Director-Public Affairs is responsible for developing and implementing a proactive media relations strategy and program to support APTA’s mission to advance the industry and build stronger support for public transportation at the national, regional, and local levels.

The Director-Public Affairs reports to the Vice President-Communications & Marketing and works closely with members of APTA’s Communications and Marketing and Government Affairs and Advocacy Departments to advance these goals.


Specific duties and responsibilities may include but are not limited to the following:

Media relations:

  • Develops and maintains excellent working relationships with the media; develops story ideas that tie public transportation to key issues and pitches these to appropriate media outlets; responds to media inquiries; writes press releases and statements as appropriate; sets up press events; and sets up meetings with editorial boards.
  • Counsels and advises senior leadership, including the APTA President and CEO, in preparation for and during media interviews (print, radio, television). Writes background preparatory materials as needed before media interviews.
  • Serves as the national media contact for APTA member public information officers (PIOs). Counsels PIOs regarding media interviews and strategy. Through PIO contacts, researches information needed for national pitches and/or for national reporter requests. Includes members in national stories and connects reporters to appropriate PIOs, serving as a booker for APTA members.
  • Builds strong, connected PIO community. Organizes the PIO media educational for the Marketing and Communications Workshop. Oversees the development of these sessions (picks topics, finds panelists) and the preparation for these sessions (includes rehearsals).
  • Organizes and schedules media training sessions for APTA President and CEO as needed. Helps other APTA programs find media trainers for their meetings.
  • Develops and initiates media activities for a variety of association meetings, including the TRANSform annual meeting, EXPO, Legislative Conference, Mobility Conference, and Rail Conference. Supervises media agency for EXPO press.
  • Undertakes special communications projects as assigned by the Vice President- Communications and Marketing.

Advocacy Communications:

  • Supports grassroots activities tied to our messaging campaigns
  • Serves as spokesperson for APTA activities tied to the RCA program
  • Writes releases and advisories for RCA related activities
  • Creates paid content pieces to support our reports and studies as needed, including disseminating created videos through non-traditional channels
  • Manages grassroots “Voices for Public Transit” campaign including
    • Approving mass mailings to the community
    • Overseeing consultants on growth of the community
    • Suggesting target areas for advertising to impact important votes
    • Creates, approves, and revises social media content under the VPT banner
    • Coordinates with local systems to deploy information to VPT supporters in their area about local ballot initiatives

Social Media:

  • Day-to-day management of @APTA_Transit Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Finds news stories that create conversation and engage the followers while sharing content from members to our larger audience
  • Shares content that supports our Hill activities and expands our following
  • Disseminates positive media throughout channels on a regular basis


  • Satisfaction of members with the association’s media relations activities
  • Success of media relations activities
  • Extent to which positive relationships with the media are built and maintained
  • Demonstration of initiative and creativity in implementation of the activities
  • Satisfaction of APTA members with advocacy communications program activities
  • Extent of active, positive collaboration with APTA staff and particularly with communications and marketing and government affairs staff
  • Adequacy and effectiveness of program strategy, message development and implementation


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, business, or related field (advanced degree preferred)
  • Minimum of seven to 10 years of experience in a media relations role, holding progressively responsible positions in marketing and communications for nonprofit, corporate, and/or agency organizations
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills and the credibility and poise to present to a wide range of stakeholders both internally and externally
  • Proven success at developing and implementing digital marketing and social media strategies to enhance visibility, engagement, and loyalty
  • Experience building, leading, and mentoring a team of marketing and communications professionals
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate team members and colleagues
  • Presence and confidence to project credibility to staff, senior leaders, Board of Directors, media, and stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task, handle pressure, meet deadlines and work independently
  • Must be able to travel to conferences and meetings as needed


The physical demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Performance of duties requires the use of hands and fingers to handle or feel. The job frequently requires the ability to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Specific vision abilities required include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

APTA values the safety of our employees and in support of these values, if you are selected for this job, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, except when vaccination is not medically advised or violates your sincerely held religious beliefs. If you are invited to join our team, you must submit proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or you must request an exemption from the APTA HR Office. New employees must either provide proof of vaccination or be granted a medical or religious exemption before working for APTA.

Persons interested in applying for this position should submit their cover letter and resume to the Vice President-Human Resources & Administration via email at

APTA provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws.

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