1.Collaboratively develop and execute a communications plan that raises awareness of the College among target audiences including prospective students and parents, alumni and friends, community members, peer institutions, media representatives and others, all with a keen eye toward extending the College's brand and communicating stories that support and bolster North Central's reputation. Establish a dashboard and analytics for measuring the effectiveness of communication outreach.
2.Identify and write compelling stories that resonate with targeted audiences and project North Central College's mission and strategic priorities in timely and relevant ways. Doing so requires an ability to identify the best communication channels for distributing stories, the ability to efficiently research story details and the ability to creatively and effectively write stories that speak to respective market segments.
3.Develop and execute annual media relations plans and key messages that support the College's Strategic Plan.
4.Develop and maintain a list of College accolades to be leveraged in pursuit of regional and national exposure opportunities.
5.Regularly and effectively pitch stories to local, regional and national media (print and online) and seek opportunities for strategic op-ed placements by members of the campus community; in accordance with the College's Strategic Plan.
6.Proactively leverage College accolades with regional and national media organizations including diverse and alternative media outlets; increase the number of regional, and national media placements.
7.Supervise, manage and direct a group of communication professionals, including the writing, media relations, social media, and editorial staff, and graduate assistants to fulfill the marketing and communications goals and objectives in an efficient and effective fashion; expand social media presence to tell authentic stories in the recruitment of diverse audiences.
8.Stay current with public relations, media relations, and social media trends, issues, and opportunities, and serve as a valued resource to the assistant vice president for external affairs and special assistant to the president, and the College's Cabinet, the Office of Marketing and Communications, and the broader North Central College campus community, to understand and navigate the rapidly changing media landscape.
9.Position the College's leadership and faculty as subject matter experts/thought leaders among regional and national media, resulting in positive media placements for the College.
10.Ensure an effective, collaborative content strategy process through effective management of the writing and editorial staff, generate ideas and write stories for College publications including the alumni magazine (print and online), admission publications, the website and other marketing materials that project the College's mission.
11.Ensure the alignment and integration of College branding in all communications processes. Strategically manage and integrate the College's official social media channels with all other College messaging.
12.Cultivate and maintain relationships with media. In collaboration with the assistant vice president for external affairs, the vice president for institutional advancement, the president and other senior leaders, maintain the College's relationship with media outlets, strategically manage media inquiries, distribute pertinent information to media outlets, arrange media interviews and serve as a College spokesperson in certain media situations. Develop and maintain an expertise directory for use in promoting faculty as expert sources to media.
13.Serve as one of three tri-chairs of the College's Crisis Task Force (CTF). Establish, assess and refine crisis communication protocols within the Office of Marketing and Communications. Participate in regular institutional tabletop and other training exercises. Maintain connections with important first responder organizations and participate in joint community gatherings focused on crisis response. Conduct regular crisis communication practice exercises within OMC to ensure response preparedness. Support CTF leadership by preparing regular campus communications (faculty, staff and students) regarding crisis response protocols.
14.Coordinate and direct news and photographic coverage of campus events involving students, parents, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni.
15.Develop and maintain a communication sequence to keep the College's neighbors informed of regular and special events occurring on North Central's campus; regularly utilize the College's neighborhood Listserv for sharing relevant information accordingly.
16.Maximize the use of technology to increase communication among constituents. Maintain information resources regarding community organizations and College neighbors.
17.Maintain current and continuing knowledge of external/internal issues and trends and all College services, programs, personnel, departments, events, policies and procedures.
18.Provide editorial support and copywriting for internal and external college publications. On a relatively small staff, writing skills are essential to the success of this position.
19.Represent North Central at internal and external functions as assigned.
20.Participate in professional development activities, which further the goals and objectives of the College.
21.Perform other related duties, including research projects, as appropriately assigned.
Bachelor's degree in journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations, communications or other related field; a master's degree in a related field is highly desirable.
A minimum of five years of responsible experience in communications (journalism, public relations, social media, and content strategy) is required; higher education specific communications and media relations experience is highly desirable; previous external spokesperson experience is required; knowledge of and work with broadcast media is required; integrated marketing and communications experience highly desirable.
Licenses or Certifications:
A valid driver's license is required.
North Central College is an institution on the move in the higher education marketplace and has a dynamic story to be told. The College seeks a director of communication to join the Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC) who will—in collaboration with the vice president for institutional advancement, assistant vice president for external affairs and other directors within OMC—develop and execute a communications plan aligned with the College's Strategic Plan that raises the College's awareness among target audiences including prospective students and parents, alumni and friends, community members, peer institutions and others. The director of communication will be responsible for media and public relations while overseeing social media and written content while contributing to web and College magazine content, all with a keen eye toward extending the College's brand and communicating stories that support and bolster North Central's reputation. The director of communication will supervise the writing, social media, and editorial content staff. The individual in this role will assist the College in adapting to and developing strategies for a new and ever-changing communication world. The director of communication will serve as a tri-chair of the College's Crisis Task Force and will provide significant crisis communication leadership.
The individual in this role will develop and implement communications processes that effectively support and achieve the vision, mission, strategic imperatives and tactics of North Central College and its Strategic Plan, beginning with student enrollment and retention and the institution's Brilliant Future fund raising campaign and continuing with activities that achieve greater awareness of the College's brand and reputation. S/He will establish a media-monitoring dashboard to regularly measure the effectiveness of the College's communication placements. The director of communication will build and maintain effective relationships with members of the media as well as the College's faculty, staff, students and alumni, and community constituents.
Internal Number: 5322
About North Central College
North Central College, founded in 1861, is a selective, comprehensive liberal arts institution of 3000 students located 28 miles west of Chicago in Naperville, within walking distance of the Naperville Metra station. For information about the College, please visit the website at https://www.northcentralcollege.edu.