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Director of External Communications (Immediate Opening)

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School Year: 2022-2023
Location: Remote
Region: Greater Austin, TX
Category: Headquarters
Job Type: Full-Time


Director of External Communications 



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. 58% 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. We now serve 83,000 students and over 140 schools across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio. 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.   



Communications at IDEA Public Schools 

The Communications department is comprised of three teams: Marketing, Communications and Creatives Services (MCC). Together they support the critical areas of student and staff recruitment, internal, external, and digital communications, publications, events, brand management, and creative design.  


  • Marketing – strategic marketing campaigns and paid advertising for staff and student recruitment efforts 
  • Communications 
  • Internal – student and staff communications and publications 
  • External – public relations, media, family, and crisis communications 
  • Digital – data tracking, social media, website and blog content, web monitoring and reporting 
  • Creative Services – brand management, graphic design, digital and print design, videography  



Position Overview: 

We are looking for a Director of External Communications to steward IDEA’s brand locally and nationally by spearheading IDEA’s external communications strategy. S/he will serve as the deputy spokesperson for the organization for regional and national media outlets in 10 regions where IDEA operates schools and 4 target regions across the U.S., oversee IDEA’s owned media channels including the website, publications, social media accounts, crisis communications, programming for signature and secondary events, earned media strategy, PR and media Relations, and organizational messaging.  


Under his/her leadership, and in partnership with the Director of Marketing and Director of Enrollment, IDEA will continue to elevate and increase brand awareness of its high-performing public charter schools, student success, and commitment to College For All. S/he will coach and develop a team of direct reports to results in their respective functional areas. 


The Director of External Communications’ tasks include but are not limited to:  

  • Directly manage a team of three direct reports 
  • Meet media and public relations goals, nationally and across new and existing IDEA regions, focusing on increasing brand awareness  
  • Position IDEA a thought leader nationally in education/education reform, promoting IDEA leaders and programs 
  • Manage daily media monitoring and PR and media relations across all IDEA regions and nationally  
  • Serve as the team liaison for IDEA’s student safety and crisis communications by playing a key role in the development of crisis communications, resources, and training. 
  • Distribute crisis communications plan to campus and HQ leaders and manage the crisis management database, accessible via The Hub, for campuses to access standard crisis communications documents-letters to parents, receptionist Q&A, etc. 
  • Develop publications (IMPACT Magazine, Persistence/Enrollment Publications, and serve as an advisor for IDEA’s Annual Report) that help to steward persistence and brand awareness at IDEA. 
  • Serve as editor in chief of content for IDEA’s website and national social media channels 



Team MCC projects includes but are not limited to: 

  • Marketing – Brand Folder assets, BOG Box distribution, Welcome to IDEA packet production and distribution 
  • Communications Publications, Back to School mailers, College Signing Day, and Back to School Bash and communications campaigns 
  • Creative Services – WRIKE requests intake, reporting, tracking and satisfaction surveys 

Compensation & Benefits: 

Salaries for people entering this role typically fall between $82,000 and 100,000, commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications and in alignment with internal equity. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on team performance and goal attainment.   


Additionally, we offer medical, dental, vision, and supplemental benefits as well as retirement plans and a generous vacation package. You can find more information about our benefits at 


* IDEA may offer a relocation stipend to defray the cost of moving for this role, if applicable. 



Required skills/Responsibilities 

  • Strong writing and editing skills 
  • Experience in public relations and strategic communications  
  • Relationship-building and influencing skills, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders 
  • Creative, ambitious, and highly adept in designing and implementing cohesive communications strategies 
  • 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 



Required experience 

  • Bachelor’s degree required 
  • Experience: 5-7 years of full-time professional experience required; 3+ years of full-time people management required 
  • Established media relationships in one or more IDEA regions or nationally 
  • Preferred experience in Marketing and Communications field  
  • Preferred experience with project management  
  • Bilingual preferred 



Individual goals 

  • Achieve 90% new student persistence. 
  • Create and manage IDEA's crisis communications protocols and resources and play a key role in the mitigation of negative news stories  
  • Ensure all positive earned media goals nationally and in 10 regions 
  • Serve as an advisor and editor of content across IDEA's national, regional and campus social media channels with a goal of at least 40k engagements across all national channels per month 



Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Click here to learn about IDEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias commitment:   


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