Children’s Defense Fund

Position: Media Relations Manager 

Reports to: Director of Strategic Communications 

Supervision: Potentially interns and consultants 

Location: Washington, DC, New York, NY,. Will consider remote option for exceptional candidates.

Classification: Full time, exempt 

Organization Overview 

The Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) envisions a nation where marginalized children flourish, leaders prioritize their well-being and communities wield the power to ensure they thrive. CDF’s Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. 

We serve and advocate for the largest, most diverse generation in America: the 74 million children and youth under the age of 18 and 30 million young adults under the age of 25, with particular attention to those living in poverty and communities of color. CDF, which includes six state offices and regional offices, partners with policymakers, aligned organizations and funders in this service. The Children’s Defense Fund is the only national, multi-issue advocacy organization working at the intersection of child well-being and racial justice by wielding the moral authority of programmatic proximity and community organizing to inform public policy. For more information visit www.childrensdefense.org. 

Position Summary 

The Media Relations Manager is a new position that will be responsible for managing the organization’s media advocacy and visibility, showcasing the organization’s thought leadership, and amplifying the voices and stories of children and families who experience poverty. This includes securing earned media; placing CDF thought leaders in high-profile speaking and panelist engagements; and producing regular reports on audience engagement and reach. The Media Relations Manager will report to the Director of Strategic Communications and be part of a growing team of high-performing communications professionals. 


  • Develop and execute media outreach plans consistent with the organization’s mission, complete with goals and benchmarks. 

  • Expand and maintain relations with local, regional, and national news outlets and editorial boards. 

  • Provide communications counsel and support to CDF President and other CDF thought leaders. 

  • Expand and maintain the brand of CDF President 

  • Secure media coverage that advances CDF policy priorities, and showcases CDF’s signature programs, including CDF Freedom Schools®, Proctor Institute, and Children’s Sabbaths®. 

  • Produce and maintain talking points and internal media guidance for all key issues. 

  • Prepare briefing documents for all media and public appearances. 

  • Secure media sponsors for events. 

  • Track audience engagement and produce regular reports of earned media activity that reflects progress toward CDF’s goals. 

Education and/or Experience 

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or related field. 

  • 5-8 years of experience in media relations, preferably with mission-driven organizations. 

  • Record of achievement in pitching stories and placing principals in high-profile media outlets. 

  • Existing relationships with reporters at high-profile media outlets. 

  • Experience and comfort in acting as on-the-record spokesperson. 

  • Experience advocating for racial justice and other social justice causes. 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Bilingual in English and Spanish. 

  • Accreditation in Public Relations or master’s degree in communications or related field 


  • Extensive knowledge of U.S. media environment. 

  • Exceptional speaking and writing skills. 

  • Fluency with Microsoft Office suite and with the Meltwater platform. 

  • Ability to ethically and effectively amplify the voices of people who experience poverty. 

  • Clear understanding of economic and racial justice issues and the ability to incorporate analysis of these issues into your work. 

  • Ability to convey complex public policy issues to lay audiences. 

  • Comfort and confidence as on-the-record spokesperson. 

Personal Characteristics 

  • Passion and commitment to social, economic, racial justice and CDF’s mission 

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills 

  • Excellent time and project management skills 

  • Well organized, detail-oriented, ability to multitask 

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate well 

Type of work environment associated with the job: indoor, office setting 

Submit cover letter, resume, and two writing samples:

The Children’s Defense Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

Note: This job description does not restrict management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time. This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of all activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. 

Consideration will be given to qualified candidates on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. 

All inquiries will remain confidential until establishment of mutual, serious interest and provision of references for review. 

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