Sr. Communications Specialist – Texans Standing Tall – Austin, TX


Job Description: Sr. Communications Specialist

Texans Standing Tall (TST) is the statewide coalition that works to make alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs irrelevant in the lives of youth by creating healthier and safer communities. Located in Austin, TST is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that utilizes evidence-based community prevention strategies to create a healthier environment for our youth. We are committed to research-driven practices, policies, and procedures for prevention.

TST pursues its mission through research, public education, coalition training, technical assistance, policy development/enforcement/evaluation, and advocacy. We mobilize grassroots and grasstops for community change. Our supporters and partners include state agencies and organizations as well as individuals and local coalitions from throughout the state. Our premier projects are Regional Forums held statewide and production of annual statewide report cards, including the TST Report Card: Youth Substance Abuse Issues, Research and Legislation, released annually.


Texans Standing Tall (TST) is seeking a highly motivated Sr. Communications Specialist with a desire to utilize her/his abilities to create positive social impact by advancing our mission. The Communications Specialist will support TST’s energetic staff through internal and external communications that advance and support the organization’s programs and goals. The Specialist will work closely with staff to create original materials, which market TST’s programs, convey the urgency and importance of TST’s message, and engage readers in TST’s mission and programs. The Specialist will work closely with the Sr. Research and Policy Analyst to write research reports and aid in development of fact sheets and issue briefs to communicate outcomes and needs in laymen’s terms to local, regional, state and other leaders. The Communications Specialist will continuously engage statewide coalition members and the public by publishing a monthly newsletter, communicating via social media, writing a blog, and regularly updating TST’s web site content. The Specialist will also be responsible for media relations and communicating with media on TST’s behalf. He/she will also assist in training community coalitions to utilize the media in their advocacy efforts and assist them in creating and executing media plans.


Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree or higher in journalism, communications, marketing, political science or other related field.
Minimum 2 years experience in writing for the public (eg: press releases, issue briefs, articles).
Exceptional skills in writing, editing, and proofreading.
Proven and highly effective organizational and communication (both written and verbal) skills.
Proven and highly effective skills in producing web content and using web publishing tools and email marketing software.
Proven and highly effective skills in planning media events and working with the media.
High level of computer proficiency, especially in Word and on Internet (Mac preferred).
Demonstrated ability to successfully handle multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously, experience in managing complex subject matter, and attention to detail a must.
Personal vehicle with applicable insurance.
Ability and willingness to travel.
Because TST’s primary purpose is to serve the public, this position requires a cell phone to fulfill job responsibilities such as being available off-hours, at meetings, during travel, or other business purposes.
Ability to lift boxes up to 30 pounds.


Create print and online marketing materials for TST programs.
Assist in writing, editing, and/or reviewing grant proposals, reports, and other publications.
Train, assist, and respond to needs of coalition members creating local media advocacy plans.
Assist in writing fact sheets, issue briefs, and report cards.
Utilize social media and TST newsletter to engage partners and the public online.
Lead TST’s media advocacy efforts and support staff efforts.
Contact the media, write media advisories and releases, schedule editorial board visits, and create press kits.
Create and maintain an “editorial calendar” to promote TST efforts.
Manage social media postings schedule.
Communicate information in multiple ways, as appropriate for each audience, to motivate people to engage in creating community change.
Use story-telling as a mechanism to advance a message.
Must put a premium on clarity and accuracy of message.
Must speak to reporters, pitch stories, and conduct interviews.
Creative thinker and self-motivated problem solver.
Ability to manage and balance multiple projects and meet deadlines.
Ability to excel in a team-based, participatory environment as well as work autonomously.
Commitment to the organizational mission in order to effectively advance the goals of TST and its members.


Readiness and ability to move forward when intervening factors are unknown
Ability to quickly adjust to changing needs
Comfortable with learning by doing/experiencing AND by listening/reading
Able to find creative ways to meet goals with limited financial resources
Natural trouble shooter and self-starter, who can take initiative with limited direction yet stay within the TST organizational culture and boundaries
Ability to grasp and communicate complex issues
Comfort in a fast-paced environment where frequent interruptions are typical
Diplomacy and social skills in dealing effectively with other staff and the public
Ability to accept responsibility and demonstrate sound judgment in decision making
Understanding of public policy and prevention issues
Nonprofit experience highly preferred
Grant writing experience highly preferred
Social media experience highly preferred
Marketing experience highly preferred
Experience in creative or persuasive writing highly preferred
Bilingual in Spanish highly preferred


Supervised by TST’s Executive Director


May work in excess of 40 hours per week, some nights and weekends, travel required.


$36-40,000annually dependent on experience; health benefits are also provided.


Please send cover letter and resume to:

We believe diversity and inclusion are key drivers of creativity and innovation and we actively seek out candidates from many types of diverse backgrounds to apply for this critical role in our organization.