND, and ACLU-WY, generating content that is engaging, up-to-date, and results in measurable action.
  • Prepare clients, litigators, state policy advocates, and other spokespeople for media appearances.
  • Manage media relations with print, radio, television and online journalists and manage media contacts database.
  • Identify strategic public education and outreach opportunities and register for appropriate events. Conduct Know Your Rights presentations and other community education or trainings.  
  • Additional special projects and events as assigned.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance, record of arrest or conviction.
  • Commitment to work collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.


  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Five years professional experience in a combination of the following areas: media, strategic communications, digital communications, and public relations.
  • Ability to communicate persuasively and professionally, in writing through op-eds and blog posts, and to communicate verbally to a wide variety of media, political, stakeholder and influencer audiences.
  • Experience crafting social media messages, and promoting issues through social media required.
  • Experience in communicating complex issues to varied audiences.
  • Must possess strong organizational skills, be detail-oriented and possess the ability to follow projects through to completion.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the ACLU’s values, mission, goals.
  • Availability and willingness to attend events as needed.
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines while demonstrating grace under pressure.


The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.


Please send a cover letter (with salary requirements), a resume and a relevant writing sample to  Reference [SD-09] in subject line. In order to ensure your application is received please make certain it is sent to the correct e-mail address. You can expect to receive an automatic response that acknowledges the submission of application materials.

Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.

The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”

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