Position Overview The Senior Communications Specialist position serves as the primary communicator for the School of Kinesiology. They work on, with, and for a collaborative team and are responsible for supervising up to two communications interns, assigning work and mentoring students. The Senior Communications Specialist is a communications and marketing generalist responsible for developing, executing, and managing an annual strategic communications and marketing plan for Kinesiology that is forward-thinking and acts with initiative. The plan will support Kinesiology goals and provide integration with CEHD marketing plans and initiatives. This position serves on the School of Kinesiology Management Team (MTeam).
The University of Minnesota encourages a healthy work life balance for employees. CEHD is committed to an excellent employee experience, offering flexible work environment that meets the needs of students, staff, faculty, and the communities we serve. Flexible work arrangements may include flexibility in schedule and/or work location. All UMN employees are expected to follow applicable public health and safety procedures.
Website Management (25%) • Lead website content strategy, including writing and posting web content. • Collaborate with CEHD web and communications personnel as necessary when department sites need to be created or redesigned. • Implement strategies to drive website traffic. • Manage website writing tone and voice and implement governance standards to ensure content is properly branded and up-to-date. • Monitor web traffic and adjust content strategy as needed to maximize audience engagement. • Maintain research websites.
Social Media (10%) • Continually review the Kinesiology social media presence and make recommendations for and implement social media strategy. • Manage Kinesiology social media channels.
Marketing & Branding (25%) • Effectively communicate to undergraduate and graduate student audiences. This includes regular market research/analysis to ensure communications strategies are best serving the audience. • Implement the department's strategic communications plan. Collaborate with School leadership to regularly update strategies and tactics to promote the department's degree programs and meet enrollment and recruitment goals. Strategies and tactics may include developing key messages, writing marketing content (email, web, print, social media), collaborating with CEHD’s graphic designer to develop print marketing materials, and more. • Ensure that the Kinesiology marketing strategy includes multiple touch points to cultivate potential students and help them toward an enrollment decision. • Manage Kinesiology brand, including overseeing the implementation of brand standards; and managing writing tone and voice to ensure integration with CEHD and the University. • Develop marketing campaigns, as needed, to promote Kinesiology public events or commercial activities. • Evaluate marketing activities to determine effectiveness.
Internal Communications & Media Relations (25%) • In collaboration with University Relations, work to actively showcase and promote Kinesiology’s research and scholarship. This may include developing key messages, story mining, developing media relations materials, answering media requests, and pitching proactive news stories including feature-length articles for print publication. • Work with Kinesiology leaders to create greater visibility for the department’s thought leadership. This may include working with faculty to develop and place opinion pieces, drafting articles for trade journals, or supporting faculty in the preparation of conference materials. • Push Kinesiology news to other Kinesiology, CEHD, and University internal and external communications channels to extend its reach. • Manage internal communications, such as Kinesiology’s Weekly Wire, news blog, bulletin boards, digital signage, and emails. • Work with undergraduate and graduate programs’ leadership to manage the Undergraduate Wire and the Graduate Education Wire and other regular publications. • Attend and take photos at select Kinesiology events for media relations and marketing purposes. • Compile and report media relations metrics.
Planning & Project Management (10%) • Working with the Director of the School of Kinesiology, develop a comprehensive yearly strategic communications and marketing plan for the department to support Kinesiology objectives. The plan will include a situation analysis, objectives, audiences, key messages, strategies, tactics, and measurement. • Consult and coordinate with committees and work groups in the department to define target audiences and develop communications strategies and tactics. Provide leadership in these areas, based on ongoing awareness and knowledge of best practices. • Document processes and workflows while evaluating effectiveness of past efforts to influence and improve future efforts. • Contribute to the College-wide editorial calendar. • Participate in CEHD communications and marketing network meetings.
Communications Metrics (5%) • Monitor and compile department communications and marketing metrics. • Use data and analytics to inform and finesse strategy. • Solicit feedback from current and prospective audiences to refine communication and branding strategies.
Required Qualifications • Bachelor’s degree in a communications-related field and four or more years of experience in a professional communications role.
• Ability to collaborate effectively with people from a variety of communities, backgrounds, and identities.
Preferred Qualifications • Master’s degree in Communications or related field. • 6-8 years of experience in marketing and communications, preferably in a higher education setting within a larger hierarchical structure and organization. • Communications experience in the well-being, health, or sports industries. • Demonstrated decision-making and problem-solving skills. • Experience with graphic design and graphic design tools, especially Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator) and web tools. • Experience with HTML, CSS, and RSS feeds. • Experience with web applications such as Dreamweaver, WordPress, Drupal. • Experience with planning and implementing website platform conversions or significant refreshes. • Demonstrated understanding of content strategy and website governance. • Proven ability to manage multiple and simultaneous projects and activities, prioritize tasks, and meet deadlines. • Experience with content management systems; experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud or similar mass-marketing tools. • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively and to build consensus with diverse groups of people. • Strong verbal and written communication skills, demonstrating exceptional writing, editing, and proofing skills for a variety of audiences.
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.