Public Affairs Manager: 50CAN

Posted August 25th, 2015 at 2:58 pm.

About PennCAN

PennCAN: The Pennsylvania Campaign for Achievement Now, is a state-level education reform advocacy non-profit organization. PennCAN is a branch of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now, a nonprofit organization that recruits and supports local leaders to build citizen movements in their states to ensure that every child has access to a great public school.

PennCAN has an energetic “we won’t fail” culture working on state-level education issues. As a key member of the Pennsylvania state team, the ideal candidate will possess boundless enthusiasm and a great sense of humor, be extraordinarily driven and entrepreneurial and be absolutely dedicated to reforming public education. This position reports directly to PennCAN’s executive director in Philadelphia, collaborates with the Deputy Director in Pittsburgh and manages the relationship with the 50CAN communications team which is based in New York City and in Washington D.C. This position is based in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, or Philadelphia.

About the Job

Communications and media relations: Execute PennCAN’s public relations strategy. Develop PennCAN’s brand and individual messaging strategies for each of PennCAN’s policy campaigns to build statewide awareness of policy goals; cultivate relationships with local reporters; draft press releases and op-eds; create and execute mass advocacy emails; maintain and update PennCAN’s website and social media platforms; write talking points and coordinate testimony for the executive director; manage communications databases; update and manage tools for tracking media hits and impressions; and target reporters and editors.

Project management: Assist executive director in running PennCAN’s annual strategic planning process; ensure the timely and accurate submission of all lobbying disclosures and foundation grant reports; and lead all aspects of event-planning, including vendor management, design of all materials and serving as primary liaison with 50CAN’s national office.

Strategic partnerships and mobilization: Cultivate relationships and strategic partnerships throughout the state; recruit, train and support a network of advocates (e.g., parents, teachers, community leaders); plan and coordinate turnouts to legislative hearings, rallies and other events; grow PennCAN’s memberships; and represent PennCAN at other organizations’ events.

Key Skills, Abilities and Experience:

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Strong commitment to education reform and PennCAN’s mission to close the achievement gap.
  • Strong work ethic, “roll-up-my-sleeves” attitude, and willingness to do “whatever it takes” in a fast-paced work environment.
  • Outgoing personality with eagerness to develop relationships with media, donors and advocates.
  • Highly organized with strong attention to detail.


  • Exceptional writing and editing skills
  • Strong design aesthetic and comfort with PowerPoint and e-marketing tools
  • Experience working with the Adobe Creative Suite is a plus
  • Experience working with email delivery platform (e.g., Pardot) is a plus
  • Social media fluency


  • At least two years communications experience
  • Familiarity with education policy issues
  • Some experience in social and/or advocacy campaigns and knowledge of policy-making process

The salary is in the $55,000-75,000 range depending on experience. In addition, PennCAN offers a comprehensive benefits package.

How to apply

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to with “Public Affairs Manager” in the subject line.

PennCAN is an equal opportunity employer and we encourage people from diverse backgrounds to apply

Filed under: Management Level by Margie DuBrow

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