Weber Shandwick is seeking highly motivated and experienced communications professionals to join us to lead corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability and social issues campaigns.
You’ll be a part of our global Social Impact team, which specializes in CSR, sustainability and building engagement on social issues for corporations, foundations and nonprofits, and based at Powell Tate, one of Washington’s leading strategic communications and public affairs firms, and a division of Weber Shandwick.
For a vice president position, we seek applicants with specialized experience in sustainability communications and business acumen. You should have familiarity with shaping communications for corporate consumer product companies on issues such as green product marketing, stakeholder engagement, sustainable consumption, and sustainability reporting as well as knowledge in specific issue areas such as climate change, energy, waste and water resources. Prior experience working with key sustainable business organizations and environmental NGOs is a plus.
For a director position, we seek applicants with specialized experience in communications on issues including education, social justice, global development and sustainability. Candidates should have experience elevating organizations as thought leaders, developing break-through social issue campaigns that lead to advocacy, and knowledge of the fast-changing media and digital ecosystem.
For both roles, core required skills include team, project and budget management, strong writing ability, media relations savvy, and digital know-how. Qualified candidates will have 6-10 years of relevant communications experience, preferably in an agency or corporate environment.
To apply, please send cover letter, resume and compensation history to email@example.com, referencing Social Impact in the subject line.
Powell Tate is an equal opportunity employer. EEO/AA.M/F/D/V.
Girl Rising, a groundbreaking film following the stories of nine girls in nine countries and highlighting the power of education to transform lives, aired last week on CNN—drawing praise and attention for shining light on the powerful role of women and girls in communities around the world. The success of Girl Rising and other story-based initiatives like MAKERS, underscores the critical role of storytelling in empathetic understanding, perspective, creating community and, ultimately, change.
Just last fall, TEDxWomen, curated and produced by The Paley Center for Media, took place in Washington, D.C. where women and girls around the world told their surprising, moving, funny and devastating stories of triumph and innovation to the TED global community.
We partnered with The Paley Center for Media to amplify these powerful stories across social media. Using quotes, pictures and storytelling tools, like Storify, these women’s inspiring stories reached audiences worldwide.
TEDxWomen saw unprecedented engagement online, speaking to what we’re learning about issue education and empathetic learning: personal stories resonate and inspire action in ways that statistics and long format research cannot. Issues like female genital mutilation, women’s representation in the media and the changing role of gender are too big and too complicated to be told with flat platforms. Storytelling captures more than statistics and problems, it captures the strength, struggles and visceral human emotion that inspires action, conversation and change.
At the 2013 Sustainable Brands Conference earlier this month, I had the chance to attend a number of sessions on everything from sustainability coverage in the media to the power of microalgae, and even one on a startup that’s revolutionizing urban mushroom farming. But my favorite session hands down was the one hosted by Jonah Sachs, CEO of Free Range Studios, who spoke about his book “Winning the Story Wars.” For those of you who have seen The Story of Stuff and The Meatrix, Sachs is the brain behind the creative on those projects.
Sachs kicked off the session by explaining to conference attendees that in order to make the shift to a more sustainable future, we have to get better at storytelling. Stories, he explained, have the potential to shift societies – their values, habits, and activities – more than any other cultural element. To give this theory context, consider societies of the past, and the commonality that they’re all built on common myths that provide explanation, give meaning to life, provide a symbolic tie to the present day, and offer rituals, or ways to apply this story to our own lives.
Sachs argues that over time, a myth gap emerged and societies began to lose their meaning and ritual, and instead focused more on storytelling purely for entertainments sake. Then, he says, there was a resurgence of storytelling in the post-WWII era, when marketers in began using myth-based storytelling to convince consumers that their identity was based on the products they owned and used and not on their values or behaviors (think the Marlboro Man convincing consumers that they would take on the persona of a rugged cowboy by smoking that brand of cigarettes). Thus, our society changed based on this new myth that had emerged – that to be a citizen meant being a consumer.
So what does this mean for brands who are marketing their products to consumers today? As Sachs explains, stories that survive, and stories that consumers have shown preference for, are those about everyday people – modern day heroes – that are on a journey to create change. This means that brands have another option that moves away from the ‘consumer defined by product purchased’ message – that is, to tell a story where a consumer is empowered by the product purchased to become their best self.
Sachs predicts that those brands that tell their consumers “you have the power, we’re just here to facilitate” will be those that rise to the top – think Nike’s “Just Do It” or Apple's "Think Different" marketing. Brands should focus on storytelling that teach people how the world works, gives them meaning and makes them see something outside of their own realm of experience. It’s these stories that will generate the most conversation, and it’s these stories that have the potential to shift a society.
His premise tied nicely to the theme of the 2013 conference “From Revolution to Renaissance” – which was centered on the idea that a purpose-driven Renaissance has already begun in both business and society. Woven throughout many of the sessions was the question of how brands can help support this shift. I like Jonah’s answer – that the world’s brands, big and small, can contribute by inspiring fewer consumers and more heroes. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to attend and look forward to watching and participating as the 21st century sustainability renaissance unfolds.
This week, a revolutionary solar-powered airplane will take off from Lambert Field on a trip from St. Louis to Washington, D.C. – a distance of 834 miles – and will complete its journey without expending an ounce of conventional fuel.
With the wingspan of a 747 and the weight of a mid-sized car, the plane will soar up to 30,000 feet, fly day and night, and achieve what seemed impossible only a few years ago.
We know that human innovation and ingenuity are limitless. After all, we’ve traveled more than a quarter million miles to the moon and into the depths of the Earth. But we have not yet harnessed our intellectual capital to cultivate a more sustainable world.
And that’s where Solar Impulse comes in.
Inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs, pioneers, and world leaders, Solar Impulse proves that we can use today’s technologies to tackle tomorrow’s challenges. The project demonstrates that we can be more efficient about how we live, how we work, how we travel, and how we construct our homes and businesses. Because if we can fly a plane on purely solar energy at 30,000 feet, what’s to stop us from adapting those technologies to improve the way we use energy here on the ground?
Powell Tate is proud to work with Solar Impulse on its historic flight across America. And we’re excited to welcome the plane to Washington this week!
If you’re in town, come on by and check out the Solar Impulse airplane at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport on June 15, 2013.
Several team members from Social Impact attended the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. They'll be sharing their insights from the festival here on this blog.
Are you spending your time focusing on getting Facebook likes? Or working overtime to optimize your search engine results?
Feel free to stop.
From a social engagement perspective, the theme at South By Southwest was for organizations to focus on making their online presences as useful as possible for their audiences. The rest, said panelist after panelist, will follow.
For example, rather than focus on getting likes, dedicate your time to making your content likeable. Rather than sweating over your SEO efforts, make sure your content is compelling enough for people to engage with it, share it and link to it.
At his keynote address, Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal discussed his effort to raise money for a museum honoring inventor Nikola Tesla, an online fundraising project that has brought in over $1.3 million. Was it me, Inman asked rhetorically? Was it the Indiegogo crowd-funding platform? Inman modestly declared that in fact the fundraising was successful because of Nikola Tesla himself and his compelling story.
The lesson? Find and create and compelling content first, worry about how to dress it up and market it second.
What We're reading
- A. Fine Blog
- Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media
- Bits Blog (New York Times)
- BSR - The Business of a Better World
- Charity Navigator Blog
- David Coethica's Blog
- Dot Earth
- Foreign Policy Blogs
- Give & Take (Chronicle of Philanthropy - General)
- Global Health Policy
- Global Health Report
- Global Voices
- Huffington Post (Media)
- Inside Philanthropy (Philanthropy Journal)
- Passport (Foreign Policy)
- PhilanTopic (Philanthropy News Digest)
- Prospecting (Chronicle of Philanthropy) - Fundraising
- Realizing Your Worth
- Selfish Gving
- Tactical Philanthropy
- TechCrunch (Washington Post)
- The White House Blog
- @afine (A. Fine Blog)
- @cpreston (Chronicle of Philanthropy, Give & Take Blog)
- @eclawson (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- @ianwilhelm (Chronicle of Philanthropy, Give & Take Blog)
- @phijo (Philanthropy Journal)
- @philanthropy (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- @pndblog (Philanthropy News Digest)
- @tactphil (Tactical Philanthropy Blog)
Daily E-mail Digests
- Breaking News (Council on Foundations) – To subscribe, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Philanthropy Today (Chronicle of Philanthropy)
- Nonprofit Times
- Philanthropy Journal
- Philanthropy News Digest
- Real Clear World
- Standford Social Innovation Review