Assistant Director of Communications

Blacksburg, Virginia
Jun 14, 2019
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Assistant Director of Communications

Posting Number: AP0190192


About Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.


Position Summary:

Virginia Tech’s College of Engineering is positioned to fuel the pipeline of talent for industry and academia, filling the work force gap needed to fulfill a globally competitive and innovative economy. The college is ranked No. 8 nationally for its research expenditures and No. 13 nationally for its undergraduate program. As part of the university’s plan to increase undergraduate enrollment, Virginia Tech will increase undergraduate enrollment by 2,000 students in computer science, computer engineering and related disciplines at its Blacksburg campus over the next eight years. This position will create content around storytelling on various platforms to highlight the college’s and university’s strategic priorities.

The Assistant Director of Communications will report to the Director of Communications and work to execute a comprehensive strategy via through storytelling that promotes college’s priorities and builds brand awareness, in alignment with the university master brand. The main priority of this position will be to uncover stories of research impact and expertise and articulate them via storytelling to applicable technical and laypersons by working to elevate the college’s research strengths to external audiences and influencers that include: media, industry partners, funding agencies, alumni, political leaders, and more. By working collaboratively with university relations, across colleges at the university, and department communicators to develop relationships with faculty to identify expertise and share their story of impact. Develop and implement communications plans to elevate priority areas of research and impact. The Assistant Director has a proven ability to build and reinforce trusted relationships with the media and collaborate with the central media relations team, independently formulate pitch ideas to media, target media, track media results and monthly produce reports.


Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field and experience equivalent to an advanced degree.
  • Skill in developing and implementing strategic communication plans, both collaboratively and independently.
  • Skill in utilizing multiple communication platforms to deliver content (e.g., Virginia Tech Engineer magazine, VT News, Virginia Tech magazine, news wires, social media, websites, etc.).
  • Experience building relationships with key stakeholders (e.g., university relations, departmental communicators, faculty, college leadership, and external audiences).
  • Skill in written communication to include storytelling about: research, philanthropy, and profiles; and draft communication plans and stories, edit stories, draft strategic media list/pitch, publish stories in the university CMS, and draft coordinating social script.
  • Skills in media relations to include: developing and cultivating relationships with media, drafting media lists, tracking media results, and reporting.
  • Ability to implement plan for showcasing video and photo on social and web platforms that showcases storytelling.
  • Knowledge and understanding of brand management principles and how they apply to storytelling.
  • Ability to motivate, develop and train staff to decipher technical papers and communicate to layperson.
  • Skill in working in a fast-paced environment and delivery of high-quality content on a weekly basis.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Fluency and general knowledge of engineering, industry, and media.
  • Fast-thinker who can solve problems both independently and with teammates in real-time.


Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement:

Virginia Tech does not discriminate against employees, students, or applicants on the basis of age, color, disability, sex (including pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status, or otherwise discriminate against employees or applicants who inquire about, discuss, or disclose their compensation or the compensation of other employees or applicants, or on any other basis protected by law.


Reasonable Accommodation Statement:

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation please contact the hiring department.


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