Job Listings

Associate Vice President, Communications and Marketing

Spelman College
Job Location:
Atlanta, Georgia
Communications, Marketing, and Public Affairs

Job Summary

Reporting to the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications, the Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing will assist with developing a campus-wide strategic communications plan for the College. This position will help determine the direction, development, integration and implementation of the College's marketing and communications strategy, particularly as it relates to media relations, internal communications and marketing. The incumbent will collaborate College-wide to effectively design and implement media relations, internal communications and marketing communications strategies in support of key institutional goals. The position will supervise the Communications Manager, Marketing Manager Communications Assistant as well as Contractors on internal and external communication activities.

In collaboration with the VP of Public Relations and Communications, the Associate Vice President will also provide essential contributions to the Division of Communications' support of the Office of the President. The incumbent will exercise independent judgment and discretion around assessment, interaction, recommendations and crisis management with regards to media relations and communications about Spelman College and members of the College community.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Supervises the Division of Communications in absence of the VP of Public Relations and Communications.
  • Collaborates with and provide guidance to the Communications Division Directors on daily operational activity, routine assignments, and major college-wide initiatives and campaigns.
  • Leads, directs and collaborates as part of a team to develop, implement, and sustain comprehensive and integrated communications and plans that focus on short-term and long-term strategies, track trends, and benchmark against similar and aspirational institutions.
  • Develops and executes plans to maximize visibility of the College's priorities.
  • Maintains a positive image and reputation for the College by strategically communicating programs, accomplishments, positions and/or points of view to media, internal and external audiences.
  • Directs the Communications Manager in developing and conducting internal communications plans (the weekly Spelman Connection electronic newsletter, as well as voicemail / email / flat screen broadcasts and distribution of printed collateral on campus); to market and publicize the College's programs, special initiatives and events
  • Leads the Marketing Manager in their responsibilities of collaborating with the Communications team, campus partners and the Division of Institutional Advancement Division of Institutional Advancement on donor communications. Provides guidance to the Marketing Manager on developing and implementing media and marketing strategies, tactics and materials in support of communications for donor contributions and events and other fundraising/development related activity.
  • Guides the Communications Assistant in their responsibilities of providing administrative support to the Communications Division Director(s) and general communications support to the Communications Associate Vice President to implement communications and media strategies, projects and events to help meet departmental and College goals.
  • Creates innovative methods to position and publicize faculty expertise, thought leadership and student accomplishments externally.
  • Oversees and manages media relations including pitching news stories about the College and faculty.
  • Responds to media requests by arranging and/or coordinating interviews and briefings for the President, administrators, faculty, staff and students.
  • Works proactively with internal clients to identify and address news and communication needs and opportunities.
  • As part of the College's crisis communications team, the incumbent serves an important supporting role in all aspects of the College and crisis communication planning and execution.
  • Provides the Office of the President with research, acquisition of data, and fact checking for presidential speeches and other communications, including managing media inquiries and preparing responses as needed.
  • Provides or manages media training and guidance for faculty, administrators and students, as well as leads the preparation of public presentations and/or talking points/speeches for senior leadership.
  • Oversees the development of news releases, fact sheets, news tips, media alerts and other information to media outlets, including new media.
  • Collaborates with the College's government relations staff and stakeholders to support policy related communications.
  • Provides guidance on special events/activities and represent the College in the absence of the Vice President.
  • Serves as College spokesperson as necessary.
  • Manages media research and dissemination: ensure news clips and media analytics are prepared and shared with key staff.
  • Prepares electronic correspondences, including memos, letters and announcements sent to internal and external audiences.
  • Works with graphic designers, photographers, videographers, web developers, copywriters, editors and vendors to support media relations, digital communications and other strategic communications.

Required Qualifications

Bachelor's degree required. A minimum of (eight) 8 years of direct experience in communications management and media relations that should include advanced writing and editing responsibility, particularly news-related, and the ability to write on deadline required. A background in higher education is preferred though not necessary, as well as familiarity with current affairs issues and concerns facing higher education. Previous supervisory experience is required.

This position requires knowledge and understanding of all aspects of communications, including assessment of critical communications concerns; development and execution of comprehensive and effective long and short term strategic communication plans for external and internal audiences; experience directing public relations, internal communications, marketing and social media processes; working with campus partners to produce integrated campaigns that promote their initiatives while ensuring Spelman brand consistency; maintaining awareness of new, emerging and established communications platforms; and exercising sound judgment when fielding media inquiries or pitching programs and initiatives that support the College's priorities.

The position requires exceptional oral and written communication skills and highly developed analytical, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. A professional demeanor with the ability to apply a creative vision is required. Independent judgment is necessary to plan, prioritize and organize a diversified workload with attention to detail. Work requires fact-finding and compilation skills, plus ability to perform a variety of tasks simultaneously, at times with little supervision.

Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well in a team environment are essential as the position will interact with many departments and divisions, including administrative and faculty-led groups. Incumbent must have outstanding proofing and editing skills in addition to being able to read and interpret documents, and develop articles for publication, routine reports, policies and procedures, and business correspondence (memos, letters and emails).

The Associate Vice President must be able to speak effectively before groups of employees, students, alumnae, other College constituents, the media and the public. The position requires the ability to execute marketing in the social media sphere and have advanced level computer skills using the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and emerging media relations tools/vehicles, e.g., PitchEngine, CisionWire. Must also be computer savvy and able to use Google analytics, email systems and a variety of electronic communications tools.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to: walk, talk, hear and use hands to operate computer, other office equipment and move items. The employee is frequently required to: talk, hear, walk, sit, and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to: stand for multiple periods of time, walk throughout campus with inclines and/or declines or uneven surfaces; climb, stoop and lift and/or move up to 15 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include ability to adjust, focus and work from a computer screen and/or read print from various forms of documents.

Full Time/Part Time: Full-time

Posting Number: SC0451P

Open Until Filled: Yes

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Protocol

Due to the current pandemic, Spelman College has instituted a COVID-19 PCR Based Testing requirement. You will need to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an FDA-approved test conducted by a testing site run by a local or state health department or conducted through a licensed health care provider ("Credible Facility") within 5 days of the start date. Provided the facility is credible, you may take the test at a facility of your choice to be paid for by you. The college does not reimburse for this expense. The results will need to be submitted to Yemi Brown, Manager of COVID 19 Operation, at,cell 832-466-4448 at the start of your first day.

Also, due to the heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 in an unvaccinated population and the spread of new variants, Spelman College is requiring 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 your full vaccination and booster to Yemi Brown at the start of your first day.

It is our hope to minimize transmission of the coronavirus in the workplace and academic setting by requiring occupational protection such as requiring face masks to be worn properly, requiring social distancing, and continuing to encourage frequent handwashing; thereby minimizing the potential transmission of COVID-19 to members of the campus community.
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