Position announcement: Communications Associate [closed]

Please note, the application period for this position has closed. Openings are announced on our homepage and in our email newsletter, Mississippi Messages

About FMR

Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) is a leading nonprofit that protects, restores and enhances the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities region. Our focus is the metro area, but our impact is often regional or national.

Our goals are to:
• improve water quality,
• conserve important lands,
• engage people in learning about and taking action to protect and enhance one of the world's greatest rivers,
• inspire widespread commitment to this natural wonder flowing through our communities, and
• protect our river's unique scenic, natural, cultural and recreational qualities.

With an annual budget of $2.8 million, FMR employs a dedicated, professional staff of 19 (soon to be 22) who work to improve the health of the river through policy advocacy, education and engagement, land conservation and ecological restoration and other disciplines. Over 28 years, FMR has established deep relationships and credibility with thousands of residents, volunteers, landowners, partner organizations, government agencies and elected officials.

With a well-known and respected brand, a seasoned and effective staff, a strong board of directors, and a growing base of support, FMR is poised for continued growth and success. Our workplace culture is collaborative and fun; staff members share a common love of the river and dedication to FMR's mission, vision and core values.

FMR believes the Mississippi River belongs to all of us and its gifts should flow to everyone in our community. We strive to be culturally competent, welcoming and inclusive. We are working toward greater social and environmental justice, using our resources and influence to redress structural inequality in our own organization and where it intersects with the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We encourage interested applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

The position

This position plays a key role in building our power and ability to improve the health of the Mississippi River long-term.

The Communications Associate will help develop and implement strategic communications campaigns to grow and strengthen our base of members, volunteers, advocates and partners/partnerships.

They will work closely with the Communications Director, department, and team comprised of staff from each FMR program area.

They will be responsible for social media for all of FMR, and play a lead role in highly targeted long-term advocacy campaigns, particularly media outreach, content marketing and network-building around "next-gen" agricultural practices and partnerships to improve water quality.

The position is right for a team-oriented strategic thinker and creator who relishes the thought of inspiring everyday people as well as decision-makers to take action to protect and restore the Mississippi River.

Applicants with nontraditional backgrounds committed to our mission, vision and core values are encouraged to apply.


  • Create and coordinate social media posting and advertising for all of FMR
  • Plan strategic long- and short-term advocacy campaigns with program staff and partners
  • Write special interest briefs or short articles for earned media, partner sites and FMR.org
  • Work with list-serves or develop e-newsletters to support collaborative endeavors
  • Attend and document select events for promotional purposes
  • Create and refine materials such as flyers, posters and presentations
  • Compile and organize visual assets (graphics, photos, etc.)
  • Assist with video production, including shooting live video for social (occasional), some in-house editing of simple videos as well as supporting professional videographers
  • Assist with communications-related data entry and analytics as needed
  • Track media impressions and update related webpages
  • Participate in staff development activities (monthly staff meeting, monthly staff lunch, annual outing and retreat)
  • Additional duties as assigned

Required qualifications

  • Three to five years of relevant experience
  • Excellent short, medium and long-form writing skills with a knack for storytelling
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex topics simply and effectively
  • Well-developed project management, organization and collaboration skills
  • Demonstrated grasp of design principles
  • Comfortable working with databases and spreadsheets
  • Well-developed analytical skills and a strong appreciation for evidence-based and inclusive, equitable approaches
  • The ability to handle uncertainty and incorporate feedback from multiple perspectives
  • The ability to pivot quickly while exercising sound, values-based judgment and balancing competing priorities
  • Able to adapt to rapidly evolving software, mediums and forums
  • Ability to work irregular hours including occasional Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings
  • Ability to manage moderately strenuous physical tasks such as lifting and loading tripods, displays and other communications supplies and equipment
  • Reliable transportation is required to locations throughout the Twin Cities, including areas not served by transit (mileage and parking costs for work-related travel will be reimbursed).

Additional desired qualifications

  • Experience in Facebook Business Suite and Tweetdeck, Salsa Engage, Adobe Creative Cloud suite (esp. InDesign), Filemaker Pro, video editing software, or ArcGIS story maps
  • Experience working with:
    - volunteer or freelance photographers, writers and videographers
    - reporters and new media (especially in rural areas)
    - committees, coalitions, advocates or organizers

Salary & benefits

This is a full-time position. The starting annual salary range is $42,000-46,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, dental and short-term disability insurance, a retirement plan with employer match, parking/transit allowance and generous paid time off.

Working conditions and COVID-19 adaptations

Friends of the Mississippi River's office is located in downtown St. Paul in view of the river. Throughout the pandemic, we have prioritized staff safety and followed CDC and state guidance regarding when and how to interact in-person and indoors. We currently require vaccinations and masks in our office and offer staff the option to work from home. As pandemic conditions improve, we will explore moving to a hybrid work scenario (some days in-office and some remote) to maintain flexibility, while also creating opportunities to foster staff cohesion and collaboration. 

While most working hours will be spent in an office or home office setting, the Communications Associate will also participate in events and meetings in a variety of indoor and outdoor community settings. Because this role requires in-person community engagement, we require vaccination against COVID-19 for this position. Accommodations can be made for religious or medical exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

To apply

Please consolidate your application into one PDF document that includes: a cover letter summarizing your interest in and qualifications for the position; a 1-2 page résumé; and the names, titles and phone numbers of three professional references (or two professional and one personal reference). One to three writing, design and other samples, integrated into the application PDF (in their entirety or as links) are welcome. (If sharing private links, please add srich@fmr.org and erogers@fmr.org as approved viewers.)

Please email it as an attachment with "Communications Associate" as the subject line to compiler Monica Bierma, mbierma@fmr.org by February 7, 2022. No phone calls, please.

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