The primary purpose of this position is to share the Thomas More University story and elevate the institution’s reputation through strategic communications. The person in this role is responsible for helping to advance the University’s mission through integrated public relations and communications, including but not limited to press releases, executive communications, website and digital content, print publications, crisis communications, and feature writing. As such, s/he is tasked with the planning, development and implementation of all of Thomas More University’s communications and public relations activities. S/he also writes, edits, and manages the production of the University magazine, Moreover, which is distributed twice annually. S/he also directs the efforts of all direct reports, collaborates as an engaged member of the Institutional Advancement team, and can assist the strategic and tactical activities of other areas of the University as related to marketing, communications, and branding activities for, first, the Office of the President and IA, then, Admissions, and other departments as time allows. S/he also manages two employees: Director of Creative Services and Digital Communications Manager.
- Excellent written, oral communications, and listening skills.
- Knowledge of marketing/communications functions including: public and media relations, social media strategies, and advertising /publications.
- Strong creative, strategic, analytical, organizational and personal skills.
- Demonstrated success in writing press releases, feature articles, and working closely with the media, planning press conferences.
- Experience overseeing the design and production of print materials and publications.
- Commitment to working with shared leadership and in cross-functional teams.
- Computer literacy in Microsoft Office programs, CISION and ASANA.
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects at a time.
- Demonstrated strong decision-making skills, self-assurance, and emotional intelligence.
- Demonstrated proficiency in AP Style writ
- Beginner knowledge of InDesign and Photoshop a plus.
Principal Duties & Responsibilities
- Create, implement, and measure the success of an integrated PR and communications strategy to enhance the University’s image and brand position within the marketplace. This includes publications, brochures, web site content, social media content, external print materials, and media relations.
- Assist the VP for IA regarding marketing and brand strategy; assist with advertising budget and places ads as needed.
- Serve as the Chief Strategist, Writer, and Editor of Moreover, the University’s alumni magazine. Work closely with the Director of Creative Services on art direction and assign all stories. Coordinate the mailing and distribution of the publication.
- Serve as media spokesperson for the University. Advise and consult with the President of the University as well as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement in to controversial issues that may have public relations ramifications to the University.
- Assist the President of Thomas More University with the drafting of letters and speeches, as well as video shoots, media presentations, blogs, and web/social media content.
- Serve on the University’s Crisis Management Team and handle crisis communication duties during a potential emergency situation.
- Write and distribute the Insider on a weekly basis to Thomas More faculty and staff.
- Leverage University/student/faculty success and news across media outlets.
- Assist Institutional Advancement with fundraising campaigns.
- Approve proofs for signage and other branding projects on the University campus.
- Write and disseminate press releases.
- Develop short- and long-term plans and budgets for communications and public relations programs and activities. Track progress of plans and budget expenditures.
- Ensure that evaluation systems are in place related to these goals and objectives and report progress to the Vice President for Institutional Advancement.
- Coordinate photo shoots and hire freelance photographers and videographers to capture important events and campus imagery to be used for various marketing materials including: the web site, the University alumni magazine, recruitment materials, development materials, athletic materials, academic materials, etc.
- Support the management of the University’s website, including creation of a brand strategy as well as content writing, photo and video branding, and general editing to ensure cohesive brand identity and voice.
- Oversee and manage a budget for the communications team relating to PR, social media, photography, printing, etc.
- Attend University and external events as needed on behalf of the University
- Serve as chief editor for communications created by IA to ensure AP Style is upheld
Education, Specialized and/or Technical Knowledge Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, public relations, communications, or related field required.
Minimum of 5 years experience in marketing, communications or public relations with increasing responsibilities, including direct management of staff, and demonstrated track record of success.