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Job Description The Director of Communications is a key member of the Sarah Lawrence College's Office of Marketing & Communications, with primary responsibility for developing and maintaining a consistent and coordinated communications strategy both externally and internally. While leveraging public and media relations strategies and relationships, the director will play a key role in the College's efforts to increase its visibility and enhance its reputation on a local and national level. This position reports to the Assistant Vice President of Marketing & Communications and works closely with the Vice President of Advancement & External Affairs as well as college leadership. This position is located in Bronxville, NY, though at present the department is employing a hybrid work model for those interested (three days in the office, two days working remotely). The successful candidate will be a relationship builder able to develop strong internal and external partnerships, provide first-class service to various constituents, and interact at all levels of the College. Strong writing skills and verbal communication skills are imperative, as is an understanding of the best practices in communications, public/media relations, and social media.
Essential Duties Summary Duties and ResponsibilitiesPublic & Media Relations Work with departmental and college leadership, including the president, to develop a strong institutional position in the press and significantly raise the Colleges visibility in critical areas; a key goal for this position is to increase awareness and reputation of the College, specifically increasing regional and national exposure Proactively seek and earn media coverage at the local, regional, and national level through news releases, media pitches, and building and maintaining relationships with members of the media Place stories and opinion pieces in local, regional, and national media outlets; work with the president to elevate her voice in the landscape of higher education Actively pitch faculty, staff, and administrators - including the president - as experts to the media; field requests from the media for such experts; support faculty media activities including editorial assistance as requested for opinion articles and outreach to media for placement; pitch stories on exceptional students and alumni and college programs and initiatives as appropriate Write and distribute press releases to issue college news and to promote college activities, including events, and write and self-publish articles for sarahlawrence.edu and communications such as the alumni newsletter Serve as first point of contact for all media inquiries, serving as spokesperson for the College when necessary and otherwise referring inquiries to relevant college administrators, staff, or faculty for comment or expertise; provide talking points as needed for various colleagues Monitor media mentions of the College and manage the News & Events section and home page of the public website, posting press releases, writing headlines/blurbs for media mentions, and generally establishing the content strategy for these critical areas of the siteSocial Media Develop and implement social media strategy; incorporate social media into all communications plans; and partner with Creative Director to integrate social media into relevant creative projects Use analytics available on each channel, as well as third-party tools, to measure success and inform growth Partner with colleagues across campus who maintain social media presences for their program or department. Organize these satellite social presences to tighten up the Colleges social media ecosystem, supporting and partnering with high-performing social channels and recommending the sunsetting of moribund or lower-performing channelsExecutive & Internal Communications Partnering with the AVP of Marketing & Communications, support presidential communications by writing letters, speeches, newsletters, and talking points for events Learn the presidents distinctive written voice and communication style and preferences Provide writing and messaging support to senior leadership to ensure professional, consistent communication throughout the College; ensure that senior leadership and all relevant staff have consistent messaging and clear talking points in advance of any important communications to students, families, or the public that will impact their areas of operationsCrisis Management Participate in and lend expertise to crisis management efforts as needed; develop and maintain an integrated crisis response plan including talking points, media statement, FAQs, internal updates, social media response plans, etc. on a situational basis Liaise with outside experts as neededCommunity Relations Promote the image and positive presence of the College in the local community Communicate with the local community (Westchester and New York City, primarily) to inform and remind this audience of the benefits of the College to them, such as campus events
Required Qualifications Qualifications, Skills and Abilities Bachelors degree in relevant field Solid track record of progressive experience in communications, marketing, journalism, public relations, or relevant field Demonstrable writing and communication skills that reflect an understanding of writing for different media (writing samples will be requested of all candidates selected for an interview) Ability to condense complex messages into consistent, easy to understand messaging, along with the ability to vary delivery to match audiences and media, as appropriate Ability to cultivate relationships with members of the media, as well as members of the College and local communities
Requirements for Employment Effective October 15, 2021, all employees of Sarah Lawrence College must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Exceptions to this requirement will only be considered for documented medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs. Any offers of employment will be contingent on successful completion of a background check and submission of proof of vaccination.
Posting Number: S00262P Open Date: Close Date: Open Until Filled: Yes
Special Instructions to Applicants To apply for this position, please contact:Lisa Vuona, Managing Partner Boyden email@example.com
Sarah Lawrence College is an Equal Opportunity Employer and has as one of its goals the recruitment and retention of a racially and culturally diverse administration, staff and faculty. To that end, every job opening is seen as an opportunity to increase diversity and every effort will be made to expand the applicant pool in accordance with these goals.
Sarah Lawrence College is located in southern Westchester County, 25 minutes by train from midtown Manhattan, NYC. For information on Sarah Lawrence College, our curriculum, teaching methods, and philosophy of education, please see our web site at https://www.sarahlawrence.edu/.
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