I reached a new milestone in my career. I got to design and recruit two new positions at Keystone Accountability, where I am chief innovator. From the applications I’ve already received, I know it will be an honor to work with these people.
While these jobs are now filled, I’m leaving this post up. The feedback I got was that these descriptions are great examples of how to describe who and what one is looking for in an engaging, exciting way.
For over a decade, Keystone has contracted with clients (international organizations or government agencies) to implement Constituent Voice(tm) – our way of giving the recipients of their programs a hand in improving those programs. We know that even if these feedback loops help improve peoples’ lives and livelihoods, it takes good storytelling and a consistent approach to getting out core messages for these ideas to take hold in the larger community.
The communications director will be responsible for…
- Crafting and managing campaigns to attract new clients (for our contracted services) and customers (of our online tools). You’ll be leading a team effort, not just doing it all yourself.
- Experimenting – in a Lean Startup way – to test and potentially validate our existing hypotheses about what type of person or institution wants and needs our tools and services.
- Content – writing and working with our team to produce a steady high-quality stream of stories, examples, and case studies that illustrate the value of our approach.
- Gathering feedback from prospects and working with our team to refine and improve our offerings.
- Tracking our success in expanding our customer base against five strategies we are testing in 2016.
- Discovering our current brand identity and reshaping our brand to amplify around the elements of Keystone that deliver consistent value, as perceived by our clients.
The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker, familiar with Lean Startup, and experienced in marketing and campaigns in both a for-profit and not-for-profit context.
We think someone with both perspectives will help our team grow. We will be looking for someone with demonstrated experience in developing, planning, implementing and coordinating creative campaigns to get results, in a manner that unleashes the potential of team members. Prior experience doing marketing, campaigns, branding, and customer-feedback within collaborative groups will be distinct advantage.
- 3 years working in a communications/marketing role
- Prior experience managing a campaign or marketing strategy against defined goals
- Familiar with managing online social media and email campaigns via mailchimp, google analytics, wordpress, etc.
- Track record in storytelling and producing effective content in both print and video.
- Knows about A:B testing, and can explain how both failed and successful tests were useful for strategy.
- Has helped design a strategy then been accountable to it.
Intrepid Wild Data Scientist
YOU: a tech-savvy person who’s “been around the block” in the fast-changing world of data. You have a basic bag of tricks for scraping websites, or possibly you’ve run a map-reduce once for some college course. You love Python, have dabbled in R, and probably tried your chops in some other programming language in pursuit of some pet-project based on a repo you found on GitHub. Undoubtably you’re also a 21st century “global citizen”: You’ve visited at least one country whose flag your friends couldn’t identify in opening of the next Olympics. You think telecommuting, socially conscious business, and work-life balance are moral imperatives – like tooth brushing – and want to be on the team that solves problems, not the one that “maximizes shareholder value.”
KEYSTONE: We’re a half-dozen consultants who eek out a living by paving a path for our clients, mostly large-ish non-profit charitable organizations stumbling in the darkness explained throughout the bad data handbook. Struggling to find meaning in the murky depths of their data, these organizations need us to show them a simpler, better, smarter way to manage. Most come to us having never directly asked the people they serve the basic questions, “How are we doing?” and “What can we do better?” – at least not systematically. We believe much good can come from getting all organizations to build better feedback loops with the people they serve. But for these feedback loops to work, they need to utilize “data exhaust”, gmail, and other readily-available feeds to augment surveys. While we know “data” is not THE ANSWER to everything, we also know the world cannot solve its problems without structures to trap, transform, and harvest the data that piles up. Our Lean Startup Goal is to build solutions that improve this largely unused data until it would seem downright foolish for our clients to ignore it when making decisions.
THE BACKSTORY: So what did we do last year? We hired two data people. They took our 30,000 Dropbox files and built a mongo database (because the future is quasi-unstructured, right?). This allowed us to find patterns. That helped us build systematic performance benchmarks out of the wisdom of our clients – and now available at http://feedbackcommons.org. They built a heuristic analysis engine in python with an API. They also consolidated our dozen paid-tools around 3 core hubs: Gmail, Dropbox, and Slack – so our team spends more time doing the work and less time explaining the work to each other. And they brought management philosophies – Agile for keeping the work load on schedule and reasonably iterative, and Lean Startup for helping us find out who our customers ought to be and what the “product” should be.
THE GAUNTLET: Our transformation from consultancy to 21st century data company isn’t done! We need YOU, intrepid data person, to help us harvest more data. Imagine if we had someone who was converting the world’s data into useable form, then helping organizations make better use of it! You (with our mentorship) would get a deeper understanding of how to use data in all its forms (paper, audio, video as well as web, spreadsheets, and files) and how to produce radically simpler ways of understanding information for others. You would learn when to hack a solution for today, and when to build a heuristic filter that solves the “set of all problems like X”. On the other side of complexity is simplicity. And we’re here to find the path through the middle.
By now you’ve probably realized that we think traditional job descriptions are about as useful for finding the right person as forks are for solving global hunger. That’s why this reads like a personal ad; let’s cut the fluff and find each other. But that said, here are a few of our specific expectations:
- You’ve got a background in data and/or programming with competency in python. And you’re willing to teach yourself what you’ll need.
- You’ve got at least 17 months experience doing something that you believe isrelevant to this job. (Hint: That doesn’t include time spent in college learning about the concepts.)
- You love the idea of harvesting “wild data” in all its forms and want to see the fruit of your labor actually make a difference in other peoples’ lives.
Note about both positions:
Because Keystone is UK based, this is a contract position for people living in the US. It does not include healthcare or retirement benefits. The position is funded for 2 years, and would become permanent if our revenue growth can justify it.
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