Background on LBCA and Job Description
The Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance Inc. (LBCA) has transitioned from being a small, all volunteer-led, fiscally sponsored project to a high-impact, independent charitable organization with a small but mighty team. LBCA focuses on advocacy and desperately needed funding for invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) cancer research and attaining a vision of a world in which lobular breast cancer is eradicated permanently. Communication and outreach activity is core to the LBCA mission and vision of raising awareness of invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), (also known as lobular breast cancer) and promoting more ILC research. In collaboration with the LBCA executive leadership, the Director of Communications maintains communication and outreach strategies that strengthen LBCA’s brand recognition and support the mission and LBCA fundraising efforts.
Below is information about lobular breast cancer and LBCA. The specifics about the Communications Director role follow.
BACKGROUND ON LOBULAR BREAST CANCER AND LBCA
ILC – the troubling, understudied breast cancer type
Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) or “Lobular Breast Cancer” is 15% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the US each year (about 44,000 annually). It is the second most common breast cancer type and is a more common cancer in women than ovarian cancer. Until 2015, ILC was not typically thought to be different from the more common invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), particularly among treating clinicians. Many individuals with this breast cancer subtype were not necessarily told about it because there are not yet any different treatments for ILC. Many recent studies have demonstrated that ILC has some distinct biological characteristics that require much more study to be better understood and for which specific, targeted treatments are needed.
- ILC is referred to as the “sneaky breast cancer” because the tumors typically do not form as lumps making them extremely hard to detect through routine screening mammograms, and as a result a disproportionate number of lobular tumors are not found until they are larger, are at later stages or in some cases, have already metastasized. It is also harder to surgically find and remove all of the tumor cells. More than one lumpectomy is often needed to do so; .
- ILC can metastasize to different organs from those where IDCs tumors metastasize, and
- There is evidence ILC will recur much later than IDC in some cases, though it is not clear yet why and no one can predict which cases. Some studies have suggested a poorer long-term prognosis for individuals diagnosed with ILC.
Despite these specific differences, and the fact that clinicians are acknowledging them and the need for ILC-specific, targeted treatments to be developed, there are still none. Lobular breast cancer treatment protocols are the same as those for ductal breast cancer. There has been very little direct study of lobular breast cancer and there has not yet been a clinical trial in this country dedicated to metastatic lobular breast cancer.
The Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA)
LBCA engages patients, clinicians, and researchers to increase knowledge of lobular breast disease and promote lobular breast cancer research. Working with the guidance of an international, expert scientific advisory board of breast cancer researchers and clinicians, and through growing collaborations with other breast cancer advocacy organizations in the US and internationally, LBCA provides a platform for ILC research, maintains a library of current lobular breast cancer studies, and identifies clinical trials and research advocacy opportunities with a focus on lobular breast disease. Educational materials include documents for patients translated into 15 languages, and a growing library of video recordings of educational webinars about ILC, research findings and patient advocacy.
LBCA provides and disseminates widely, basic, current educational information about ILC including early stage and metastatic lobular breast cancer, to enhance understanding about how lobular is different from other breast cancer subtypes, and to share any new knowledge gleaned from recent research. LBCA aims to empower patients to be more informed partners in their self-care and treatment and help clinicians to be more informed and confident in the treatment plans they promote. LBCA also fosters dialogue among clinicians and researchers to address challenges of detecting and treating ILC, discuss groundbreaking findings, and identify new ILC research priorities and opportunities for collaboration.
Until 2020 LBCA was all volunteer run. LBCA incorporated and began operating as 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity in January 2022. LBCA now has a small, paid staff from around the country who work remotely, and a growing number of volunteers who are patients with ILC or their loved ones who work with LBCA on new initiatives and on increasing advocacy for spreading the word about ILC and promoting more research. LBCA has a current 6-person board of directors. For the past couple of years LBCA has raised sufficient funds to be able to provide ILC research grants ILC investigators and aims to sustain this activity.
LBCA has over 5,500 subscribers to the monthly e-newsletter, and new subscribers and volunteers are signing up every day from all over the US and the world. In addition to its comprehensive website, LBCA maintains two Facebook pages, a twitter account, a LinkedIn account, and an Instagram account. LBCA’s staff all work from their own homes and meetings are virtual.
LBCA Mission and Vision
As the only organization in the US dedicated to Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer (ILC), LBCA’s mission is:
to make all who are touched by ILC aware of its unique characteristics and the critical need for more ILC research, to be the go-to source for information on ILC studies, clinical trials and educational tools, to foster partnerships among patients, scientists, clinicians and breast cancer organizations to increase dialogue about ILC and research advocacy, and to fund vital ILC research.
LBCA’s Vision is: a world in which lobular breast cancer is found early, treated effectively, and eradicated permanently.
Director of Communications Job Description
The Director of Communications is responsible for making sure that all of LBCA’s communications tools and platforms consistently and clearly articulate LBCA’s message and goals and conform with appropriate standards. The Director continually strives to sustain LBCA’s reputation as a reliable source of consistent and accurate information about lobular breast cancer by providing leadership and direction for all aspects of LBCA’s communication outreach and marketing activities and products. This includes communication strategy, brand management, digital marketing, media and public relations, by guiding those learning to and/or conducting LBCA communications advocacy efforts, and by implementing (and annually revising) the LBCA communications plan. The Director oversees production of the monthly e-newsletter and maintains and updates the LBCA website and calendar of events, and assists with the production of online webinars, interviews with ILC researchers and breast cancer conference attendees, and with the production of the annual report. The Communications Director assists the ED with leading a volunteer outreach committee and oversees LBCA’s communications and marketing interns.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Communications Plan Implementation, Oversight, Annual Review/Revision
- Implement LBCA’s strategic communications plan and annually review and revise the Communications Plan as part of LBCA’s annual strategic planning process.
- Collaborate with the ED, COO, and Development staff regarding content to be generated for LBCA’s varied platforms per the communications plan, and guide the creation of content to ensure its quality and conformance with any standards related to the platform(s)/audiences it is intended for.
- Create and disseminate communication outreach materials and social media posts pursuant to the communications plan and as the calendar of important dates, such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, National Cancer Research Month, Volunteer Month and Metastatic Breast Cancer Day warrant.
- Manage the development and revision of LBCA print and electronic collateral material, including the annual report and annual impact report for donors, monthly e-newsletter, brochures, handouts, etc.
- Responsible for overall management and monitoring of the LBCA website. This includes content creation, troubleshooting, and redesigning as needed. Work with SEO consultant and designer as necessary.
- Assist with the recording and editing of zoom interviews and webinars and with the creation of print and video “ILC stories” submitted by individuals with ILC for website posting.
- Oversee LBCA’s social media (i.e., Facebook, LinkedIN, Instagram, and X), to make sure social media posts are timely and on message.
- Review outgoing communications from all organizational leads, as needed or requested, to make sure they are consistent with LBCA message and goals.
- Assist ED with outreach to other organizations with which the organization wishes to form alliances.
- Collaborate with LBCA’s partner organizations to help ensure that materials developed collaboratively and/or that will be disseminated through partner organizations is accurate consistent and consistent with LBCA message and goals.
- Develop and maintain a list of key press contacts and oversee LBCA’s media outreach.
- Work with LBCA leadership to develop and manage annual communications budget and determine strategic use for subscriptions such as public relations databases LBCA may employ, like MuckRack.
- Oversight of Volunteer Communication Advocates/Interns
- In collaboration with the LBCA ED and COO, develop and implement a strategy to recruit and engage volunteer advocates and interns to support LBCA’s Communications and Marketing initiatives.
- Manage the Outreach Committee volunteers and Communications Interns.
- Development and Implementation of Communications Outreach Training
- Develop a curriculum and training process to support volunteers interested in improving their public speaking and/or interviewing and advocacy communications skills to enable them to become better LBCA representatives.
- Assist with the implementation of formal training processes periodically and periodic 1:1 coaching of LBCA volunteer communication advocates or volunteers interested in improving their ability to represent LBCA and spread the word about ILC.
- Bachelor’s degree in communications or marketing.
- At least 7 years in marketing and communications, particularly in the social services/health care field. Experience working in nonprofit firm with an advocacy and/or cancer patient focus or preferred.
- Experience in developing and implementing comprehensive marketing and communications plans required.
- At least 5 years’ experience with social media efforts and strategy within an organization required.
- Experience working with patient/former patient advocacy groups preferred.
- Creative thinking, analytic and problem-solving skills, with excellent attention to detail, ability to multi-task and excellent writing skills required.
- Must have experience team-building and communicating effectively in complex environments.
- Hands-on approach and a willingness to implement ideas as well as plan required.
- Experience with web design, email marketing, and design software systems required. Experience with Mailchimp, WordPress, Canva and video editing tools a plus.
- Excellent written communication, research and interpersonal skills required.
- Must be detail oriented with the ability to manage several projects simultaneously.
- Ability to work independently and as part of a team required. Previous experience supervising staff preferred.
- Interest in and commitment to LBCA’s mission required.
The salary is $43,680 for 20 hours/week. Holiday, vacation, and sick leave policies prorated based on part time schedule.
Interested candidates should submit resume and cover letter to Laurie Hutcheson at firstname.lastname@example.org.