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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.
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We have an outstanding opportunity for a Director of Strategic & Crisis Communications.
The Director of Strategic & Crisis Communications in the Division of Campus Community Safety develops, coordinates and executes strategic communications and public affairs efforts designed to promote campus community safety initiatives, and coordinates and executes crisis communications, specifically the UW Alert system, in collaboration with UW and external partners.
The Director of Strategic & Crisis Communications must be well organized and be able to prioritize and manage multiple projects at the same time. The Director will be an expert communicator with excellent judgment, strategic planning experience in communications and public relations, as well as technical skills including writing, editing, proofreading, and facility with both web editing and social media. They must possess an understanding of how to create messages and strategies that best utilize those tools to advance UW safety goals. A vital part of the role is building partnerships with University and unit leaders, communicators and subject matter experts in order to work in a collaborative manner to support unit and University goals. They will need to be flexible for responding to crisis situations by convening with public safety responders, University leadership and campus communicators for effective communications to campus populations when circumstances demand.
Key Competencies for this position include:
Effective communications: Expresses oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication, i.e., verbal and written, one-on-one and group, etc.
Interpersonal Awareness: Builds and maintains positive relationships and actively contributes as a member of working teams to achieve results.
Professional Credibility: Takes responsibility for meeting goals, objectives, obligations, and solving problems while representing the mission, vision and values of the organization.
Critical Thinking: Obtains, analyzes and evaluates information effectively in the face of ambiguity. Makes appropriate decisions based on relevant information and experience.
Ethics and Trust: Models and upholds the values of candor, openness, inclusiveness and honesty despite internal and external pressures. Acts consistently with Washington State ethical guidelines and organizational core values and beliefs. Valuing Diversity & Inclusiveness: Respects, values and contributes to the UW’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
The new Division of Campus Community Safety unifies front-line public safety units across the University for a holistic approach to campus community safety, innovation in approaches, and clarity in leadership responsibility and accountability. Key units include UW Emergency Management, SafeCampus and the Seattle campus UW Police Department. Division staff work daily in partnership with units across and outside the UW system to both create safer, welcoming campus environments; prepare for potential natural or human-made disasters; and respond appropriately to incidents.
Duties & Responsibilities
Strategic Communications and Planning
Design, implement and manage integrated strategic communications and public affairs efforts for a new UW Division of Campus Community Safety, its constituent units. Use experience, professional judgment and relationships with University partners and stakeholders to identify, plan for, and advise on decisions related to controversial, sensitive and/or time-sensitive issues, including developing communications plans and messaging to proactively address these issues. Strategize, develop and execute web-based and social media communications for the Division and its units.
Administer, coordinate and enhance the UW's Crisis Communications Team, a multi-unit, cross-campus group responsible for disseminating urgent emergency communications to the UW’s students, faculty and staff. These responsibilities can include but are not limited to: raising awareness about the UW Alert system and increasing enrollment; convening the team and playing a key role during crises to draft and send UW Alerts and UW Advisory messages; researching and developing tools and platforms to support the team’s work, and training new members on these tools; and support efforts in developing and communicating innovation efforts related to the campus environment, interventions and safety standards.
Enhance partner relationships and tri-campus/public understanding of the UW’s community safety initiatives in support of its public mission and in support of public higher education overall.
Collaborate with University Marketing & Communications, including UW News, and other University partners to promote outreach efforts and initiatives to key UW audiences and stakeholders.
Collaborate with the Office of Minority Affairs and Diversity, the president’s Race and Equity Initiative and other University partners to ensure that the Division’s communications and public affairs practices reflect the UW’s commitment to equity and inclusion.
Collaborate with UW News on identifying and pursuing media opportunities for relevant initiatives, efforts and stories.
Content Development and Management
Identify, develop, write and edit messages, messaging frameworks and related web content, social content and news content for University websites and social channels.
Provide expert public affairs counsel and media training to Division of Campus Community Safety leadership and units.
•Bachelor's degree, preferably in Public Relations, Journalism, Communications or related field and four years of experience in media relations, marketing, communications or related field OR a combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills have been acquired. •Experience developing integrated strategic communications plans that advance public affairs, public policy and/or fundraising goals and objectives. •Strong familiarity with modern communications and messaging philosophies, practices and tools. •Experience with public affairs issues and crisis communications planning and response strategies. •Ability to be flexible, meet deadlines and work independently and in a team environment. •Demonstrated organizational proficiency and ability to prioritize work. •Demonstrated results working with media outlets to achieve coverage and desired messaging. •Proven experience researching, interviewing, writing, and editing materials with varying lengths/styles for varying audiences. Skill in writing concise, logical, and grammatically correct analytical or narrative reports. •Familiarity with AP Style. •Demonstrated computer skills with both PC and Mac platforms, creative data presentation (charts, graphics), and proficiency in content management systems (e.g., Word Press), Microsoft Office. •Self-motivated, proactive, adaptable, quick learner with keen attention to detail; able to work at high standards in a dynamic environment.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
•Experience working in an academic environment.
•Office environment, with hybrid in-person/remote schedule available. •While it does not happen often, this position is expected to be available after-hours for urgent media calls (except on scheduled time off and sick days).
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.
In addition to submitting a CV/resume, you will be asked to submit a cover letter as well as your response (in a separate “Cover Letter Assessment”) to the following (limited to 7900 characters):
We would like to know more about your experience with diversity, race and equity, and social justice. Please tell us about your experience engaging and working with diverse communities – particularly in the context of your professional, volunteer, or civic work. Please also address efforts you have made or been involved with to foster diversity competence and understanding.
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 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.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.
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