Website Pew Research Center

Organization Overview
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan, nonadvocacy fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, computational social science research and other data-driven research. It studies politics and policy; news habits and media; the internet and technology; religion; race and ethnicity; international affairs; social, demographic and economic trends; science; research methodology and data science; and immigration and migration. Pew Research Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. The Center’s work is carried out by a staff of about 180.

Position Summary
The Director of Communications Strategy is responsible for all aspects of strategic communications, including planning and implementation of activities to promote Pew Research Center’s research, experts and data to key target audiences. They are responsible for activities that promote, enhance and protect the organization’s “gold-standard” brand reputation. This position oversees the Center’s media outreach, event planning and stakeholder relations; works with strategic implementation staff to develop and execute a digital dissemination strategy; and advises the top spokespeople. The Director of Communications Strategy manages a team of communications strategists who develop and execute communications plans working in close coordination with researchers, and in a broader team with visual designers, web producers and other key staff as well as external partners and constituencies. The Director of Communications Strategy reports to the Vice President of Communications. They will also serve on the Center’s management team as a Managing Director.

Primary Responsibilities

Communications Strategy & Leadership

  • Develop and oversee execution of communications plans for priorities of work, including major research studies, to build reach, influence and impact for the Center’s work. Identify target audiences, goals and dissemination strategies and tactics for major priorities while working within the overall institutional brand strategy.
  • Work with the Center’s senior management team, building strong relationships with managing directors for operational and research units and connecting communications strategies and activities with overall organizational objectives.
  • Work with other communications managers and associates to ensure research activities are properly communicated throughout Pew Research Center and to the Center’s parent organization, The Pew Charitable Trusts.
  • Oversee and manage the work of other communications staff to ensure communications needs are fulfilled.
  • Directly supervise a team of communications professionals and provide for their professional development.

Media Relations & Stakeholder Engagement

  • Ensure that the Center’s work reaches, informs and engages key target audiences who are stakeholders in the Center’s research by implementing a range of tactics including media outreach, speaking engagements, social media, email alerts, a weekly e-newsletter, and paid marketing events and sponsorships.
  • Cultivate and manage new and ongoing relationships with major media partners and work with senior communications staff to develop and ensure effective execution of media outreach plans. Manage timing and strategy for major media releases, balancing overall institutional needs. Prepare spokespeople for interviews and oversee media training; serve as a resource to senior researchers in preparation for media events and speaking engagements. Triage press requests. Work with communications staff to develop and manage media lists for releases.
  • Oversee production of Pew Research Center events, roundtables and press conferences, including their management, program and panel development, speaker handling and event logistics.
  • Work with communications staff to ensure key communications tools can achieve objectives.
  • Liaise with external partners, including major media organizations, other research institutions, conveners and donors to ensure effective and smooth collaboration for dissemination and research partnerships.
  • Investigate new dissemination strategies and delivery channels for existing material, attend conferences, conduct outreach to think tanks and other content creators, and stay informed about new technologies and trends.

Brand and Reputation Management

  • Protect Pew Research Center’s gold-standard brand by providing superior judgment to avoid reputational damage and help craft thoughtful, rapid response to critical coverage.
  • Ensure that outgoing content and messaging by brand “ambassadors” exemplifies the Center’s core values.
  • Advise the Center’s senior leadership on reputation management by providing counsel about reputational cost/benefit of initiatives.
  • Monitor use of Pew Research Center material. Monitor press mentions of key partners, the research/polling industry and other institutions and topics relevant to the Pew Research Center brand.
  • Work with communications and design staff to ensure that collateral and other material is consistent with the Center’s style and standards.

Education/Training/Experience Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, mass media, international relations, journalism or related field.
  • Minimum 15 years of relevant experience is required.
  • Experience in a nonprofit, think tank, research, or academic environment strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of Washington and the national and international press corps, and a proven record of cultivating media relationships.
  • International professional experience and foreign-language skills strongly preferred.

Knowledge and Skills Requirements

  • Knowledge of communications strategic planning and experience with a wide range of tactics.
  • Exceptional verbal communication and writing skills.
  • Able to work in a team, and across functions, under deadline with diplomacy and poise.
  • News junkie with a demonstrated knowledge of and interest in national and international affairs.
  • Creative and strategic thinker.
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented and able to juggle multiple projects.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office (especially Excel, Word, PowerPoint); knowledge of media tools such as Factiva, Cision, MailChimp, Meltwater, Salesforce a plus.

FLSA Status: Exempt


Pew Research Center staff may work virtually from remote locations up to four days in a standard work week. Staff are required to be present in the Center’s Washington, D.C., office on at least one of two core days weekly (Tues., Wed.) and one Thursday a month for an all-staff day.

The starting salary for this position is based on compensation market data and candidate experience. The starting salary typically falls in the range of $144,000-$180,000 annually.

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