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Strategic Communications Specialist

DePaul University
Chicago, IL

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Communications & Marketing
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

The Highlights: The Strategic Communications Specialist is a member of the strategic communications team who supports reputation management, crisis response and mitigation, and strategic communications planning and implementation. The specialist will help conduct issues management research and seek opportunities to promote DePaul’s reputation to a wide range of internal and external audiences. The specialist will assess strategic issues by monitoring traditional and social media. This position requires a strategic thinker with outstanding editorial and writing skills. 

What You'll Do:

1. Issues management 
• Support the strategic communications team by producing talking points, statements, articles and other written materials to mitigate and proactively address issues.
• Support ongoing research and analysis of communication issues affecting colleges, centers, institutes and initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of these entities and facilitates the development of responsive public relations and communication strategies.
• Contribute to the monitoring and analysis of higher education initiatives, current events, public policy concerns and other relevant issues having a potential impact on DePaul.
• Assist with the monitoring of traditional and social media. 

2. Crisis response and emergency communications. 
• In the event of a crisis, serve as a member of the emergency communications response team, working in close collaboration with University Communications leadership and university partners. 
• Participate in and help develop crisis communications training exercises for university leadership, communications staff and key partners.
• Serve as a member of the on-call emergency communications team, executing DPU Alerts in a crisis situation. 
• Maintain expert knowledge and help train colleagues on how to send DPU Alerts.

3. Reputation management                                                                                                                                       • Collaborate with colleagues and subject matter experts to help implement communication strategies, developing such written materials as press releases, internal news articles, social media and video content. 
• Support communications for large-scale university initiatives and events, including convocation and commencement.
• Provide editorial guidance to support initiatives and ensure consistent messaging across the university. 
• Assist with the development of thought leadership materials, including op-eds, social media posts, podcasts and articles.

4. Measurement and reporting 
• Using key performance indicators, contribute to the evaluation of strategic communications initiatives. 
• Help collect and analyze metrics to create reports on a regular basis that illustrate progress and impact of strategic communications plans and crisis response. 


What You'll Need:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations, marketing, communication, journalism, English or related discipline
  • 3 – 5 years of full-time communications experience successfully utilizing a variety of communication tools 
  • Self-directed and ability to adapt to ever-changing issues and demands; ability to multi-task and work effectively on numerous project teams;
  • Ability to perform effectively under pressure and in a fast-paced, results-oriented communication environment;
  • Ability to think analytically, strategically and creatively;
  • High level of professionalism and effective communication skills, both verbal and written;
  • Professionally mature with sound judgment and the ability to gain immediate credibility with a wide range of campus colleagues; excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Adept at handling adversity and negative feedback from target audiences;
  • Ability to work independently and make decisions; 
  • Ability to treat sensitive and confidential matters with discretion;
  • Excellent organization skills and the ability to handle numerous assignments and issues; 
  • Demonstrated research and written skills (collecting data, research, and preparing reports and presentations) and strong analytical skills with a high-level of attention to detail.
  • Adept at creating and telling compelling stories and narratives through digital channels, traditional media and multimedia platforms.
  • Experience with developing strategic social media plans and implementation; strong working knowledge of a wide range of digital communication strategies and applications; demonstrated success with social media-driven public relations including developing digital influencer relationships and outreach campaigns.
  • Proficient with media monitoring, social listening and analytics-based platforms.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to interface and counsel, coach and communicate with all levels of senior management as well as with colleagues across the university. 
  • Proven ability to develop and implement effective communications strategies for PR campaigns.
  • Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative, as well as emerging, ways to inform via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Proven track record of excellent strategic thinking with a high degree of comfort and flexibility managing multiple competing priorities with attention to complex details.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills; knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, punctuation, AP style and grammar.
  • Experience working successfully with cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to work full-time on campus and travel between the Loop and Lincoln Park Campuses as necessary. 


  • Working for a stable and well-known University that values diversity and inclusion.
  • Top choice medical, dental, and vision benefits.
  • Retirement plan matching contribution of 10%.
  • Tuition waivers for employees and dependents.
  • Generous paid time off, sick time, holidays, floating holidays, and more!
  • Full-Time Benefits
For consideration, please include a resume and cover letter.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
Guided by an ethic of Vincentian personalism and professionalism, DePaul compassionately upholds the dignity of all members of its diverse, multi-faith, and inclusive community. We seek to hire collaborative, open-minded, and dedicated professionals who are committed to advancing our university mission to making education accessible to all, with special attention to including underserved and underrepresented communities. Successful candidates thrive in an environment where ideas and perspectives representing a wide variety of cultures, backgrounds and experiences are welcome and supported.

Required Background Check:

Employment at DePaul University is contingent on passing a background check. Only final candidates who are extended an offer of employment will undergo a background check.

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:

Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected. For more information, please visit the following pages:

Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS)  
Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act  

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, genetic information or any other legally protected status, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local EEO laws.


Working at DePaul University

Enrolling more than 23,000 students, DePaul is the ninth-largest private and largest Catholic university in the country. It offers over 200 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through nine colleges and schools. Nearly one third of DePaul’s students are of color—the most diverse of any private university in Illinois—and about 30 percent of each year’s freshmen class intend to be the first in their families to earn a college degree. DePaul’s success extends beyond recruitment—it is among the nation’s top 100 universities in awarding degrees to students of color.

Educating Chicago’s business leaders, lawyers, judges, teachers, artists and public servants for more than a century, DePaul enjoys an excellent academic reputation. It has earned impressive rankings from U.S. News & World Report for its business and law programs as well as distinctions for diversity and community service. A host of higher education guides have recognized DePaul for everything from its economic value and happy students to its hot and trendy campus and great town-gown relations.

DePaul prides itself on the strength of its academic programs, especially the programs in entrepreneurship, real estate, and the part-time MBA; computer science, network assurance and digital media; psychology and philosophy; music and theater; health and intellectual property law; and adult learning initiatives. Despite its size, the university is committed to providing students with personal attention; the student/faculty ratio is just 16:1. Professors who teach graduate students also teach undergraduates in small-group settings.

DePaul’s goal, expressed in the VISION twenty12 strategic plan, is to become one of the finest urban, Catholic universities in the United States. It is focused on creating nationally recognized, rigorous programs of study; preparing women and men to be at the forefront of their chosen fields as ethical and socially engaged leaders; and further strengthening its financial and operational foundations.

DePaul was founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (or Vincentian) religious community, which follows the teachings of 17th century French priest St. Vincent de Paul. Established to provide a high quality education to immigrants and others who were denied access to college, DePaul continues to embrace this mission today, recruiting and graduating significant numbers of students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups.


Located in Chicago, Illinois, DePaul has two primary campuses and four suburban locations. The Loop Campus is in the heart of the downtown business and cultural district and is home to four of DePaul’s colleges, a theater, a residence hall and most administrative functions. It is separated by a 20-minute trip on Chicago’s “el” train from the Lincoln Park Campus, close to Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field. Considered one of the nation’s most beautiful urban campuses, Lincoln Park is home to five colleges, the main library, numerous residence halls, a student center and the Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center, open to employees and students.

Both campuses are located in thriving business and residential districts that are well served by public transportation, providing a full array of housing choices for employees. Chicago boasts six professional sports teams and some of the best theater, music and art venues in the nation. As an international business hub and conference center, Chicago enables employees to build strong professional networks and remain on the leading edge of their fields.

More Information on DePaul University
• About the Area


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