The Director of Strategic Communications provides leadership and vision for managing communications at the McCormick School of Engineering, including public relations, content development, publications, and internal communications. Working with internal and external resources, the Director of Strategic Communications develops communications strategies that make measurable progress toward improved the reputation of the McCormick School of Engineering and building a strong community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Manages a media relations effort to ensure broad recognition of McCormick’s leadership role in the engineering space. Serve as key liaison with both Global Marketing Communications and outside PR agencies to ensure maximum coverage of McCormick stories in a broad range of press. Handles press inquiries and coordination between multiple media efforts.
Evaluate outside agencies, manage current relationships, and make recommendations for ongoing relationships.
Leads the development and implementation of a proactive public relations plan to build positive relationships with alumni, prospective students, current students, and all external audiences.
Track local, national and international media coverage of academic and administrative units.
Prepare and present media training to faculty.
Supervision of Publications
Directs the design and production of all publications for the McCormick School, including the alumni magazine, admission materials, departmental newsletters, and other marketing collateral.
Serves as the managing editor for McCormick magazine, overseeing content production, art direction, design, and production.
Manage external vendor relations for all publications, including managing the publication process from raw creation of copy and layout to image preparation and enhancement to final printed output.
Directs the development of copy for web, print and electronic communication, assigning projects to in-house and external writers.
Develops speeches, scripts, letters, and other communication for the dean and senior associate deans.
Develop communication strategies that align with the strategic vision and strategic plan for the McCormick School.
Measure impact of ongoing initiatives and provide reports.
Supervision and leadership
Supervise two full-time staff (writer/editor and senior communications coordinator) for the marketing department, including responsibility for giving work direction, disciplinary action and performance reviews.
Work with key faculty and staff throughout the school to provide communications advice and counsel.
Supervise budget administration.
Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree in Marketing, Communications or related field desirable, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
A minimum 7 years in marketing, advertising and communication functions with demonstrated leadership in developing innovative and successful communications programs.
Previous experience in working with members of the media.
Previous experience overseeing all aspects of the publications process.
Familiarity with InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, scanning programs, and Photoshop required.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Previous experience leading communications initiatives, including media relations, ideally in a technical environment.
Sound organizational skills.
Knowledge of desktop publishing and experience in the development of variety of marketing materials required.
A high degree of creativity and initiative.
Excellent communication skills (both oral and written.).
Must be a self-starter.
A master’s degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience for which comparable skills can be acquired.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Considerable design-related experience.
A confident, professional attitude.
Experience in conducting market research.
Ability to take charge, yet adapt, to different people and situations.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 32651
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.