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Company:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Division:
Prairie Research Institute
City:
Champaign
State:
Illinois
Country:
USA
Website URL:
Posted: 11/21/2022
Associate Director for Strategic Communications or Senior Associate Director for Strategic Communications

The Prairie Research Institute (PRI), a research and service institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign centrally located between Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, houses five large scientific surveys covering a wide range of expertise including biology, water resources, climate, geology, sustainable technology, and archaeology. PRI’s mission is to provide objective, integrated scientific research and service that allow citizens and decision-makers to make choices that ensure sustainable economic development, enduring environmental quality, and cultural resource preservation for the people, businesses, and governments of Illinois. Learn more at go.illinois.edu/PRIjobs.

Why Work at the Prairie Research Institute?

Highlights of Employee Benefits

Senior Associate Director for Strategic Communications level will be responsible for serving as a member of the PRI Executive Leadership Team. Responsible for research, planning, design and implementation of strategic communications plans, promoting and managing the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) brand and reputation to internal and external stakeholders, and leading the communications team.

Associate Director for Strategic Communications level will be responsible for serving as a member of the PRI Executive Leadership Team. Responsible for designing and implementing strategic communications plans, promoting and managing the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) brand and reputation to internal and external stakeholders, and leading the communications team.

Senior Associate Director for Strategic Communications Duties & Responsibilities

Executive Leadership

· Serve on the Office of the Executive Director’s leadership team.

· Advise the Executive Director and unit leaders on communication, internal and external messaging, and enhancing PRI’s brand and reputation.

· Develop, implement, evaluate, and refine a comprehensive communication strategy designed to advance and achieve key Institute goals.

· Develop and assess measurable goals and objectives that advance the Strategic Framework as well as communication objectives.

· Plan and conduct research to advice the Executive Leadership Team on forward thinking communication and marketing strategies in order to share research findings and data.

· Serve as a key liaison to university public affairs, marketing and branding, and advancement staff.

· Assist with executive communications, including developing presentations and writing speeches. Provide information and reports required by PRI, University, and outside agencies.

· Build a culture of collaboration with internal and external partners including colleges, institutes, university administration, and government and industry stakeholders.

Executive Strategic Communications

· Develop and implement strategies to communicate and advance relationships with PRI stakeholders, including internal audiences, the campus community, policymakers, donors and potential donors, research collaborators, and funding agencies.

· Analyze and measure effectiveness and impact of communication efforts.

· Place PRI experts and messages in in print, broadcast, and digital media. Manage routine media inquiries and crisis communication and serve as the organization’s media spokesperson.

· Coordinate and contribute to content creation for newsletters, legislative factsheets, websites, social media, and other communication efforts.

· Ensure that communications efforts are aligned with PRI’s goal to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Management/Supervisory-

· Develop and manage communications budget, including allocation of funds for expenditures and commitments in resources.

· Develop processes and procedures for the effective and efficient functioning of the strategic communications team.

· Hire, train, supervise, and mentor communications staff.

· Manage communications projects to ensure quality, consistency, timeliness, effectiveness. .

Other

· Participate in various campus committees related to public affairs and University communications.

· Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Survey, PRI, and the University of Illinois.

· Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

Associate Director for Strategic Communications Duties & Responsibilities

Executive Leadership

· Serve on the Office of the Executive Director’s leadership team.

· Advise the Executive Director and unit leaders on communication, internal and external messaging, and enhancing PRI’s brand and reputation.

· Develop, implement, evaluate, and refine a comprehensive communication strategy designed to advance and achieve key Institute goals.

· Serve as a key liaison to university public affairs, marketing and branding, and advancement staff.

· Assist with executive communications, including developing presentations and writing speeches.

· Provide information and reports required by PRI, University, and outside agencies.

· Build a culture of collaboration with internal and external partners including colleges, institutes, university administration, and government and industry stakeholders.

Executive Strategic Communications

· Develop and implement strategies to communicate and advance relationships with PRI stakeholders, including internal audiences, the campus community, policymakers, donors and potential donors, research collaborators, and funding agencies.

· Analyze and measure effectiveness and impact of communication efforts.

· Place PRI experts and messages in print, broadcast, and digital media. Manage routine media inquiries and crisis communication and serve as the organization’s media spokesperson.

· Coordinate and contribute to content creation for newsletters, legislative factsheets, websites, social media, and other communication efforts.

· Ensure that communications efforts are aligned with PRI’s goal to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

Management/Supervisory

· Develop and manage communications budget, including allocation of funds for expenditures and commitments in resources.

· Develop processes and procedures for the effective and efficient functioning of the strategic communications team.

· Hire, train, supervise, and mentor communications staff.

· Manage communications projects to ensure quality, consistency, timeliness, effectiveness.

Other – 5%

· Participate in various campus committees related to public affairs and University communications.

· Perform other duties as needed in order to further the mission and goals of the Surveys, PRI, and the University of Illinois.

· Keep abreast of developments in this discipline.

 

Senior Associate Director for Strategic Communications Minimum Qualifications: Master’s degree in public relations, journalism, or other communications field. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to relevant PRI technologies and projects). A minimum of twelve years of experience in strategic communications, including writing and editing, public relations, and web presence with a thorough knowledge of current media technologies and how they apply to information distribution. Minimum of eight years of experience in coordinating public or external relations plans, policies, and implementation of strategies. Eight years of experience with scientific or strategic communications with possible policy implications.

Preferred Qualifications: Accreditation in Public Relations credentials (PRSA). A minimum of fifteen years of experience in overall development and implementation of strategic communications and/or marketing for large-scale institute or organization. Minimum of ten years of experience in coordinating public or external relations plans, policies, and implementation of strategies. Ten years of experience with scientific or strategic communications with possible policy implications. A minimum of five years of experience supervising staff and a communication team. Experience working in a not-for-profit, higher education or other public institution.

Associate Director for Strategic Communications Minimum Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, or other communications field. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to relevant PRI technologies and projects). A minimum of eight years of experience in strategic communications, including writing and editing, public relations, and web presence with a thorough knowledge of current media technologies and how they apply to information distribution. Minimum of 4 years of experience in coordinating public or external relations plans, policies, and implementation of strategies.

Preferred Qualifications: Master’s degree in public relations, journalism, or other communications field. Alternative degree fields will be considered/accepted if accompanied by equivalent experience (depending on nature and depth of experience as it relates to relevant PRI technologies and projects). A minimum of 12 years of experience in overall development and implementation of strategic communications and/or marketing for large-scale institute or organization. Eight years of experience in coordinating public or external relations plans, policies, and implementation of strategies. Eight years of experience with scientific or strategic communications with possible policy implications. Experience working in a not-for-profit, higher education or other public institution.

Senior Associate Director and Associate Director for Strategic Communications Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Ability to collaborate with a diverse population including University faculty, administrators, and representatives of industrial partners and external agencies. Excellent oral and written communication skills with proven ability to prepare concise reports, presentations and deliver formal presentations senior management and other stakeholders. Exceptional interpersonal skills and understanding of group dynamics. Successful track record of establishing credibility and trust with a diverse client group, including senior leaders. Demonstrated leadership skills and management. Strong analytical, critical thinking, creative problem solving, good judgment, negotiation, influencing, and strategic decision making skills. Ability to maintain confidentiality, tact, and diplomacy. Demonstrated ability to perform effectively in a diverse and fast-paced work environment consisting of multiple and changing priorities with stringent deadlines, under minimal supervision. Attention to detail, sound judgment, and strong conflict resolution skills. Proficiency in commonly-employed software and databases.

Working Conditions: The work of this position takes place in an office setting. The work is sedentary and involves remaining in a stationary position for extended periods of time working at a computer, using a keyboard and mouse, and using repetitive hand motions.

Appointment Information
This is a regular full-time academic professional appointment, renewable annually based upon satisfactory progress in the position and continued funding. The starting date is negotiable and salary is commensurate with experience and skills.

Application Procedures & Deadline Information
Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on December 16, 2022. Applications not submitted through https://jobs.illinois.edu will not be considered. Application materials must include a 1) cover letter that clearly describes your qualifications and experience as it relates to this position, 2) a CV or resume, and 3) names and contact information (including email addresses) for three professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Megan Weeks, mkweeks@illinois.edu, 217-244-4768. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137. For further information about this specific position, please contact Megan Weeks, mkweeks@illinois.edu 217-244-4768. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.


The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing accessibility@illinois.edu.