Overview The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) fosters a lifelong spirit of belonging and pride by connecting alumni, students, and friends to the University of Minnesota and each other. The Association advocates for the University and its alumni with a credible, independent, and collaborative voice. UMAA seeks a Director of Communications to lead the development of UMAA communications plans and strategies; work with UMAA staff tasked with producing messages and tactics that reach broad and segmented audiences each year; provide leadership across the organization to ensure delivery of on-brand, on-message communications that drive alumni engagement, expand revenue, and grow our organization.
Position Summary Reporting to the UMAA CEO, the Director of Communications plays an exciting role in fulfilling the mission of the UMAA. With highly developed written and verbal communications skills, the Director of Communications understands UMAA’s audiences and supports the communications, public relations, media and writing needs of the organization. This individual must effectively work at all levels of the organization and act as an exemplary UMAA brand ambassador among internal and external constituencies.
Develop and implement communications strategies to ensure both alumni and internal campus stakeholders understand the UMAA, its impact, and how it serves the University.
Serve on the UMAA Leadership Team, which is tasked with developing organizational strategies.
Conduct research to gain insight into UMAA stakeholders, incorporate resulting data into communications strategies and tactics, and socialize findings throughout the organization.
Oversee media relations efforts including establishing relationships with media (to include acting as first point of contact); writing and distributing press releases; crafting responses to media inquiries including those necessitating crisis communications; providing presence coaching to staff and leaders prior to media appearances; and developing plans for proactive media relations.
Serve as primary UMAA liaison to the University of Minnesota Media Relations department.
Develop and implement advocacy plans and messages to respond to alumni about major University crises or news; initiate proactive efforts to communicate with members and alumni.
Coordinate and write UMAA responses to alumni inquiries on major University issues, crises or news.
Develop timely and relevant key messages for UMAA and collaborate with UMAA staff to ensure consistency across the organization. Mentor and empower staff to support those efforts through their work.
Write compelling copy to support the alumni engagement, communications, revenue, advocacy, and public relations needs of the UMAA across all channels.
Write and edit a wide range of materials as needed including video scripts, short articles, newsletters, ad copy, collateral brochures, briefs, promotional pieces, press releases, website content, emails, speeches, etc.
Work closely with UMAA CEO on stakeholder messages; write speeches, create presentations, and prep CEO for media interviews as needed.
Represent the UMAA on the University-wide communications professionals forum.
Ability to work outside of regular office hours when required.
Other dutires as assigned
Required Minimum Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, or a related degree.
Six years of progressive responsibility in communications
Exceptional writing, editing and proofreading skills, including understanding and effectively translating complex subject matter.
Ability to work within a fast-paced team environment and collaborate to achieve goals.
Extremely organized with outstanding time management skills and strong attention to detail.
Experience in nonprofit or higher education (preferred)
Strong project management skills
The salary range for this position is $70,000 - $80,000. The position includes benefits, paid leave and some flexibility with work location.
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.