Job Listings

Vice President for Communications and External Relations

Company:
Spelman College
Job Location:
Atlanta, 30314
Category:
Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs
Type:
Full-Time

Position Title

Vice President for Communications and External Relations

Position Summary

The Vice President for Communications and External Relations, a member of the President's senior leadership team, leads the College's integrated brand and communication strategy to advance the reputation of Spelman College, its mission, and strategic priorities and manages the team responsible for events. The VP serves as the chief communications officer, with responsibility for the brand and reputation across a portfolio that includes media relations, crisis & emergency communications, special events, events operations, services, and protocols, marketing communications, internal communications, executive communications and speechwriting, creative services, public relations, and digital strategy.

This position provides strategic direction, oversight, and resource development to define, protect, and enhance the College's brand position; develops and implements alternative revenue strategies; raises awareness of the College's unique attributes; and effectively engages stakeholders in support of key strategic and financial goals. The Vice President provides consultation to the president, provost, vice presidents, and other senior academic and administrative leaders to identify relevant priorities and achieve key goals. Strong analytical and research skills are essential a past history of defining competitive landscape and developing detailed plans to measure target performance.

Leading a team currently of 17 professionals, the Vice President supervises: strategic communications and marketing, digital & web strategy and accessibility, social media and creative content, editing and executive writing, creative services and graphic design, and events. The incumbent is responsible for the design and effective implementation of a communications plans to increase enrollment, charitable giving and visibility of the College as well as ensure brand standards and event protocols are executed consistently across the College.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Branding and Communications
  • Works proactively with the President to position the College and develop and disseminate through multiple means the President's key messages about the College's strengths, people, and priorities.
  • Partners across boundaries with the President and senior leaders in all divisions to define and advance the College's collective strategic communications objectives and strategies.
  • Seeks opportunities to promote Spelman and its brand in regional and national media outlets. Cultivate relationships and pitch stories to higher education editors and reporters. Manages emergent issues to protect Spelman's reputation and enhance the Spelman brand.
  • Works with academic departments and College offices to enhance the online and print pieces in accordance with established brand guidelines.
  • Leverages content development over a variety of platforms, including the worldwide web and social media, and develops a dashboard of metrics to ensure brand progress.
  • Collaborates with all areas of Institutional Advancement to develop and execute communication strategies that enhance the experience of Spelman alumnae, family, and friends through engaging, impactful, and persuasive messaging.
  • Develops and executes integrated communications strategies for the current post-campaign period, for future comprehensive fundraising campaigns, and for the annual fund.
  • Maintains a strong awareness and familiarity with public opinion on issues relating to the College and craft communications and media placements to ensure public good will towards the College and work collaboratively with leadership to set and implement an overall strategy for the College's web presence.
  • Works across College departments and use all appropriate media to create innovative campaigns and strategies that inspire engagement among key constituents with the College.
  • Monitors, updates, and establishes the creative and editorial guidelines that define the visual and voice direction for the College, while ensuring creative consistency in communications.
  • Develops and leads effective structures for cross-college marketing integration including managing councils and committees comprised of faculty, staff, students, and potentially external volunteers.
  • Supports and markets eSpelman program assisting and ensuring this program will be well advertised and ensuring its successful launch.
  • Protects the brand through effective crisis and emergency communications.
Media & Public Relations
  • Manages and disseminates information that develops, fosters, and advances effective and collaborative relationships with local, state, and national media, government and community leaders, key stakeholders, and business leaders to drive the College's brand and positively, influence perceptions, and the decisions of external partners.
  • Leads media relations outreach and provide direct oversight for the College's media relations strategy.
  • May serve as the College's official spokesperson by organizing and hosting press conferences and other related events as needed.
  • May develop and guide messaging for College officials when speaking at business, political and civic events, as well as representing the College at these events, as needed.
  • Ensures compelling, relevant, and timely content that features Spelman faculty, students, staff, and alumnae achievements and that showcases the College in new and interesting ways through various communications platforms.
  • Collaborates with the College's faculty and administrative leadership to develop and execute comprehensive and integrated communications plans and measure success against key quantitative and qualitative goals.
  • Utilizes market and internal data to set strategies and goals for assigned programs, and to monitor progress against them. Research, analyze and prepare reports and performance metrics.
Management and Leadership
  • Provides team management and senior counsel regarding effective marketing, communications and events strategies and activates the communications and events teams in support of key goals.
  • Maintains highly collaborative and effective activity with executives and peers in alumnae affairs, enrollment management, executive division-board office, government and community relations, president's office-, institutional advancement, provost and faculty council, and student affairs,
  • Provides editorial and creative support to the president and significant projects as needed.
  • Oversees development and deployment of internal communications strategies.
  • Recommends and enforces policies to ensure a clear, consistent, and powerful message.
Crisis Management
  • Leads crisis management response as needed
  • Regularly develops and updates crisis management templates and communication strategies
  • Develops and maintains the College's Crisis Management and Response plan
  • Proactively develop an integrated crisis response plan including talking points, media statement, FAQs, internal updates, social media response plans, etc.
  • Identifies proactive crisis prevention tactics through executive training and collaboration
  • Conducts crisis management trainings with key Spelman College and community members on an annual basis
  • Provides regular reporting on crisis management operations to executive leadership
Events Operations, Services and Protocols
  • Provides oversight of the team responsible for the execution of high-level, campus-wide events, and other large-scale lectures, inaugurations, and milestone events.
  • Ensures the development and dissemination of policies and protocols required for anyone who is planning a Spelman event.
  • Ensures the development and availability of event planning resources and guidance that faculty, staff and students need to plan a successful event at Spelman.
  • Oversight of alternative revenue generating strategies (e.g. conference services, space rental, etc.)

Required Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree is required. A minimum of ten years of editorial and/or project management experience required. Management of a productive and successful metrics-based marketing engine. Experience in communications, journalism, public relations, or a related field is required. Supervisory experience required with the ability to recruit, retain, high quality, diverse staff. A record of successful experience using data and metrics to drive decision-making required.

Must have demonstrated experience with higher education or high-level corporate marketing and in managing a successful web strategy and website redesign. Must possess experience in setting up and optimizing Google Adwords campaigns as well as solid knowledge of website analytics tools (in particular Google Analytics). Experience leading and managing SEO/SEM, PPC and paid search strategies. Experience working with marketing databases, CRM and automation systems. Strong analytical skills and data-driven thinking and results-orientation required.

Demonstrated expertise in integrated communications and public relations; along with knowledge of social media landscape and experience of building a brand on social media on a variety of platforms required. The ability to prioritize projects in a high volume/stress, complex, dynamic environment is essential.

Current with the latest trends and best practices in online marketing and metrics. Must display comfort in navigating operational strategy and tactical execution, and everything in between.

This position requires consulting leadership at all organizational levels, and exceptional interpersonal, organizational and customer service skills. Strong project management experience, with the ability to multi-task, and manage projects from inception to fulfillment.

The duties of this position require exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with superior editing experience and the ability to develop articles for publications, routine reports, and business correspondence. Must be able to speak effectively in one-on-one and group settings.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must have intermediate to advanced skills using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Must have experience working with communications related software and deep understanding of print management and publication processes.

Bachelor's degree required, master's preferred. A minimum of ten years of editorial and/or project management experience in communications, journalism, public relations, or a related field is required. Supervisory experience preferred. Higher education background is preferred.

This position requires consulting leadership at all organizational levels, and exceptional interpersonal, organizational, and customer service skills. Strong project management experience, with the ability to multi-task, and manage projects from inception to fulfillment.

The duties of this position require exceptional written and verbal communication skills, with superior editing experience and the ability to develop articles for publications, routine reports, and business correspondence.

Must be able to speak effectively in one-on-one and group settings.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must have intermediate to advanced skills using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). Must have experience working with communications-related software and a deep understanding of print management and publication processes.

Preferred Qualifications

A Master's preferred. An engaged member of established organizations and associations in your field of expertise is preferred.

Certifications, Licenses, Restrictions

None

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to: use hands to handle office supplies, operate computer and other office equipment, talk, walk, sit, and hear. The employee is frequently required to: reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to: stand, climb or balance, stoop or kneel, and lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include the ability to adjust focus.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to: use hands to handle office supplies, operate computer and other office equipment, talk, walk, sit, and hear. The employee is frequently required to: stand and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to: climb or balance, stoop or kneel, and lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include the ability to adjust focus.

Full Time/Part Time: Full-time

Posting Number: SC0640P

Open Until Filled: Yes

COVID-19 Vaccination Protocol

Due to the heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 and the spread of variants, Spelman College requires up to date COVID-19 vaccination of all faculty, staff, and students (collectively "Campus Community") that have job duties, attend classes, or are otherwise present on campus. You will need to submit proof of up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination: full vaccination and a booster (when eligible) or a single dose of the bivalent vaccine) prior to your first day on campus or you may seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement by providing the necessary documentation to: Yemi Brown, PharmD Manager of COVID-19 Operations, at ibiyemibrown@spelman.edu. Upon receiving your Spelman Technology log-in credentials, please keep your vaccination or exemptions records up-to-date using Etrieve.
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