Strategic Communication Specialist

Posting Number: #1812

Position Title: Strategic Communication Specialist

Closing Date: Until Filled

Location: Berkeley, CA

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The Public Health Institute (PHI) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health, well-being, and quality of life for people throughout California, across the nation and around the world. As one of the largest and most comprehensive public health organizations in the nation, we are at the forefront of research and innovations to improve the efficacy of public health statewide, nationally, and internationally.

PHI was distinguished as one of the top 50 “Best Non-Profit Organizations to Work For” by the Non-Profit Times in a national search.


Position Summary

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is seeking a full-time Strategic Communication Specialist for one of its programs, the Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG). The ideal candidate will be a dynamic public speaker who can work with advocates, community groups, youth leaders, and others interested in shifting the public debate on health and other social justice issues. In this role, no two days are the same. The Strategic Communication Specialist will thrive in a fast-paced work environment that could mean training a group in a rural community working to prevent gun violence one day and developing a social media training for youth activists the next.

This is a regular full-time position (40 hours/week, 100% FTE). This is a remote position. However, the incumbent must be based in California and be able to travel to conduct and attend various trainings, community meetings, and conferences primarily in California and occasionally in other states.

The typical hiring range for this position is from $68,581 to $84,003, based on 100% FTE. Full salary range for this position: $68,581 to $99,425 per year. The starting salary is determined based on the candidate’s knowledge, skills, experience, as well as budget availability.


About Berkeley Media Studies Group

Positioned at the intersection of media and public health, BMSG is a small, nimble group committed to improving community health by building advocates’ capacity to make the case for equitable systems and environments.  We do this by studying how public health and social justice issues are portrayed in the news and, using insights from that research, help advocates become more skilled communicators adept at changing narratives, especially news narratives that undermine health. We also work with journalists who want to deepen their reporting on the social and structural factors that influence health.

We take our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion seriously in our work with advocates and reporters and in the culture we’ve created internally. We strive to foster a working environment that prioritizes well-being and values every team member. Our philosophy is that we are humans first, employees second. We encourage people to bring their whole selves — all backgrounds and neurotypes welcome — into our workspace, identify professional development and growth opportunities for staff, and host regular brainstorming sessions to encourage creative thinking. If a norm or process isn’t working, we challenge and address it. BMSG’s average employee tenure is eight and a half years.


About this position

Berkeley Media Studies Group supports partners who want to create a just world where every community thrives. Our partners organize and advocate to change policies and systems to make that happen. We help by analyzing how their issue is being discussed in the news and other public spaces so they can be strategic about how they make change—and how they communicate about their goals.

We’re looking for a motivated and passionate person to join our training team. The candidate should be a dynamic trainer interested in shifting the public debate on health and other social justice issues. The position will work with our training team to deliver webinars, in-person and virtual trainings, and tailored strategic consultation to a wide range of partners including health departments, foundation grantees, community-based grassroots coalitions, and youth-led organizations.

The Strategic Communication Specialist will thrive in a fast-paced work environment that could mean training experienced advocates one day and groups brand new to the idea of media advocacy the next. This person is eager to learn about new issues and can pivot from one to the other with enthusiasm as they help our partners make the case for equitable solutions to a variety of public health and social justice issues, from firearm violence to housing to vaccine hesitancy to the overdose epidemic and more. They are curious about communication research and applying it in real-world situations with diverse groups. The ideal candidate is someone who practices cultural humility and enjoys collaborating with others, is confident leading projects, and has a strong eye for detail.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Design, deliver, and evaluate virtual and in-person media advocacy trainings, webinars, and professional presentations with a wide range of community groups and public health professionals.
  • Assist with developing and adapting media advocacy tools, materials and case studies incorporating communications research across BMSG projects.
  • Facilitate strategic consultation or technical assistance sessions with clients, providing guidance in communication strategy, direct feedback on communication materials, or coaching before a media interview.
  • Assist with developing strategic communication and media advocacy tools for BMSG clients, from worksheets to communication plans.
  • Draft strategic consultation materials, including editing and/or developing news releases, media advisories, talking points, blogs, and other products.
  • Write and edit media advocacy papers, case studies, and advocacy materials for publication in professional journals, newsletters, websites.
  • Monitor, track, and coordinate logistics for trainings and consultations; track multiple client engagements and other project deliverables; and prepare progress reports for internal use and for funders.
  • Maintain strong relationships with clients, quickly become familiar with their issues and goals, and share promising strategies and lessons learned through the BMSG blog, newsletter, and other outlets.
  • Conduct outreach and intake sessions with potential BMSG clients, including health department staff, foundation grantees, and others.
  • Assist with developing new project proposals and scopes of work.
  • Complete other writing, training, and strategic consultation projects as assigned.
  • Travel throughout California and nationally. Travel overnight and work on evenings and weekends as required.
  • Perform other duties as needed.


Minimum Qualifications

  • 5 years’ relevant experience, including experience developing and delivering engaging, effective trainings for a variety of audiences and experience with journalism and/or advocacy.
  • A bachelor’s degree and/or certificate in journalism, communication, public health, public policy, or related field, or substitute with two additional years of relevant experience.

Other Required Qualifications

  • Passion for public health, media, and communication and a commitment to racial and social justice.
  • Excellent public speaking and analytical skills.
  • Commitment to building capacity among advocates through training and strategic consultation so they can support community health and address racial and health inequities through narrative change.
  • Ability to write clearly and succinctly for a variety of audiences, and to edit client materials, including press releases, briefing materials, and opinion pieces, often under deadline pressure.
  • Ability to work well with minimal supervision, to work collaboratively with other staff members, and to stay focused while handling multiple assignments and priorities.
  • Strong attention to detail, ability to take initiative, and good organizational skills.
  • Proficiency on the Macintosh computer using System 10.5 or higher, Microsoft Word 2008 or higher, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Willingness and ability to travel throughout California and nationally. Ability to travel overnight and work on evenings and weekends as occasionally required.
  • Bilingual with the ability to speak and deliver trainings in Spanish or another second language.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated understanding of the public policymaking process at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Direct experience working on public health and social justice campaigns and/or covering public health and social justice issues as a journalist and/or working internally within the legislative process on social justice and public health policy.
  • Master’s degree.


Other Information

Berkeley Media Studies Group is an equal opportunity employer and an inclusive organization. People of diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.



This position is classified as exempt based on the job duties. However, based on the FTE, salary level of the employee, or federal/state/local laws, the employee may be classified as nonexempt.



Per the PHI Workforce Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, it is a condition of employment for all domestic based employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless they are granted a reasonable accommodation under applicable law.

New hires need to provide proof of full vaccination prior to their start date or apply for an exemption/accommodation within three business days after their start date. Depending on the circumstances, new hires who do not comply with this Policy, or who cannot be reasonably accommodated, will either have their employment suspended or terminated. Candidates who are non-compliant will have their offers rescinded.


EEO Statement

The Public Health Institute is committed to a policy that provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and to make all employment decisions so as to further this principle of equal employment opportunity. To this end, the PHI will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, pregnancy, medical condition including genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identification and expression, sexual orientation, and will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are offered employment and employees are treated during employment without regard to these characteristics.

For further information regarding Equal Employment Opportunity, copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:

ADA Statement:

The Public Health Institute is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Recruitment Team at least 48 hours in advance at


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We’re so pleased the Public Health Institute is an organization you would like to work with. Do you have questions about this opportunity? If so, email our recruitment team at

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