The Senior Communications Strategist is a three-year term professional position that is part of the Strategic Communications team within the Division of Communications at Vanderbilt University. The strategist is a key contributor responsible for developing and implementing communications plans and tactics in support of the university's mission and leading priorities. This position will lead communications planning and project management for the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, ("the project") a new and high-visibility institutional initiative that aims to advance research and evidence-based reasoning into the national discourse on unity. The ideal candidate has direct communications experience with political campaigns, federal or state policy-focused initiatives or foundations, Capitol Hill (U.S. Congress) or within a federal or gubernatorial administration.
The Senior Communications Strategist will work directly with the project's executive director and leadership to identify opportunities that elevate awareness and engagement of the project on a regional, national and when appropriate, international scale, inclusive of high-profile thought leadership events and positioning. This candidate will also manage an agency partner dedicated to external affairs and collaborate with Division of Communications colleagues and university stakeholders to plan and execute integrated campaigns and events. Strong candidates will have measured experience in marketing and communications strategy, thought leadership positioning, managing cross-functional relationships, and guiding projects from start to finish.
The Strategic Communications team within the Division of Communications designs and executes integrated communications strategies to protect and enhance Vanderbilt's local, national and international reputation, and positions the university as one of the world's leading academic research institutions through the distribution of compelling content across a variety of digital and traditional channels.
Duties and Responsibilities
Build and maintain relationships with staff, faculty and school communicators to identify compelling stories and opportunities that inform, engage and inspire the Vanderbilt community and relevant external stakeholders;
Advise faculty, staff and alumni relations on communications opportunities to integrate the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy into university initiatives.
Project-manage execution of all communications tactics in collaboration with Division of Communications specialists that oversee signature events, social media, media relations, issues management, editorial and content development, email, digital and print content development, UI/UX strategy, marketing solutions and visual media to ensure efforts are coordinated and messaging is consistent across channels.
Manage key message development and updates across all project assets and initiatives.
Follow industry-related news and generate ideas to increase engagement among key stakeholders.
Demonstrate fluency with media relations, social media and project management best practices.
Plan and maintain editorial calendars and production timelines for assigned coverage areas.
Coordinate resolution of project challenges by communicating effectively and professionally to leaders and colleagues across the division.
Monitor and report out project performance metrics and results to Division of Communications and to key stakeholders.
Provide overall support as needed and assigned for project priorities.
Demonstrate understanding of the university's mission, values, goals and priorities and an ability to ensure that all are considered in developing communications strategies.
Communicate and collaborate effectively with a wide range of audiences.
Efficiently and effectively manage multiple, complex and results-oriented projects with quick turn requirements.
Adhere to confidentiality and business ethics; demonstrate outstanding judgment and discretion.
Perform other relevant duties as assigned.
A bachelor's degree is necessary .
A degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field is preferred .
At least 5 years of experience in political or policy-related communications, public relations, marketing, journalism or related field is necessary.
Ability to showcase previous experience managing a complex project at the national level is necessary .
Experience working on a political campaign, federal policy-driven initiative or foundation, Capitol Hill (U.S. Congress) or within a federal or gubernatorial administration is preferred .
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Internal Number: 10000519
About Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.