Title: Communications Manager

Job Type: Contract for an independent consultant

Location: Remote; Preference for applicants residing in IA, IN, IL, MI, MN, MO, OH, or WI

Job Overview and Requirements

Do you enjoy communicating and writing about clean energy? Do you have an interest in engaging the public and stakeholders in regulatory and legislative advocacy in clean energy and building decarbonization? Would you enjoy helping support and grow a Midwest-based building decarbonization coalition? Are you the type of person who understands complex policy and has a knack for explaining complicated information in a way that is approachable, concise, and motivating? Do you want to be challenged at work, have a lot of fun, be inspired frequently, and make a significant impact at an emerging nonprofit working to make more of our economy run on clean energy and reducing carbon emissions that benefits all Midwesterners?

The Midwest Building Decarbonization Coalition (Midwest BDC/the Coalition) via Fresh Energy is hiring a full-time Communications Manager consultant to take our communications to the next level. This contract will play a key communications and administrative role in helping Midwest BDC and its multiple working groups grow and succeed. We’re looking for someone who is excited to break new ground.

We enthusiastically welcome all candidates to apply. Midwest BDC is committed to fostering diversity in all its forms, including but not limited to race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and life experience, creed, religion, class, nationality, language, and physical and mental capability.

If this sounds like you, read on!

Our Story

Midwest BDC seeks to develop and implement equitable strategies to achieve zero emissions from the Midwestern building sector by 2050. Transitioning Midwestern buildings to carbon-free, renewable electricity has the potential to reduce utility costs, increase housing affordability, improve residents’ health and safety, and help state and local governments achieve climate goals.

Midwest BDC was founded in 2020 by Fresh Energy to play a leadership role convening stakeholders and allies around a regional decarbonization strategy. While Midwest BDC functions separately and has a goal of transitioning into its own non-profit entity, for the time being Midwest BDC exists as a project of Fresh Energy and receives various support services.

We identify eight states in our Coalition footprint: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The Coalition is developing equity commitments for every area of our work. Our leadership and working groups are representative of and accountable to members and organizations representing Environmental Justice communities. Midwest BDC meeting community norms, organizing principles, and processes for arriving at consensus have all been crafted with the intention of giving equal weight to the input of Coalition members of diverse backgrounds.

This contract will support a Communications Manager consultant for Midwest BDC. The contract will be with Fresh Energy initially and will transition to a full-time, salaried staff position with Midwest BDC at the point in which Midwest BDC spins-off from Fresh Energy to become a stand-alone 501(c)(3) in 2022 or early 2023 (pending funding).

Reports To

Midwest BDC Leadership Team (Co-Director, Community Engagement and Equity; Co-Director, Building Policy and Technology; Co-Director, Project Manager)

Essential Responsibilities

  • Assist Midwest BDC Leadership Team in growing the Coalition by providing administrative support, expanding Coalition communications and outreach efforts, and developing content and systems to inspire target constituencies to equitably advance building decarbonization in the Midwest region.
    • Meetings
      • Coordinate logistics for select Coalition meetings including scheduling, reminder, and follow up emails. Support development of meeting agendas.
      • Attend select Coalition meetings and manage documentation of attendance and minutes as well as support meeting logistics (running slides, Zoom break-out rooms, etc.).
      • Provide event support and planning assistance for online and in-person Midwest BDC events.
    • Member Management
      • Maintain external and internal member lists in coordination with Coalition partner organizations and/or Midwest BDC staff.
      • Respond to information requests from Coalition website contact form. 
      • Support new member onboarding process and meetings with Coalition leaders.
    • Website and Social Media
      • Support Midwest BDC Leadership Team by maintaining and updating the Midwest BDC website and listserv content by posting/sharing meeting minutes, articles, reports, updated calendars, new Coalition members, staff lists, working group updates, and more on an ongoing basis.
      • Maintain Midwest BDC social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.), coordinating with Midwest BDC Leadership Team to implement an effective communication plan and tactics to engage Midwest BDC partners.
      • Write and disseminate engaging and compelling social media posts for Midwest BDC social media accounts that elevate the Coalition’s work, partners, industry reports, thought leaders, and more.
      • Create and maintain list of national clean energy and climate media outlets as well as major media outlets in the Midwest, including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
      • Track and document media mentions for Midwest BDC.
    • Content Development
      • Assist Coalition Leadership Team in drafting, researching, revising, and distributing the Coalition’s monthly newsletter.
      • Assist in planning and writing blog posts and newsletter articles for the Midwest BDC website and communications tools that center people, policies, and goals.
      • Assist with visioning and/or creating graphic interpretations of clean energy concepts and data, Coalition values and wins, and other graphics as needed.
      • Maintain and update Coalition one pagers and outreach material, in collaboration with the Coalition Leadership Team.
      • Coordinate with the Coalition Leadership Team on documenting and planning processes needed to support the Coalition’s growth and expansion.
      • Support Coalition members’ capacity to promote building decarbonization through media support, talking points, toolkits, etc.
    • Communications Infrastructure
      • Manage the evaluation and implementation of Midwest BDC CRM database, and if separate, Midwest BDC email marketing platform.
      • Lead the transition of Midwest BDC’s website from Fresh Energy servers to independent servers.
      • Monitor and identify new opportunities for ad placement, including google search results, social media ads, and more as appropriate.
      • Identify and implement Midwest BDC social media scheduling services (moving away from shared Fresh Energy Hootsuite account).
      • Track and share key analytics from newsletters, website, and social media.
    • Communications
      • When appropriate and in coordination with the Midwest BDC Leadership Team, liaise with communications leads at major philanthropic organizations in support of Midwest BDC campaigns and priorities.
      • With guidance from the Midwest BDC Leadership Team, develop branded and aligned education, outreach, communication, and funding materials including one-pagers, whitepapers, presentation decks, and training support materials.
  • Participate in culture of collaboration and model our core values.
    • In collaboration with the Midwest BDC Leadership Team and Fresh Energy development staff, participate in fund development and relationship building efforts.
    • Work effectively in the context of a small, upstart team supporting a diverse regional Coalition; enhance collaboration by maintaining good communication, seeking and respecting diverse viewpoints, engendering trust, fulfilling responsibilities, and ensuring that all team members and their contributions are valued.
    • Model behavior and contribute to a culture that is consistent with Midwest BDC’s priorities and our commitment to be Equity First and People First; a critical part of achieving our mission is by living the values we endorse.
  • Other duties as assigned and in coordination between contract holder and the Midwest BDC Leadership Team.

Job Qualifications

  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.
  • Bachelor’s Degree and prior experience in a public-facing policy or policy-adjacent communications role.
  • Commitment to engaging the general public in clean energy policies and connecting those policies to addressing climate change.
  • Strong experience in coalition building or community organizing at the state or local levels.
  • Ability and experience synthesizing complex policy information to write approachable and engaging materials for a general audience.
  • Self-starter who is able to work independently.
  • Planful and results-oriented.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
  • Demonstrated ability to perform well in a fast-paced environment.
  • Solid computer skills in Windows environment, including MS Office, PowerPoint, Excel, and Teams.
  • Basic graphic design skillset, including experience in WordPress or similar content management systems. Experience with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Audition a plus.
  • Experience creating and managing social media platforms – including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn – to inspire and mobilize key constituents. 
  • Experience in developing and executing communications plans.
  • Team player.
  • Ability to work occasional evenings/weekends is required.
  • Commitment to the mission of Midwest BDC.

Contract Details

  • The contract amount for an initial scope of 48 weeks of work over 12 months will be $70,000, excluding travel and incidental expenses, depending on education and experience.
  • Reimbursement for reasonable travel and incidental expenses that are incurred in provision of contract deliverables will be provided.
  • Access to Fresh Energy IT support (as needed) as well as Microsoft Teams accounts and one Fresh Energy Outlook email account.
  • We foster a respectful, inclusive, collaborative, and fun work environment.

Hiring Process and Timeline

  • The contract will remain open until filled and we will review applications on a rolling basis; preference will be given to applicants submitting on or before July 1, 2022.
  • Our hiring team will select finalists for an initial 30-minute interview via video conference or over the phone.
  • Finalists will be invited back for an approximately 60-minute second-round interview, also via video conference or phone; at that time, we will ask for three references and two work samples relevant to this contract, e.g. a professional writing sample, or other relevant materials.
  • Ideally the selected candidate would begin work on or before August 15, 2022.
  • Fresh Energy’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Employer Policy reflect our commitment to ensure equality, treat everyone with respect, and promote diversity in the workplace.

To apply

Email cover letter and resume to the Fresh Energy Hiring Team at hiringteam@fresh-energy.org with the subject line “Communications Manager, Midwest BDC.” Please include cover letter and resume in one PDF document with your name as the title. No phone calls, please.