Communications Director

Type: Full Time

Location: Oakland, California

Application Window:  Open until filled


Outdoor Afro uses innovation and entrepreneurial insight to engage Black Americans of all ages in empowering experiences in the outdoors by dismantling seemingly intractable social and cultural barriers. Over the past decade we have been successful to witness and shape our founder’s goal to shift the visual representation of not only who gets outside, but also who leads. Over the past year, as people have leaned into the healing power of nature more than ever. Inside of the pandemic and across social divides, our work has never felt more needed and relevant. Our communications director will lead the nuanced and poignant way Outdoor Afro’s work needs to be expressed for our community, our staff, our board members — in the incredible times in which we find ourselves.

 Visit: or @outdoorafro across all social media platforms to learn more.


The Communications Director will report to the Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for driving strategic marketing and communications efforts to increase the Outdoor Afro brand, voice, and influence; deepen engagement with current and prospective partners and stakeholders; and strengthen and protect the organization’s brand and reputation. The Director oversees a team of consultants and vendors, and develops the department’s goals, activities, and annual budget.

The Director works collaboratively with senior leadership to ensure an integrated, leveraged, digital-first marketing approach with key positioning and alignment of messaging and themes for internal and external audiences. The Director oversees the creation of Outdoor Afro’s collateral, website, digital marketing, storytelling assets, video production, and outreach activities, and provides strategic direction for partnerships, media and public relations, influencer strategies, and thought leadership to expand and amplify Outdoor Afro’s impact and influence in the social change field. The Director works particularly closely with the COO to build a holistic partner funnel, with a focus on using marketing strategies to bring new partnership leads into the funnel. The Director also works with the CEO to direct and support their communications, visibility, and outreach efforts. The Director oversees execution of internal communications strategies and programs to help build culture, inspire and motivate staff and facilitate healthy organizational change management. The Director is also responsible for leading crisis communications planning and preparedness planning to protect Outdoor Afro’s brand and reputation and that of our partners as necessary. 


Communications Strategy

  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s overall communications strategy, including setting key goals, identifying & refining key target audiences, and setting objectives for each of the communications, marketing, and PR functions to work towards.
  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s integrated communications, marketing, and PR plan, a coherent and consistent set of coordinated activities across each of the communications, marketing, and PR functions aimed at delivering on the overall communications strategy.
  • Work closely with the CEO and COO to ensure that this strategy and plan are aligned with Outdoor Afro’s overall strategy, vision, mission, and approach.
  • Work closely with the CEO and COO to support the goals and objectives set forth by the Board of Directors.


  • Maintain the Outdoor Afro brand, including its visual identity, verbal identity, narrative, & positioning on key issues, and key themes to focus on.
  • Develop strategies and tactics to build Outdoor Afro’s profile with Outdoor Afro’s key target audiences and priority partners.
  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s content strategy for owned communication channels, including our website, newsletter, social media, and other channels as needed.
  • Identify and assess opportunities for new owned communications channels (e.g. new social media channels, new newsletters, etc.) and work with key team members to implement new channels as needed.
  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s thought leadership strategy & plan, including working with Outdoor Afro’s senior leadership team to identify thought leadership opportunities in their areas of expertise, setting an overall thought leadership publication schedule, and managing the development of thought leadership content. (e.g. co-developing talking points, testimony, op-eds, and infographics for Outdoor Afro policy communications and outreach)
  • Manage the production of Outdoor Afro’s creative content and assets, including marketing & communications assets, website, videos, and other assets as needed.
  • Manage the production of speeches & presentations to support members of the Outdoor Afro leadership team in their public appearances.


  • Develop & maintain strategies to increase awareness about Outdoor Afro with key target audiences and particularly with our priority partner segments, including policy and thought leadership opportunities, sponsorships, and other tactics.
  • Work closely with the COO to develop & implement strategies to bring new partnership opportunities into our funnel from potential new partners within our partner segments.
  • Work closely with the COO and external communications team to develop & implement strategies to increase engagement with existing partners, including developing marketing strategy to meet partnership goals and measuring/reporting to quantify impact.

Public Relations

  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s strategic approach to public relations, including audiences we want to engage, priority target outlets and reporters to reach those audiences, and the stories we want to tell.
  • Work closely with Outdoor Afro external consultants to oversee development of PR assets including, press releases, media lists, talking points, and other assets as needed.
  • Develop & maintain Outdoor Afro’s crisis communications strategy to protect the organization’s reputation against threats and oversee crisis communications as needed. 
  • Work with Outdoor Afro’s designated spokespeople to provide media training support as needed.
  • Speak directly with the media on behalf of Outdoor Afro, as needed.
  • Provide crisis communications support to Outdoor Afro partners as needed.


  • Oversee the work of the Outdoor Afro external communications consultants, ensuring the highest level of service and best possible price, managing vendors to performance targets, and selecting and onboarding new vendors as needed.
  • Working closely with the COO, manage Outdoor Afro’s marketing, communications & PR budget, ensuring the organization’s resources are spent judiciously.


  • Holds joy, gratitude, connection and nature as personal values.
  • Proactive, solution oriented and dedicated to problem solving. Ability to anticipate the needs of the CEO to increase productivity and ease of work.
  • Resourceful and adaptable; possesses sound judgment, ability to resolve unexpected issues and juggle multiple tasks, and switch gears quickly.
  • Holds high standards for professional quality and branding as this is essential to carry out the needs of the CEO.
  • Makes job knowledge and personal development a high priority; seeks educational opportunities, enjoys reading professional articles and publications, and loves participating in professional organizations.
  • Holds high moral character; has a polite, courteous, and tactful demeanor, especially when interacting with the public.
  • Respectful, intuitive, and keen perception while working with a diverse range of stakeholders, partners, and their associates.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to act effectively as a member of the team and the ability to interact successfully with high profile partners and the media.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail with the ability to listen, foster teamwork, remain self-motivated while motivating others.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • A strong understanding and alignment with Outdoor Afro vision, mission and approach.
  • Ability to work effectively with people from different cultures, backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Strong strategic communications & marketing acumen.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to build trust and rapport with internal stakeholders, including executive management, the Board of Directors, and staff.
  • Excellent, proactive team player.
  • Strong leader and manager of people and processes.
  • Exceptional and persuasive written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize amongst multiple commitments, and to drive multiple high profile and complex projects simultaneously in a challenging and fluid environment.
  • Fluency in using and incorporating new and emerging technologies to facilitate internal communications.
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into flawless execution.
  • A motivated, high-energy self-starter with a strong work ethic.
  • Process-oriented, with a high attention to detail.
  • Production and event management experience is a plus.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, journalism, communications, or related field required (master’s degree is preferred).
  • 15+ years of relevant and applicable work experience required, including experience developing, executing, and evaluating results-oriented communications and marketing strategies and tactics. 
  • Demonstrated passion for community organizing and nature. Experience working with social causes in a nonprofit, government, or related field is a plus, but not required. 
  • Experience leading broadly skilled, high-performing communications and marketing teams is required.
  • Experience selecting and managing independent marketing and communications contractors, consultants, and vendors is required.
  • Deep experience with Google and Salesforce suite of products is required.

Compensation: $75,000 to $90,000, depending on candidate experience. Outdoor Afro offers a competitive benefits package including 401k, medical, dental, life insurance, and paid time off.


Email a resume + references + cover letter detailing why you feel you would be a good fit to lead Outdoor Afro’s communications  to:

Please follow all instructions for applying above. Note that no applicants will be reviewed or accepted via LinkedIn, or Facebook inbox.

The above job description is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties and standards of the position. Incumbents will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as assigned by their supervisor.

Outdoor Afro is an equal opportunity employer. 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. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. If you seek an accommodation, please advise in writing at the time you apply.