The University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment is a nationally recognized interdisciplinary institution that works to advance sustainability through collaborative research, leadership and education programming, and public-interest storytelling and communications. This fall, we’re adding a communications specialist – with a focus on internal communications – to our staff.
We’re looking for a creative, process-oriented colleague, who knows that internal communication both reflects and shapes organizations and their cultures.
You’ll work to strengthen IonE’s vision, brand, and narrative within our extended community of staff, students, and affiliates – and facilitate feedback and learning.
You’ll coordinate communications for a variety of projects and change initiatives at IonE, including strategic planning and the next phase of our commitment to embed antiracism and DEIJ principles into our mission and operations.
You’ll also use your skillset to help execute the IonE Annual Meeting – and to coordinate and align the communications team.
Reporting to the director of communications, this new role requires strong collaboration and communication skills; your ability to listen, understand others’ needs, and bring people along will serve you well. Creativity and organizational savvy will also be key. IonE is also committed to DEIJ (diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice) and antiracism in its mission and operations, and we will consider applicants’ intercultural competencies; experience in identifying and dismantling systemic inequities; and ability to integrate DEIJ concepts into the work of communications.
The starting range for this position is $45–50K, with UMN civil service employee group benefits. You’ll be based in St. Paul, MN, and eligible to work remotely up to 50% time or more, in accordance with our flexible work guidelines. Read more about benefits below, along with how to apply. We particularly encourage applications from individuals who belong to groups that have been historically underrepresented in environmental work and in academia, including those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, those with disabilities, and those from LGBTQIA+ communities.
Job Duties and Responsibilities
Content Creation & Brand Storytelling – 40%
Work with the director of communications and others to establish strategies – along with an audience map, channel matrix, and calendar – that enhance the staff and affiliate experience; support change management; and help IonE achieve goals
Following your strategy, coordinate and align IonE’s internal tools, including the staff intranet, mass email, listservs, and digital/print signage
Produce, edit, and distribute internal communications for staff and affiliates, such as emails, newsletters, and website/intranet content
Draft, fact-check, load, and proof IonE’s monthly internal newsletter, collaborating with the affiliate impact manager on the affiliates version
Create messages, talking points, and presentations for internal events as needed
Create and coordinate the production of brand storytelling assets, such overview presentations, brochures, one-pagers, and webpage content
Communications Planning & Coordination – 10%
Help write communications plans for internal initiatives and storytelling opportunities
Oversee internal news submission forms – and collaborate with colleagues to understand and improve internal information-sharing practices and processes
Regularly collect and analyze data to understand the effectiveness of internal strategies, encourage learning, and identify opportunities to improve
Annual Meeting / Internal Events – 20%
Serve as a core contributor to the IonE annual meeting, an internal gathering of affiliates, staff, grantees, students, and others with ties to IonE
Lead annual meeting communications, leveraging it as a key experience in your channel matrix and a recurring touchpoint in the staff and affiliate journey
Working closely with IonE’s events manager, support meeting logistics and execution
Help coordinate other internal events, as assigned
Program Area Operations – 20%
Work closely with the director of communications, helping coordinate team-alignment processes, such as group meetings and planning cycles
Coordinate team finance processes, such as purchasing, expenses, and contracts
Help coordinate group HR processes, such as hiring, onboarding, and annual review cycles
Provide operational support for communications initiatives, including meeting scheduling, coordinating materials, and overall project management
Community & Continuous Learning – 10%
Develop a solid understanding of the intersection of DEIJ principles and communications, then work to embed those principles into internal communications
Follow internal communications and DEIJ trends, develop your skills, and bring your insights and ideas back to your team and work
Engage with the IonE community, sharing your expertise – and encouraging and enabling others to communicate effectively, efficiently, and in an engaging way
BA/BS degree in a relevant field, such as communications, journalism, or design, OR a combination of related education and work experience to equal at least four years.
Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills that lend themselves to a variety of content types
Demonstrated ability to manage projects, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines
Experience relevant to internal communications, including understanding audience needs and organizational goals, and producing content for internal audiences
Commitment to collaboration, partnership, and co-creation within an organization and with external partners
Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively
Commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in your work and workplace
Especially strong candidates are likely to have some but not all (or be interested in developing) the following preferred skills, experiences, and strengths:
A strong portfolio of writing and other communications products
Experience relevant to communicating about - and knowledge of how communications can advance - diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in a work environment
Experience with events, including project management and experience design
A solid grasp of graphic design principles and strong visual communication skills
Proficiency in (or willingness to learn) graphic design software and other visual tools, including Canva and Adobe Creative Suite
Experience with Mailchimp, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Wordpress, and/or Drupal
Avid interest in organizational culture and its relationship with communications
A connection to sustainability, environmental issues, and/or mission-driven work
An interest in science communication – and the challenge of creatively, compellingly expressing complex ideas
A growth mindset, a willingness to take risks, learn, and repeat
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.