Position Openings

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

Position Title: Director of Strategic Communications
Classification: Full-time, exempt-level position
Salary Range: $65,000-$85,000 annually
To Apply:

Email resume to jobs@wiche.edu; position will remain open until filled.

Download Printable Version

Job description: Director of Strategic Communications

The Organization

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – WICHE – is a non-profit and quasi-governmental organization established in the 1950s through an interstate compact. WICHE was created to promote and facilitate resource sharing, collaboration, and cooperative planning among Western states, their colleges and universities, and their systems of higher education. Member states are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.

The Position

The Director of Strategic Communications reports directly to the president and works with the senior leadership team and the Commission to increase the awareness of WICHE among all stakeholder groups. The Director is responsible for helping the president and the Commission develop a strategic direction for WICHE in all aspects of communication, advocacy, marketing, and branding; including the use of social media. The Director will also assist the president and senior staff in speech writing, presentation development, and outreach efforts, including conducting press conferences and media releases, and will develop constructive relationships with local and national media, especially education reporters and education related publications. The Director will be assisted by and will supervise two communications professionals, a graphic designer and a web manager, and will provide strategic direction to other communications staff within the organization. 

Position Specifications

  • Manage WICHE brand and reputation.

  • Develop a strategic communications plan for WICHE and lead and participate in the execution of that plan.

  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by WICHE and work with management to recognize external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.

  •  Develop electronic and print communications.

  •  Increase audience engagement on social media channels.

  •  Monitor trends in social media tools, applications, channels, design, and strategy.

  • Develop communications vehicles to create momentum and awareness as well as test the effectiveness of communications activities.

  • Work effectively with Commissioners and assist them in advocating for WICHE initiatives in their respective states, including the preparation of draft opinions/editorials for placement in local media outlets and the preparation of draft presentations to help Commissioners in their outreach to local community groups.

  • Lead teams with confidence and guide others when necessary.

  • Be a self-starter, work independently and entrepreneurially, create and implement new communications and marketing initiatives.

  • Speak and write clearly and condense complicated subject matter into concise descriptions in multiple formats.

  • Develop budgets and provide fiscal oversight.

  • Supervise a graphic designer and the web manager.

  • Hire and oversee the work of consultants on an as needed basis to assist with communications and marketing functions.
     

Required

  1. Bachelor’s degree in marketing, mass communications, or related field.

  2. Ten plus years of experience in a communications role.

  3. Experience in creating marketing strategies and campaigns by utilizing highly collaborative skills and experience with developing and implementing communications strategies.

  4. Strong track record as an implementer who thrives on managing a variety of key initiatives concurrently.
  5.  Demonstrated leadership skills with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both strategic and tactical levels.

  6.  Experience working collaboratively with multiple constituent groups.

  7.  Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective, cooperative, and cordial working relationships internally and externally.

  8. Ability to produce quality work under frequent deadline pressure.

  9. Ability to write for a range of media and a variety of audiences including students, college and university administrators, state education policymakers and their staff, higher education boards and administrators, and state, regional, and national education and legislative organizations.

 

Preferred

  1. Graduate degree in a relevant field.

  2. Extensive knowledge of college and university academic and administrative functions, higher education state agency structures, legislative processes, and higher education policy issues.

  3. Significant experience working for a higher education organization or media outlet.

  4. Have developed a range of contacts in the national media.

  5.  Significant experience as a speech writer and drafter of presentations, including the use of PowerPoint or other multi-media presentation tools.

  6. Experience supervising a team of communications specialists.

  7.  Significant experience developing or managing the website of a complex organization.

 

Organizational Responsibility:

Reports directly to the President

Travel:

While regular travel is not anticipated, the Commission holds two annual meetings each year which the Director would attend. Other travel individually or with members of the senior staff will be required occasionally, perhaps 5-10 times per year.

Benefits:

WICHE offers a competitive benefits package which includes medical, dental, life, and disability insurance; flexible spending accounts; 403(b) retirement plan; and vacation, sick, holiday, and personal leave time.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, Females/Minority/Veterans/Disabled/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.

11/18/2016