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Director of Communications

Job description

DescriptionUniversity of Colorado | CU Denver
Department: University Communications
Job Title: Director of Communications
Position #779177 – Requisition #19320
Primary Work Location: Denver Campus

* Applications are accepted electronically ONLY at www.cu.edu/cu-careers *

The University of Colorado Denver seeks individuals with demonstrated commitment to creating an inclusive learning and working environment.  We value the ability to engage effectively with students, faculty and staff of diverse backgrounds.

CU Denver University Communications has an opening for a full time University Staff (unclassified) Director of Communications position. This position is term limited for 6 months, with the possibility to extend beyond that based on business needs and at the hiring unit's discretion.

Who We Are:
As Colorado’s public urban research university, the University of Colorado Denver educates a diverse student body through quality academics, ambitious research, creative work, and civic engagement in the city we call home. CU Denver graduates gain the powerful combination of immersive classroom and real-world experience that are in demand today. The city benefits from well-educated, top talent and a new generation of knowledge that fuels the future of Denver and our region. We are CU in the City. 

CU Denver offers more than 100 degree programs, from the bachelor’s to the doctoral level, in the heart of downtown. Here, more than 15,000 students pursue academic programs that range from global energy management to music industry studies to criminal justice. As part of the state’s largest public university system, CU Denver is a major contributor to the Colorado economy, with nearly 2,500 employees and an annual economic impact of $800 million. 

Position Responsibilities
The director of communications will supervise a team of six media relations, campus news, and writing professionals to advance the reputation of CU Denver by telling compelling stories of its research, faculty, students, alumni, and staff in a way that is meaningful and clearly demonstrates the positive impact of the university. The director will identify opportunities and aid in the packaging and distribution of vital messages that convey the value of CU Denver to target audiences through earned and owned channels.

The successful candidate for this role will have experience covering a range of communications disciplines, including public relations, issues management, content marketing/distribution, and social media with demonstrable experience in original content creation/writing/editing and managing people. The candidate will operate as a member of the University Communications team and report to the interim vice chancellor. Collaboration with members of the University Communications team and stakeholders from across the CU Denver campus and university system is a necessity.

Day-to-Day Team Management

Media Relations
Guide team in refining media outreach strategy, plans, tools, and reporting that results in consistent, quality media coverage. Provide day-to-day consultation, expertise, and mentorship in areas of growth for team, including daily story news management and weekly news planning. Encourage and advise on outreach efforts with members of top-tier media outlets and higher ed publications. Serve as reinforcement for media inquiries for peak periods of activity.

News and Content
Direct and support a team of content planners and creators through an effective editorial process. Create strategy, plans, quality assurance practices, and engagement metrics and reporting for content marketing/distribution activities. Shape and guide the strategy, advancement, and distribution of e-news products (City Stories and CU Denver News) and related website. 

Lead cross-functional content meetings to help the team coalesce, frame, and produce the best ideas into articles, stories, features, social media posts, and other digital content to bolster engagement and sharing among target audiences including employees, students, and external stakeholders. 

Coordinate major campus announcements including development of communications plans, involving key stakeholders and managing the execution of the plan.

In addition to supervising a team of communications professionals, the director will also be responsible for:

Pandemic and Campus Operations Communications
Assist in the design and implementation of an internal communications plan that effectively informs employees, students, and stakeholders of services, processes, and practices in response to the pandemic. This includes the development and distribution of messages and original content creation for email communications, website, social media, and other materials for employees, students, and stakeholders, which requires coordination with subject matter experts, creative producers, and platform managers (web, email marketing, social media, etc.). 

Issues Management and Crisis Response
Assist in the response and advise on proactive and reactive communications needs arising at the most senior levels of the university, including message development and drafting of statements or communiques.

Social Media Management
Assist in the implementation of a social media strategy and plan for the chancellor. Contribute to content strategy to support messaging. Create and implement content calendar on select platforms. Source select content and recommend tweets and posts, including drafting issues management responses. Utilize Sprout Social and other listening means to identify trending topics and opportunities for engagement and relevant content.

Salary Range
Salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected candidate balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

Your total compensation goes beyond the number on your paycheck. The University of Colorado provides generous leave, health plans and retirement contributions that add to your bottom line.

Benefits: https://www.cu.edu/employee-services/benefits

Total Compensation Calculator: http://www.cu.edu/node/153125

Diversity and Equity:
The University will provide reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities throughout the employment application process. To request an accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Human Resources ADA Coordinator at [email protected]

 The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse student body, faculty and administrative staff. The university strives to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication and understanding. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities and all veterans. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

The University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus is dedicated to ensuring a safe and secure environment for our faculty, staff, students and visitors. To assist in achieving that goal, we conduct background investigations for all prospective employees. 


  • Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 8+ years of experience in communications, journalism, publication relations, content marketing, or a related field
  • Previous experience managing people

  • 10+ years of experience in communications, journalism, publication relations, content marketing, or a related field
  • Experience in crisis and issues management
  • Experience is social media management and hands-on execution
  • Previous experience in higher education or non-profit organization
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Understanding of issues management with a proactive approach and demonstrated ability to build and implement crisis/issues management communications plans.
  • Ability to write for a variety of audiences using various forms of storytelling across an array of channels and mediums, especially digital and social platforms.
  • Superior news judgement, persuasive verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
  • Capacity to independently and effectively prioritize and manage multiple projects at a time in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
  • Experience handling high visibility projects with success in implementing sound internal and external communications strategies while navigating a complex organization.
  • Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours.

Job Category: Communication
Primary Location: Denver
Schedule: Full-time
Posting Date: Oct 6, 2020
Unposting Date: Ongoing




Diversity Profile: University


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Job No:
Posted: 10/7/2020
Application Due: 1/5/2021
Work Type: