13 NGO Communication Jobs (And What You Need to Apply)

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There are many jobs in the NGO sector for communication professionals. NGO’s use communications to promote themselves, raise funds and convey their message to the public.

If you are working in communications and would like you move to a job in an NGO or are beginning your career in comms with the aim of working for NGOs, check-out our breakdown of the most common communication jobs in the sector. We’ve also included a section for each role on what NGO’s most often look for when recruiting communication jobs.

Communications Manager

The job of Communications Manager is the senior level position within an NGOs Comms team. It is responsible for developing and implementing the NGOs communication strategy, as well as managing the comms team. They often report to the Country Director or Head of Marketing. The Comms Manager is often the most senior staff in an NGO dedicated to both internal and external communications.

How to Apply

If you are looking to work as a Communications Manager for an NGO you will need some years’ experience in a similar role. Many NGOs will seek candidates with previous experience overseeing communications in the NGO sector, however relevant private or public sector experience may also be considered. A formal qualification in communications would benefit your application.

Communications Officer

Communications Officer is the mid-level position with an NGO’s communications team. The role is often managed by the Communications Manager. They are responsible for creating communications materials, as well as liaising with staff across the NGO to draw inputs to comms materials as needed. If working in HQ they may be deployed internationally to work in emergency settings.

How to Apply

Applicants for the job of Communications Officer with an NGO should have previous experience in a relevant role. Proven success in a communications role will be key. Although previous work in an NGO would be advantageous, having worked before for a business or in a government role may also be taken into consideration. A formal qualification in communications management will help your application.

Roving Communications Manager

In the NGO sector, a roving role is a position that moves between locations. The Roving Communications Manager is the comms role within an NGO that deploys internationally as needed. Often, the Roving Comms Manager will complete short-term deployments into new and developing emergencies to create communications content and liaise with the media. They are usually based at HQ but travel regularly to country offices.

How to Apply

NGOs recruiting Roving Communications Managers will look for candidates with several years’ experience in a similar role. As the job of Roving Communications Manager is highly demanding, previous field experience working on the frontline of conflicts and disasters is often required. Previous experience as a journalist, or in a similar communications position would be advantageous. A formal qualification in communications will also add to your application.

Media Manager

Media can be key to an NGO’s reputation and ability to gets its message out to the public. Larger NGOs may employ a Media Manager. Their job is to build relationships and liaise with media organizations. They may be based in HQ or travel to the NGOs country offices to work directly with media staff who are visiting. Some NGOs’ may have this position as a Media Officer – it is similar but at a more junior level.

How to Apply

NGO’s recruiting for the position of Media Manager will seek candidates with previous experience working with the media. If this previous experience is in a role outside of the NGO sector it may not hold the candidate back. However, previous experience in a similar role will help.

NGO Communication Online Courses

One of the most important areas of communications, especially for NGOs, is how to communicate effectively in the digital age. If you want to work for an NGO in a communications role, we highly recommend the online short course Communication Strategies for a Virtual Age offered by the University of Toronto. We think it’s one of the best overviews of how organisations can maximise the impact of their communication outputs. Follow the link to enrol on the course.

Another online short course we highly recommend for those wanting to get an NGO communications job is the Masterclass In Communication: How To Communicate With Impact. All NGOs need to make sure their message is conveyed to have the maximum impact – this ensures public support, donations and that the cause they work on is fully highlighted. This online course is a great addition to the CV of anyone wanting to work in NGO comms. Click the link for more information.

Working with the media is a vital part of NGO communications. The Public Relations: Media Crisis Communications online short course is ideal for those wanting to get a communications job with an NGO. It shows how organisations can shape and control media messages even at difficult times. The link is to the course’s page.

Social Media Officer

Social media is becoming more important for NGOs. Being able to put out engaging content on social media platforms that conveys the NGO message is key. Many NGOs employ a dedicated Social Media Officer to manage their presence online. The role involves developing and sharing the NGOs content across multiple platforms, as well as developing social media strategies and monitoring online performance.

How to Apply

A successful track record of promoting brands on social media is key to getting a job as a Social Media Officer for an NGO. You should not need previous experience in the NGO sector, but you will need to have previously worked in a similar position and be able to prove you have created engaging social media campaigns.

Communications Strategist

Large NGO may employ a Communications Strategist. Their job is to develop medium-term strategies for the NGOs communications. They must review the NGOs comms material and its previous performance, as well as develop innovative ways for the NGO to reach new audiences. Some NGOs employ external consultants in the position of Communication Strategists, often on shorter-term contracts.

How to Apply

If you would like to work as a Communications Strategists for an NGO consider getting a master’s degree in communications management or public relations. Previous work experience in strategy development will be needed, but if this is for non-NGO brands it may not go against your application.

Events Coordinator

Many NGOs runs events and employ an Events Coordinator as part of their communications teams. The job of the Events Coordinator is to oversee all aspects of the occasions that the NGO hosts. These can include festivals, workshops, exhibitions and fund-raising events.  The Events Coordinator is responsible for the overall successful delivery of the NGOs events schedule.

How to Apply

To get a job as an Events Coordinator with an NGO you will need some previous experience in events management. Previous experience in fund-raising and events for other NGOs will help your application, but private sector experience, especially with recognizable brands, will definitely be accepted by many NGOs. A degree in events management may also help your application.

Communications Intern

Many NGOs recruit interns to work as part of their communications teams. The role of the Communications Intern often involves assisting with the development of comms materials, feeding into the comms strategy and any additional tasks that are needed by the communications department. The position can be paid or unpaid. The aim of the Communications Intern position is to train new staff and develop the skills NGOs need in their communications teams.

How to Apply

You do not need any previous work experience to apply for the position of Communications Intern with an NGO. However, internships in the NGO sector are competitive so completing a degree relating to NGO work or communications would help your application.

Press Officer

The Press Officer for an NGO is the main focal point for media relations. Their job is to build connections with media outlets and cultivate a positive image of the NGO. They must ensure the NGOs message is conveyed. The Press Officer is usually line-managed by the communications Manager. Mostly larger NGOs will recruit a Press Officer.

How to Apply

If you’re looking to get a job as a Press Officer for an NGO, you should build experience either in the media industry or working with other NGOs or businesses working in a press-facing role. NGOs will look for candidates with a proven track record of working effectively with the media. A formal qualification related to media studies or journalism may help your application.

Communications Assistant

The Communications Assistant is the most junior role in an NGOs communications team. Their job is to provide day-to-day support to the wider communications department. They will often be involved in assisting with the development of communications materials, liaising with suppliers and agents and making arrangements for travel and events.

How to Apply

As an entry-level position, no prior experience is often needed to become a Communications Assistant for an NGO. However, as the NGO sector is competitive, completing an internship, or a relevant degree, will help you secure the job.

Digital Communications Manager

Some NGOs have a specific role within their comms team focusing on digital communications. This role is responsible for all aspects of the NGOs presence online. They often manage the Social Media Officer. The Digital Communications Manager’s task is to ensure quality digital outputs for the NGO, including using social media, email newsletters and online new outlets.

How to Apply

If you would like a job as a Digital Communications Manager for an NGO you will need a background in digital marketing. Most NGOs will value private sector experience quite highly, if you can prove you have a successful track-record of creating quality digital campaigns.

Public Relations Manager

Larger NGOs will employ a Public Relations Manager as part of their communications team. Their job is to manage the external interactions of the NGO, focusing on promoting its image and ensuring its core message is conveyed. An NGO’s Public Relations Manager will also liaise with the media and input to the NGO’s online presence.

How to Apply

To get a job as a Public Relations Manager for an NGO you should have previous experience in a similar role. Many NGOs will view private sector experience favorably when recruiting for a Public Relations Manager, especially if you can prove your success in the role.

Marketing Director

A senior role in many NGO’s communications teams is the Marketing Director. They have oversight of the NGOs marketing strategy. The job of the Marketing Director is to promote the NGO and ensure its presence in the public sphere grows. They often line-manage members of the marketing team, such as the Press Officer and Social Media Officer.

How to Apply

NGO’s recruiting Marketing Directors will look for candidates with significant previous experience in marketing. Knowledge and understanding of successful marketing in the not-for-profit sector would be an advantage. A formal qualification in marketing, such as a master’s degree, will also help you get the job.

If you want to learn more about how to get a job with an NGO, including in a communications role, explore our page on the best NGO online courses here.

Duncan

Duncan is the founder of Humanitarian Careers. With over 8 years experience in the aid industry across fifteen countries, Duncan set-up Humanitarian Careers to help people launch their own career in international aid.