Director of Strategic Communications

Apply now Job no: 522042
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Main Campus (Gainesville, FL)
Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Executive/Director/Management
Department:10020000 - SCM-STRATEGIC COMM & MARKETING

Classification Title: DIR, Communications
Job Description:

The Director of Strategic Communications will work closely with the Associate Director of Marketing, Social Media to monitor the online conversation for issues of importance to UF to anticipate, research, and provide recommended responses to issues and trends that pose a threat or concern to the university. This individual will play an important role on the SCM team in meeting the demands of its dual missions of advancing and protecting the University of Florida brand.  The Director will also have principal responsibility for the communications aspects of crisis preparedness and response and will work closely with key players across campus who hold the same responsibilities.

In crisis preparedness, this individual is responsible for maintaining, updating, and revising the crisis response manual for communicators, and for recommending and implementing activities to ensure that the communications staff is prepared to respond effectively to crises, as well as to issues at an early stage before they become crises. Such activities may include training, “tabletop” exercises, and full crisis simulations. This individual will also work closely with emergency management, the General Counsel’s office, the University Police Department, Government Relations, and others who work with sensitive topics and information.

In an actual crisis, this individual would help to coordinate the university’s response, working closely with media relations, social media, and other functions, as well as with key individuals from elsewhere within the university, and would be prepared to step into a leadership role if needed.

Monitors local, state, and national media sources for issues and trends in higher education

  • Stays current with issues at the local, state, and national levels that hold the potential to affect the university
  • Monitors social media for emergent issues that could negatively affect the university
  • Works with SCM leadership and others on campus to prepare statements for use as responses to media inquiries
  • Works with SCM leadership and others on campus to prepare communication plans for university response to issues
  • Meets with campus communicators and key campus constituents as needed to remain current with ongoing issues and potential challenges
  • Prepares regular reports for SCM leadership outlining potential threats to the university’s image

Maintains the university’s readiness for crisis communication

  • Updates and revises the university’s Emergency Communications Plan
  • Recommends and implements activities to ensure that the SCM staff and campus communicators are prepared to respond effectively to a crisis
  • When necessary, helps to coordinate the university’s response to actual crises
  • Participates in tabletops

Responds to news media inquiries, works with peers at other universities

  • Builds and maintains relationships with local, state, and national media
  • Responds to inquiries from media
  • Builds and maintains a database of media influencers in areas relevant to issues management and crisis communication
  • Establishes and maintains contacts with colleagues and peers at other universities and higher education associations who work in issues management and crisis communications
Expected Salary:

$80,000 - $105,000 annually; commensurate with education and experience. 

Minimum Requirements:

Master's degree in an appropriate area and six years of relevant experience; or a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate area and eight years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

At least 7-10 years of relevant experience and a record of accomplishment in communications and issues and/or crisis management for a large organization. Experience in higher education is a plus but not required. Demonstrated ability to use current analytical tools to assess the online conversation and identify threats and potential vulnerabilities is essential.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Experience in managing one or more serious crises in a large organizational setting.
  • Facility in using online analytics and preparing effective reports based thereon.
  • Ability to provide strategic counsel to others within the Communications Department as well as elsewhere in the University
  • Print, digital or broadcast journalism experience
  • Strong writing and speaking skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work under minimal supervision, and to demonstrate leadership when called upon
  • Ability to quickly adapt in, and respond to, crises and similar high-pressure situations in a calm, professional and positive manner.
Special Instructions to Applicants:

In order to be considered, you must upload your cover letter, resume and list of at least 3 professional references. 

This is NOT a remote position.  The incumbent will be required to work in our office on UF’s main campus in Gainesville, FL.

Application must be submitted by 11:55 p.m. (ET) of the posting end date.

Health Assessment Required: No


Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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