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Communications Specialist (This position is available in either Herndon/Tysons or Phoenix.)

ALPA Herndon Full-Time
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Applicants are advised that relocation of our Washington, D.C. metropolitan area offices is in progress, from offices near the White House and in Herndon, Virginia, to Capitol Hill and Tysons, Virginia.  Anticipate completion summer 2019. 

The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), the largest airline pilot union in the world and the largest non-governmental aviation safety organization in the world (representing over 62,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines) seeks an experienced Communications Specialist for our office in Herndon/Tysons, Virginia or Phoenix, Arizona.  The Communications Specialist provides strategic and tactical communications support for ALPA’s pilot leaders to build effective communications plans and provide professional support in all areas of pilots’ day-to-day communication operations. S/he will provide leadership and assist pilot groups to develop and execute an overall communications strategy in helping our pilot groups determine the proper development, packaging, placement, and timing of communications that advance their goals; execute programs and campaigns to support collective bargaining and advocacy priorities for the pilot group; and, handle general communications, including media relations, social media, community/stakeholder relations, and other outreach support. 

Overall, s/he will exercise leadership and initiative, influence the decision-making process, and ensure that project benchmarks and deadlines are met.  S/he must exhibit excellent writing, problem-solving, consensus-building, and interpersonal skills to establish credibility with pilot leaders and ALPA’s professional staff and be a skilled media and social media tactician, able to take complex issues and transform them into clear communications for multiple audiences to increase audience reach and engagement. 

Local and national travel with the possibility of some international travel:  10 - 20%; sporadically 25% plus.

Minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant area, e.g., Communications, English, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, or related field, from an accredited college or university is required, master’s degree or completion of post-graduate courses preferred; or, the equivalent combination of education and practical experience.

  • Minimum of five (5) years of experience in a communications role at ALPA or in an equivalent advocacy and/or communications position elsewhere required. Aviation and/or labor union experience preferred.

  • Very strong interpersonal and communication skills, oral and written, for effective interaction with internal staff, external contacts, and pilots.  Attention to detail when reviewing and editing written materials required.

  • Must possess excellent time management skills; be able to work independently in a fast-paced, multi-tasking environment; and, transition easily between projects and pilot groups.

  • Ability to effectively interpret and disseminate complex information about aviation safety and security, labor contracts and collective bargaining, and communicate for public understanding strongly preferred.

  • Possesses the professional demeanor necessary to address issues of a complex nature, to establish credibility in contentious circumstances, and to positively affect members, the media, and other audiences. 

  • Experience planning and implementing proactive media, social media, and PR/education campaigns with a proven track record in pitching media and securing story placements.

  • Track record in developing, executing, and evolving comprehensive and proactive communications plans, as well as specific programs and campaigns a definite plus.

  • Must be a self-starter with professional maturity and sound judgment, capable of independent decision-making.

  • Able to develop and execute social media strategies that build awareness and support for key pilot group initiatives, including follower campaigns, social media advertising, and the like also a plus.

  • Knowledge of desktop publishing, presentation, design, and web content management preferred, with a willingness to learn new software applications to enhance effectiveness. 

  • Basic social media skills to include phone photos, phone videos, and Facebook Live.  Photography, videography, and graphic design skills preferred.

  • Software: Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint required; Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) and Adobe Dreamweaver desirable. Sitecore and/or HTML a plus. Basic audio/video editing also a plus.


     Please apply online at https://jobs-alpa.icims.com/jobs/1322/communications-specialist/job


    The Air Line Pilots Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Relocation Not Provided.


Skills required

Public Speaking
Mass Communication
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Job ID: 2019-0013


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The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents nearly 53,000 pilots at 38 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Founded in 1931, the Association is chartered by the AFL-CIO and the Canadian Labour Congress. Known internationally as US-ALPA, it is a member of the International Federation of Air Line Pilot Associations.

ALPA provides three critical services to its members:

Airline Safety and Security: ALPA’s founders chose “Schedule with Safety” as their motto, and that theme remains central to the union’s work today. Over its history, ALPA has been a part of nearly every significant safety improvement in the airline industry. The Association has helped to make airline travel the safest mode of transportation in human history. More than 600 working airline pilots volunteer to serve on the local and national safety and security committees that help guide the Association’s work. The union’s aeronautics engineers and safety and security experts provide unparalleled independent analysis on emerging airline safety and security issues, as well as federal and industrial policies. ALPA is routinely granted "interested party" status in most major airline accidents, which means that ALPA accident investigators assist the National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada during on-site investigations and participate in associated public hearings. The union’s commitment to unbiased, fact-based evaluation of airline safety and security issues has won the Association an unrivaled reputation for excellence throughout the airline industry.

Representation: Over the decades, ALPA pilot groups have negotiated scores of contracts with hundreds of airlines. Today, ALPA staff offers its members the finest financial analysis available, in-depth knowledge of the Railway Labor Act (the legislation that governs airline pilot contracts), and the legal experience to defend pilot contracts. By leveraging the combined resources of all union members, ALPA is able to bring unmatched expertise to bear on matters affecting its members’ salary, benefits, and working conditions.

Advocacy: ALPA’s staff and pilot volunteers consistently represent pilots’ views to all airline industry decision-makers, including Congress, Parliament, the White House, and federal agencies. In Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, Ont., ALPA lobbyists successfully promote legislation that helps pilots and work to stop policies that harm pilot interests. National officers and pilot representatives are routinely called on to give their expert opinion before legislative committees and other influential governmental bodies.

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