Writing Lead

Writing · Portland, Oregon
Department Writing
Employment Type FT Exempt
Minimum Experience Experienced


Who are we? 

Thesis is a digital agency in Portland, OR. We're hell-bent on humanizing the relationship between people and brands, which starts with our teams: real people making real work. 

Come as you are. Bring what you bring. We’ll all be better for it. 

The name is new to us, but we've been around for 18 years. In contrast to our former identity that reflected what we do, we chose the name Thesis as it better represents how we do it: a full-service agency that believes our strength is in our approach—that the work we make is only as strong as the thought—and data—we put behind it. 

That sounds intense. But make no mistake, we have a lot of fun, too. 

The Job 

We need a curious-yet-stalwart Writing Lead to help our clients (in this case, a locally-based global footwear giant) connect with their customers in meaningful and interesting ways. You'll blur the disciplinary boundaries between writing and strategy to uncover insights, understand  audiences, architect creative concepts, and develop practical-yet-inspiring story arcs that unify media. You'll transform your strong strategic thinking into words that are clear, compelling, and inspiring—avoiding jargon at all costs. 

As the dedicated lead on this account, you should care intensely about your work without conflating work ego with personal ego. Our agency's integrated teams collaborate equally and share accountability, in success and failure alike. 

You’ll work closely with the writers, supporting and reviewing projects and delivering the sharpest work we can offer. You'll also work closely with our clients, listening thoughtfully, positioning the work with confidence and care, ensuring the team has the info they need, and sustaining strong, collaborative partnerships. 

Be prepared to let the best ideas rise to the top. 

As a person, you are 

  • Driven by creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving 
  • A strong and approachable communicator (including being an active, present listener) 
  • A highly organized self-starter who can lead projects, manage and mentor teams, direct traffic, create processes, and edit—everything gets done; nothing slips past
  • Passionate about bringing a human voice to a digital space; uncovering what people care about, why they care, and how to inspire them 
  • Right- and left-brain ambidextrous, able to inspire within logical structures of information
  • A wiz at tailoring communications to specific audiences 
  • Well versed in writing short- and long-form copy with clarity, nuance, and substance 
  • Alert to the difference between opinion and research-informed solutions
  • Good at receiving and giving critical feedback in a constructive, open, and active way 
  • Skilled in English grammar, syntax, structure, etc. 
  • Allergic to lazy writing and jargon 
  • No bullshit; a lot of heart 

As a worker, you will

  • Manage and mentor a small team professionally; critique and polish your team’s work; establish and maintain your team’s growth projects; ensure their client work is the best it can be
  • Manage and mentor a small team personally; conduct one-on-ones, 90-day and annual reviews; ensure their Thesis experience is the best it can be
  • Think like a storyteller and champion Message-with-a-capital-M 
  • Inform creative strategies through a solutions-oriented narrative approach 
  • Create campaign messages, briefs, and stories that exceed our clients' goals and resonate with real people 
  • Simplify complex messages or concepts without losing nuance, meaning, substance, or humanity 
  • Write short- and long-form copy that breathes life into experiences, services, products, and brands 
  • Research unfamiliar topics to write as if you're an expert on the subject 
  • Apply the same level of care to production work as you do to conceptual brand work
  • Make informed decisions across all levels of messaging, from word choice to greater campaign strategies 
  • See typical agency constraints—mad deadlines, incomplete briefs, odd client requests—as opportunities rather than limitations 
  • Critique and polish your team's work so we show up at our best 
  • Be the authority the client knows and trusts to help them show up at their best
  • Present your work to clients and colleagues 
  • Collaborate with low ego 
  • Occasionally travel (n/a during pandemic) 
  • Nail deadlines 

As for experience, you need

  • Substantive writing portfolio demonstrating your written work for real-world clients (sport performance/sportswear brands are a bonus) 
  • 5+ years of professional and project-based writing experience, of which no fewer than three years should be within a design studio, ad agency, or creative environment
  • Experience reviewing and approving creative work, presenting projects or ideas to an audience, and interfacing with a range of client types 
  • BA in English, journalism, advertising, marketing, or related field of study (or equivalent experience) 
  • Attention to message, detail, quality, organization, and time management in a fast-paced environment 
  • Familiarity with the design process, critiques, and design thinking (AKA how your words work with design) 
  • Knowledge of Chicago Manual of Style

Above all, be hungry to learn and grow beyond this job description. 

Still with us? 

Cool! Let's talk. 

Workplace equity is not a single checkbox. 

It's a vital way of thinking, of working, and of moving through the world. At Thesis, we prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion. You'll see this in our hiring practices, growth plans, and workplace programs—because our agency, our work, and our society are better when diverse perspectives come together. 

EEO/AA Employer/Vets/Disabled/Race/Ethnicity/Sex/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity/Age

Thank You

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  • Location
    Portland, Oregon
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    FT Exempt
  • Minimum Experience