Director of College Communications

Job description

Director of College Communications

Position Summary

The director is one of the primary “storytellers” for the college and takes an active role in crafting messages for internal and external audiences. This position serves as a bridge between the President’s Office and the Communication and Marketing Office to assure consistency across college communications. Duties include collaborating with others across campus on communications with internal and external constituents, serving as the college’s primary media liaison, assisting the president with messaging for public speaking engagements, and serving as the editor and primary content writer for The Tartan. The director of college communications is a steward of the Alma brand, working to maintain Alma’s graphic standards and the style guide to ensure consistency and clarity.

Supervision Received/Exercised

This position reports to the Associate Vice President for communication and marketing with a secondary reporting line to the President. The director supervises student staff responsible for contributing content for the college’s various media and publications.

Essential Functions

  • Work collaboratively with the president and the associate vice president for marketing to:
    • plan, direct and implement goals and action plans for communications that are in harmony with the college’s strategic goals,
    • define key messages that articulate the value of an Alma education, and
    • determine the appropriate media mix to increase the college’s local, regional and national visibility.
  • Support the president and president’s office staff in crafting messages and communications to both internal and external audiences.
  • Develop positive and collaborative relationships with media and serve as primary media liaison for the college. Serve as the college spokesman and primary crisis communicator to the media. Prepare press releases for approval by senior leadership and handle all media inquiries, assuring a consistent message on key talking points.
  • Increase positive exposure of Alma College to new audiences by increasing media placements and expanding into major markets. Maintain media contact lists. Monitor college news placements.
  • Write or supervise the writing of original articles on Alma College faculty, students, staff members, alumni, donors and programs, including developing story topics and sources, gathering facts and information, interviewing sources, and fact checking for 100 percent accuracy for use in publications and on the college website.
  • Serve as editor for the college’s alumni and friends magazine, The Tartan, working collaboratively with Communication and Marketing to develop the theme for each edition, identify subjects for articles, and oversee the work of the creative director in magazine layout. Assure publication on the approved twice yearly schedule.
  • Work closely and communicate effectively with campus clients, external vendors, and departmental colleagues to determine goals, audience, content and timelines for college communications. Foster and maintain positive relationships.
  • Lead collaborative projects as assigned and assure completion within established timelines and that expenditures are consistent with the approved budget and college purchasing policy.
  • Oversee the online “Newsroom” on the college website and the sharing of stories across the website. Assist with college website editing.
  • Monitor industry best practices and develop new initiatives to further advance the scope, quality and dissemination of the college’s communication efforts. Serve as a consultative resource for faculty and staff.
  • Serve as the backup to the administrator for the college’s crisis alert system.

Required Qualifications

  • Baccalaureate degree in communication, media studies or a related field, plus at least five years of relevant professional experience.
  • Excellent written communication skills, with experience in speechwriting or writing for publication.
  • Experience in building and maintaining strong media relationships.
  • Strong time management and organizational skills to manage multiple projects under deadlines.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite, web processes and social media.
  • Experience in leading collaborative projects and bringing them to satisfactory and timely completion.
  • Excellent presentation skills, including development of appropriate resources.
  • Receptive to constructive criticism and willing to make revisions as necessary.
  • Able to work collaboratively and participate actively in meetings with office colleagues, faculty, students and staff across all disciplines.
  • Able to work evenings and weekends for major college events.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Supervisory experience. Master’s degree in related field. Experience in communication and media relations in a higher education environment. Experience with data analysis and interpretation. Able to identify data points appropriate for a broad audience and communicate them clearly.

Physical Requirements

Work on a computer for several hours per day.

Application Process

Interested candidates must submit an Alma College Application, letter of interest, a current resume and the name, address, email, and phone number of three professional references to Melinda Booth, Associate Vice President for Marketing at [email protected].

Deadline for applications is February 18, 2020.

For an Alma College application please go to:

Alma College is a selective, baccalaureate liberal arts college committed to academic excellence and development of responsible leaders. Alma’s undergraduates thrive on challenging academic programs in a supportive, small-college environment emphasizing active, collaborative learning and close student-faculty interaction. Alma is a private Phi Beta Kappa institution located in the center of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Alma College is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff and student body.

*Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Story published on October 17, 2019 Last modified on Feb. 3rd at 10:39am by Kathy Sommerville.




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Job No:
Posted: 10/19/2019
Application Due: 12/18/2019
Work Type: