Communications Director Appalshop, Inc.

Website Appalshop Appalshop

Making Media + Theater In the Mountains Since 1969

Appalshop, Inc. is seeking an experienced, dynamic communicator for a central staff position. As our COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, you’ll become part of Appalshop’s 50-year legacy of enacting cultural organizing and place-based media, arts and education to document the life, celebrate the culture, and voice the concerns of people living in Appalachia and rural America.

Who are we?

Since 1969, Appalshop (based in Whitesburg, KY) has distinguished itself as central Appalachia’s anchor arts and humanities training center. Our mission is to enlist the power of education, media, theater, music, and other arts:

to document, disseminate, and revitalize the lasting traditions and contemporary creativity of Appalachia;
to tell stories the commercial cultural industries don’t tell, challenging stereotypes with Appalachian voices and visions;
to support communities’ efforts to achieve justice and equity and solve their own problems in their own ways;
to celebrate cultural diversity as a positive social value; and
to participate in regional, national, and global dialogue toward these ends.
Appalshop, America’s only rural, nonprofit, multi-media arts producing and presenting institution, is made up of: Appalshop Archive, Appalshop Films, Roadside Theater, Community Media Initiative, June Appal Recordings, WMMT-FM Community Radio, Appalachian Media Institute, and Performing Our Future Development Hub.

Tell me about the communications director position!

The Communications Director is a senior leader of Appalshop’s CORE administration, comprised of the Executive Director (to whom the CD reports directly), Institutional Development Director, the Financial Director, and support staff. They will work with Appalshop’s Program Directors, CORE, and others as appropriate to manage the day-to-day requirements of a small communications team. The Communications Director will promote Appalshop’s institutional brand, its projects, and its products across diverse available multimedia platforms.

The ideal candidate will possess extensive multimedia communications experience, a strong network of media relationships, excellent writing and editing skills, new media expertise, and—most crucially—knowledge of, and an abiding commitment to, central Appalachia and its people.

Duties and responsibilities

Media Relations

Achieve frequent, timely and positive media coverage across all available media
Create and deliver reports, press releases and other forms of communication to relevant parties
Represent Appalshop at local, regional and national events and to other groups—including national mainstream media
Identify opportunities for both paid and earned media
Develop and maintain productive relationships with all media

Writing, Editing and Producing Content

Oversee the production and management of publications including online content from ongoing programming and media production (writing, audio, video, new media, etc.)
Work with Appalshop staff to develop effective social media strategies, materials and campaigns based on current content cycle
Execute weekly social media plan and report results to Executive Director
Edit staff materials on complex, sensitive topics to ensure they can be easily read and understood by media, policymakers and advocates.
Oversee the publication of original content to, our award-winning web portal.


Develop an annual communications plan in collaboration with the Executive Director, detailing the year’s activities to meet agreed-upon company objectives
Oversee the maintenance of static content across website
Maintain WordPress, backends and plugins as needed; coordinate website maintenance as needed
Field phone calls, reply to emails, and provide technical support to online customers and users of
Deliver all activity within the agreed-upon budget
Note: These are core duties and the post holder will be expected to assume a range of other responsibilities as reasonably required by the Executive Director.

Professional qualifications:

It is preferred, but not required, that applicants have at least two years of college experience, a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. Ideal applicants should have 2+ years of experience in communications, arts, or related fields.  Appalshop alumni and/or candidates from central Appalachia are encouraged to apply.
The applicant must be a proficient writer, and applicants with graphic and/or technical skills are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits:

The Communications Director position is full-time and offers a salary of $32,000-35,000, commensurate with experience and skills.
The position includes full benefits (medical, dental, 403(b) retirement, paid vacation and sick leave)
Appalshop is an equal opportunity employer, and its employment policies and practices are applicable to all employees without regard to race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, creed, disability or national origin.

Great! How do I apply?

Candidates should submit:  

a cover letter (1,200 words max.) detailing relevant education and experience, the candidate’s interest in the communications field, reasons for wanting to work at Appalshop, and the candidate’s personal history with non-profit work;
a resume or CV of no more than two pages;
3-5 samples of professional writing (e.g., press releases, long or short-form published articles, grant proposals);
If applicable: a concise design portfolio displaying a fair representation of the candidate’s technical or graphic design skills and a link to further samples (e.g., a personal website).
email submission to with the subject line titled: Communications Director 2017 *First and last name*

SUBMISSION: open October 2017 until position is filled

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