Assistant Director of Communications

May 02, 2017
Executive Administration Jobs
C-Level & Executive Directors
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
About The Unit: Arts + Public Life builds creative connections on Chicago's South Side through artist residencies, arts education, and artist-led projects and events. As part of the University of Chicago's efforts to enhance the arts, the Arts + Public Life initiative actively encourages the development of relationships between the creative and artistic projects taking place at the University with those that are taking place throughout the South Side, the city of Chicago, and beyond. Arts + Public Life strengthens and develops sustainable partnerships with local community organizations and residents, artists, and arts organizations with a focus on three primary areas of creative activity: 1) enhanced opportunities for collaboration with artists of color, diverse cultural organizations, and women through new space and programmatic efforts on Chicago's South Side; 2) strengthened arts education with local schools and campus arts partners, and 3) sustainable community partnerships that ensure the broader University activities serve as important community assets.

Unit Job Summary: The Assistant Director of Communications, Arts + Public Life, University of Chicago, directs, plans, and oversees the development of communications policies and programs for Arts + Public Life. Responsibilities include marketing, press relations, creative editorial and design services, and internal communications. As a member of the senior management team, the Assistant Director ensures publications, announcements, speeches, print and digital copy, collateral and promotional materials, and the like are consistent with the Arts + Public Life's narrative voice, storytelling goals, and communications strategy. The Assistant Director oversees writing, preparation and/or delivery of information from or about the unit; manages the media interface, writing major press releases, planning and organizing media coverage for major events, and responding to requests on issues of a sensitive nature; oversees supervision of communications staff and develops and manages communications budget; and coordinates cross-constellation (The constellation includes two nonprofits that develop, activate, and program spaces on the South Side of Chicago in partnership with APL. The projects create stable spaces for local organizations to facilitate equitable and ethical redevelopment. At the same time, the constellation provides skills development to residents and builds the capacity of organizations through training and incubation) communications efforts with related organizations such as Rebuild Foundation and Space Fund. The Assistant Director will manage a part-time marketing manager and work closely with University Communications and UChicago Arts to ensure that printed and digital materials are produced in keeping with approved University styles and branding. The Assistant Director will also work closely with UChicago Arts, Rebuild Foundation, and Space Fund to ensure open and timely internal communications between entities. Current internal communications channels include print (event posters, postcards, etc.); social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo); digital (websites, email campaigns, etc.); content development (news stories, blog posts, etc.); and strategic paid advertising and public relations efforts. The Assistant Director reports to the Deputy Director of Arts + Public Life .

Unit Education: Bachelor's degree required. Master's degree in communications, arts, design, marketing, journalism, or related field preferred.

Unit Experience: 5 years of experience working in marketing and/or communications required. Experience in developing brands, public relations, and building audience for the arts and/or University campus programs preferred.

Unit Job Function Competencies: Excellent written and spoken communications skills required (including knowledge of correct English usage, Chicago and AP style guides). Ability to handle confidential information with utmost discretion required. Strong computer skills including knowledge of email distribution software (such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Emma), Adobe Creative Suite and/or similar applications, and website administration (Drupal, WordPress, and Squarespace experience; CSS/HTML a plus) is preferred. General knowledge of patron marketing strategy, campaign execution, branding, website development, search engine optimization, social media, and email campaign strategies preferred. Ability to successfully manage a workload that balances long-range planning with the unanticipated daily demands of managing publicly visible projects required. Must be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and under tight deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Strong organizational, planning, problem solving and project management skills required. Ability to take initiative, work independently and contribute as a member of a team. Experience with writing press releasing, pitching media, and crisis communications. Demonstrated success in building collaborative relationships with diverse constituencies required. Ability to manage conflict with grace and tact and to propose creative, win-win solutions required. Experience working with a variety of civic arts organizations preferred. Ability and willingness to work a flexible schedule (other than 8-hour day and/or 40 hour week) and travel to and from off-site locations.

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