Megan Diamondstein currently works as the Acting Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications & Digital Director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global legal advocacy organization committed to the advancement of sexual and reprpductive health and rights. In these roles, Megan develops digital engagement strategies and original content aimed at increasing awareness, inspiring mobilization, and bolstering donations across the Center's various channels–- social media, email, web, and video. In addition, Megan has been an adjunct Instructor with the MS in Professional Writing (MSPW), teaching the Directed Study/Internship and the core course Writing for Digital Space.
Q: Describe your current role and your daily professional tasks and responsibilities.
In my role I've helped develop and execute creative campaigns for three U.S. Supreme Court cases, educating audiences about the grave impact of abortion bans across the country. And because the Center is a global organization, I have also had the privilege of working with teams in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, amplifying the major stories out of each of those regions.
Q: What made you realize that writing was something you wanted to pursue professionally?
I think that to some extent, I've always known it. What I didn't know is the form and shape it would take. In grade school, I have a distinct memory of declaring that I'd someday be a poet (spoiler alert: I'm a terrible poet). In high school, I dabbled on my school's newspaper and loved arts criticism. In college, I studied playwriting and short story writing. It wasn't until much later that I realized how much I enjoyed using writing to bring awareness to the social issues about which I cared deeply. I'd spent years creating content on blogs and social media for brands and publishers, but came to realize I wanted to effect change --even if it was in small ways at first–- with my work.
Q: Talk about a mentor, book, or experience that helped shape who you are as a writing professional.
In many ways, the 2016 Presidential election proved to be a significant turning point for me. At the time, I was working at a branding and creative agency, working on incredible, cutting edge brands. But I found myself deeply concerned about the ways in which newly elected officials were threatening to roll back fundamental human rights. One day, I had a conversation with my mother where, after listening to my professional doubts, she encouraged me to pivot in a direction that I would eventually pursue-– the non-profit space. I'll never forget that.
Q: In your role and industry, how important is collaboration? With whom do you collaborate?
The Center for Reproductive Rights is part of a much larger global movement, made up of reproductive health, justice, and rights advocates, attorneys, providers, experts and volunteers. Collaboration is foundational to our work. We aim to move forward, together, and advance human rights, for everyone, no matter where they are or who they are. In my time at the Center, it's been essential for me to build strong working relationships with program and advocacy teams based around the world. This has made it possible to develop impactful digital strategies which accomplish the organization and broader movement’s strategic objectives and globally inclusive values.
Q) What do you look for in assessing potential new hires?
It's important to understand how a potential new hire engages with others, whether they are working with fellow team members or approaching potential story subjects. Creating space for others to share or shape a story helps get to a piece of creative that centers those most impacted, and can truly inspire. At the end of the day, this approach to collaboration is absolutely crucial to the development of thoughtful, responsible, and engaging content.
Q) Is there anything else you would like to share?
I'm also always eager to work with individuals who have a proven curiosity about matters that may be outside their skillset or lived experience. In terms of skill set, it's critical to constantly want to try new things, to test and learn how a different channel, platform or type of multimedia can garner a response.
Thank you to Megan Diamondstein for sharing her professional writing journey with us.
To learn more about the MS in Professional Writing program at NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu/mspw