Content Strategy Director - Public Affairs

Champaign, IL
Jun 09, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Content Strategy Director
Public Affairs

Public Affairs is searching for a Content Strategy Director.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a lot of stories to tell. From Nobel Prize-winning theories to biomedical innovations to the birthplace of special education, wheelchair athletics and the modern idea of physical accessibility - we've got a 150 year tradition as a place where people refuse to accept "that's just how it is" as a suitable reason to stop asking hard questions. This is a university that forces the world to redefine the word "impossible" on a regular basis across the academic spectrum. And every day our faculty, staff and students add about 60,000 more stories to that legacy. We're looking for someone with the creativity, talent, vision and drive to help the campus share those stories - big and small - with the world in a consistent, coordinated and targeted way.

As part of the Public Affairs team, the Content Strategy Director will play a significant role in the development and implementation of strategic campus communications and public relations activities. This position is responsible for developing new strategies and approaches to leverage all of our communication channels to better share stories that demonstrate the comprehensive excellence of the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the university.

The Content Strategy Director reports to the Senior Director of Strategic Communications and will be actively and extensively involved with the development of new, creative approaches to build recognition of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign among key constituents in Illinois, across the country and in critical international markets.

We're looking for a great communicator who understands how to tell stories in ways that engage and inspire and who can help us share our Illinois pride in more strategic, focused and measureable ways.

Key Responsibilities:
  • Conduct research, writing, editing, synthesizing and transmitting information and about people and events at the university to key stakeholders through spoken, print and digital media.
  • Lead Public Affairs team in development of new, creative approaches to build recognition of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign among key constituents in Illinois, across the country and in critical international markets.
  • Work closely with director of social media to ensure the university has a coordinated and integrated public communications strategy that utilizes existing and emerging tools and technologies.
  • Manage web content and communication needs for Offices of the Chancellor and Provost.
  • Support for executive communications needs for university leadership including speech writing, presentation development and policy dissemination on behalf of chancellor, provost and senior leadership.
  • Collaborate with key university communicators in colleges and units to ensure messaging that is consistent with university goals and plans.
  • Work closely with advancement communications team to ensure maximum support for fundraising goals of the upcoming university capital campaign.
  • Think creatively, and identify opportunities for building the campus reputation across all possible media avenues.
  • Conceive, initiate, coordinate and manage team-based projects across complex institutions or organizations.
  • Provide expertise on positioning and implementation of campus administration initiatives and policies.
  • Recruit, supervise and train student interns or academic hourlies to assist with content development.

Required Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
  • Bachelor's degree is required.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in communications, public relations, marketing or related field with demonstrated increasing responsibilities.
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills - with demonstrated experience across multiple media including video, major social media platforms and websites.
  • Experience writing speeches, scripts and other formal public communications for executive-level staff.
  • Exercise professional journalistic judgment on the selection of appropriate stories to research, write, edit and promote.
  • Ability to develop, coordinate and manage team-based projects across complex institutions or organizations.
  • Working knowledge of social media and web-based analytic tools to provide data-based decision support around content generation and distribution strategies.
  • Experience in website content management and working familiarity with content management systems.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and effectively in team-based, dynamic environment that involves diverse group of developers, journalists, designers and videographers.
  • Must be able to work under tight deadline pressure and frequently must interview faculty members, students, alumni and others.
  • Must be able to work independently and to exercise excellent judgment and discretion, especially in the handling of confidential and/or sensitive issue and information.

Preferred Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
  • A degree in journalism, communications, marketing or related field is preferred.
  • Experience and familiarity with communications and marketing in a public, higher educational setting.
  • Familiarity with the communications operations, policies and practices at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
  • Experience in production of video materials for marketing purposes (television, web, etc...).
  • Professional magazine-style (digital or print), long-form feature writing experience.
  • Experience with social media listening tools such as Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon, Synthesis or similar products.
  • Experience in crisis communications in a higher education environment.

This is a full-time regular academic professional position. Start date is as soon as possible after the close of the search. For full consideration, create your candidate profile at and upload a letter of application, a resume, three professional writing samples (actual documents or links are both acceptable) and the names, addresses, email and phone numbers of three professional references by close date of June 23, 2017. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For further information regarding application procedures, you may contact Pam Steele, Public Affairs, 217/333-5010 or For more information about Public Affairs, visit

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University's commitment to diversity, please visit

College Name or Administrative Unit: Public Affairs
Category: Academic Professional
Title: Content Strategy Director - Public Affairs
Open Date: 06/08/2017
Close Date: 06/23/2017
Organization Name: Public Affairs


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