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Directs a comprehensive, innovative and progressive multichannel external communications program designed to engage and inspire key audiences. Drives strategy development and message alignment and provides sound counsel as part of a forward-thinking, creative, dynamic news, media relations, public relations and publications program in support of the mission and vision of UF Health, the University of Florida’s academic health center, including six health colleges, 10 major research centers and institutes, more than 100 faculty physician practice locations and the UF Health family of hospitals in Gainesville, Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Central Florida. Ensures synergistic communications between UF Health and its affiliates and associates, including the university campus community. Responsible for a proactive public relations program that supports the vision of the university and the health system and informs constituents of advances in health research, educational programs, patient care and community service through the deployment of leading-edge communications strategies and tools, including earned media, increasing UF Health’s visibility and enhancing its stature in measurable ways. Facilitates the exchange of information between UF Health and its various internal and external constituents, including faculty, staff, students, patients, media, alumni, donors, agencies and businesses, and government officials. Builds strong relationships with local, state and national media. Oversees media training program for faculty, management and key leadership. Plays a key role in managing and coordinating institutional response to issues and crises, proactively anticipating opportunities for advance preparation and working closely with the chief communications officer and senior leaders to guide approach. Preferred candidate is a strong, versatile writer and editor with substantial supervisory experience, a high degree of creativity, excellent interpersonal, organizational and planning skills, a commitment to supporting organizational culture, the ability to manage stressful situations with a calm and professional demeanor, knowledge of issues impacting higher education and health care, and the ability to conceptualize, develop and produce content for a variety of communications channels on behalf of the Gainesville-based external communications team. Uses data and research to inform strategies; establishes defined goals and develops metrics to track success and adjusts processes or approach as needed. Routinely reports on results to key leaders. Ensures CCO and other senior leaders are regularly informed of potential issues and communications-related activities of the team. Operates collaboratively and effectively in a fast-paced, high-intensity environment. Seeks opportunities for process improvement and implements changes as needed. The AVP reports to the chief communications officer of UF Health and works in a matrixed system, serving on the division’s leadership team to assist with strategic direction. Interfaces with additional teams devoted to communications and public affairs, strategic/internal communications, marketing, creative services, web services, advancement communications, and the marketing and communications teams of our other health campuses to ensure a coordinated and integrated approach to all aspects of communications and public relations. The AVP will at times serve as a spokesperson for UF Health, including its constituent units in Gainesville, and will establish the strategic direction for external communication initiatives in coordination with the CCO.
Responsible for enhancing UF Health’s reputation and executing comprehensive, innovative communications programs developed to inform key stakeholders of advances in health science research, educational programs, patient care and community service. Sets strategic direction for external communications that maps to institutional objectives and is rooted in evidence-based data and research. Facilitates the delivery of consistent and uniform messages in advancing the academic health center’s programs through publications, the Internet, social media and other communications vehicles. Supports and promotes the UF Health brand vision and purpose and ensures adherence to and alignment of messaging and content with existing standards. Develops metrics to measure results. Establishes a strong, proactive media relations program on local, state and national levels. Fosters strong and effective working relationships with the media. Manages and coordinates an integrated media response on behalf of the academic health center and its health colleges, centers and institutes, hospitals and faculty practices. Ensures synergistic communications between UF Health and its affiliates and associates, including the university campus community. Works collaboratively with UF Strategic Communications and Marketing to keep abreast of issues and opportunities and to coordinate media response when appropriate. Serves at times as a primary spokesperson for UF Health, including its constituent units in Gainesville. Ensures media relations and on-call staff are knowledgeable of institutional and university policies and adheres to established protocols and guidelines.
Identifies and implements leading-edge, multimedia communications approaches to tell the UF Health story in creative and compelling ways to achieve defined communications objectives. Writes, edits and distributes articles, brochures and other collateral that inform external and internal audiences of the collective accomplishments of the academic health center. Oversees and serves as executive editor of a wide variety of print and electronic materials and complex projects, including digital/multimedia, news releases, newsletters, magazines, fact sheets, brochures, annual reports, Web content and radio scripts. Maintains institutional style guide. Generates regular reports to demonstrate return on investment related to the team’s efforts; demonstrates excellent presentation and communications skills. Works closely with the team and Creative Services to coordinate photography, videography, graphic design, animation and outsourcing to freelancers to complete projects when appropriate. Coordinates production in a cost-effective manner. Maintains extensive contact with leadership, faculty members and staff. Complies with editing, review, news distribution and identity/branding policies of UF Health and the university. Adheres to deadlines and budget parameters.
Oversees public relations aspects of issues and crisis management planning, implementation and evaluation, identifying potential issues that could affect the academic health center, its clinical enterprise and its reputation. Works closely with the chief communications officer regarding proposed approach and plans. Develops related strategies and processes to address proactive plans and reactive responses as appropriate. Advises senior leaders on strategic initiatives that include a public relations component. Oversees message development to support proposed approach and ensures media standby statements are available when warranted.
Supervises a team of communicators. Provides administrative oversight for external communications, media relations and publications staff, including recruitment, onboarding and professional development, analysis of programs/services and alignment of duties. Promotes excellence; inspires and motivates staff while ensuring accountability for defined goals and objectives. Demonstrates team-building and motivational skills and the ability to work effectively in a demanding environment.
Builds collaborative working relationships with the UF Health Communications management team and teams in other divisional units. Manages quality assurance processes to ensure work products are of high quality.
Works with other UF Health Communication leaders to shape strategic direction of communications/marketing efforts and for individual campaigns.
Performs related duties as required or deemed appropriate to the responsibilities and functions of his/her area(s) and/or the division.
Required: Master's degree in an appropriate area of specialization and six years of appropriate experience; or a bachelor's degree in an appropriate area of specialization and eight years of appropriate experience.
Significant supervisory experience and the ability to effectively manage, coach, mentor and motivate others while holding them accountable for well-defined goals and deliverables within specified timelines.
Experience in higher ed and/or a health care or scientific environment; ability to understand complex information.
Significant experience guiding strategic communications efforts, including planning and implementation using multimedia, social media and other leading-edge communications tools to achieve measurable goals; experience with data tracking, analysis and problem-solving.
Track record of successfully guiding issues and crisis communications in concert with senior leadership.
Exquisite writing, editing and oral presentation skills, with the ability to conceptualize, develop and produce content for a variety of communications channels. Knowledge of communications and media trends.
Strong reputation management experience.
Strong media/press relationships and media monitoring experience.
Strong track record of successfully managing multiple projects simultaneously.
High level of diplomacy and tact; comfortable interfacing with senior-level leadership.
Demonstrated ability to prioritize and to work collaboratively and collegially with a diverse team in an energetic, fast-paced environment.
Proficient in Associated Press style, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Superior spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.
Ability to plan, organize, prioritize and coordinate work assignments independently, with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively as part of a team toward organizational objectives.
Experience in reporting and writing on medical and/or scientific or technological topics.
UF Health Communications serves the Academic Health Center at the University of Florida, its six professional colleges and a number of health-related research centers and institutes, UF Physicians – Gainesville, UF physicians – Jacksonville, and the Shands system of hospitals and programs throughout north central and northeast Florida.
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