To help us meet our ambitious goal of high school transformation in every community, XQ is seeking a SENIOR WRITER to lead the creation and execution of rigorous, engaging multimedia content that shows the world that high school transformation is necessary, possible, and underway. The ideal candidate is highly-motivated, meticulously-organized, detail-oriented—and can manage multiple complex projects and timelines simultaneously.
As a key member of the MarComm & Community team reporting to the Head of Content, the SENIOR WRITER will work closely and collaboratively with XQ executive leadership and leaders across the organization to capture and tell the story of our schools, tools, and case-making.
This role requires a person with a passion for and experience with writing for both general audiences (e.g., scripts) and more targeted niche audiences (e.g., state policymakers) across platforms for “always on” content creation from keynote speeches to journalistic pieces and social media campaigns and annual written publications that this role will lead including the quarterly updates to the Board and annual end-of-year board reports. Knowledge of the field of education, education policy, and social issues is preferred but not a requirement. This role requires four days a week at minimum in the Oakland, California headquarters.
The SENIOR WRITER will:
- Lead the development and execution of quarterly and annual written publications in close collaboration with executive leadership, including ongoing reflections, annual end-of-year board report and quarterly updates
- Serve as primary writer for senior leadership articles, speeches, communications, and newsletters working closely and collaboratively “shoulder to shoulder” with leaders to outline, write, edit, and polish for publication
- Demonstrate proficiency for data storytelling and case-making that incorporates data and research for case-making and compelling storytelling
- Drive and contribute to XQ’s “always on” content strategy, working closely with the full XQ MarComm and Community team to co-develop content production and distribution strategies
- Interview school staff and partners for conducting background research, building rapport and relationships, fact-checking, and following up on story leads as needed
- Write, edit, and develop multimedia content for XQ, ensuring consistency in messaging across all outputs to amplify XQ’s identity and optimizing content for language and tone
- Package and deliver content in a manner that is easy to understand and amplifies the messaging and impact
- Lead research on the latest trends and best practices in educational content and publishing, and use these insights to inform the development of the editorial strategy and team goals
- Manage the work of the external contributors ensuring high-quality, engaging, and informative content is produced on a consistent basis
- Cultivate and manage relationships with external contributors, including educational experts and thought leaders, to ensure that the organization’s content remains relevant and informative
- Drive analysis on the performance of the editorial content using data and analytics to inform ongoing optimization and improvement
- Lead the strategy and creation of high-quality, accurate, and engaging content across channels—XQ’s website, content partnerships, internal and external print publications, social media campaigns, and more.
- Write, edit, review, and fact-check articles, stories, blogs, publications, web copy, social media posts, talking points, presentations, and a host of other editorial and education content tools and products with the “eye of an education professional”
- Translate long-form content (articles, case studies, reports) into engaging short-form social media content reflecting journalistic and SEO best practices
- Keep an eye on active conversations among our XQ community, social account followers, as well as the education field at large by tracking trends and trending topics on behalf of the organization and suggesting ways to authentically engage in a way that serves our community
- Network with professionals & influencers on social media and at in-person school visits, events, and activations
- Regularly engage and participate across XQ platforms in alignment with XQ’s brand and mission
- Attend XQ school visits and XQ events as assigned to capture stories and story leads for articles, memos, social posts, reports, and more
- Facilitate smooth and timely development, production, and dissemination of digital, print, video/multimedia, and other editorial products
Additional Skills & Characteristics
- A confident contributor and upbeat, positive collaborator with a consistent spirit of partnership and productive problem-solving
- “Self-starter” willingness to take initiative and works well both independently and collaboratively
- Ability to adapt to challenges and opportunities with a solutions-oriented, positive perspective
- Compulsion to identify and resolve inefficiencies, and a passion for building cohesive processes
- Proactive sense of urgency in creating solutions; does not wait for others to take action
- Exceptional interpersonal skills; ability to develop relationships with a wide range of individuals and proven ability to collaborate with a diverse, multi-functional team
- Meticulously organized and detailed, with a keen eye and careful attention to detail
- Proven experience with executing against goals on time and to high standards of excellence
- Masterful management and follow-through of short-term and long-term tasks simultaneously
- Strong work ethic and independence, with a high degree of motivation to collaborate, learn, and iterate
- Ability to communicate effectively, grammatically, and accurately, both verbally and in writing, with colleagues, vendors, consultants, partners, and XQ audiences
- Flexibility and willingness to perform other tasks as assigned and to learn, grow, and stretch
- Mission-oriented commitment to understanding and articulating the mission, programs, and activities of XQ
- Big-picture understanding of the work that needs to be done and the detail-oriented steps involved in doing it right
- Responds rapidly and thoroughly to inquiries and requests
- Desire to work in a lively, rapidly-changing, high-intensity environment with a diverse team that often collaborates fluidly across projects
- Submits deliverables on time with the level of accuracy, fidelity, and excellence required for XQ standards
- Provides flexibility to adapt effectively to changing circumstances and shifting priorities
- Consistently provides thoughts for next steps to manager and has a deep understanding of mission to be able to actions next steps independently, engaging managers productively to drive work forward with manager feedback
- Demonstrates commitment to and experience in educational equity, social justice, youth development, and/or community service and engagement; powerful drive to work on projects that really matter
- 10+ of experience in journalism, publishing, and/or communications, ideally with cross-cutting experience in education, social issues, and policy
- Proven success in collaborative writing and editing with senior, high-profile leaders
- Bachelor’s degree; postgraduate degree preferred
- Ability and eagerness to travel up to 25% time as needed to events and activations, to visit schools, etc.
- Ability and eagerness to work four days a week at minimum in the Oakland, California headquarters alongside senior leadership, outside of traditional office hours as needed
Ours is a world defined by uncertainty, a society in flux, a state of unprecedented upheavals. While we don’t anticipate any quick fixes, we can anchor ourselves to what we see emerging. That’s why we have established a set of collective XQ Mindsets to ground us.
- 100% accountability: This doesn’t mean you have 100% ownership. It doesn’t mean you are responsible for every last thing that needs to be done. It means choosing to take responsibility for our collective success and impact.
- Maker mindset: We build stuff. We won’t always get it right the first time—in fact, we rarely will. But by quickly making and testing our work, we can learn what works and what doesn’t.
- We are the ones we’ve been waiting for: Critique is not enough. It is on us to create the solutions—no matter where we sit in the organization. We are a well-resourced organization filled with brilliant people. No one else is coming to our rescue.
- Opportunity knocks: We are ready, willing, and able to take on anything that is thrown our way. Pivots are a natural part of our approach, so let’s embrace them so that we can experience them joyfully.
- Stand on the shoulders of giants: We honor those who came before us, who aren’t seated at our tables, and build on others’ and our own earlier work with respect and reverence.
Discover XQ’s exceptional benefits package, designed with you in mind:
- Immediate eligibility for medical, dental, and vision coverage from day one.
- Generous 401k matching and vesting to secure your financial future.
- Enjoy the flexibility of paid time off (PTO) and a convenient lunch stipend.
- Elevate your work experience with Apple products.
- Embrace the joys of parenthood with paid parental leave.
Join us and experience the difference with XQ’s competitive benefits package. Your well-being is our priority.