Communications Specialist

Position: Communications Specialist

Department: Communications

FLSA Status: Full-time, Exempt

Reports to: Chief Communications Officer

Direct Reports: N/A

Date Issued: April 3, 2019

Date Revised: September 5, 2019



About Program

Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided people in slavery to freedom in the United States, Polaris acts as a catalyst to systemically disrupt the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. The communications team translates the work we do to the outside world. We tell the story of what makes Polaris unique and also the story of human trafficking overall – what it is, what it isn’t – and how we can all be a part of the solution. We touch every department at Polaris, supporting, adding value and collaborating with corporate, celebrity and nonprofit partners to spread what we know, and make it matter.


About Opportunity

The Communications Specialist will design and implement communications strategies and tactics for Polaris, including but not limited to earned and digital media outreach and content creation. The goal of this role is to expand the organization’s ability to use traditional earned and social media to educate key populations about Polaris’s work and about human trafficking, raise smarter, more targeted awareness about the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline, support policy and advocacy agendas, and add value to campaigns and programmatic work throughout the organization. 



  • Develop and maintain relationships with journalists, reporters, and bloggers, with emphasis on but not limited to African American media and social media influencers, to increase awareness of human trafficking and of Polaris’s priorities and programs;
  • Liaise with other Polaris departments to keep apprised of projects that will be relevant to people of color, particularly African-American audiences, and consider ways to publicize or add value to those projects through earned and social media;         
  • Create and implement processes to integrate expertise and knowledge from Hotline into communications strategies and earned and social media tactics by liaising with/mentoring/working with Hotline advocates on special projects. 
  • Design and implement media outreach aimed at more targeted, high-value stories about the Hotline as a resource
  • Participate in managing daily press inquiries and requests
  • Lead and support strategies for publicizing Polaris events, data findings, reports and other products and programs as necessary, across the organization through digital and social media
  • Develop web-based and social media content, in coordination with the Digital Campaigns and Engagement Manager, to reach specific audiences and support priorities of the communications department;
  • Commitment to the National Human Trafficking Hotline mission and Polaris values;
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


This job description provides a summary of the major duties and responsibilities performed by individuals in this position.  Incumbents may be asked to perform other tasks not specifically written in this job


Required Qualifications

  • Minimum of three to five years of relevant work experience in communications, public relations or related field;
  • Cultural competency and sensitivity in a diversity of cultures, backgrounds, and communication styles;
  • Clear and effective written and verbal communication skills;
  • Strong commitment to human rights;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and organizational skills;
  • Experience, competence, and confidence working independently and as part of a team;
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities at once; and
  • Eagerness to be creative and take initiative on new ideas and projects.


Preferred Qualifications

  • Education and/or training in African-American studies preferred;
  • Knowledge of human trafficking and/or the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline preferred



Communication (“External” Changes based upon position)

  • Internal: Ability to communicate with supervisors and peers;
  • External:  Frequent contact with media outlets, press, donors, consultants, law enforcement, corporate partners, service providers public and private government agencies.


Working Conditions

  • Typical office setting


Physical Requirements (can change with position)

  • Prolonged sitting, chiefly at a computer terminal;
  • Occasional bending, stooping and stretching;
  • Requires eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a computer, telephone, calculator, and other office equipment;
  • Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare, and communicate in writing, in person and by phone;
  • Requires occasional lifting up to 25 pounds.



Values Statement

The work of Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs that provide a common starting point for all of our activities. At Polaris, we look for talented individuals who are passionate about combating all forms of human trafficking and who will strive to embody and model these values within the Polaris community and in the anti-trafficking field. Please take a moment to make yourself familiar with these values and our mission statement before submitting your application. You can find a full description of our values .


Diversity Statement

Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking, and restore freedom to survivors.  Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.

This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.

This is a living commitment.  Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve.  This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.