Communications Associate
American Educational Research Association (AERA)

With approximately 25,000 members, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.


The American Educational Research Association seeks a Communications Associate with wide ranging expertise in and a passion for communications to advance AERA and the field of education research. The ideal candidate is a dedicated professional with a strong interest in covering the news of AERA and the field, and in writing, media relations, social media, and digital communication. They will be an integral part of a two-person communications team and will have the opportunity to contribute to strategic communications planning, programming, and messaging designed to advance the association and the field. The Communications Associate will work collaboratively with AERA staff to promote AERA-created content, policy briefings and other public events, public positions, and the association’s annual meeting. In their role, they will write, edit, and disseminate news and information about AERA to reporters, association members, and other audiences; coordinate and promote media and special events; develop and maintain AERA website and microsite content; create compelling and engaging social media posts; develop and edit video content; create and distribute electronic communications messages; track website, social media, and other communications analytics; build and manage media and marketing lists; and provide administrative support.


The Communications Associate works with the Director of Communications and other staff to:

  • Write, edit, and disseminate news releases, statements, advisories, fact sheets, and other media and marketing materials related to education research, science and education policy, and AERA publications and events.
  • Write and edit online articles for AERA’s monthly membership email newsletter, Highlights.
  • Lay out and distribute Highlights and other communications e-blasts and news releases.
  • Develop and update AERA website and microsite content, ensuring that it meets high standards of editorial quality, accuracy, relevance, readability, user experience, and search engine optimization.
  • Develop and manage AERA social media content.
  • Attend and live-tweet AERA events and provide photo coverage, as needed.
  • Design basic graphics for web, e-blasts, and social media.
  • Liaise with researchers and university communications professionals to create web videos with authors of forthcoming AERA journal articles, using basic video and audio editing skills.
  • Develop and maintain print- and web-based resources on timely education topics and issue experts for education reporters.
  • Monitor news coverage of education research and identify opportunities for promoting AERA’s resources and expertise.
  • Prepare advance publicity for AERA’s annual meeting, organize and staff the press room, and help pitch reporters on research presentations and events taking place at the meeting.
  • Organize materials, develop outreach lists, draft marketing messages, manage invitation lists, and assist with logistics for other AERA events, including briefings in the AERA Convening Center and on Capitol Hill, the annual AERA Brown Lecture in Education Research, and targeted science exhibitions.
  • Respond to questions and triage inquiries from AERA members and the public through various communications channels.
  • Generate data and analytics reports for the AERA website, email campaigns, social media, and other communications.
  • Manage AERA media and marketing lists, manage AERA’s photo archives, provide administrative support as necessary, and perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university required. Relevant fields include journalism, communications, public relations, English, marketing, and mass media; or a branch of education, public policy, social science or other science, or the liberal arts with relevant experience in communications. Knowledge of education research, social science, or science in general, and experience in using or examining data, is a plus.  

Other desired qualifications include:

  • At least three years’ relevant experience in communications, journalism, or marketing.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong experience with journalistic writing, a demonstrated news sense, and knowledge of AP style.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate complex policy or research content into digestible, accessible communication for lay audiences.
  • Experience writing news stories, news releases, web summaries, and marketing content.
  • Demonstrated experience with online communication channels and digital media, and strong understanding of their complementary role in larger, comprehensive communications planning.
  • Experience developing content for webpages and social media and managing an organization’s presence on the web and social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube).  
  • Knowledge of web content management systems; a basic understanding of HTML; and a working knowledge of user experience, search engine optimization, and website best practices.
  • Familiarity with Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and/or similar tools for managing and analyzing digital communications.
  • Experience with communication, marketing, and list-building tools, such as Cision and Leadership Directories. Experience building outreach lists and marketing events to diverse audiences.
  • Experience live-tweeting events.
  • Experience in basic graphic design, video editing, and photography.
  • Experience preparing materials and organizing logistics for media/public events.
  • Experience working with vendors in the production of communications pieces and dissemination of news and information.
  • Excellent collaboration skills, particularly in soliciting and incorporating critique and feedback from multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others as well as independently.
  • Detail oriented, excellent judgment, and highly organized work style.


Please submit your resume, cover letter, and three relevant writing samples to Human Resources, Attention: Communications Director, at Include Communications Associate in the email subject line. Applications will be reviewed and telephone interviews will be conducted with selected candidates before finalists are invited for on-site interviews. Salary and benefits are commensurate with experience and background. AERA has an excellent benefits program and a competitive salary structure.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The American Educational Research Association provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

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