Communications Specialist

SD Soybean Research & Promotion Council/SD Soybean Association - Sioux Falls, SD


To apply: All candidates must apply online through the State of South Dakota's Career Space. Please submit your cover letter, resume and writing sample on the State's website.

This position serves as the developer/manager of all communications for the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (SDSRPC) and for the South Dakota Soybean Association (SDSA).

SDSRPC is responsible for administering the federally legislated, soybean checkoff program at the state (South Dakota) level. SDSRPC's mission is "to enhance opportunities for South Dakota soybean farmers by investing checkoff dollars into marketing, research, education and promotional initiatives".

SDSA is the sister organization to the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. Because checkoff dollars cannot be used for lobbying, SDSA is the advocacy and policy organization for South Dakota soybean farmers. SDSA is a voluntary membership organization, primarily farmers, who pay membership dues to belong. SDSA's mission is "to improve the competitiveness and profitability for South Dakota soybean farmers through policy and education".

The Communications Specialist manages all aspects of SDSRPC and SDSA communications and delivers the message of Board activities and policies to the public, media, legislators and industry leaders on the local, state, national and international levels. The Communications Specialist also serves as Editor of the "Generation Soy Blog", "Generation Soy Notes" newsletter and "South Dakota Soybean Leader" magazine and is under the direction of the Executive Director.

Duties include:

Manage, develop and implement an aggressive, proactive communications program;

  • work with the Communications Committee to develop and manage an annual communications program and budget;
  • develop and maintain a list of communications contacts and materials;
  • serve as SD Soybean photographer/historian and develop/maintain historical photo files;
  • conduct interviews with industry leaders Board members and staff;
  • strategically employ earned media and broadcast programs (news releases, press conferences, media packets, radio, television and any other means of communication);
  • use media monitoring services, catalog all relevant news and create publicity value for each relevant piece;
  • develop biography files for Board and Staff members;
  • coordinate promotion of SDSA annual conference and trade show (Ag Outlook);
  • provide communications outreach through social networks including but not limited to Facebook, Twitter and other current and future social media venues;
  • provide communications support to achieve policy objectives;
  • place all ad buys;
  • anticipate and respond to issues rapidly;
  • attend local and national industry related meetings as directed by the Executive Director on behalf of the organizations;
  • establish relationships with national communication agencies and "Qualified State Soybean Board's" communication staff;
  • develop radio ad scripts, magazine and newspaper print material;
  • coordinate media interviews for SDSA, SDSRPC Board members and staff;
  • compose correspondence for SDSA and SDSRPC Board members and staff;
  • fulfill other tasks appointed by the Board or assigned by the Executive Director.

Develop messaging for:

  • SDSRPC and USB checkoff program priorities, successes, issues and initiatives working with partner communications departments when possible;
  • SDSA and SDSRPC and publications (newsletters and/or magazines);
  • SDSRPC and SDSA website;
  • SDSA and SDSRPC speeches, public statements, letters and talking points for leadership and staff;
  • SDSRPC and SDSA annual reports, including audited financial information as legally required;
  • SDSA membership materials, brochures and handouts;
  • SDSA's and ASA's promotion of State and National Resolutions and legislative successes, issues and initiatives.

A valid driver's license and vehicle are required; and willing to furnish own vehicle for reimbursement of expenses at established rate in South Dakota.

Incumbent should be available to work evenings and weekends when necessary and to travel domestically and internationally.

Please attach a cover letter/resume/and writing samples-documents to your application.

The Ideal Candidate Will Have:

A bachelor's degree and work experience in journalism, communication, marketing or public relations is preferred. Applicants who are highly motivated, organized, accurate and detail oriented with strong communication skills are desirable.

Knowledge of:

  • agriculture with an emphasis on soybeans is a plus.
  • accounting principles from the standpoint of developing and implementing cost analysis for
  • publications;
  • working with computers, office suites and design software.

Skill to:

  • plan, organize, direct and coordinate communications program activities;
  • excellent writing and editing skills, photography skills, public relations skills, with evidence of ability to work and communicate with people to ensure effective internal and external relationships;
  • skilled to create electronic newsletters and maintain distribution lists.

Ability to:

  • demonstrated ability to simultaneously manage multiple projects and programs;
  • ability to effectively multi-task and prioritize;
  • establish and maintain strong relationships with reporters and journalists.

Job Type: Full-time


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off