Public Health Communications Specialist

Job Position: Public Health Communications Specialist

Primary Purpose of Position:

The Public Health Communications Specialist (PHCS) will work under the direction of the Director of Strategic Communications and CEO to provide communications support to programmatic initiatives of the organization, as well as general communications support to the broader organization.

The PHCS will spend approximately 70% of time providing full communications support to SHIFT NC’s programmatic initiatives, including day-to-day management of a social marketing campaign for older teens. For this role, the PHCS must be able to communicate in a voice that resonates with teens. In addition, the PHCS will spend ~30% of time provide communications support as assigned for the organization. These tasks will support organizational branding, outreach, fundraising and events, website maintenance, social media management, and media relations.

The ideal candidate should be able to work with sensitive, nuanced, and complex information related to sexual health and be skilled at interpreting and communicating research, data, and policy to a wide range of audiences. The ideal candidate will also need basic graphic design skills (primarily Photoshop, InDesign); video skills are a bonus.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide ongoing communications support for assigned SHIFT NC programs/initiatives. Support will include:
    • Working with the Director of Strategic Communications to create annual communications plans, troubleshoot issues, and monitor progress toward communications objectives.
    • Implementing annual communications plans for multiple initiatives.
    • Creating materials (writing, designing, printing) for initiatives, including marketing materials, presentations, advertising, swag, reports, etc.
    • Preparing and supporting program staff as they communicate with community stakeholders. This may include developing talking points; helping staff communicate program data and results; providing fact sheets, data visualizations, and other materials; and suggesting, supplying, and monitoring materials.
    • Helping program staff disseminate results to state and national audiences.
    • Managing The Playbook, a social marketing campaign for older teens that serves multiple initiatives. This will include:
      • Ongoing monitoring and facilitating the work of an outside advertising agency, including weekly phone meetings.
      • Managing social media accounts.
      • Maintaining a database of approved health clinics for teens.
      • Working with program staff to meet, monitor, and improve project outcomes.
  • Provide communications support to SHIFT NC, as assigned by the Director of Strategic Communications. Support will include:
    • Helping the organization create and maintain a clear and consistent voice in all external communications.
    • Collaborating to rapidly respond to organizational communication needs, including those related to the executive office, fundraising, advocacy, and annual conference. This may include writing talking points and/or speeches; producing email, web, or social media content; writing, designing, and printing materials; etc.
    • Coordinating select awareness months and integrating messages and materials into initiatives.
    • Assisting with media outreach and social media management, especially during events.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • 3+ years communications experience required.
  • Track record of successful media outreach and social media management.
  • Strong writing, speaking, and visual communications skills. Must have the ability to translate data, research, and complex and/or sensitive topics into a clear, engaging product.
  • Intermediate graphic design skills (Photoshop, InDesign). Examples of expected products might include: posters, donor newsletters, annual report, billboards, newspaper ads, etc.
  • Ability to simultaneously meet multiple deadlines across multiple departments, and move projects forward with autonomy and minimal direction.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and responsively with multiple teams and departments.
  • Ability create effective communications for multiple and diverse audiences, including local community stakeholders, teens, donors and funders, youth-serving professionals and advocates, the media, legislators, and internal stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate about adolescent sexual health and related issues in a clear, positive, data-informed voice.
  • Video skills are a major bonus.
This is a full-time position. 

Position Duration: This position is primarily funded through federal grants that end June 2020. The position is entirely contingent on continued funding.

Deadline for Application Submission:  February 29, 2016

Start date:  April 1, 2016 (negotiable)

Application Procedure: Please submit the following items by email to Elizabeth Finley, Director of Strategic Communications,

  • Resume;
  • Cover letter detailing how your qualifications align with our needs; and
  • 3-5 samples of your work, with a cover sheet detailing the purpose of the project and your contributions (i.e. copy, design). Links to digital content may be supplied in the cover sheet if these provide a better representation of your work.

No phone calls or inquiries please.

About SHIFT NC: SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) - formerly the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina - is leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health. After 30 years of success in adolescent pregnancy prevention, we've expanded our scope to include adolescent pregnancy, HIV and STIs, sexuality, healthy development, relationships, and access to care. Learn more at


SHIFT NC offers equal opportunity to and prohibits the discrimination against or harassment of anyone based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, handicapping condition, or other reasons prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination and opportunity policy extends to employment, membership, and board service.