Communications Manager (Immediate Opening)
IDEA Public Schools
 Houston, TX

About IDEA Public Schools:

At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States sending 100% of our students to college. 50% of our students graduate from college in 6 years – that’s 8 times the national rate for students in our communities!

IDEA was founded in 2000 as a single school with 150 students in the Rio Grande Valley. When interest exceeded building capacity, to meet the demands, IDEA’s co-founders committed to serving more students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and beyond. We now serve over 65,000 students across Texas and Louisiana. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you—with continued growth in our current regions and new launches in Tampa Bay, FL (2021), and Jacksonville, FL (2022)!

When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.

To learn more about IDEA, check out this video.

Role Mission:

The Communications Manager will be responsible for leading the IDEA Public Schools’ brand through PR and external communications efforts. In this role, the Communications Manager will focus on developing strategic plans to increase positive news coverage in their region(s), and nationally, in addition to managing IDEA’s regional presence on social media. This includes but is not limited to the direct oversight of IDEA’s regional social media accounts, and partnering with campus contacts in their region(s) on managing campus-based social media accounts to high engagement and reach. This role will serve as the editorial lead for IDEA blogs and external publications, including IDEA’s IMPACT magazine and Annual Report. This role will also serve as the speech and script writing lead for IDEA’s signature external events.

Accountabilities:

Increase year over year positive brand recognition in a specific IDEA regional area through positive media coverage:

  • Serve as a regional internal reporter learning newsworthy happenings throughout the district. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Spending at least one day per week on a campus in your region(s)
  • Meeting with cross functional department leads to learn their work and determine what can/should be publicized.
  • Identify, develop, and cultivate relationships with, and pitch weekly stories to media in your region(s).

Public Relations:

  • Manage PR and media relations across in your IDEA region and serve as the liaison for IDEA’s blog sponsorships and partnerships, meeting the outlined brand recognition through positive media coverage.
  • -Represent IDEA in regional media opportunities, manage regional media events, and craft regional media documents (press releases, media alerts, media and interview prep materials, etc.) for external distribution

Media Relations:

  • Develop and maintain a media tracker that includes, but is not limited to, a link to each media hit (positive story, negative story, mention, or neutral story), the date published, publishing outlet, region of publication, sentiment rating, and media value.
  • Ensure tracking device is calculating progress to goal and has a year over year comparison formula.
  • Daily monitoring of regional media calls, requests, and inquiries
  • Daily distribution of a regional IDEA media report
  • Weekly distribution of a regional IDEA communications and media overview
  • Provide daily regional updates to IDEA’s newsroom

Lead national media relations for IDEA Public Schools.

  • Use department tools to research media contacts who cover topics of interest for top-tier publications such as The Washington Post, The 74 and Huffington Post.
  • Create profile sheets for each contact based on their most recent coverage to inform pitch strategy for each person.
  • Monitor identified reporters story activity and actively engage to develop key media relationships
  • Pitch national story ideas, compelling content and op-eds to national reporters and media outlets, securing at least 30 national stories by the end of FY.
  • Support in managing IDEA’s regional and campus social media accounts in your region(s) with the goal of increased reach and engagement year over year: Manage planned editorial content for your region(s) Facebook accounts.
  • Use social media channels in conjunction with positive PR coverage to immediately post breaking news and crisis communications
  • Support the posting of editorial content in your region(s) with at least one post per day per channel.
  • Manage daily monitoring of comments and messages. This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Checking all social media outlets multiple times throughout the day;
  • Responding to incoming questions received via messenger or comments within 24 hours.
  • Alerting regional ED and SVPs of schools when there is a comment or message of concern.
  • Thought partner with Director of Communications and Social Media Manager on campaigns to host throughout the year
  • Ensure that all accounts are reflective of the most up-to-date organizational information and have an ever-changing look and feel (cover photos swapping, etc.)

Serve as project lead for IDEA’s publications including leading the research, planning, copy development, copy editing, business partner review, translation, and design of the following publications:

  • IMPACT Magazine: A yearly magazine with varying topics and highlights that is distributed to families and staff.
  • IDEA’s Annual Report, in partnership with the Advancement team
  • IDEA Blog: Generate owned blog content 2-3/week to help share news, announcements, and information with key audiences

Ensure 100% accuracy on IDEA’s website by maintaining external-facing content.

  • Host quarterly content audits in partnership with your Regional Communications Manager colleague
  • Update leadership and campus changes for your region(s) within 24 hours of notice
  • Partner with the creative services manager to develop, implement, and manage the following webpages: Newsroom, Events Webpage, IMPACT Magazine Webpage

Live values of IDEA

  • Believes and is committed to our mission: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
  • Is driven by outcomes and results, and wants to be held accountable for them
  • Has a propensity for action, willing to make mistakes by doing in order to learn and improve quickly
  • Thrives in an entrepreneurial, high-growth environment; is comfortable with ambiguity and change
  • Seeks and responds well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
  • Works through silos and forges strong cross-departmental relationships in order to achieve outcomes
  • Embodies IDEA’s core values

Qualifications:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree required, master’s degree in applicable field preferred
  • Experience: 3-5 years of full-time professional experience required

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong writing and copyediting skills
  • Experience in speechwriting, scripting or writing for publications
  • Relationship-building and influencing skills, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders
  • Creative, ambitious and highly adept in project management
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and written
  • Results and quality-focused with an eye for detail, a bias for excellence in building and deploying communications plans and managing multiple communications platforms and channels

Compensation

Salaries for people entering this role typically start between $54,000 and $67,500, commensurate with relevant qualifications and experience. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on individual and organizational goal attainment.

Support