Position Description

Communications Consultant, US COVID-19 Response Initiative
Location United States
Department Prevent Epidemics
# of openings 1
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Vital Strategies is a US-based international public health organization working in more than 70 countries to address important and challenging health issues. We develop and oversee programs to strengthen public health systems and address leading causes of morbidity and mortality, providing expertise in project implementation and management, strategic communications, epidemiology and surveillance, and other core public health capacities.

Resolve to Save Lives is a global health initiative of Vital Strategies that since 2017 has been working closely with governments, the World Health Organization, the World Bank, academic and other partners in a number of countries to strengthen national capacity to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats. For more information about our Prevent Epidemics initiative, visit: https://www.resolvetosavelives.org/ and https://preventepidemics.org/. In March, Resolve to Save Lives formed a COVID-19 Incident Management System to control and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus in vulnerable low- and middle-income countries and the United States. The work in the US is focused on strengthening the technical, policy and operational capacity of city and county health departments to effectively control COVID, with an emphasis on vulnerable communities that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

We are seeking a Communications Consultant to be part of the US communications, community engagement and learning unit of our multi-disciplinary US COVID-19 Response team. This position will support COVID-19 response strengthening efforts across approximately eight partner jurisdictions. Under the supervision of the initiative’s Director and with support from key Vital Strategies / Resolve to Save Lives communications staff, the Communications Consultant will work with communications and community engagement specialists to ensure public understanding, appreciation and buy-in for the importance of public behaviors – including contact tracing, testing, and mask-wearing –  as critical measures for stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.  The position will be full-time for a period of 6 months, with possibility of extension determined by the length of the response. The work will be conducted remotely. Once travel restrictions are lifted, the role may require up to approximately 20% travel within the US.

Main responsibilities:

  • Advise pilot jurisdictions implementing COVID-19 communications programs on public communication for adoption and buy-in of contact tracing and other public behaviors (wearing masks, testing, etc) by the community
  • Promote dissemination and use of a model contact tracing “playbook” to local and state governments
  • Serve as initiative’s communications point of contact, contributing to a variety of communications projects
  • Liaise with partners, including donors and local governments in supporting and leading first rate communications efforts such as public campaigns
  • Develop communications materials to support program efforts, such as fact sheets, brochures, posters, op-eds, blogs, public service announcements, success stories, panel remarks, and other project collateral
  • Help to identify opportunities for media outreach
  • Support tracking/management of US COVID-19 Response Initiative’s communications activities
  • Any other duties as assigned

Required competencies and qualifications:

  • 6 to 10 years’ experience in communications (eg, health communication, health policy, strategic communications, public relations or digital communications)
  • University degree in communications, public health or equivalent
  • Exceptional writing skills with sample blogs, OpEds, fact sheets, brochures, etc
  • Previous experience with communications campaigns; background in public health is highly desirable
  • Clear, effective and responsive communicator, both written and oral
  • Well-developed partnership building and strategic thinking skills
  • Demonstrated project management experience
  • Outstanding computer skills with experience in all Microsoft Office programs
  • Proficiency in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign preferred (and/or other desktop publishing skills)
  • Self-motivated, excellent organizational skills, detail-oriented, ability to prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Can build trust and collaborate effectively with team members
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, high pressure environment with multiple stakeholders
  • Enthusiasm for the mission of Vital Strategies / Resolve to Save Lives and the communities we serve
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