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Sep 3 / BARD CEP

Communications Director — Redding, CT (or Boston, MA)


Job Title: Communications Director

Location: Redding, CT or Boston, MA

Hours and Compensation: Salary will be commensurate with experience

Position Dates: Full Time

Application Deadline: Sept. 26, 2012

Posted On: Aug. 30, 2012

Organization Overview

Highstead is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the natural landscapes of New England. Highstead is located on 100-plus acres of conserved land in Redding, Connecticut and has a staff of six conservation professionals. It was founded in 1982 as an arboretum and wooded natural area and has expanded into a regional conservation organization that works to advance the W&W Initiative in partnership with the Harvard Forest, Harvard University ( and in collaboration with an expanding number of regional partners. The Communications Director will report to the Conservation Director of Highstead, who is also the W&W Initiative Coordinator.

The goal of Highstead and the W&W partners is to ensure that Wildlands and Woodlands**, A Vision for the New England Landscape, an influential 2010 report spearheaded by Harvard Forest scientists and a team of academics across the region, becomes an effective, enduring, and widely-embraced conservation initiative. W&W has already crafted a number of value-added regional initiatives. A central strategy for success includes development and implementation of a compelling multi-media outreach and communications plan.

**New England-wide Wildlands and Woodlands (W&W) Initiative (, which seeks to inspire people across the region to double the pace of conservation and protect at least 70% of the landscape in forests and also increase sustainable farming.


A creative self-starter with an extensive communications background and strong conservation ethic to be the Communications Director of Highstead ( The Communications Director will develop and implement a comprehensive outreach and communications plan for the rapidly evolving, New England-wide Wildlands and Woodlands (W&W) Initiative.

The ideal candidate will have a background in regional conservation as well as communications and will be committed to the Wildlands and Woodlands vision. S/he will welcome the challenge of stepping into a newly created role and working with Highstead’s Conservation Director and a diverse leadership team at Highstead and the Harvard Forest to shape and implement innovative and sophisticated print, digital, and social communication strategies that resonate regionally and inspire people to double the pace of conservation in New England.

This is a full-time position based in Redding, CT with limited evening and weekend work and occasional regional travel for W&W events. The position may also be based at Highstead’s small Boston, MA office, in which case regular weekly presence (1-2 days/week) in Redding will be required. The Communications Director is supervised by the Conservation Director of Highstead and works in close partnership with the Communications Director of Harvard Forest, the W&W leadership, and the Highstead Board of Directors. Highstead is an Equal Opportunity Employer and offers a generous benefits package. Salary will be commensurate with experience.


 General Outreach and Communication

• Develop and coordinate a comprehensive outreach and communication strategy to advance the Wildlands and Woodlands Initiative, with a focus on traditional media augmented by web/social media.
• Help shape the public messages and identity for the W&W Initiative and develop new approaches for positioning W&W effectively within target markets in order to build broad-based, regional support.
• Help shape the public messages and identity for Highstead as a natural area and organization that embodies the W&W vision.
• Design, coordinate and monitor an online communication plan utilizing the web and social networking tools, including oversight of both the W&W and Highstead websites.
• Identify and implement robust communication technologies for recording and broadcasting meetings, lectures, video specials, and other events to expand the visibility of the W&W Initiative.
• Manage activities, communications, and outreach for special events, workshops, meetings, and conferences.
• Oversee and manage the communication activities of office staff and interns; coordinate closely with the outreach and communication staff at the Harvard Forest and other partners.

Media Relations

• Develop and implement a comprehensive media strategy for the W&W Initiative including earned, paid advertising, feature story opportunities, and new media presence.
• Implement media roll-out activities related to major W&W projects.
• Engage writers and journalists in the W&W Initiative through activities such as workshops and field trips.

Publications and Multi-Media Content

• Develop, coordinate, help write, edit, and oversee the production and dissemination of W&W publications, including annual W&W Updates and e-newsletters as well as targeted W&W initiatives.
• Develop, coordinate, help write, edit, and oversee the production of the Highstead newsletter, event announcements, and other publications.
• Lead new approaches to creating and distributing multi-media content related to W&W.


• Masters in communications-related field and environmental experience or degree or equivalent experience in environmental journalism.
• Minimum of five years experience in cause marketing, public relations, media campaigns, and non-profit communication.
• Familiarity with the New England landscape and a commitment to its conservation.
• Fluency with conservation and science and ability to translate complex information into persuasive text appropriate for multiple media formats and conservation outreach.
• Nonprofit organization experience or demonstrated understanding of the nonprofit environment.
• Excellent writing and editing skills.
• Extensive event organization and promotion experience.
• Demonstrated success in organizational branding and positioning.
• Strong experience with website development and content management systems.
• Proficiency in videography and new media tools.
• Strong organizational habits, extremely detail-oriented and quality-focused.
• Ability to organize time, manage varied activities, and balance multiple deadlines.
• Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently with minimal supervision.
• Ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality and professionalism.
• Willingness to travel regionally on occasion in support of W&W events and other outreach.

How to Apply

 Please submit your cover letter and resume and reference Communications Director Application as the email subject. Please send a writing sample no longer than three pages and provide names and contact information for three relevant references as part of your application. The application deadline is: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at close of business.

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