Job: Break Free From Plastic Senior Communications Officer, Berkeley, CA

Break Free From Plastic Senior Communications Officer


Location: Berkeley, CA
Position: Full time, FLSA exempt
Salary: Competitive for small sized Bay Area nonprofits. Salary dependent on experience. Benefits include health, dental, vision coverage, a 401(k) plan, and others
Reports to: Campaigns Director
Deadline to Apply: June 15th, 2017. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.
Start Date: July 12th. The successful candidate must be able to immediately travel internationally to spend 7-9 days at The Break Free From Plastic annual gathering July 14th-21st.

Our Story: The Story of Stuff Project works to transform the way we make, use, and throw away Stuff to be more sustainable, healthy and fair. Our trademark videos and social media content engage millions of viewers each week in a solutions-oriented conversation; our campaigns enlist the million-plus members of our global Community in efforts to protect our shared resources and make the economy work for everyone; and our learning and other tools support community leaders and grassroots groups in our network build their power.

The Break Free From Plastic Movement: Over the past year, The Story of Stuff Project has worked with NGO partners in Europe, North America, and Asia to develop a collaborative global strategy to combat plastic pollution, culminating in a meeting of 60 organizations in Tagaytay, Philippines last August to endorse a vision and principles around which we could organize. Together, we launched the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement in October, drawing an additional 500 organizations to sign on within days. Today, that number is over 700.

In 2017 we’re launching dozens of high-impact projects together: we’ll get resources into the hands of the zero waste heroes forging city-based solutions in Southeast Asia; identify the worst-offending plastic products globally and deploy targeted corporate campaigns to eliminate them; and rewrite the false ‘better living through chemistry’ narrative that’s been pushed by industry for decades.

The Story of Stuff Project has received funding to house one of three officers in an international, movement-serving Communications Hub. Together, the Regional Communications Officers in North America, Europe and Asia will devise and deploy multinational communications campaigns that amplify core movement messages, activities and demands, creating both public interest and support and escalating pressure on the plastics industry. The North American Communications Officer will be employed by and embedded at The Story of Stuff Project, but will serve the Break Free From Plastic movement.

Position Summary:

The Regional Communications Officer (North America) is responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies that advance the achievement of the goals of the Break Free from Plastic movement. The Regional Communication Officer will be responsible for calendaring, delivering, sharing and amplifying relevant communications outputs to target audiences, ensuring that the narrative of the Break Free from Plastic movement is consistently pushed and promoted. The RCO will also be responsible for building alliances and communications flows between the regions and serve as team leader for the three Break Free Communications Hubs.

Main Responsibilities: 

  • Serve as Team Leader for the Break Free Communications Hub staff in North America, Asia and Europe, ensuring a steady flow of high quality, message aligned media outputs from the regions.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of the Break Free From Plastic overarching narrative and develop and field communications strategies and programs in collaboration with the Break Free global coordination team, and the other Communication Officers in the network;
  • Craft audience-appropriate messages and distribute content through appropriate mainstream, alternative and social media platforms in the North American region. Ensure coherence and consistency of messaging by Break Free allies and partners, based on agreed global communications strategy;
  • Develop, manage and maintain relationships with print, broadcast and online journalists, editors and other media decision–makers in their respective regions. Manage the database of these contacts and facilitate media requests with movement partners and resource persons;
  • Contribute to building a strong, vibrant and engaging social media presence for the Break-Free from Plastic Movement;
  • Oversee website development and maintenance.
  • Conceptualize, write, edit, produce and distribute Break Free materials for offline and online use by partners and allies in the region including press releases, briefing papers, reports, brochures, op-eds, articles, letters, videos, photo stories, memes, and infographics. Coordinate layout, printing and publication of Break Free materials into high-quality creative and user friendly products.
  • Draw out stories from Break Free member organizations and amplify these stories across various media platforms. This includes organizing and implementing press events and activities, including necessary logistics for identified movement activities.
  • Provide guidance and advice to partners and allies in the region on aligning the communications strategies of movement members and partners on plastic pollution.
  • Work with movement partners to elevate the communications capacity of movement partners and allies in the region via the provision of skill shares, trainings etc.
  • Provide regular updates and media and audience related analysis for the Break Free Global Coordinator and the Steering Committee.
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Break Free Global Coordinator.


  • Minimum five-years experience in developing and implementing communications strategies and campaigns.
  • A strong understanding and knowledge of North American regional media, as well as key global media markets;
  • Demonstrated experience working with international networks; experience with distance based team coordination highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated capacity for issue analysis, and strong writing and public speaking skills including advanced skills in communicating complex issues to the public;
  • Collaborative team‐player with strong interpersonal communication skills and demonstrated experience in working with people from different cultures and nationalities;
  • Fluent written and spoken English, with the ability to speak and/or write in additional languages a plus; Highly tech-savvy, and experienced overseeing new media technologies and social networking tools; Ability to manage website development is required; ability to create HTML/CSS a strong plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time-sensitive projects, write/create/execute under deadline, maintain attention to detail, and adhere to deadlines;
  • Passion for social and environmental justice, and a commitment to communications strategies that elevate the work of the movement’s grassroots membership and create space for communities to speak for themselves; and
  • Willingness to travel internationally on a regular basis, and flexibility in working with international staff, including biweekly calls outside of regular work hours.
  • Bachelor’s degree in the field of communications or journalism or a related field or demonstrated relevant experience.

How to Apply:

Send an email to Stiv Wilson, Campaigns Director, at with this specific information in the subject line: Name – Position – Where you heard about the job.

Example Subject: Jaiden Doe Break Free From Plastic Communications Officer  – Idealist

Please include:

  • A succinct cover letter that explains why you want to join our team, your interests in plastic pollution issues, and how you would contribute to our organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Your resume.

The Story of Stuff Project is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and members of other minority or marginalized groups are encouraged to apply.


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