Who We Are
The Economic Progress Institute – formerly The Poverty Institute – is a nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to improving the economic well-being of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders.
Since the organization was founded by Linda Katz and the late Nancy Gewirtz in 1999, it has become a respected authority on issues impacting the economic vitality of our residents and our state. Learn more about the impact of our work.
CAREERS AT EPI
The following job opportunity is available at the Economic Progress Institute:
The Economic Progress Institute (EPI) is seeking an experienced Communications Director with a strong commitment to advancing systemic change and policy solutions centered around racial, ethnic, and gender equity and informed by community members and partners. The Communications Director will provide leadership and develop a strategic communications plan that supports EPI’s mission and broadens awareness of our policy impact on behalf of low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders.
EPI is a non-partisan, non-profit research and advocacy organization that works to improve economic security and opportunity for all Rhode Islanders. Our mission includes advocating for policy and budget decisions that are fair and generate adequate resources to best address the needs of Rhode Islanders with low and modest incomes.
KEY AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITIES
The Communications Director is responsible for developing, implementing, overseeing, and regularly updating an effective internal and external communications strategy, in collaboration with EPI staff, including but not limited to these five key areas.
1. Communications Strategy and Leadership
- Develop and implement a comprehensive and strategic communications plan to keep lawmakers, community members, supporters, and partners informed and engaged.
- Together with staff and board, develop and streamline messaging consistency and brand identity.
- Research and identify best practices on messaging, narrative shifting, story concepts, and other communications tools that can be implemented at EPI to broaden communications and community outreach.
- Identify and research anticipated communications-related projects requiring funding (e.g., website redesign)
2. Communications Operations
- Oversee the editorial direction, design, production, and distribution of publications of all print and branded materials, (including Rhode Island Standard of Need, Guide to Assistance, Budgetary and Legislative Review, EPI style guides, policy briefs, and annual reports) to improve the quality and clarity of products and messages.
- Develop outreach strategies to ensure broad and effective distribution of publications.
- Oversee and create digital communications, including website management, monthly electronic newsletters, and digital and social media.
- Develop and publish content for social media (currently Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube), build engagement, and reach across all platforms. Develop audience-driven strategy for each social media platform.
- Design and publish announcements and invitations to special events.
- Track and measure effectiveness of website, electronic newsletter, and social media usage.
3. Legislative Campaign Communication Strategies and Outreach
- Establish and maintain relationships with coalition and community partners and identify opportunities to collaborate, engage, and share with networks.
- Set up campaign communications tools including Action Network and develop digital and print contact for EPI and coalition partner campaigns.
- Utilize databases like Little Green Light, Constant Contact, and Action Network to communicate with lawmakers.
- Monitor videos from Capitol TV hearings and press conference coverage and post to website or social media.
- Coordinate with EPI staff and coalition partners on press conferences and other legislative campaign-related events.
4. Media Relations
- Expand EPI’s reputation as subject matter experts and a resource for the media on issues relating to economic and social justice.
- Serve as the primary media contact, coordinate media inquiries and interviews with EPI’s subject matter experts, actively engage and promote EPI’s research, findings, and reports.
- Develop and maintain relationships with Rhode Island media outlets and update lists for key contacts.
- Manage, write, and publish press releases for publications, reports, and other announcements.
- Work with staff and coalition partners to develop overall messaging, prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, op-eds, and other supporting materials, as needed.
- Create and maintain an overall communications calendar to ensure timely and professional production of reports, policy briefs, fact sheets, electronic newsletters, and other communication pieces.
- Create and manage publications-specific calendars, including research, writing, editing, review cycles, design, printing or online publishing, distribution, and assessment.
- Communicate with staff, external partners, and relevant vendors regarding deadlines and other information essential to timely publication of work products.
- Create story bank with videos, pictures, and events to be used for electronic newsletters, website, social media, and announcements.
- Oversee the maintenance and updates to EPI’s databases and lists.
- Develop agenda and facilitate communications team meetings.
- Provide reports to the EPI Board on communication activities.
- Assist EPI staff in crafting fundraising materials including grant applications and reports.
- Assist EPI staff with projects as needed.
RELEVANT SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE
- A commitment to racial, economic, social justice, and equitable opportunity for all Rhode Islanders in alignment with EPI’s mission, vision, and core values.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate and build relationships with racially and ethnically diverse audiences.
- Excellent leadership, organizational and project management skills, and collaborative management style.
- Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communications skills, including the ability to communicate technical information clearly to a wide range of audiences and to work collegially to produce a range of written materials, including reports, facts sheets, infographics, op-eds presentations, and other resources to inform and enhance public policy.
- Ability to manage multiple tasks at once, to work independently, and to lead and facilitate teams.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced legislative environment.
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite and WordPress (HTML and CSS web design familiarity a plus), Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premier Pro, and Canva preferred.
- Knowledge of state legislative process and familiarity with Rhode Island policy issues and experience in local or state-level communications campaigns is a plus.
- As part of a broader communications strategy, the ability to produce short animations, videos, and audio is highly desired.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Undergraduate degree and at least 5 years of professional experience in communications, journalism, public relations, or a related field.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
This is a full-time, salaried position. Salary range is $60,000-$75,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience. EPI currently offers a generous benefit package including matching retirement contributions, PTO, health and dental insurance, and an ongoing hybrid office schedule.
Please send an email with the subject line “Economic Progress Institute Communications Director” to [email protected]. Please attach your cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, a writing sample (no more than 10 pages), and 2 references (with contact information), all provided in PDF format. This position will remain open until filled.
EPI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, or any other basis. We are committed to creating an inclusive, diverse, and open work environment where all staff are valued. We strongly encourage candidates with diverse backgrounds and experiences to apply.