Senior Director, Strategic Positioning - Division of Marketing & Communications

Job description

The Division of Marketing & Communications serves as a strategic advisor to partners and units across campus, purposefully fulfilling partners goals and objectives, helping to increase knowledge, support enrollment and engage students, alumni, faculty and staff. The division proactively shapes the University's brand and optimizes the University's reputation internally and externally in a transparent manner. In words, in pictures, online and in the news media, the Division of Marketing & Communications shares the many stories of how DU and its people are improving the human condition, for the purpose of advancing the University's strategies.

Position Summary

The Senior Director, Strategic Positioning works to ensure that the highest strategic priorities of the University of Denver are articulated and leveraged in a cohesive fashion in support of the University's mission. Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Communications, the Senior Director, Strategic Positioning collaborates with administrative and academic leaders and communicators across campus to align, elevate and express the highest-value projects that will have the most impact on the University's identity and success, as determined by the senior leadership (e.g., equity and inclusion, accessibility, globally engaged research, academic excellence).

Essential Functions

  • Develop and implement communications strategies and tactics to help advance mission-critical initiatives and projects that support DU's long-term vision and immediate goals
  • Monitor DU's positioning in the marketplace and advance differentiation through coordinating key-message delivery.
  • Identify opportunities to reinforce DU's differentiating factors, as identified by branding consultants, strategic plans by academic units, and other research.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with, and create coherence and coordination between, senior leaders within the Division of Marketing & Communications (MarComm), as well as with University leadership, campus communicators and outside consultants whose work supports DU's strategic positioning and differentiation.
  • Serve as communications point person on key projects and programs that require cross-functional engagement across the organization and support the University's strategic positioning; represent the Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Communications as needed, to manage expectations and develop and maintain collaborative connections and relationships across all functions and levels at the University.
  • Participate and play a key role in developing an inclusive and effective internal communications strategy, process and calendar of messages that originate from vice chancellors and other key leaders.
  • Ensure wise allocation of resources and consistency of voice, tone and positioning, while keeping internal stakeholders fully informed and engaged in the highest University priorities.
  • Build and maintain messaging tool kits and plans for strategic projects, to ensure consistency with campus partners and communicators.
  • Write messages, stories, speeches and other materials as needed to effectively advance key strategic initiatives to stakeholder audiences.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated collaborative leadership skills and ability to coordinate messaging across multiple organizational boundaries.
  • Excellent planning, organizational and analytical skills to enable sound decisions using good judgment and innovative and creative problem-solving.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, as well as writing and presentation skills, and attention to detail.
  • Deep understanding of university operations, and ability to adapt to different leadership styles, political environments, and changes in priorities.
  • Flexibility, sense of urgency, passion, and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Creativity for anticipating opportunities and linking people and ideas together.
  • Capacity to independently and effectively prioritize and manage multiple projects at a time in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • High level of integrity, trustworthiness, respect, and ability to research options, think creatively, make sound decisions, and handle sensitive issues and high visibility projects.
  • Success implementing sound internal and external communications strategies while navigating within a complex organization, including higher education.
  • Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours as needs arise.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Minimum of eight years of experience in communications, journalism, public relations or a related field.
  • Previous experience managing people and projects.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree.
  • Previous experience at a complex higher education institution.
  • Experience bridging administrative and academic leadership to leverage mission-critical programs.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours as needs arise.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.




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Job No: 493268
Posted: 10/5/2020
Application Due: 12/4/2020
Work Type:
Salary: Negotiable