IDEA Public Schools Job - 32896816 | CareerArc
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Company: IDEA Public Schools
Location: United States of America
Career Level: Director
Industries: Government, Nonprofit, Education


Position at IDEA Public Schools

About IDEA Public Schools: 


At IDEA Public Schools, we believe in college for ALL and we are committed to ensuring that all our students graduate from college. IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States sending 100% of our students to college. 50% of our students graduate from college in 6 years – that's 8 times the national rate for students in our communities! 

IDEA was founded in 2000 as a single school with 150 students in the Rio Grande Valley. When interest exceeded building capacity, to meet the demands, IDEA's co-founders committed to serving more students in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and beyond. We now serve nearly 53,000 students across Texas and Louisiana. By 2022, IDEA will serve 100,000 students. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you—with continued growth in our current regions and new launches in Houston (2020), Permian Basin (2020), and Tampa Bay (2021)! 


When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality. 


To learn more about IDEA, check out this  video. 

Role Mission: The Director of Communications will steward IDEA's brand locally and nationally by spearheading IDEA's internal and external communications strategy. S/he will manage a team charged with distributing routine and critical information with key stakeholders served by the organization, including staff, parents and students. S/he will serve as a deputy spokesperson for the organization for regional and national media outlets in 7 regions where IDEA operates schools and 4 target regions across the US,  oversee IDEA's owned media channels-the website, publications, social media accounts, crisis communications, programming for signature and secondary events, The Hub, earned media strategy-PR and Media Relations, IDEA's internal communications and family communications strategy, donor stewardship, and organizational messaging.

Under his/her leadership, and in partnership with the Director of Marketing and Director of Enrollment, IDEA will continue to elevate and increase brand awareness of its high-performing public charter schools, student success, and commitment to College For All. S/he will coach and develop a team of direct reports to results in their respective functional areas. The Director of Communications will collaborate on messaging  with other functional leaders across the organization on a weekly basis, including leaders from Human Assets, Government Relations and Academic Support Teams.



  1. Coach and Manage a Team:
  • Directly manage a team of four to results in their respective functional areas:
    • Internal Communications Assistant Director (Parents/Students/Staff/Receptionists)
      • Internal Communications Manager (Staff)
    • External Communications Manager (Media Relations)
    • External Communications Manager (IMPACT magazine; Events; Special Projects)
    • Social Media Manager
  • Oversee the goal setting and professional development process for your direct reports.
  • Host Weekly Team Meetings with the entire Communications team (5-6 people)
  • Host Weekly Check-Ins with each Direct Report
  • Connect daily with team as needed on projects


2. In partnership with the Sr. VP of Marketing, Communications, & Enrollment develop and manage strategic communications plan that include, but is not limited to the following strategic priorities:
  • Organize the IDEA Story
    • Create a comprehensive messaging document that organizes all organization priorities, attributes, and initiatives into defining messages.
  • Expand the IDEA Audience
    • Re-engage in comprehensive outreach strategies to press and partners across Texas.
  • Create IDEA Storytellers
    • Focus internal communications on key messages and increase opportunities and incentives for staff, students, and families to engage with key messages.
  • New Region Entry
    • Develop and implement strategic plans, communications, resources, and media relations tactics to help generate leads and increase brand awareness and recognition when IDEA enters a new region.
    • Work closely with IDEA's Executive Directors to develop and execute regional strategic media and public engagement plans that are aligned with organizational priorities
  • Develop quarterly publications
    • Develop quarterly publications (IMPACT Magazine, Persistence/Enrollment Publications, IDEA's Annual Report) that help to steward persistence and brand awareness at IDEA
  • Create IDEA's Crisis Communications Protocols & Resources
    • Create a crisis communications strategic plan, resources, and resource portal for IDEA campuses.
    • Serve as the Marketing, Communications, & Enrollment team liaison for IDEA's student safety and crisis communications by playing a key role in the development of staff and parent communications, resources and training.
  • Support the positioning of IDEA a Thought Leader Nationally in Education/Education Reform
    • Promote IDEA leaders and programs as subject matter experts on key initiatives and objectives.
    • Play a key role in leveraging national media to drive broad public understanding of IDEA's mission and impact and supported key organizational goals
    • Partner with members of the Advancement/ Government Relations team to amplify voices from IDEA's network of parents and staff


3. Collaborate with your peers, IDEA's Director of Marketing and Director of Enrollment, on cross functional tasks:
  • Work with the Director of Marketing to develop copy for marketing materials
  • Thought partner with the Director of Marketing and Creative Services Manager to ensure the website is reflective of the latest editorial content (ongoing), allows for campuses to personalize their pages, and integrates a blog and newsroom, implements learnings, content changes, and new UX from external and internal website audits, and the development of IMPACT magazine and IDEA Events webpages.
  • Develop and manage extensive communications strategic plans to support enrollment and recruitment efforts




4. Internal Communications: Serve as editor and content advisor for internal communications at IDEA Public Schools in partnership with, and by advising, your direct reports, to ensure internal communications at IDEA is timely, consistent, and rooted in a scalable and sustainable strategic framework as IDEA's employee population continues to grow.
  • The Hub: IDEA's intranet site that should be the go-to source for all communications. The Hub has DropBox-like functionality for personal file storage, access to organizational team sites (managed by teams), weekly news and announcements (managed by Team MCE), and more. Increased adoption and functionality is the goal for the next AY.
  • Donor Stewardship
  • IDEA's Blog: IDEA generates owned blog content 2-3/week to help share news, announcements, and information with our key audiences.
  • Staff Communications: Develop and distribute all-staff emails and help lead two all-staff calls annually, develop a robust internal communications strategy to build affiliation and pride among staff while consistently informing them of important information and context.
  • Organizational Updates:
5. Event Programming: Support and manage your team to develop best-in-class programming, remarks and speeches, and memorable event experiences for IDEA's Team & Family.
  • Develop scripts, programming, oversee training and prep and help manage logistics and the run-of-show management for IDEA's signature and secondary events.
    • College Signing Day
    • Back to School Bash


6. Family Communications: Support the management and oversight of national, regional, and campus-based Family Communications at IDEA, providing resources, guidance, and training to ensure families receive effective, timely and clear communications.
  • Family Communications Working Group: Help lead IDEA's family communications working group. Develop campus-level training, resources, best practices and oversight to help provide best-in-class parent communications via Parent Weeklies, Remind, and Campus Facebook pages.
  • Parent Weekly: Auditing for use, advising and training campuses on best practices and communications norms, managing the Smore platform for distribution.
  • Remind: Advising and training campuses on best practices and communications norms, sending centralized district-wide messages to families
  • Campus Facebook Pages: Advising and training campuses on best practices and communications norms, auditing campus pages for brand aligned content
  • Family Advisory Council: Manage the Internal Communications Manager in overseeing the Family Advisory Council (FAC). The FAC is a voluntary group comprised of four IDEA family members per campus across each IDEA region. The purpose of the FAC is to meet with members three times each year to discuss family engagement and communication and how to strengthen the IDEA Public Schools network. Serving on the FAC is a great opportunity to engage, inform, and empower families and school partnerships.


7. Receptionists: Help manage the Internal Communications Manager in hiring, training and supporting IDEA's campus receptionists.
  • In partnership with campus operations and lead teams, conduct interviews and hiring for campus-based receptionists.
  • Provide ongoing training, guidance and resources to ensure receptionists have the tools and knowledge needed to provide best-in-class customer service in campus front offices.


8. Publications: Serve as an editor and adviser for IDEA's publications through project management and partnering with the Communications Manager leading these publications on the research, planning, copy development, copy editing, business partner review, translation, and design of the following publications:
  • IMPACT Magazine –A magazine with varying topics and highlights that is distributed to families and staff.
  • Persistence/Enrollment Publications
  • IDEA's Annual Report: An annual publication that highlights IDEA's financial and academic successes that is distributed to stakeholders.

 9. Public Relations: Manage direct reporters to meet media and public relations goals, nationally and across new and existing IDEA regions, focusing on increasing brand awareness of IDEA and telling impactful stories about IDEA's families, students, staff, and communities.

  • Manage PR and media relations across all IDEA regions and nationally, oversee and manage partnerships with PR firms, and serve as the liaison for IDEA's blog sponsorships and partnerships, meeting the outlined brand recognition through positive media coverage.
  • Represent IDEA in regional media opportunities, manage regional media events, and craft documents (press releases, media alerts, etc) for external distribution.
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the daily monitoring of media calls, requests, and inquiries
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the daily distribution of IDEA's media report
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the weekly distribution of IDEA's communications and media overview
  • Oversee the external communications manager in the daily updates to IDEA's newsroom
  • Manage the External Communications Managers in monitoring and responding daily to messages received via IDEA's general inquiry email address.


10. Social Media: Serve as an advisor and editor of content, strategy, and planning across IDEA's national, regional and campus social media channels, managing the Social Media Manager to results and meeting outlined social media engagement goals and metrics.
  • Serve as a thought partner on content, strategy, and planning IDEA's “national” channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) regional channels (Facebook) and IDEA's campus channels (Facebook for 96 schools)
  • Advise and manage the Social Media Manager in monitoring and respond daily to messages, comments, and notifications for all of IDEA's national social media accounts
  • Support the Social Media Manager in providing campus-level resources, training, and best practices for managing campus social media pages
  • Support the Social Media Manager in developing and distribute a monthly social media newsletter for campus administrators on Facebook


11. Website: Serve as the editor-in-chief of IDEA's external website content, managing the communications team to lead consistent web audits and ensure content is compelling, clear, and up-to-date.
  • Website content and messaging
  • Newsroom and Blog
  • Events webpage
  • IMPACT magazine webpage
  • Manage the weekly copy and development of the website Hero

 12. Serve as the deputy spokesperson for the organization for regional and national media outlets:

  • Manage and oversee regional and national media relationships
  • Manage, develop, and distribute IDEA talking points, statements, and media responses
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the daily monitoring of media calls, requests, and inquiries
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the daily distribution of IDEA's media report
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the weekly distribution of IDEA's communications and media overview
  • Oversee the external communications managers in the daily updates to IDEA's newsroom
  • Develop and distribute IDEA's annual press kit
  • Work with the team to prepare organizational spokespeople, senior leaders, and teachers for press opportunities
  • Support IDEA's media campaigns and projects
  • Provide comprehensive and rapid behind-the-scenes communications support to direct management and other senior leaders across the organization


13. Increase year over year positive brand recognition nationally and in each of the regions we serve through positive media coverage:
  • Identify, develop and cultivate relationships with, and pitch stories to media nationally
  • Manage the External Communications Managers to;
    • Secure no fewer than 14 regional op-eds, 50 positive news stories in San Antonio, 50 positive media stories in Austin, 25 in El Paso, 25 in Baton Rouge, 20 in new regions, and 100 positive news stories in the Rio Grande Valley
    • Secure no fewer than 25 positive national stories during the Academic Year.


14. Serve as the storyteller and program lead for IDEA's signature events and secondary events
  • Partner with the Communications team (and client team as necessary) to execute core messaging for event(s), script development, and execution. These include:
    • Develop the scripts and programming for all IDEA signature and secondary events
    • Train and prepare speakers for all IDEA signature and secondary events


15. Train IDEA's leaders on organizational messaging:
  • During summer training and other leadership opportunities, educate IDEA's leaders on latest messaging to ensure our senior most leaders are speaking about the organization in the same way.
  • Develop IDEA's messaging and voice branding guidelines


16. Redesign (as necessary) and distribute IDEA's Crisis Communications Plan and Crisis Communications Templates:
  • Work in partnership with the VP of Regional Success to redesign IDEA's crisis communications plan taking new communications channels into consideration.
  • Distribute crisis communications plan to campus and HQ leaders
  • Manage the crisis management database, accessible via The Hub, for campuses to access standard crisis communications documents-letters to parents, receptionist Q&A, etc.                                                 



  • Education: Bachelor's degree required, master's degree in applicable field preferred
  • Experience: 8+ years of full-time professional experience required; 2+ years of full-time people management required


Knowledge and Skills:

  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Experience in public relations and strategic communications
  • Relationship-building and influencing skills, collaborating with internal and external stakeholders
  • Creative, ambitious and highly adept in designing and implementing cohesive communications strategies
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and written
  • Results and quality-focused with an eye for detail, a bias for excellence in building and deploying communications plans and managing multiple communications platforms and channels




  • Salary for this role typically falls between $95,000 and $118,000, commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications. This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on individual and organizational performance and goal attainment.

IDEA Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability, in admission or access to, or treatment of employment in its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning the organization's compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), or Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), may contact IDEA Human Resources at (956) 377-8000.

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