Communications Manager

The McKenzie River Trust (Eugene, OR) seeks applicants for the role of Communications Manager. The Communications Manager will be responsible for all organizational communications, messaging, branding, and marketing to help McKenzie River Trust reach new audiences and deepen relationships with members, volunteers, prospects, and community partners. This position will help develop and implement the strategy for growing membership, engaging volunteers, and raising awareness of our work across our service area. Applications due: February 22.

You can download the full position description by clicking the button below, or read further for full details. 

Application Instructions

To apply for this position:

Please provide cover letter and resume in pdf or MS Word doc format via email to Please include Communications Manager in the subject line.

If selected as a finalist, we will ask you to provide work samples.

Applications will be accepted through Monday, February 22, 2021.

Application process

  • February 4-22: Applications accepted
  • February 23-March 7: Applicant screening and selection of interviewees
  • March 8-18: Interviews and selection of finalist
  • April 1: Preferred start date

Position Title: Communications Manager

Reports to: Development Director

Status: Full-time, exempt

Compensation: Annual salary +/- $48,000 DOE plus benefits


Since 1989, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has helped people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. From the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, MRT envisions a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies. We work at the intersection of ecological systems and human community needs to ensure the health of both in the face of changes in climate and land use. MRT protects over 7,000 acres of land through purchase and conservation easement. Grounded in science, we work collaboratively to heal, restore, and enhance regionally important natural systems, and connect people to places they care about. MRT is based in Eugene, and in 2021 we will open our first field office on the central Oregon coast.

On Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Having invested in staff training in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) for several years, we are currently crafting a DEIJ commitment statement and plan. For over 30 years, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has pursued our mission of “helping people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish” by focusing on habitat diversity and health, river dynamism, and wild landscapes. But we need to more explicitly acknowledge that people and communities have been and continue to be part of these ecosystems, and that the helping people part of our mission compels us to ensure that our work benefits and engages all people, not just some. Bringing DEIJ values to bear in our work will support us in maintaining the landscape-scale vision required to address climate resilience and community resilience as we work to maintain the ecological integrity of western Oregon’s landscapes. We have work to do. We encourage all candidates, particularly those with diverse backgrounds in culture, education, and professional experience, to apply for this position.

Position Overview

The Communications Manager is responsible for all organizational communications, messaging, branding, and marketing to help us reach new audiences and deepen relationships with members, volunteers, prospects, and community partners. This position will help develop and implement the strategy for growing MRT’s membership, engaging volunteers, and raising awareness of our work across our service area.

Regular Responsibilities of the Communications Manager

Communications coordination and project management (50%)

  1. Work with staff, consultants, and volunteers to establish and implement brand and content strategies across all communications channels.
  2. Create and manage an editorial calendar to schedule and repurpose content across channels for maximum impact.
  3. Direct the production of timely, relevant marketing and communications materials in alignment with strategic priorities, including newsletters, brochures, graphics, annual reports, postcards, and event invitations
  4. Design and implement multi-channel communications campaigns.
  5. Organize and utilize data from multiple sources, including the constituent relationship management database (Salesforce), website, social media.
  6. Track, report on, and evaluate trends in the data that influence marketing outcomes. Adjust tactics to meet organizational goals.
  7. Write talking points for conservation projects and activities.
  8. Maintain organizational structure of photos, stories, videos, and other media. Coordinate with vendors and volunteers including photographers and videographers to add to the photo, video, and story library.
  9. Establish and communicate guidelines and implement communications training for staff and volunteers.
  10. Collaborate with staff from all departments to integrate marketing goals across the development and conservation programs.
  11. Work with partner organizations to advance regional and statewide marketing and engagement goals.


  • Membership renewal rates are 65-75% or better.
  • Members, volunteers, partners, and landowners advance in their relationship with the Trust.
  • Members and volunteers have a good understanding of the mission and work of the Trust, feel connected, and see the impact of their giving.
  • Volunteers are retained at high rates.
  • Landowners contact us for interest in our programs; the organization has a sufficient and high-quality pipeline of landowners interested in participating in MRT and our partners’ conservation programs.
  • Staff, board, and partners are consistently well-prepared and on message when speaking about the work of the Trust.
  • Staff across the organization are satisfied with the marketing materials available to support their program goals.


New member and volunteer recruitment (25%)

  1. Help develop and implement a strategic communications plan to raise MRT’s profile across its service area, reach new audiences, and grow membership and volunteer engagement.


  • 3,000 new people added to the MRT database annually.
  • Member and volunteer base grows in new geographies, such as central Oregon coast, to support and sustain field office operations.
  • Event participants become members at high rates.


Digital marketing (25%)

  1. Manage MRT social media channels, including providing a high level of service in responding to questions and complaints and managing advertising.
  2. Curate digital content by collaborating with staff and volunteers.
  3. Manage the MRT website (WordPress) and ads to drive traffic. Develop content marketing strategies to regularly update website.
  4. Produce email newsletters (Constant Contact).
  5. Use design software and work with graphic designers to produce marketing materials.

Outcomes, in addition to those described above:

  • MRT recruits 500+ new members annually.
  • Staff, volunteers, and fans of the Trust have the tools and motivation to represent their passion for MRT online, resulting in a growing network for the organization.

Required Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities

  • A genuine passion for land conservation and an interest in land trusts.
  • 5+ years’ experience in marketing.
  • 5+ years’ experience with project management.
  • Comfort with digital marketing tools for website management, email marketing, social media, digital advertising.
  • Attention to detail, high standards, and a passion for accuracy.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • The ability to maintain strict confidentiality of donor and organization information.

Core Competencies

  • Understanding Others: Understands why groups do what they do; picks up the sense of the group in terms of positions, intentions, and needs; what they value and how to motivate them; can predict what groups will do across different situations.
  • Organizing: Marshals resources (people, funding, material, support) to get things done; can orchestrate multiple activities at once to accomplish a goal; uses resources effectively and efficiently; arranges information and files in a useful manner.
  • Interpersonal Savvy: Relates well to all kinds of people – up, down, and sideways, inside and outside the organization; builds appropriate rapport; builds constructive and effective relationships; uses diplomacy and tact; can defuse even high-tension situations comfortably.
  • Listening: Practices attentive and active listening; has the patience to hear people out; can accurately restate the opinions of others even when he/she disagrees.
  • Innovation Management: Excels at bringing the creative ideas of others to market; has good judgment about which creative ideas and suggestions will work; has a sense about managing the creative process of others; can facilitate effective brainstorming; can project how potential ideas may play out in the marketplace.
  • Learning on the Fly: A relentless and versatile learner; open to change; analyzes both successes and failures for clues to improvement; experiments and will try anything to find solutions; enjoys the challenge of unfamiliar tasks; quickly grasps the essence and the underlying structure of anything.
  • Political Savvy: Can maneuver through complex political situations effectively and quietly; is sensitive to how people and organizations function; anticipates where the land mines are and plans his/her approach accordingly; views corporate politics as a necessary part of organizational life and works to adjust to that reality; is a maze-bright person.
  • Written Communication: Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that have the desired effect.
  • Strategic Agility: Sees ahead clearly; can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately; has broad knowledge and perspective; is future oriented; can articulately paint credible pictures and visions of possibilities and likelihoods; can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort

The Communications Manager will perform duties in an office setting at McKenzie River Trust’s office in Eugene, Oregon, with occasional time in the field, primarily in Lane County in western Oregon. (All McKenzie River Trust staff are currently encouraged to work from home due to COVID). This work requires occasional physical exertion and/or strain. The work environment involves occasional exposure to disagreeable elements such as rainy weather, and extremely hot or cold weather. Work is often fast-paced, stressful, and requires managing multiple projects with deadlines. 

We have a commitment to cultivating an inclusive work environment and provide equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law. In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the organization. The McKenzie Trust maintains its status as an at-will employer.