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Public Relations Strategist

Public Relations Strategist
Application Deadline: 
Sunday, August 16, 2020
Job Description: 

Organization Description

Tides envisions a world of shared prosperity and social change founded on four pillars: equality & human rights, healthy individuals & communities, a sustainable environment, and quality education for all.  Tides accelerates the pace of social change by working at the nexus of funders, changemakers, and policy, with extensive impact solutions including philanthropic giving and grant making, impact investing, fiscal sponsorship for social ventures, collaborative workspaces, and policy initiatives. Our extensive tools and know-how give our partners the freedom to hit the ground running and drive change faster than they can on their own. For more information, please visit

Position Summary

Functioning within an agency service structure, the PR Strategist will provide strategic public relations leadership including media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. Specifically, the PR Strategist will:

  • Implement media advances and responses directing appropriate messaging to address untoward attacks. 
  • Work thoughtfully and nimbly with the executive leadership, legal, strategic partnerships, and the Board of Directors to minimize risk to Tides, the brand, our staff, and partners. 
  • Support media training for key leadership to ensure appropriate messages are delivered accurately, succinctly and confidently. 
  • Ensure messages are appropriately timed to maximize opportunities.

As a steward and ambassador of the Tides’ brand, the PR Strategist will work with the Director to ensure alignment and integration of the brand in all PR activities. 

This is a part-time temporary position. It is anticipated that the role will require 20-30 hours/week, starting as soon as possible and lasting approximately 6-9 months. At that time, on-going team needs will be re-assessed. The position will ideally be based on San Francisco in any anticipated return to work scenario.  Fully remote work may be considered for well qualified candidates.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities


  • Lead and direct Tides media and public relations functions, including cultivation of relationships with writers, reporters, editors, and influencers; maintenance of media lists; development of story and op-ed pitches; conduct media monitoring and track philanthropic and social change themes, etc.
  • Place thought pieces in high-profile media, secure speaking engagements for the leadership teams, and develop content to position the organization as a thought leader.
  • Ensure Tides is able to respond quickly to current events with a strong sense of urgency, and present insightful interpretations and corresponding recommendations for action and public relations posturing.
  • Serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization.
  • Prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material, for interaction with media or externally facing audiences.
  • Draft, review and approve Tides media releases and those from our partners, external resources, agencies, and contractors.
  • Provide communications, media relations coaching, and training to staff, and prepare CEO and other experts for interviews.
  • Integrate strategic public relations perspective to support current client, business development, and other organizational goals and programs.
  • Maintain knowledge of current events and industry competitors’ media efforts, contacts and competitive intelligence, and conduct research and fact gathering.
  • Review decision-making criteria and oversight of issue-area campaigns and letters for Tides to sign on to and collaborate with other PR/movement efforts, and coordinate internal process and approvals. Help lead and coordinate any Tides-initiated campaigns and sign-on letters.


  • Provide proactive crisis communication planning and strategies, weaving them into Tides’ broader organizational risk management efforts in collaboration with other stakeholders across Tides.
  • Lead crisis communication preparedness efforts, including regular updates to Tides crisis communications plan. Engage stakeholders in ownership of and updates to the plan, including annual tabletop exercises based on potential high-risk scenarios.
  • During a crisis, lead and coordinate efforts internally, and in collaboration with any outside crisis communication firm, on framing and messaging, Q&A and talking points, PR activities, media relations and scenario-specific spokesperson training, and proactive crisis analysis, planning and response.
  • Serve as the voice of Tides in emergencies, along with Tides’ leadership, as appropriate.


  • Manage Tides brand and reputation by conducting landscape review around key topics to identify opportunities to define and position Tides in the philanthropic and social change spaces.
  • Manage and execute ongoing reputation management strategies to media, influencers, partners and staff.
  • Anticipate and identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization, working with Tides executive and leadership teams and staff to recognize internal and external marketing and communications opportunities and vulnerabilities, and define, manage and execute on strategies and solutions to support and/or resolve them.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A strong understanding and desire to champion Tides Vision, Mission, Approach and Values
  • Commitment to Tides Strategic Path and MarComms Department goals and activities and to their successful implementation. 
  • Keen understanding of the social, nonprofit, philanthropic, policy, and/or impact investing sectors  
  • Demonstrated knowledge and interest in any of Tide’s 4 issue areas: human rights, health, environment, or education, is a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to be nimble in a fluid and fast-paced environment; able to quickly reprioritize work
  • Able to think beyond Tides into the greater social impact ecosystem for inspiration, trends, and challenges
  • High-energy, maturity and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels
  • High self-awareness and EQ that enables ability to appreciate and work effectively with people from different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives while supporting and elevating Tides’ diversity, equity and inclusion practices across the organization
  • Sophisticated relationship management skills that indicate confidence, builds trust, and influences decision-making 
  • Strong leadership and influence management instincts suitable for Tides’ culture
  • Superb listening, writing, editing, and oral presentation skills; confident and transparent in day-to-day communication
  • Out of the ordinary creative storytelling skills
  • Can conceptualize and write long-form content such as press releases, contributed articles, and op-eds
  • Excellent partnering, teaming and collaborative behavior  
  • Works confidently and passionately with a sense of urgency while showing up cool under pressure
  • Exhibits investigative journalism behavior
  • Fast learner and proactive thinker who takes initiative
  • Strong work ethic and tenacious attention to follow up
  • Sense of humor

Education and Experience

  • Undergraduate Degree in marketing, journalism, communications, or related fields or equivalent work experience. Master’s degree a plus
  • 10-15 years of relevant work experience including developing and executing on high-impact PR strategies and delivering outstanding, measurable results
  • Crisis communications experience
  • Solid success in the nonprofit sector with emphasis on social change in any of Tides’ 4 issue areas
  • Corporate communications and public relations experience are desirable
  • Current relationships with relevant media a plus
  • Vendor management experience
  • Fluent in MS Office suite of products  
  • Fluent in Adobe Creative Cloud 

Application Instructions:

Please submit a resume and a thoughtful cover letter online. Your cover letter should express your interest in working for Tides and your qualifications for the role. You may also share your detailed LinkedIn profile with us. Tides is an Equal Opportunity employer. We value diversity and inclusion and we look forward to reviewing applications from all who are qualified to apply.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Tides is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions. Also pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we encourage and will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

Applicants with Disabilities:

Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.