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Communications Director

Industrious Labs

Industrious Labs

Marketing & Communications
Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2024

About Us

Heavy industry is the foundation of modern society. We need materials like cement, steel, and aluminum more than ever to rebuild our bridges and roads, construct wind and solar projects, and manufacture electric vehicles and heat pumps that will undergird our future. But industry needs a second revolution. For, as much as industry made the middle class and ushered in a remarkable era of prosperity for many, it also threatens our climate, reinforces environmental racism, wastes valuable materials and energy, and leaves communities and workers behind.

At Industrious Labs, our mission is to set into motion unstoppable policies, people power, and analysis to make a triple impact on climate, justice, and jobs that drastically reduce dangerous emissions, make industry accountable to communities and workers, and develop a circular economy.

About the Position

Guided by an inspiring vision, strategic plan, and a set of active campaigns, we seek a Communications Director to join the team. Industrious Labs is fully remote, and this role reports to Partner and co-founder Evan Gillespie. The Communications Director will lead Industrious Labs’ internal and external communications strategy. This includes overseeing our organizational brand/identity and managing a seasoned communications staff dedicated to individual campaigns and projects. Industrious Labs and our partners are leading campaigns to transform industry, tackling aluminum, cement, clean heat, steel, and waste.

The Communications Director plays an essential role in the evolution of Industrious Labs from its start-up phase to a more mature organization, with responsibilities that will evolve over time as the team expands. As with any young organization, the Communications Director will balance big-picture vision and strategy with day-to-day management of smaller tasks.

This role requires a deep commitment to the principles of climate justice, proven collaboration skills, and the ability to design and execute coordinated strategies that will generate change in a deeply entrenched and seemingly intractable aspect of the climate movement.

The broad categories of responsibilities may include:

Strategy Development & Implementation

  • Develop a comprehensive communications strategy to build out Industrious Labs' visibility, credibility, and growth.
  • Identify opportunities to enhance the organization’s position among relevant constituents, including advocates, public policymakers, funders, and the media, through writing and speaking opportunities such as opinion editorials, keynotes, and expert panel participation.
  • Enhance current and build new relationships with journalists, bloggers, podcast hosts, and other media influencers and opinion makers to promote Industrious Labs and/or our partners’ positions as experts.
  • Ensure that Industrious Labs' brand value and brand position are clear, compelling, and consistent across platforms.

Creative Direction & Content Development

  • Oversee the communications aspects of campaigns and projects, ensuring that these efforts meet stated goals and advance the broader vision of Industrious Labs and our partners.
  • Oversee the development of published materials including reports, data visualization, social media, and other storytelling tools.
  • Support development of press releases, pitching and other earned media tactics.
  • Manage communications-related contractor relationships, including web design, graphic design, data visualization, advertising, and video production.
  • Work with graphic designers and brand specialists to manage Industrious Labs' visual identity, including website and social media identities, if appropriate.
  • Oversee the expansion of maintenance of Industrious Labs' website and social media identities, leveraging these platforms for campaigns and ongoing community engagement and movement-building efforts.

Organizational and Team Management

  • Serve as a Department Head on a leadership team, responsible for the success of Industrious Labs' overall strategy, financial strength, and inclusive organizational culture.
  • Manage communications staff, including establishing annual objectives (to support the overall goals established in the communications plan), providing regular feedback and appropriate recognition, conducting annual performance reviews, and supporting ongoing professional development.
  • Determine and manage the communications budget, ensuring cost-effectiveness and accurate reporting to funders.
  • Lead, coach, and mentor staff and coalition partners to build a culture of communications savvy throughout the organization.
  • Support staff in preparing for public speaking engagements and media interviews, providing talking points, speeches, and presentation materials.

Who You Are

The Communications Director is driven by their belief in and commitment to Industrious Labs' vision and mission. Industrious Labs seeks someone experienced with organizational branding and identity who balances the dual needs of supporting public campaigns while building the organizational brand and its communications assets. The successful candidate knows the right questions to ask in service of a crisp and compelling strategy. They are experienced working in an advocacy environment and energized to use earned media to build power. The right candidate is dedicated to environmental, racial, and social justice and is committed to working in movements that transform people, culture, and systems rooted in justice. Above all else, the successful candidate is passionate and committed to growing our obsession into a force within public discourse.

As a young organization, we’re still building our systems, policies, organizational identity, and culture. The right candidate contributes their leadership to building these systems out and can thrive in the ambiguity that exists within a new organization. We demonstrate initiative by diving right in to take a concept from idea to implementation, navigating through internal and external barriers as they arise without getting stuck, and finding and deploying resources creatively to solve problems. The Communications Director knows how to carve out enough time and headspace for inspirational leadership, and also isn’t above getting their hands dirty with the kind of tactical work that everyone on our small team is called upon to share.

The successful candidate is entrepreneurial and excited about the prospect of building something new from the ground up. The Communications Director has a track record of setting inspirational vision and scaling successful programs with creativity, humility, and continuous learning. The successful candidate has worked in an advocacy environment and understands the movement context, with a strong grasp of the economic, social, and political forces that shape industrial production, consumption, and broader policy in the U.S.

In spite of the enormous obstacles involved in decarbonizing heavy industry, the Industrious Labs team operates with a spirit of possibilities and seeks a leader who shares the belief that we can all do things we’ve never done before and can stretch ourselves to achieve incredible results. The Communications Director maintains a resilient outlook and looks for ways to make ideas work before assuming they won’t. The selected candidate will also possess most of the following Core and Preferred qualifications:


  • A passion for solving the climate crisis and excitement about the opportunity industrial transformation presents.
  • At least 15 years of communications expertise in a policy or advocacy environment.
  • Experience developing and delivering communications strategies in an advocacy context, bringing a keen understanding of how organized movements create change and accomplish policy objectives.
  • Proven leadership and strategy development skills with clarity of vision, familiarity with power and community mapping processes, and the ability to articulate and drive strategies to win.
  • Ability to manage a small and growing team with competing demands; demonstrated success in mentoring and developing staff
  • Expertise in branding, messaging, media relations, and communications tactics.
  • Outstanding people and project management abilities to ensure strong collaboration and campaigns and projects that advance on time and on budget.
  • Experience pitching stories and media relationship building.
  • Social media savvy with an understanding of how to integrate social into comprehensive communications and movement-building strategies.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills that demonstrate an ability to:
  • Demonstrated experience working across lines of race, class, gender and geography and an analysis of how climate change and energy-related issues intersect with historically oppressed and marginalized communities.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and be flexible in a fast-paced, constantly evolving and collaborative environment, where leading a team, working on a team and working individually are all required.
  • Commitment to continuous learning, hunger for knowledge and willingness to ask questions and self-correct.


  • Background in journalism, public relations, public affairs and/or campaign communications experience; recent media/journalism experience a plus.
  • Fundraising experience and management of a departmental budget
  • Prior start-up experience as an early team member in a growing organization.
  • Ability to lead through influence in a matrixed environment.
  • Prior experience and content knowledge in climate, clean energy and/or the industrial sector, including manufacturing, labor and public policy.
  • Content knowledge or familiarity with climate and energy advocacy.

We note that while we welcome candidates with a background in industrial decarbonization, we strongly encourage individuals without experience in the sector to apply.

Salary and Benefits:

The salary for this position is $168,000. Industrious Labs has a policy not to negotiate salaries. Historically, negotiations reward those who have the skill, privilege, and confidence to ask for more money; and because not everyone has those skills, allowing for negotiations undermines the economic equity we strive for as an organization. Rather than use negotiations to drive competitive salaries, we endeavor to pay people well. Our transparent salary scale is based on the experience, competencies, and responsibilities required to thrive in this role.

Industrious Labs offers a competitive set of benefits, including 100% of comprehensive health care coverage for employees (medical, dental, and vision), a 50% employer contribution toward health care coverage for dependents; work from home stipend; up to 5% employer match to 401k; and 11 paid holidays plus unlimited paid time off, including a mandatory minimum of 15 business days PTO.

Our Commitment to Racial Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Climate Justice:

We believe that diversity in our team isn’t just a value but brings different lived experiences and perspectives that is essential to solving the climate crisis. If you’ve read this job description and are excited by it, and if you can see yourself happily filling this role and making a difference on climate change, we really hope you apply. Industrious Labs is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to transparent and equitable recruitment, hiring and promotion processes that foster inclusion and belonging. If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or interview process, please email Victoria Chu at victoria@industriouslabs.org.

Application Procedure:

To apply, please submit a resume and cover letter answering the following:

  1. What motivates you to spend your time, skills and expertise working on climate change?
  2. Briefly share a key role you played in an advocacy campaign and a communications lesson you learned from it that you would apply to your work at Industrious Labs.
  3. How do you see communications playing a key role in advancing the mission of Industrious Labs?

This position is open until filled. Candidate review and phone screens begin immediately and will be conducted throughout the search. We anticipate several steps of mutual exploration, including a phone screen, panel interview(s) and thought exercises for finalist candidates. Our search processes generally take 3 months.