Associate Director of Communications - Engineering Administration (143739)

Job description


Associate Director of Communications

Marketing & Communications Office

The Grainger College of Engineering

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit


This position­ serves to promote the college’s reputation as a global leader in engineering education and research through editorial and news writing, and media relations and will develop long-term strategic communications solutions in support of Grainger Engineering and its various units/departments. This leadership position has responsibility to create, manage and execute strategic communication plans to achieve desired business results, including internal and external audiences.


Management of Internal/External Communication Activities

  • Manage and develop public relations communication plans and tactics as well as responses to the news.
  • Manage participation of college faculty and staff in interviews with the press.
  • Develop and deliver media training as needed for individuals and groups across the college.
  • Build and nurture relationships with influencers and media partners to amplify brand promise.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with appropriate business, mainstream, and trade news organizations and reporters.
  • Supervise work of freelancers, academic hourlies, and consultants who are working on PR projects.
  • Evaluate and hire freelancers and consultants as needed.
  • Work with public relations consultants in developing thought leadership strategies and tactics.
  • Serve as point of contact for media contacts, handle press conferences, interviews, statements, etc.
  • Monitor industry and market-related news and events to assess opportunities for rapid response and proactive media outreach.
  • Seek out, evaluate, and facilitate speaking opportunities for administrators.
  • Analyze media coverage and develop effective reporting on the impact of media coverage and relation management.
  • In coordination with the Assistant Dean for Marketing & Communications, staff the dean for interviews, writing speeches, video scripts, webinars, etc.
  • Mentor other staff writers and student workers within the office.

Strategic College Communications

  • Responsible for generating ideas for strategic brand communications that spur conversations both internally and externally around the college and its programs and people.
  • Leverage key brand cultural moments into executions that are timely, relevant, and impactful.
  • Serve as team lead to develop strategic messaging objectives for telling the Grainger Engineering story, and maintain editorial oversight of public communications to ensure language, information and intended purpose are aligned with college and university strategic goals, as well as the university brand.
  • Determine, direct, and develop strategic messaging for various stakeholder groups, working closely with all college communicators.
  • Craft and pitch stories to local, regional, statewide, and national media outlets.
  • Edit, create, maintain, and publish information to all assigned communication channels and collateral, including but not limited to, web properties, email, social media, video, and print.
  • Coordinate with marketing team to develop and produce high quality brand videos for various stakeholder groups.
  • Be creative and resourceful in identifying and executing new projects.
  • Provide support to the Assistant Dean for Marketing & Communications in developing public communications on behalf of college leadership including remarks, presentations, emails, newsletters, etc.
  • Provide coordination, editorial, writing, and other services to projects as requested by COE administrators, faculty, and staff ensuring their communication and marketing projects are aligned with strategies created by Grainger Engineering’s Office of Marketing & Communications.
  • Collaborate with and lead college communicators in departments, units, and institutes to ensure messaging is consistent with college goals and plans, and the university brand.
  • Provide leadership and support the professional development of unit communicators.



  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, radio/television broadcasting, web/digital media, or a related field.
  • 5 years of professional work experience in journalism, public relations, social media communications, newspaper reporting, radio/television broadcasting with emphasis on production, or web/digital media
  • Experience in news and feature writing as well as copy development, proofreading, and editing
  • Experience in project planning and management and leading teams
  • Practical experience in media relations, electronic communications, publication production, and strategic communication planning


  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, communications, public relations, or a closely related field.
  • 7 years of recent experience in editing, writing, media, public relations, or marketing
  • Communication and marketing experience in a college of engineering, university, or non-profit setting

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong interpersonal team skills and the ability to work independently


This is a full-time Civil Service Public Information Associate position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after April 28, 2021. Salary is commensurate with experience.

To Apply:

Applications must be received by April 28, 2021. Apply for this position using the “Apply for Position” button below. If you have not applied before, you must create your candidate profile at If you already have a profile, you will be redirected to that existing profile via email notification. To complete the application process:

Step 1) Submit the Staff Vacancy Application.

Step 2) Submit the Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability forms.

Step 3) Upload the following documents:

  • cover letter
  • resume (months and years of employment must be included)
  • academic credentials (unofficial transcripts or copy of diploma may be acceptable) for all degrees attained
  • names/contact information for three references
  • In order to be considered as a transfer candidate, you must apply for this position using the “Apply for Position” button below. Applications not submitted through this website will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, contact Rachael MF Coleman at [email protected]. For questions about the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

    The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility. The University of Illinois System requires candidates selected for hire to disclose any documented finding of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment and to authorize inquiries to current and former employers regarding findings of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment. For more information, visit Policy on Consideration of Sexual Misconduct in Prior Employment.

    College Name or Administrative Unit:Engineering Category:2-Administrative Title:Associate Director of Communications - Engineering Administration (143739) Open Date:04/02/2021 Close Date:04/28/2021 Organization Name:Engineering Administration




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    Job No:
    Posted: 4/4/2021
    Application Due: 4/28/2021
    Work Type: Full Time