American Heart Association Director of Communications - Media Relations in Houston, Texas


Are you ready to join an organization where you can make an extraordinary impact every day?

Imagine all Americans enjoying ideal cardiovascular health free of heart disease and stroke. At the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, we get to work toward that goal every day. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? Absolutely.

This is satisfying and challenging work that makes a real difference in people's lives. We are where you can achieve professional growth with personal fulfillment. We are where you can connect people to making a lifesaving impact. We are where you can partner with individuals, schools, lawmakers, healthcare providers and others to ensure everyone has access to healthier lifestyle choices and proper healthcare. The American Heart Association is where you can make an extraordinary impact.


As the Director of Media Relations/Public Affairs for Houston & Gulf Coast you will make an extraordinary impact by working with development and health strategies colleagues to craft and deliver strategic communications to external and internal audiences.

Responsibilities involve working with the Senior Director of Communications, Director of Communications, Director of Communications - Marketing and other staff and volunteers in AHA’s Houston office to create and execute strategic media relations and communication campaigns in support of AHA fundraising efforts, educational programs, awareness campaigns, advocacy platforms and branding. This position offices in Houston and requires ability to travel regularly in the territory, with occasional overnight travel.

So you say you would like some more details? Here are a few:

  • Support Houston & Gulf Coast staff and volunteer communications by serving as the strategic media relations and public affairs expert in the market.

  • Serve as the primary media contact supporting media relations and public affairs efforts for Houston & Gulf Coast communities, to build awareness for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

  • In collaboration with Senior Director of Communications, develop, lead and drive comprehensive and integrated media relations plans for the Houston/Gulf Coast market.

  • Synthesize national AHA research, statements and program materials to develop local story angles and pitches for media.

  • Write media materials including news releases, media advisories, fact sheets, bios, messaging/talking points, pitches, PSAs, scripts, radio spots, etc.

  • Develop and manage contents for social media platforms, including strategy, content creation and monitoring.

  • Develop and build on strong media partnerships in the market, including growing our online media presence with bloggers and other non-traditional media outlets.

  • Develop and maintain media lists using online tools.

  • Develop and maintain calendar listings for events across the Houston/Gulf Coast area.

  • Distribute and track news releases using local and national services as appropriate.

  • Ensure that the market regularly conducts relevant media relations research and coordinate and oversee this activity.

  • Monitor trends to keep informed of developments in the fields of media relations.

  • Leads projects as assigned, such as localizing national AHA research stories with ties to Houston/Gulf Coast for special events.

  • Work closely with the Senior Director of Communications and development team to support the team in meeting its objectives by generating news stories that are picked up by print, radio, TV, and non-traditional news outlets.

  • Develop, implement and monitor systems to measure media relations efforts by gathering data on measurables such as impressions, engagement and reach.

  • Working alone and with the Senior Director of Communications, cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, assignment editors, anchors and other media professionals.

  • Engage sponsors in effective and appropriate media activation activities and provide results for end of campaign reports.

  • Develop OP/Ed materials and work for placement in collaboration with the Sr. Director.

  • Working with the Senior Communications Director and Marketing Director, secure local media sponsorships for AHA events and programs.

  • Works with Senior Director and/or VP to manage local crises or sensitive issues.

  • Works in collaboration with media advocacy staff to develop appropriate media advocacy strategies and implements strategies as appropriate.

  • Manages and implements other projects as identified by the Senior Director.

You will make sure we have the best communications possible (we are talking quality here), so our plans and our execution of these plans makes and extraordinary impact on the mission of the organization.


Want to help get your resume to the top? Take a look at the experience we require:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in communications, public relations, journalism or closely related field required.

  • 3+ years of experience in media relations, public relations or journalism, communications or marketing.

  • Experience with social media management and/or communications experience.

  • Skill in writing and editing for a variety of audiences via numerous platforms, including writing for online and mobile. Knowledge of AP Style preferred.

  • Existing media relationships in the Houston DMA market helpful.

  • Bilingual (Spanish/English) a plus.

  • PR agency or news media experience preferred.

  • Proven ability to develop and implement communications plans and to create and place stories and promotional ideas with journalists and promotions directors in print, broadcast and social media platforms.

  • Experience producing or directing others in creating videos, including script writing, shooting video and editing and/or directing others on such projects and the ability to write radio and TV PSAs preferred.

  • Intermediate knowledge and skill with Microsoft Office used for word processing, email, presentations, and spreadsheets. Advanced knowledge and skill with these programs is preferred.

  • Experience in Adobe Create Suite helpful.

  • Able to lift at least 20 lbs. from the ground to waist level with or without reasonable accommodation.

  • 18 years old or older.

At American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity applies to both our workforce and the communities we serve as it relates to heart health and stroke prevention.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to see what it is like to work for the American Heart Association and why so many people enjoy #TheAHALife EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Persons with Disabilities

Requisition ID 2018-2782

Job Family Group Marketing & Communications

Job Category Marketing/Communications