External Communications Strategist

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern WI & Metro Chicago

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. is the largest of more than 158 Goodwill organizations in the world and has been providing services since 1919. Nearly 5,700 Goodwill employees work in over 90 locations throughout our 23-county territory in southeastern Wisconsin and metropolitan Chicago. Our service territory consists of thirteen full or partial counties in southeastern Wisconsin, and ten full or partial counties in northeastern Illinois. Goodwill’s territory covers more than 12,000 square miles of land area, ranging from Green Lake, Fond du Lac, and Sheboygan counties on the north, to Danville, Illinois, on the south, and west to Janesville, Wisconsin. This territory encompasses some of the most populated areas of both states, including Cook, Du Page, Will and Lake counties in Illinois, and Milwaukee County in Wisconsin.

Our mission is to provide training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence. Employment and training are Goodwill’s primary focus, assisting men and women to develop their job skills and secure work opportunities that fulfill their personal and professional goals. Last year, Goodwill provided services tonearly49,000 men and women with disabilities and disadvantages.

Goodwill carries out its mission by providing the following services:

  • A variety of training programs and employment services for people with disabilities or disadvantages. 
  • Support and resources for the chronically unemployed, dislocated workers and other job seekers. 
  • A resource for the community members to donate their clothing and household items, and purchase quality, value-priced items at our Goodwill Store & Donation Centers. 
  • Electronics recycling and refurbishment operation that addresses the growing issue of electronic waste. 
  • Laundry and linen services for area hospitals and the hospitality industry. 
  • Staffing, contract to hire, direct placement and recruiting services for area employers. 
  • Document destruction services for area companies. 
  • Food, logistic, and laundry services for the federal government. 
  • Services for seniors including day programs, case management and home-delivered meals. 
  • The Goodwill Cares provides assistance with clothing, furniture and other household items for those in need in partnership with local nonprofit agencies. 


Position Details

External Communications Strategist
Southeast Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI

The External Communications Strategist is responsible for producing external communications campaigns that position Goodwill as an industry leader in key areas of business and focus.


The external communications strategist is responsible for producing external communications campaigns that position Goodwill as an industry leader in key areas of business and focus. In collaboration with the broader corporate communications and branding team, this role will support internal clients and strategic initiatives by proactively pitching media stories, developing and deploying content across a variety of owned channels, and reporting and analyzing outcomes. Implements, revises, and sustains policies, procedures and programs. Typically works on projects and initiatives that span 3 – 12 months.


Media Relations

  1. Identify opportunities to elevate Goodwill’s public profile through the strategic pursuit of media, thought leadership, awards and speaking opportunities among target publications, audiences and markets.
  2. Develops PR plans to generate earned media. Tracks and measures the results of efforts. Recommend adjustments based on results, as necessary.
  3. Fields incoming requests for information from the media; works with manager to support crisis and issues management, provides background information and suggested media holding statements.
  4. Partners with assigned internal stakeholders, communications and marketing, as well as teams across the organization to develop and support initiatives through the development of communication materials and strategies.
  5. Develop and maintain relationships with local and regional journalists.
  6. Proactively monitors and researches the day-to-day news cycle and media landscape to identify just-in-time topics in pursuit of media coverage.
  7. In partnership with manager, create and proof briefing documents, press releases, fact sheets, contributed articles, video scripts, success stories, and other pieces of information for various media outlets and Goodwill’s owned communications channels.
  8. Work with Goodwill’s marketing team to extend the reach of media placements and further support the areas of business.
  9. Project and Change Management: Effectively plans and manages own work to reliably complete routine job responsibilities and special assignments. May serve as a team member or subject matter expert on formal projects or within the department. Effectively engages in change affecting her/him, communicating appropriately with supervisor. Follows through on learning, skill building, and practice necessary to adapt to change.
  10. Problem Solving: Light supervision; works independently. Periodic review of work by manager or senior coworker. Solves problems of moderate to advanced complexity; able to identify root cause, interpret data and resolve issues.
  11. Technical Skill: Understands and applies professional principles and skills within area of specialization to modify processes to resolve situations.
  12. Community Engagement: Champions Goodwill’s community engagement initiatives and serves as an ambassador for Goodwill in the wider community.
  13. Responsible for completing other duties/responsibilities as assigned.


  1. Two years of college education or experience equivalency, and a minimum of 3 years’ experience.
  2. Familiarity and working knowledge of PR tools such as Cision.
  3. Excellent writing skills, adaptable for a variety of internal and external audiences, including social media.
  4. Strong knowledge of AP style.
  5. Ability to work independently and collaboratively while exercising judgment and discretion.


  1. Customer Focus: Independently anticipate and meet customer needs, while searching for ways to improve customer service. Internalize customer feedback, and follow up with customer to ensure problems are solved by providing innovative ideas to meet their future needs.
  2. Values Differences: Seeks out the diverse perspectives and talents of others, striving to work effectively with others who have different perspectives, backgrounds or styles. Behave with sensitivity towards differences in cultural norms, expectations, and ways of communicating. Challenge stereotyping or offensive comments. 
  3. Communicates Effectively: Shares information and updates with others, while ensuring a clear, concise and professional communication through reports, documentation, written and other communications. Listens with interest to what others have to say. 
  4. Situational Adaptability: Demonstrates flexibility of responses to different situations through adapting to the changing needs, conditions, priorities or opportunities. Monitors how well an approach is working to see if a change is needed, recognizing cues that suggest a change in approach or behavior is needed. 
  5. Drives Results: Demonstrates a strong drive to achieve meaningful results, through driving tasks to successful completion and closure. Sets high standards for own performance, showing determination in the face of obstacles and setbacks. 
  6. Ensures Accountability: Takes responsibility and ownership for successes and failures in own work. Monitors progress of performance and changes approach accordingly, following through on commitments.


Job requires the following: remain stationary for sustained periods of time; ability to move about to accomplish tasks; must be able to operate a computer or similar technology, which typically involves substantial motions of wrist, hands and/or fingers; visual acuity to perform activities such as preparing data, operating equipment or review thoroughness of work; ability to communicate with others and exchange information. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

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