Assistant Director of Strategic Communications

Position Overview

The Assistant Director of Strategic Communications is a full-time, unclassified position, with a reporting line to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs. The Office of Public Affairs reports to the Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs and works in concert with the offices of the Chancellor, the Provost, General Counsel, and other university units. This position assists with messaging and communications projects related to the university’s public image and brand, administration priorities, crisis communications, and other matters involving the public’s perceptions of KU.

If you are looking for a rewarding and dynamic career, look no further than the University of Kansas. In addition to a competitive salary, KU offers great benefits to employees with up to 176 hours of paid vacation per year, 96 hours of sick leave earned per year, 9 paid holidays plus one discretionary day, a great retirement program, medical and dental insurance, life and disability insurance, other benefit plan options and state of Kansas discounts offered by various vendors. KU also offers employees educational opportunities for employees. KU is a great place to work!

About Lawrence, KS

The University of Kansas is located in Lawrence, a community of about 95,000. Only 35 miles west of Kansas City and 20 miles east of Topeka, you will never be far from barbecue, jazz, museum culture, and more. Lawrence has a lively downtown and a thriving arts and music scene, and its local government has enacted ordinances supporting equality for all members of its population. Lawrence locals covet the numerous sports and recreational opportunities, local shops, and a wide range of locally-owned restaurants.

Job Description

45% Develop media relations initiatives on behalf of the university’s schools, centers, departments and programs consistent with the university's strategic messages
  • Works with administrators, deans and faculty with the goal of achieving measurable media results, as well as collaborating with communicators from across the university as well as deans, department chairs, and faculty members to proactively develop strategic long-term media relations plans.
  • Establishes effective working relationships with local, national and international journalists from print, broadcast, community, ethnic and digital media.
  • Identifies opportunities to utilize newer forms of information technology, in addition to pitching news and interview opportunities directly to reporters and editors.
  • Writes news releases and news advisories for local, national and international media.
45% Independently research and prepare communications with the university community and the public
  • Prepares speeches, testimony, presentations, articles, internal and external messages, and other written materials for the Chancellor, Provost, other administrators and university units.
  • Oversees communication priorities of the Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and university leadership.
  • Provides communication leadership to other university units.
10% Other duties as assigned
  • Carry out or coordinate other projects and activities requested by the Director of Strategic Communications or Director of News & Media Relations. Occasionally, these duties take place in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Participates in crisis communications and response at the request of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Director of Strategic Communications, the Director of News & Media Relations and other units as appropriate.

Position Requirements

  1. This position requires working on-site.
  2. This position requires occasional weekend work.

Required Qualifications

  1. A Bachelor's degree in journalism, English, public relations, communications or a related field from an accredited college or university PLUS five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in any of the following areas: public relations, media relations, governmental relations, marketing communications, news reporting or special events.
  2. Minimum five (5) years of professional writing experience, to include: producing press releases, news or feature stories for newsletters, publicity materials, remarks, speeches, talking points, proposals, reports and/or briefing papers.
  3. Excellent written communication skills as evidenced by application materials and writing samples.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Master's degree in journalism, public relations, communications or a related field.
  2. Strong personnel, time management and or project management skills.
  3. Experience in advertising, visual communications and/or brand development.
  4. Experience using the Microsoft Office Suite.
  5. Experience as a journalist, and/or in an educational institution, public affairs environment or a public relations environment.
  6. Experience with media campaigns.
  7. Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  8. Experience giving presentations.
  9. Social media experience in a professional setting.
  10. Knowledge of AP style.

Additional Candidate Instructions

A complete online application includes:
  1. Cover letter addressing how you meet the required qualifications.
  2. Resume.
  3. Contact information for three professional references (including at least one previous or current supervisor).
  4. Three (3) writing samples such as a press release, communications plan, promotional campaign or other correspondence demonstrating professional writing skills.
Application review begins Wednesday, October 4, 2023 and continues until a pool of qualified applicants is identified. For best consideration, apply by the review date above.

Contact Information to Applicants

Joe Monaco,

Advertised Salary Range

80,000, final determination commensurate with experience

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday, 8 am 5 pm with Occasional weekend work.

Application Review Begins

Wednesday October 4, 2023

Anticipated Start Date

Monday November 6, 2023

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  26221BR
  • Department:  Public Affairs
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Assignment:  On-Site
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  U-Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Review Begins:  04-Oct-2023

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