The Senior Director of Strategic Content plans, orchestrates and oversees creation of strategic content to advance the university’s reputation and affinity among key audiences to ultimately move them to supportive action. You are responsible for developing audience-based content strategy that drives organizational goals. Through planning and execution, you are editor-in-chief ensuring development of high-quality, engaging content that reflects MSU’s brand and creates a strong and cohesive narrative. You lead a process to ideate and identify content that differentiates MSU and moves audiences. You assign resources –internal or external—and manage development of products through execution to ensure beautifully crafted work that increases awareness, understanding, preference, engagement and actions. You are the high-level conductor of planning, execution and curation of content for use across multiple channels and products, experienced across all digital media and with particular depth in video concepts and social. You lead a team producing, curating and cultivating content for some of the university’s most visible web, email and social properties including MSUToday, msu.edu and institutional social accounts. You are both big picture and detail oriented, a creative thinker and a disciplined planner. You are digitally savvy and have deep expertise in content trends, specialty executions and use of data to inform and optimize content planning, performance and resource management.
Content Strategy, Planning and Editorial Management
Develops deep understanding of higher education landscape, institutional priorities and goals, University Communications strategies and MSU brand to strategize role of content in communicating key messages and differentiators
Plans, orchestrates and leads creation of strategic content that meets our goals, advances the university’s academic and research reputation and drives audience affinity, acting as editor-in-chief to ensure content is high quality and aligned with organizational and brand strategy
Leads the content/creative team and works with partners to plan and deliver a cohesive narrative aligned to organizational strategy; orchestrates content from multiple sources and across multiple channels to drive goals and helps create harmony across various owned channels, advertising and earned media storytelling across MSU
Collaborates with channel managers and other partners to develop audience-based content strategies including types and kinds of content to drive attitudinal and behavioral outcomes; produces and updates written content strategy including an annual plan detailing mix of forms and formats to advance goals with each audience
Stays abreast of digital and content trends, specialty executions and use of data to inform and optimize content planning, performance and resource management
Uses editorial experience and rigor to shape content to be powerful and engaging while ensuring it is on strategy
As required, exercises top-notch writing, editing and high-level story and narrative shaping skills to ensure content delivers on strategy
Leads content development of multichannel campaigns that connect high visibility signature content with an ecosystem of reinforcing content to generate greater messaging impact; versions creative ideas and executions for multiple channels and touchpoints across campus to extend frequency and reach
Collaborates with audience development, digital strategy, research and analytics professionals to understand and use data analytics and strategic communications research to better understand our audiences, tailor our communications and explore new content ideas to drive goals
Guides development of strategic content to ensure products clearly and intentionally drive organizational goals; updates standard or existing approaches, formats or models, including content model based on new learning as necessary
Adjusts and flexes as opportunities arise and needs change in a fast-paced environment; balances managing a function that is part "news publisher" sharing news that develops or comes in quickly and part "marketer" working a content calendar tied to longer-term strategy
Creative Direction and Resource Management
Drives content execution for owned, shared and paid channels working in partnership with channel managers
Leads the process to ideate and identify content that differentiates MSU and moves audiences; be an exceptional team player, facilitator, inspirator and collaborator, as well as strategist, who can focus the creative power of a talented internal team and communicators across campus to communicate and meet our strategic goals including excellence and belonging in exceptional ways that change perceptions and lead to action
Provides clear direction and actionable feedback to writers, designers, editors, photographers and videographers to communicate strategy and creative vision and to indicate revisions when necessary
Supports diversity, equity and inclusion including reviewing content with a DEI lens, integrating DEI messaging and visuals in content production; seek out other perspectives when needed
Maintains awareness and accountability for all content development and creative production work in the University Communications content/creative group; assigns projects leads, teams and responsibilities based on experience, strengths and workload and engages outside resources as necessary to meet project goals or execute within timelines
Efficiently and effectively manages editorial, design, video and photo production resources to produce beautifully crafted and highly effective content within project scope; solves problems, makes decisions, manages expectations, communicates effectively in difficult situations, escalates appropriately and delegates actively to provide opportunities for leadership and professional growth within the team
Works with strategic partners and units across campus to co-develop content that advances university priorities for use in key University Communications channels
Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing one or two years of post-bachelor’s degree work such as a master’s in English, marketing, journalism, public relations, or related field or an equivalent combination of education and experience; five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive professional work experience in marketing, advertising, and/or creative services, including development of integrated marketing, content strategy, content development and communication plans that enhanced the image and reputation of complex organizations; work experience in producing, curating, editing and managing content on a continuous basis for web, email, social media or media relations, including writing and editing for a variety of formats such as news releases, feature articles and web pages; create high-quality content for traditional, digital and social channels; management of professional creative staff and strong collaboration within matrixed organization with various owners of different communications disciplines; planning, knowledge and understanding of editorial, copywriting, graphic design, web, digital and social media; experience leading and managing successful editorial projects with a proven commitment to keeping work on schedule on short deadlines; experience with visual storytelling through use of photo, video, animations, graphics, charts, etc.
10 years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in marketing, advertising and/or creative services; development of marketing and communication plans for complex organizations and high-quality content for digital media; excellent written, editorial and verbal communication skills; strong verbal communications and interpersonal skills; excellent presentation skills; has the ability to deliver content in a compelling, confident, professional and poised manner; demonstrated data literacy and experience using metrics to inform creative and content strategy and decisions; strong leadership and accountability; has the ability to work on multiple projects at one time, ensuring seamless execution and quality control; and the ability to translate a variety of complex topics into consumer-friendly stories; experience with higher education or complex organization such as healthcare or government.
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.
Required Application Materials
3 Professional References
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
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