NESSE News: Electing Director of Communications

NESSE is electing a new executive board! The NESSE Executive Board is responsible for setting out the vision and priorities of the organization, developing new projects, and working closely with our partners to help all of our members. With the NESSE Board elections coming up, we asked the current Communications Director, Anna Ivanova, about her experience in being involved with NESSE over the past year.

Apply to stand for one of the NESSE Board positions by 10th July. Voting will be open for all early-career NESSE members from 7th-14th August.

Anna Ivanova is NESSE's current Director of Communications. When she's not blogging or delegating, she plays in the snow in Boston.

Anna Ivanova is NESSE’s current Director of Communications. When she’s not blogging or delegating, she plays in the snow in Boston.

What does the role of Communications Director involve?

It’s my job to curate, edit, and publicize online content for NESSE. I’m responsible for determining what sort of content would be interesting to our members, then going out and finding people to write that content. The biggest part is the blog, but I’m also in charge of keeping the Twitter and Facebook pages active.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your involvement with NESSE?

I’ve gotten to meet a lot of really cool people! This is probably the answer most of our exec board would give, but it’s really true. Not only have I gotten to work with amazing early-career researchers around the world, but I’ve also interviewed inspirational sustainable scientists who are established in their fields. If you’ve ever wished you could reach out to big names in green science and ask them frankly about their careers, NESSE’s communications director might be the role for you!

How much time does this role take?

The Communications Director role is great because it’s extremely flexible. I generally need to put in between 2 and 10 hours a week to keep everything running smoothly, but I get to decide when to do that—a little bit in the evenings after dinner, or all at once on a Sunday afternoon, or any other time that suits me. I can also plan ahead to take a vacation by preparing blog posts in advance and scheduling automated posts on all our social media.

What are the most useful skills for a Communications Director?

Communication (obviously), but also delegation! The more time you put into recruiting writers and tweeters, the less you have to do yourself. Also, delegating has the huge benefit of bringing different perspectives to our content. Right now we have a lot of green chemistry content, but I’m trying to branch out to materials science, engineering, etc. and get writers from those disciplines so we can diversify our blog content.

Writing and editing are crucial, for obvious reasons. This role will also give you experience in managing people—it can be a challenge to stay on deadline with volunteer blog authors in different timezones around the world. That’s a skill that can be learned on the go.

Apply to stand for one of the NESSE Board positions by 10th July. Voting will be open for all early-career NESSE members from 7th-14th August.

Questions about the Communications Director role? Feel free to e-mail anna.ivanova@sustainablescientists.org.