Associate Director Communications - Information Technology
January 17, 2018
The Associate Director of Communications is a key position within the central IT division and works in partnership with technology leaders and business partners across the schools and departments to develop a campus-wide communications program that advances, supports, and aligns with Northwestern University’s strategic goals. The Associate Director plans and directs essential communications for Northwestern IT. The Associate Director will collaborate with IT leadership, lead and mentor a team of support specialists responsible for developing communications to diverse constituencies, and establish protocols to ensure a coordinated and consistent approach. This department is responsible for maintaining the Northwestern IT website, Digital Learning website, and the IT service catalog, as well as deliver information via web, print, video, and social media, all in support of an exceptional service delivery standard. This position reports to the Associate Vice President of IT Services and Support with a dotted line to the Vice President of Information Technology / CIO.
Partnership and Alignment
Promote a culture of collaboration to support and advance communications regarding Northwestern IT services, strategic priorities and initiatives.
Provide mentorship and support for communications specialists and IT leadership in developing targeted communications.
Establish mechanisms to build a coordinated, consistent approach to developing and publishing communications in accordance with University best practices.
Strategic Communications and Marketing
Plan, develop, and implement a comprehensive communications and marketing strategy for Northwestern IT, in close collaboration with the Director of Communications for the Office of the Executive Vice President.
Lead targeted campaigns to raise awareness about IT services. Review and assess communications work to improve quality and collaboration.
Prepare quarterly updates and an annual report that highlights strategic initiatives and key accomplishments.
Pursue professional development opportunities and strive to uncover opportunities for improvement, identifying relevant new technologies, methodologies, and practices and ultimately determine their fit in achieving our strategic priorities.
Direct the day-to-day work of the IT communications staff, including strategic communications planning, timeline and milestone development for extended communication initiatives.
Write, edit, and review feature stories, digital media, and presentations. Establish a process to evaluate these materials and their impact, focusing on improvement opportunities.
Mentor, lead, and develop the communications team to ensure they have the skills to deliver high-quality communications. Facilitate all aspects of performance management, including the hiring, evaluation, promotion and termination of employees.
Accessibility and Compliance
Ensure adherence to communications, branding, and accessibility standards across central IT and encourage colleagues to engage in advance planning and review. Assess all communications media for compliance with accessibility standards. Represent IT on University accessibility committees.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Bachelor’s Degree in Communications or relevant discipline.
Ten years of experience in developing strategic communications, public relations, media relations, or marketing, preferably within a complex organization.
Five years proven experience working strategically with developing digital communications and materials, including the use of analytics tools to measure effectiveness.
Experience managing a team of communications support specialists.
Experience building effective partnerships at the senior level of an organization and collaborating with executives in an intense, dynamic environment.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Exemplary written and verbal skills and the ability to develop compelling, creative, and effective messages and statements; translation of technically-oriented concepts into customer-friendly content.
Gravitas and persistency, enthusiasm, leadership, and solid influencing and negotiation skills. Exercise of exemplary judgment, utmost discretion and confidentiality in all matters.
Excellent analytic, planning and execution skills, with demonstrated ability to analyze problems from multiple points of view, lead consensus building within groups with differing views, and translate consensus into action.
Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with a range of people, either as a project leader or as a team member, to successfully bring projects in on time and on budget.
Ability to act on own initiative to further organizational and University goals.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
Master’s Degree in Communications or relevant field.
Experience in developing communications for a highly-decentralized corporate or academic environment, with career emphasis on planning and implementation of large, multi-divisional communication initiatives.
Extensive management experience related to organizational strategy, change management, and service excellence initiatives.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 29230
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.