Job Opportunities

Job Opening

POSITION: Communications Specialist
TERM: Half-time, 6 month contract; potential to extend
START DATE: October or November 2019
COMPENSATION: $25-35 per hour
LOCATION: Denver/Lafayette/Boulder area

About Playa Lakes Joint Venture

Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) is a non-profit, partnership-based conservation organization dedicated to conserving playas and grasslands throughout the western Great Plains — including portions of Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas — for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and people. Our purpose is to find and execute partner-based solutions to conservation challenges. We do this by providing science and GIS based planning tools, outreach, communications support, and first-hand knowledge about bird conservation and conservation programs to help partners be effective at delivering on-the-ground conservation.

Position Description

We are looking for an outgoing, team-oriented person who is enthusiastic about creating stories and messages that engage audiences to participate in conservation. The primary role of the Communications Specialist is to develop content and products that support the conservation efforts of the PLJV partnership including the monthly e-newsletter, printed brochures and flyers, direct mail pieces, website content, articles and op eds, and related social media posts. The Communications Specialist will collaborate with the Communications Director, as well as other PLJV staff, to develop messaging. The incumbent must be self-motivated and able to manage multiple tasks and to work with diverse people. Successful candidates should also be able to translate complex biological information to audiences inside and out of the scientific community, including policy makers, rural farmers and ranchers, and conservation professionals. Experience in wildlife conservation communications and outreach, agricultural marketing, promotion of Farm Bill conservation programs, or private landowner/agricultural producer outreach is a plus.

Minor travel may be required, with expenses covered by PLJV. Depending on the qualifications of the applicant and PLJV needs, the contract may be extended and/or hours increased. There is also potential for the position to become permanent in the future.

Primary Duties

  • Manage and produce the monthly Playa Post e-newsletter including planning, writing, editing, layout and distribution. (20%)
  • Review and update existing printed materials (brochures, flyers, direct mailers, etc); develop, write and layout new materials as needed. (20%)
  • Write content for the PLJV website and update using WordPress CMS. (20%)
  • Develop articles and other content that can be used by PLJV partners to promote playa and grassland conservation. (28%)
  • Write and edit content for the PLJV annual report. (5%)
  • Write and submit articles and op eds about playa and grassland conservation to local newspapers and regional publications. (5%)
  • Adapt existing content and post on social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube. (2%)

Required Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, communications, marketing or related field and/or 5 years related experience.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills including copywriting, proofreading and editing; experience creating articles, promotional materials, presentations, website content, and proposals, with an emphasis on telling engaging stories.
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at the same time.
  • Solid understanding of and experience in project management with outstanding organizational, planning and time management abilities.
  • Demonstrated experience in e-newsletter production and distribution, website content management, social media, and other online communications tools.
  • Demonstrated skills in layout and design of printed materials such as brochures, flyers, reports, invitations, etc.
  • Demonstrated skills in media relations, including writing and distributing news releases and letters to editors, and engaging local media.
  • The ability to work effectively and communicate with a variety of people in both rural and urban situations. Must exhibit tact, sensitivity, flexibility and the ability to listen to and understand different perspectives.
  • Proficiency with the following applications: G Suite by Google; Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint; Adobe Acrobat, InDesign and Photoshop; WordPress; and MailChimp or other e-newsletter services. Knowledge of Basecamp or other project management applications is an asset.


The position reports directly to and is evaluated by the PLJV Communications Director who defines the work to be accomplished in terms of objectives and priorities, and provides guidance on overall messaging. Work plans for the position will be determined by the PLJV Communications Director, with input from the Communications Specialist, based on the organization’s communications strategies and objectives. The incumbent works with the Communications Director to determine and develop methods and techniques most appropriate for accomplishing objectives. Job performance is reviewed in the context of responsiveness to objectives and priorities


The contract rate will range from $25 to $35 per hour and will be commensurate with education and experience.

Term and Location

This is a half-time, six-month contract position, with the likelihood of a contract extension and potential to expand and increase hours. The expected start date is October or November 2019, depending on availability. The job will be located in the Denver/Lafayette/Boulder area, with flexibility in hours and work location, and require some time in PLJV’s Lafayette office each week.

How to Apply

Playa Lakes Joint Venture is an equal opportunity employer and seeks a diverse applicant pool. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. MT on Sept. 30. Please send the following items, in order, as one PDF document by email (with the subject CS APPLICATION) to

  • Cover letter (include available start date)
  • Resume
  • Two writing samples
  • One graphic design/layout example