Associate Vice President, Integrated Marketing and Communications

Location: Takoma Park, Maryland
Date Posted: 05-24-2017

Associate Vice President, Integrated Marketing and Communications
Office of Corporate Communications

Position is available July 1, 2018
Recruitment will continue until the position is filled

Washington Adventist University (WAU) is a Christ-centered institution of higher education that supports a culture of excellence where all feel valued.  Nestled in a desirable residential community in Takoma Park, Maryland, WAU offers its faculty and staff an environment where professional expertise is valued and lasting connections between co-workers are formed as we work together to ensure the success of our students.  Regardless of title, every employee supports WAU’s vision of producing graduates who bring moral leadership and competence to their communities.

The AVP for Integrated Marketing and Communications has responsibility for overall communications, research-based messaging, marketing, and branding activity for the University. The AVP serves as the University’s chief marketing and communications officer and is a key member of the University’s leadership team.  The AVP represents and promotes the University, increasing its visibility and supporting the institution’s mission, vision, and goals.  The AVP leads the development and implementation of the University’s brand vision, strategy, and public relations campaigns to attract the best students, motivate alumni and donors, and recruit high quality faculty and staff.  The AVP oversees the areas of university communications, publications, photographic services, social media, digital signage, web, news media, and marketing research relevant to higher education. The AVP will lead strategic research initiatives leading to the development and implementation of action plans for effective marketing of the University and its academic programs. The AVP will also effectively provide strategic direction and coordinates marketing and communications produced by other academic and administrative units.
  • Provides leadership and vision for the University’s strategic and integrated marketing and communications functions.
  • Leads and directs the marketing, communications and public relations staff and coordinates at the strategic and tactical levels with all University departments.
  • Develops and executes a comprehensive, long-term and proactive University-wide communications, marketing, and branding strategy consistent with the strategic goals, plans, and aspirations of the University.
  • Develops, implements, and manages a comprehensive integrated communications and marketing program; the strategic program will encompass marketing, media relations, and publications, and will be designed to ensure communication of institutional priorities in research, teaching and public service to key constituencies.
  • Develops and implements programs to market the University to various communities.
  • Manages the communication office, which is responsible for media relations and institutional publications for the campus.
  • Oversees the development of unified campus-wide comprehensive marketing plan as well as marketing theme and design, including logos, and other creative designs.
  • Directs the development of collateral materials in support of marketing strategies including publications, videos, electronic communications and multimedia presentations.
  • Identifies target groups for campus outreach and dissemination of marketing materials and develops and implements plans for conducting market research of target groups.
  • Develops themes and/or messages to promote University priorities for use by all campus offices engaged in student, community, alumni, and development outreach.
  • Utilizes a research-based approach to identify key messages and audiences, works consistently to tell the University’s stories by weaving them together to create a consistent, unified message in support of the WAU brand, and articulates the University’s image and brand in the delivery of the University’s message to all constituents.
  • Serves as the University’s brand manager, with the responsibility of positioning the University in the market, determining target audiences, and maintaining the desired reputation.
  • Plans and oversees the design and production of all marketing, public relations, and advertising products.
  • Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as required by the President.
  • Supports and affirms a culture of distinctive excellence and exceptional service.
  • Attends university events and, required meetings (including weekly Convocation)
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Communicates the University’s position and policies on a variety of issues to specific media and to various University constituencies which includes serving as the University spokesperson with the media as appropriate.
  • Develops and implements a comprehensive integrated communications plan for the campus, in consultation with the President, Provost, VP’s, Deans, and the academic departments.
  • Develops and implements plans for the use of electronic and web-based communication for implementation of public relations strategies.
  • Provides editorial leadership for all release and publications, such as, the Gateway magazine, promotional information, institutional events and programs and for various campus brochures and newsletters.
  • Develops and implements plans for high visibility speaking engagements and other public relations activities to strategically link the institution and its key leaders with opinion leaders and targeted constituent groups – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Advises President and other senior administrators on public relations implications and potential strategies for internal and external communications.

Media Relations
  • Manages the public information functions for the campus including developing public information policies and ensuring that the office complies with state and federal laws.
  • Drafts and maintains a crisis communication plan and provides crisis communication management for leadership during incidents that have potential to negatively impact the University’s reputation.
  • Advises University administrators, staff, and faculty in media relations techniques by providing training exercises and materials.
  • Proactively seeks national news media coverage in concert with campus communication objectives.
  • Oversees the coordination of media coverage and responses to major news and events by consulting with appropriate administrators to determine the campus responses and development of position statements. 
  • Develops media relations policies, writing stories and scripts, initiating special publications, writing articles for publications, and performing other related hands-on functions.
  • Manages the print and electronic publications function for the campus.
  • Directs online communications for the campus to include policy development and compliance, training, coordination of administrative and academic communications, and direct homepage and portal development.
  • Develops focus and content of external institutional publications for review by the appropriate administrator.
  • Advises campus department leaders/managers on strategies to communicate to target audiences and development of materials to build the University’s image among those audiences.
  • Based on market research, develop and implement marketing strategies for growing niche academic programs.
  • Continuously assess the effectiveness of marketing and communication initiatives.
  • Work with each academic unit to determine the most effective marking strategy to grow enrollment.
  • Develop, in collaboration with academic units, a marketing plan grows ground and online academic programs.
  • Masters in journalism, public relations, communications, or a related field is required
  • 5-7 years of experience in a similar role, preferably in higher education
  • Passion for WAU’s mission and vision
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with internal stakeholders and external media, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience with a variety of print and online communications media
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance an organization's mission and goals
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Superior leadership and management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers toward desired outcomesSelf-reliant, good problem solver, results oriented
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage a department budget
  •  Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, WAU Board of Trustees and staff
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team builder and leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance, and administration initiatives
  • Knowledge of all Microsoft Office software and other related communication/marketing software and demonstrate the ability to learn and use institutional software systems.
Benefits package includes:
  • Health care, including vision, dental and prescription drug
  • Flexible Spending Plans
  • Competitive 403B plan Retirement Plan
  • Tuition assistance for employees, spouse and dependents
  • Life insurance including supplemental and accidental death and dismemberment policies
  • Long Term Disability
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • AFLAC insurance
  • Legal Assistance Program
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness programs
  • Professional development classes
Title VII Exception Notice
Washington Adventist University is a religiously qualified Equal Opportunity Employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  As such the University has the legal right to prefer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist ("SDA") Church in its hiring process. In the event that a qualified SDA candidate is not identified, the University will give the opportunity to candidates who must understand and respect the mission, purpose, and identity of Washington Adventist University as a condition of their employment.
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