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Chief Storyteller & Communications Director

Title: Chief Storyteller & Communications Director
Supervisor: Executive Director
Status: Exempt, full-time, salaried
Location: San Francisco, CA

Since 1985, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has campaigned for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life. What makes RAN unique? We are a network of people that go to the roots of environmental problems. 

Whether it’s logging companies defacing the Boreal forest or the banks that are funding the coal industry, our focus is on the corporations that cause the most harm to our environment and our communities. We run corporate campaigns that focus on pressuring and inspiring these global titans to pass policy solutions that transform business as usual. The RAN idea is that when people come together to directly challenge corporations we can achieve David and Goliath level impacts for our forests, our communities, and our future. We believe it because we’ve seen it. 

The RAN network has moved dozens of the world’s largest corporations. It was our network that pushed entertainment giant Disney and its 3,500 subsidiaries to change everything about the way they source and use paper. We moved the top eight banks in the country, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, to cut funding for companies practicing mountaintop removal coal mining. We also inspired 11 of the top publishing companies in the country to stop buying paper from the endangered forests of Indonesia. And that was all within the last four years. Each time we run a campaign, we learn how to win bigger, smarter, faster, and we see the world change that much more. 

Your job would be to ensure the story of this work is promoted to a growing network of members, supporters, press, and donors in a way that inspires and transforms. If that’s the kind of work you want to be a part of, you should apply for this job! 

The communications department is a central force at RAN. 

The department, led by the Communications Director, is not only responsible for driving and defining the organization’s identity and voice, but also overseeing the design of communications strategies that are core to winning our campaigns. The department is in charge of shaping the public face and crafting the voice that RAN presents to the world to inspire our audiences and pressure our targets. 

The Communications Director is a senior-level position responsible for developing and directing comprehensive communications strategies for RAN and RAN’s campaigns. The key role of the Communications Director is to lead a staff of senior communicators along with campaigners, digital and fundraising staff and the Executive Director in building RAN’s campaign and organizational profile, developing innovative storytelling, marketing and outreach strategies, and seizing emerging opportunities. 

Specific responsibilities include:

• Overseeing the Communications Department and budget (approximately $300,000 fully loaded), including managing and mentoring the Art Director and Media Campaign Director.

• Serving on RAN’s Leadership Team, which guides overall organizational strategy and is comprised of the heads of each department.

• Working with senior management to develop an integrated communications plan that will advance RAN’s work and strengthen RAN’s brand.

• Holding the 30,000-foot view. Building and serving as guardian of RAN’s brand and overall narrative -- with the press, with campaign targets, with RAN’s network of supporters, members, partners, and with donors.

• Developing and refining the overall frame and messaging for the organization, including crafting central organizational content.

• Working with the Executive Director and other senior staff on positioning and promotion, building the profile of the Executive Director through spokesperson trainings, speech-writing support, blog and op-ed writing support and reporter outreach.

• Ensuring that all content published online and offline meets high standards in terms of quality and organizational voice. Working with the program, digital and development staff to ensure all content is consistent and effective for its target audience. 

• Overseeing communications opportunities and crises, analyzing both the risks and rewards to the organization in breaking news moments. 

• Developing innovative ways to produce and promote the RAN story, including the use of emerging story-based strategies and creative marketing techniques.

• Cultivating new organizational partnerships and testing avenues for reaching new and larger audiences. 

• Developing and executing an earned media strategy for the overall organization with focus on securing feature/profile coverage.

• Supporting communications managers and campaign staff in developing messaging and media-genic strategies for RAN’s campaigns. 

• Serving as a spokesperson for RAN as needed

• Training RAN staff on storytelling strategies as well as spokesperson and interview skills. 

• Reporting to the Board of Directors quarterly on media and communications successes and strategies.

• Participating in RAN’s organizational planning and training sessions as well as in weekly RAN staff meetings, and sharing office responsibilities to maintain a healthy and safe workplace.


• Minimum of 8 years experience working at the intersection of communications, media and advocacy work. 

• Demonstrated experience creating and implementing strategic communications plans for an organization in an advocacy context.

• Experience building and maintaining a brand, a passion for crafting the overarching identity of an organization, understanding of marketing and omni-channel promotion.

• Experience testing innovative ways of promoting organizations and campaigns, including media outreach, new partnerships, new visual and content storytelling strategies. 

• Ability to think big and small at the same time, seeing and setting the holistic narrative for the organization and also ensuring consistent quality, tone, org voice.

• Well-established contacts with broadcast and print media in relevant outlets.

• Being a framing and messaging master, including excellent oral, writing, and editing skills. 

• Excellent management, mentorship and supervisory skills as well as interpersonal skills.

• Experience with public speaking and spokesperson trainings.

• Excellent decision-making and problem solving skills.

• A strong anti-oppression analysis and ability to work with indigenous and affected communities is required.

• Passion for RAN’s mission and understanding of the role of non-violent direct action in advocacy campaigning. 

• A belief in the power of organizing ordinary people to create change, and experience with traditional and innovative strategies for messaging to, listening to and promoting these stories and voices. 

• Knowledge of issues such as indigenous rights, forest protection, energy extraction and climate change and social change movements preferred.

• Understanding and appreciation of different cultures, peoples, and communication styles and methods.


Salary is competitive and benefits include full coverage (for employee and family) health, vision & dental insurance, 4 weeks PTO, and a 403b retirement program with 3% company matching. 

To Apply:

This is a full-time position based at RAN’s San Francisco head office. Please send cover letter and resumes to: No phone calls, please.

RAN values diversity, educates staff on issues including privilege and oppression, and integrates these values into all of our work. We are seeking candidates who have a commitment to engage in this process and work with us to create a just, inclusive, and sustainable work environment and world. RAN provides all people with equal employment and volunteer opportunities.

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