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One of the largest and most comprehensive humanities centers in the United States, the Walter Chapin Simpson Center for the Humanities is dedicated to fostering innovative crossdisciplinary research and teaching in the humanities and humanistic social sciences and to stimulating exchange and debate on issues of cultural and intellectual significance. The Simpson Center administers a budget of $1,500,000 and works with a wide range of academic departments and units at the University of Washington as well as with cultural organizations, institutions of higher education, and granting agencies and foundations in the greater Seattle area, across the country, and around the globe. Each year, the Center supports a wide variety of events—conferences, visiting speakers, workshops, symposia, lecture series—which require print and digital promotional materials and publicity planning. A central goal of the Center’s communications plan is to affirm the value of the humanities, using many forms of media to reach audiences within and beyond the academy, by sharing stories of the high-impact research undertaken by our faculty and students.
The Communications Manager is responsible for creating and managing the Simpson Center’s multiple public interfaces in the form of digital and print-based communications. The position creates and implements the Center’s communication plan; oversees the development, production, and delivery of all online content and promotional and publicity materials; develops media contacts inside and beyond the UW; and creates, edits, and adapts Center messaging as appropriate for placement across multiple media platforms. Through communications vehicles such as the Center’s website, emails, social media channels, newsletters, annual reports, fact sheets, and flyers, the Communications Manager represents both the Center and the UW to other institutions and to the broader public and pitches stories ideas as relevant to local and national media outlets. This position serves a cross-departmental coordinating function by collaborating with faculty and graduate students on publicity for their projects, as well as the College of Arts & Sciences Marketing and Communications team in order to ensure that the Simpson Center’s communications align with UW’s best practices. The Communications Manager also hires and manages freelance photographers, videographers, graphic designers and web developers for Center-initiated digital media projects and provides miscellaneous administrative support to the Director and Assistant Director on special initiatives and ad hoc projects.
With regard to digital communications, this position develops and maintains the Simpson Center’s online presence via its website, events calendar, weekly and quarterly emails, Facebook and Twitter accounts (synthesizing across all of the Center’s e-communication outlets to support the objectives of the Center’s communication plan), and other new and/or emerging digital technologies as they become applicable. The Communications Manager is responsible for the continual development of its website, built on a Drupal content management system, with the possibility of web build phases that expand and enhance its online presence across a variety of platforms, channels, or outlets. The position also oversees the collection and assessment of analytics for Simpson Center website, email, and social media and adjusts communication strategies accordingly.
This position reports to and will receive assignments and direction from the Director and Assistant Director. This position hires and oversees freelance creatives. The position also works with the College of Arts & Sciences web and marketing staff.
RESPONSIBILITIES: Digital and Print Communications
Create and implement the Center’s communication plan, including development and production of digital communications, print publicity, and other promotional materials supporting many programs and events each year, including courses, lectures, meetings, and conferences.
Hold primary responsibility for developing and editing content (news articles, publicity copy) for multiple media presentations and platforms.
Compose both long form and brief content for the Simpson Center website on the work of UW faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars, as well as high profile Simpson Center initiatives and programs.
Solicit, edit, and manage content from faculty, staff, and grad students for the website
Coordinate and oversee production of materials with graphic designers, presses, web developers, photographers, and videographers; set and manage production schedules and publicity budgets.
Collect and create narratives and other types of documentation of Simpson Center activities for reports, online feature stories, and media pitches.
Develop media and public relations contacts, both regionally (UW, KUOW, KEXP, the Stranger, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly) and nationally (Consortium of Humanities Centers & Institutes, Chronicle of Higher Education, Imagining America). Place content in these and other outlets and, when appropriate, connect UW faculty and graduate students to media contacts directly.
Oversee the planning for and creation of podcasts, video, or photographic record of events; disseminate and share audio and video content across digital channels and tools (social media, email, website).
Oversee the management of the Simpson Center’s photo database.
Oversee the compilation, editing, creation, and dissemination of mass emails to academic and community audiences locally, nationally, and internationally.
Oversee the Center’s social media activity:
Oversee the Center’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts, updating daily to broadcast upcoming events and other news.
Oversee Simpson Center’s YouTube, Flickr, and Medium accounts – update and manage digital media and related content as needed.
Maintain documentary archives, digital and print-based, for Simpson Center activities.
Simpson Center website
General website management: Ensure that the hardware and software needed to support the Center’s website are operating accurately, generate and revise web pages, place content, reply to user comments, and examine traffic through the site.
Create, develop, manage, and maintain content for the Simpson Center website.
Create and maintain web pages for Simpson Center sponsored projects.
Locate or create original images and graphics to ensure that the website is visually dynamic and current.
Ensure that electronic content is archived and accessible.
Track web usage/web analytics (report quarterly).
Hire web developers and act as project manager on web development projects.
Serve as Simpson Center liaison to College of Arts & Science marketing staff.
Personnel, Operations, and Miscellaneous Administrative Support
Delegate tasks to hourly student assistants
Work closely with the Center’s Administrative Assistant on the management of the web calendar; submissions are reviewed, edited, and added daily.
Work closely with Center’s Program & Event Manager on institutional- and project-specific event publicity
Represent the Simpson Center on campus committees, roundtables, and councils (UW marketing roundtable, College of Arts & Sciences Drupal users group)
Provide miscellaneous administrative support to the Director and Assistant Director as assigned.
Professional Growth: Professional development is very important to the culture of the Simpson Center and it is essential that employees seek out opportunities and activities that support their own professional growth. It is expected that the Communications Manager will stay current on emerging technologies and best practices in the field and propose and incorporate new ideas into the communication plan on an ongoing basis.
3 years of progressively responsible editorial, publications, communications, or development experience
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Experience producing and editing publicity content and materials, both print and web-based
Experience with marketing and communications
High proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and use of the Internet
High proficiency in web design, editing, and coding software—in particular, HTML, Drupal and/or other content management systems
Demonstrated competency in learning and deploying new web-based technologies
Familiarity with graphic design principles and layout programs (e.g., Adobe InDesign and Photoshop) and the ability to create and manipulate images for publicity materials
Experience with mass email clients, such as Marketo, and social media platforms
Understanding of how to track, analyze, and enhance the internal performance of a website via analytics, and to drive traffic to a website through site referrals and increased visibility within social media channels
Confidence, sensitivity, and discretion to work with faculty, students, staff, donors, and community members
Resourcefulness and problem-solving skills, including use of new technologies
Excellent organizational and planning skills, including project management
Familiarity with the university, and/or with other education and cultural organizations
Aptitude for making aesthetic judgments
Knowledge in the humanities, broadly speaking
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
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