Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communication

Job description

Category:: Staff
Department:: College Advancement and Marketing
Locations:: Des Plaines / Skokie, IL
Posted:: Jun 6, 2019
Closes:: Open Until Filled
Type:: Full Time Staff

About Oakton Community College :

For over 40 years, Oakton Community College has been the setting where thousands begin or continue their college or career studies. Educating people of all ages, from all walks of life and from more than 40 nations, Oakton focuses on improving the quality of life for everyone who enters its doors.

We offer:

Continuing education
Great benefits
Paid winter break
FRIDAYS OFF during the summer

Job Description:

Basic Function and Responsibility:

Directs, develops, and manages a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy to keep stakeholders informed and build a strong reputation for Oakton based on the College's vision, goals, and activities.

Leads media relations program to publicize and promote Oakton Community College, earning positive coverage and accolades while protecting the institution's reputation. Engages, coaches, and prepares College's leadership and subject-matter experts to interact with media as appropriate. Develops comprehensive plans and serves as crisis communication leader, providing counsel to the College president, Chief Advancement officer, and other leadership on confidential and sensitive matters.

Leads employee communication for the College, coordinating with the Chief Advancement Officer and College President to write speeches and other communications from the Office of the President. Plans, develops and executes communication strategies to help internal audiences understand and participate in the College's strategic plan and student success initiatives. Actively seeks, develops, and edits content for employee communications and determines most effective communication vehicles.

Coordinates external College communications efforts, collaborating with marketing leadership for consistency in messaging, support materials, and timing of outreach. Identifies and equips College advocates to take key messages into the community through the various chambers, associations, public service groups, and legislative leaders.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Collaborates closely with Chief Advancement Officer to develop and manage the College's media relations strategy as well as overall strategic communications.

2. Serves as the primary College spokesperson and point person for media relations.

3. Provides strategic public relations counseling to the College president and senior management in advance of the monthly meeting of the Oakton Community College Board of Trustees and works to ensure the Board's positions on issues are accurately portrayed in the media.

4. Collaborates with the College's designated FOIA officer and Chief Human Resources Officer to stay abreast of inquiries and issues that may result in external coverage.

5. Maintains the crisis communication college wide plan. Serves as the maintain contact for emergency response and crisis communication. Provides counsel to the College president, chief advancement officer, and other leadership in addressing communication crises. Participates as a member of the emergency operations plan team.

6. Develops close working relationships with national higher education media and including educational publications, Web sites and bloggers. Develops close working relationships with Chicago area journalists who cover the College on a regular basis.

7. Increases awareness and promotes the academic reputation of Oakton Community College by placing stories in print, broadcast and online media. Writes news releases and weekly media tip sheets.

8. Collaborates and coordinates with Director of Marketing in providing regular content and input to the College's presence in social media. Coaches College personnel on the use of social media.

9. Works closely with faculty and staff to elicit story ideas and media pitches.

10. Tracks and analyzes media coverage about the College.

11. Prepares students, staff and faculty for media interviews.

12. Develops and manages the Press Room page on the Oakton Community College web site.

13. Develops, designs and implements internal College-wide communication strategies, plans and materials to communicate College goals, initiatives and student success measures across all employee groups.

14. Writes original content, including presentations, Web content, e-communication, Web, Intranet, social media, and feature and special interest stories. Content is written to support the organization's strategic goals and is consistent with other messaging across the college.

15. Research background information and prepare speeches, presentations and other materials for the President and the Board of Trustees. Provide public relations support for ceremonies, news conferences and other critical events. Make public appearances on behalf of the College as required.

16. Collaborates with the College President and Chief Advancement Officer to organize and prepare materials for all-employee meetings and other internal meetings.

17. Proactively seeks out employee success stories and creates compelling copy to encourage employee engagement.

18. Develops metrics to measure internal communication effectiveness. Participates with HR team in developing and analyzing employee surveys and other feedback vehicles. Establishes and manages an internal communications advisory council. Develops and maintains close relationships across the College to identify gaps in employee communications. Makes recommendations to improve the communication process.

19. Ensures that all employee messages remain consistent with key institutional messaging, and are aligned with the College's strategic plan and student success initiatives.

20. Identifies meaningful opportunities for the President and senior management to interact with Oakton's employees. Promotes a positive image of the Office of the President and senior management for the purpose of creating cooperative working relationships.

21. Organizes and oversees College advocate program, identifying leadership to proactively connect with community organizations and equipping them with presentations and messaging from the college. Serves as a channel for input from organizations to the college at large and through appropriate departments. Measures and reports engagement activity quarterly.

22. Develops and maintains relationships with local legislative and governmental contacts.

23. Close collaboration with Marketing leader to convey college brand, voice and messaging.

24. Develops special projects and special events as requested.

25. Performs other job related duties as assigned.

Supervision Received:

Administrative supervision from the Chief Advancement Officer.

Supervision Exercised:

Functional supervision may be exercised over Interns and student workers.

Qualifications and Working Conditions:

Work is primarily performed indoors and is sedentary in nature. Ability to travel between campuses required. Some evening and weekend work is required to perform duties of the job.


Minimum Qualifications:

1. A bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, English, communications, marketing required or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired.

2. Seven or more years writing and communications experience, including at least 3 years in a lead position. Print media specialty experience preferred.

3. Experience managing or formally studying crisis management required.

4. Strong connections to Chicago area media highly desirable. Previous reporting experience in the Chicago area a plus.

5. Must have experience establishing organization-wide communication strategies.

6. Must have excellent interpersonal and communications skills with an ability to be a clear, persuasive and effective advocate for the College.

7. Must be inventive, strategic, organized, a team player and be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously.

8. Works well independently and as part of cross-departmental and cross-discipline teams.

9. Values and proactively works to build strong relationships with internal audiences.

10. Appreciates and is committed to organizational diversity.

11. Writing experience in an educational institution is desirable.

12. Word processing knowledge. Ability to utilize a keyboard to enter, retrieve, and manipulate data. Experience with the Microsoft Office suite of programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) and Google Suites (calendaring, email, Docs, and Drive).

Additional Information:

SALARY: $71,090

HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Application Instructions:

For further details, visit our website at and select the Employment link to view Employment Opportunities.

Please be sure to have a current resume, cover letter, and list of, at least, three (3) professional references with contact information prepared to submit with your application. One (1) of the references must be your most recent, direct supervisor.

Oakton Community College is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution, committed to employing competent, qualified individuals. Oakton Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, age, marital status, military status, socioeconomic status, sex or gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation in admission to and participation in its educational programs, college activities and services, or in its employment practices.

Posted positions may be removed from the Oakton website without notice when it is determined that no additional applicants are required.




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Job No:
Posted: 6/12/2019
Application Due: 8/29/2019
Work Type: