National Director, Media Relations (CHI #2021-73)

City: Chicago
State: IL

The American Lung Association has an excellent opportunity for a National Director, Media Relations to join our incredible team in Chicago, IL office. Working as a Marketing & Communications Team member, you will join an outstanding group of professionals dedicated to our mission: to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through research, education, and advocacy.

In this role, you will be responsible for proactive and reactive media activities, including pitching, securing media exposure for the American Lung Association nationally and positioning the organization as the premier lung health experts in the country. Provide thought leadership to strategically advance the objectives of the American Lung Association. Manage Volunteer Medical Spokesperson program and secure spokespersons for media interviews including CEO and other ALA knowledge leaders. Provide media relations for other national programs, events and initiatives. Build solid relationships with media contacts, to position the American Lung Association as the “go to” source for lung health and healthy air expert media commentary.


  • Lead all media relations activities at the American Lung Association and work proactively to secure coverage of the organization in print, online, radio and on television.
  • Develop and implement communications and marketing strategies to promote the public policy messages and the policy priorities of the American Lung Association.
  • Lead Natural Disaster or other Rapid Response media activities.
  • Write/post press releases, press statements, LTEs & social media related to our key messages. Partner with the advocacy division to develop targeted communication deliverables in reaction to breaking news and/or opinion pieces.
  • Provide thought leadership around advancing the objectives of the American Lung Association.
  • Aggressively pitch our key messages, securing positive media coverage and impressions. Provide media relations for key programs, events and reports, including:
    • State of the Air Report
    • State of Tobacco Control
    • State of Lung Cancer
    • Ending the Youth Vaping Epidemic
  • Oversee and proactively manages all national media relationships for spokespersons within the organization; book and schedules interviews; respond to press inquiries; and update key messages and talking points when appropriate.
  • Cultivate and expand media contacts; build targeted media lists and oversee relationships with reporters that cover mission-related areas. Build relationships with national and Chicago-based reporters/bloggers/media influencers. Generate national media interest in key ALA events.
  • Collaborate with regional communicators to ensure coordinated nationwide press outreach, providing media templates when appropriate. Provide media training/talking points to staff as needed. 


  • Bachelor’s Degree in communications, public relations, journalism, or related field.
  • Eight to ten years of media relations experience, preferably for a non-profit or health organization
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Previous experience as an on-camera spokesperson is a plus.
  • Maturity and good judgement with ability to work in a team environment.
  • Knowledge of and comfort level with social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
  • Ability to prepare and write news stories and related communications in a clear, concise manner.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Ability to handle multiple priorities and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Consistent with its mission, the American Lung Association maintains a smoke-free workplace; all employees must abstain from tobacco use in any form. 


To apply, send a cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to (include the job title and the job number in the subject of the email):

Human Resources Department
American Lung Association
Email: [email protected]

The American Lung Association is dedicated to a diverse workforce.
Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V

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