The SPH communications team is seeking applications for a full-time associate director of communications.
The School of Public Health (SPH) is committed to antiracism and anti-oppression in our mission and operations. In pursuit of this goal, we consider an applicant’s record working with individuals from historically marginalized backgrounds and their experience identifying and eliminating systemic barriers to success in an academic environment. SPH seeks to increase the diversity of its workforce, and we particularly encourage applications from those who belong to groups that have been underrepresented in our discipline, including those who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, those with disabilities, and those from LGBTQIA+ communities.
Please note: At this time, the University’s employment site is limited in how it collects applicant demographic information. Applicants are encouraged to provide their preferred name and/or pronouns within their attached application materials.
The School of Public Health (SPH) at the University of Minnesota is a top ranked institution (#11 by U.S. News & World Report) that prepares some of the most influential leaders in the field and provides the knowledge health departments, communities, and policymakers need to make the best decisions about population health.
The associate director of communications reports to the director of communications and is a senior strategic leader for the SPH communications team. The person in this position works as part of the team to enable a cohesive and connected communication plan for the school’s internal and external audiences. The associate director leads a content group that aligns editorial strategy with the school’s overall messaging. The associate director is a talented writer who crafts remarks and other correspondence for the dean and senior leaders.
This role has significant partner-facing responsibilities and requires an individual with a collaborative mindset, commitment to inclusion, and excellent interpersonal skills. The associate director supervises the SPH internal communications and antiracism strategist, news media strategist, and video producer and photographer who make up the content group. They plan and manage editorial content and strategies using creative thinking, expert data analysis, strong writing and editing skills, and a knowledge of best practices for traditional and digital media and related platforms.
The University of Minnesota is driven to create a diverse workforce of the future where people are engaged, connected, thriving, and achieving. This position is based in Minneapolis on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The SPH associate director of communications may be able to work a hybrid schedule, especially if they have care responsibilities and/or disabilities, with some time in the office to demonstrate their accessibility and flexibility. May be asked to work outside normal office hours to attend signature events.
Salary range $85,000-100,000 dependent upon selected candidates relevant qualifications and internal equity.
Editorial Strategy, Planning, & Production (35%)
Work with the director of communications and other senior strategic leaders to develop and manage a comprehensive content strategy to support school objectives. Align messaging with the school’s strategic communications plan and key internal and external audiences. Manage the annual editorial calendar. Audit and assess the effectiveness of existing communication channels. Develop measures of success to benchmark effectiveness. Bring new perspectives on how to create content that meets the needs of our communities. Recommend and implement new tools and approaches for better engaging key audiences. Develop and drive ethical and inclusive communication strategies, demonstrating a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Collaborate with University partners and participate in communications forums for shared best practices and University messaging alignment. Produce (write, edit, and guide the design of) digital and print communications, including Advances magazine, Advances in Population Health newsletter, news releases, feature stories, website content, social media content, video scripts, annual reports, donor materials, and event communications. Ensure all content adheres to SPH and University style. Manage the school’s website homepage content.
Executive Communications (20%)
Produce content, speech writing, and presentation materials for the dean of the School of Public Health. Write or edit pieces that communicate progress, process, and priorities to the school community in the voice of the dean. Advise on concepts and directions for articles, posts, and emails. Provide occasional communications assistance for other members of the school’s leadership team. Manage SPH strategy for prominent faculty awards. Working with leadership and content producers across the school, shepherd award nominations through to submission.
Research, Alumni, and Donor Communications (25%)
Manage the school’s research, news, alumni, and giving websites, ensuring information presented is timely and relevant. This includes driving strategy, writing content, and publishing stories on the website. Strengthen the school’s research presence and messaging through strategic communications and storytelling and by managing the SPH faculty directory. In partnership with the SPH Office of Research, consult and strategize on center communications planning and implementation, including launch/media strategies, communications plans, websites, and storytelling. Consult and strategize on alumni and donor communications planning and implementation, including editing stories, newsletters, event materials, and campaigns. Develop ways to strengthen the school’s connection with alumni and donors through digital media channels. Leverage existing tools supported by UMAA. Serve as the point person for the school’s alumni and donor campaign messaging, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Foundation and SPH’s development office.
Management and Communications Integration — 20%
Supervise three full-time employees who manage internal and antiracism communications, news media, and video production and photography. Develop a solid understanding of communicating through a DEI lens, then work to embed those principles into school communications. Work with members of the SPH communications team to support/maintain internal communications processes and practices, as well as develop new approaches to improve efficiency, responsiveness, and strategic communications. Manage an editorial budget and freelance content creators. Serve as project manager for content initiatives. Collaborate with communications team colleagues on the strategic content integration through electronic communications and social media. Partner with graphic designers to develop infographics and designs for social media content.
Exceptional writing and editing skills as demonstrated through professional samples and/or portfolio.
Commitment to antiracism, justice, and equity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
Demonstrated ability to cultivate and develop inclusive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, such as students, faculty, staff, reporters, partner organizations, and community members.
Strong problem-solving and project management skills with a demonstrated record of managing multiple priorities, engaging others, and delegating work as needed, while meeting tight deadlines.
Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, marketing, or related field.
Eight years of experience in a professional communications role.
Demonstrated experience working and communicating effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
Fierce commitment to producing user-centered content.
Knowledge of public health.
Savvy digital marketing skills — experience with SalesForce Marketing Cloud is a plus.
Website editing experience.
Experience working in a public health or higher education setting.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.