The University of Wisconsin River Falls, a member of the University of Wisconsin System, is located in scenic west central Wisconsin, 30 miles from the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. Year-round arts, cultural and recreational events are easily accessible from River Falls. UWRF's 6,100 undergraduate and graduate students pursue degrees in four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Education and Professional Studies; Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; and Business and Economics.
The University provides an excellent environment for learning, emphasizing the importance of faculty-student interaction in classrooms, laboratories, academic advising, and co-curricular activities. A favorable student-faculty ratio affords opportunity for meaningful interchange between faculty and students. Strong interests in teaching, research and community service are highly valued. More information about UWRF can be found at: http://www.uwrf.edu/workhere/.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls is seeking an accomplished and innovative Director of University Communications and Marketing (Official Title: Director, Public Information), a senior-level position within the UW-River Falls Chancellor’s Division providing leadership for the University Communications and Marketing (UCM) office. Reporting to the Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, the director will support the institution’s mission, vision, and strategic plan goals by providing leadership for a comprehensive and integrated communications and marketing strategy. The work of the director should foster positive public opinion and communicate a compelling story about UW-River Falls that supports the institution’s pursuit of its student recruitment, public perception, alumni and donor engagement and state relations goals. The director is also the university’s chief public information officer, serving as university spokesperson when required, and is responsible for the accurate and timely interpretation and explanation of the institution's policies, procedures and messages in emergency situations.
Specific Duties and Responsibilities:
Direct Institutional Communications and Marketing (75%):
Raise the visibility of UW-River Falls and advance the UWRF brand through development and implementation of strategically integrated communications, marketing and public relations
Work with the Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, the Chancellor and UW System colleagues as appropriate to ensure all communications align with the institutional mission, strategic plan and UW System priorities; establish and maintain effective relationships with UW System Office of University Relations.
Ensure key stories and information are effectively communicated to internal and external audiences, demonstrating a deep understanding of target markets (prospective students, alumni, donors, local community, etc.).
Hold final authority and responsibility for all institutional publications of UCM, including Falcon Features, Falcon Quarterly, and written and visual content on uwrf.edu; ensure integrity of messages and branding protocol for all social media platforms, advertising creative, printed materials and other collateral (such as that developed for events and meetings).
Establish and maintain strong relationships with local, regional and national media (print, broadcast and new media); write, edit and approve feature articles, press releases and media advisories.
Work collaboratively with decentralized marketing and communications resources across campus, ensuring enforcement of UCM policies and procedures to maintain high quality standards and consistency of style, identity, voice and brand, and to avoid overlap or duplication of efforts.
Develop and implement, in collaboration with the Admissions Office and other campus stakeholders, a multi-year and/or annual integrated marketing plan; refine target markets and conduct market research as needed; research and deploy innovative tools and tactics, including those offered through external vendors, with an increasing emphasis on digital campaigns, and strategies to improve SEO and SEM.
Continually develop and assess effective marketing and communications strategies, working collaboratively with university leadership and other stakeholders to research and identify new opportunities and strategically plan for UWRF brand evolution.
Optimize investment of limited resources for maximum return on investment.
Serve as Public Information Officer (10%)
Serve on the university’s Emergency Management Team as Public Information Officer.
Provide information to the public and media as necessary and to meet legal requirements, including performing official spokesperson duties in the UWRF Emergency Operations Center if activated.
Provide responses to Wisconsin Open Records Law requests submitted by the media, in coordination with UWRF’s Public Records Custodian.
Lead University Communications and Marketing Office (10%)
Lead, motivate, supervise and evaluate a team of creative professionals including four direct reports (media, marketing and communications specialists and graphic design team lead) to promote a consistent, professional and collaborative image for the university; perform typical supervisory duties (approve staff time/leave requests, set goals and assess performance).
Provide visionary leadership for graphic design, visual media, marketing and editing services and promote services offered to campus.
Provide guidance on prioritization of requests and ensure efficiency and accountability in management of project workflow.
Develop and ensure compliance with UCM policies and procedures.
Manage UCM office budget and expenditures, as well as separate institutional marketing budget and expenditures.
Other duties as assigned (5%)
Bachelor's degree (journalism, communications, public relations, marketing or related field preferred).
At least 8-10 years’ experience in public relations, communications, journalism, integrated marketing, or similar, preferably in a higher education setting.
Successful experience in a leadership position, supervising a productive, diverse and creative staff.
Skillset that encompass the majority of aspects involved in integrated marketing communications (writing, advertising, public relations, market research, publications, digital/social media, events, media relations, etc.).
Excellent writing, storytelling and research skills; able to draft and edit content quickly and accurately; able to clearly present ideas across various media platforms (press releases, bylined articles, ad copy, social media messaging, and marketing collateral).
Highly organized, proactive, detail and deadline oriented, with the ability to handle multiple priorities while providing a high level of service to internal and external customers.
Knowledge of the current media and marketing industries, especially as they relate to higher education.
Familiarity with emergency communications management and protocols.
Professional presence and ability to communicate succinctly under pressure.
Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment, with a high degree of flexibility.
Ability to think strategically and maintain a “big picture” focus, while paying attention to detail and managing complex multi-stakeholder project execution employing solid analytical/problem-solving skills.
Experience with budget management, vendor relations, purchasing procedures, project management and workflow oversight, including ability to set and abide by project deadlines; ability to prioritize and see projects through to completion; experience managing both urgent, short-term projects and complex, longer-term projects.
Ability to work professionally and collaborate effectively with a wide variety of constituencies including internal and external stakeholders.
More than 10 years of relevant work experience.
Master’s degree in related field.
Knowledge of AP Style.
Experience with the National Emergency Management System public information and media relations protocols.
Familiarity with current public and legislative topics related to the University of Wisconsin System.
Working knowledge of Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite and CMS.
Deadline to Apply: Initial review of applications will begin upon receipt. For full consideration, applicants should submit all required materials by July 5, 2018. A criminal background check will be completed on final candidates.
The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identities of applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except that the identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis. Stat. sec. 19.36(7).
UW-River Falls does not offer H-1B or other work authorization visa sponsorship for this position. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States at the time of hire and maintain work authorization throughout the employment term. If you have questions regarding this, please contact Human Resources at 715-425-4941.
About University of Wisconsin - River Falls
Our mission is to help prepare students to be productive, creative, ethical, engaged citizens and leaders with an informed global perspective.