Executive Writer

Posting Details

Job # 035873 Department Code 24005-6013 Department Marketing & Communications Job Title Executive Writer Location Syracuse, NY Pay Range Commensurate with Experience Staff Level S5 FLSA Status Exempt Hours

Standard University business hours

8:30am – 5:00pm (academic year)
8:00am – 4:30pm (summer)

Hours may vary based on operational needs.

Job Type Full-time Campus Syracuse, NY Unionized Position Code Not Applicable Job Description

The executive writer will research, craft and support the communications, including correspondence, formal speeches, reports, presentations, opeds and collateral materials. Through speeches, correspondence, social media, web content and more, senior leaders communicate with students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and civic groups, the Board of Trustees and national conferences. In addition, the executive writer participates actively in processes of editing or providing feedback on chancellor/board communications drafted by others at the University. The person in this position will work closely with the executive office staff to ensure mutual alignment with institutional messages, themes, and priorities. The executive writer will be skilled at translating complex concepts into powerful language for different audience types and maintain discretion as they manage sensitive topics. They will also exercise sound editorial judgement when interacting with and writing for members of the executive team.


• Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 7 (seven) years of professional writing experience, preferably in an academic environment.

• Experience collaborating directly with senior-level administrators or executives.

• Extensive experience researching, writing, and editing of communications content in a higher education institution, public relations agency or closely related field.

• Proven research and writing skills under pressure and demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.

• Degree in English, journalism, communications, marketing or a closely related field preferred.

• Experience in policy and higher education is an asset, as is specific experience working with executive communications preferred.

• Understands brand stewardship principles. Works to bring the brand to life through storytelling and writing.

Job Specific Qualifications

• Ability to work independently and collaboratively, make decisions, and multi-task to balance multiple priorities and communicate proactively with stakeholders about project risks or uncertainties.

• Track record in collaborating successfully across complex systems of stakeholders and subject matter experts.

• Demonstrated prior full-time professional experience writing concisely, effectively and persuasively in a variety of styles for specific audiences under sometimes-extreme time constraints.

• Demonstrated prior full-time professional experience interfacing with executive level staff to identify, leverage and synthesize information into meaningful communications messages for a variety of target audiences.

• Demonstrated organizational skills.

• Knowledge of interview techniques and the ability to define and deliver media messages. Must be able to interview subjects, identify key points, and distill the information in an engaging way for a variety of audiences.

• Knowledge of current Associate Press style or Chicago Manual of Style.

• Excellent computer skills and ability to utilize a variety of programs, including Microsoft Office suite including PowerPoint and other presentation tools.

• Demonstrated ability to keep abreast of campus events and subject matter expertise in relation to current events to identify and capitalize on media opportunities that will promote the college and increase positive media coverage. Working knowledge of copyright and other applicable laws pertaining to publications and the media.

• Strong story development and journalistic writing skills, as well as advanced editorial skills.

• Ability to produce error-free texts, thorough fact-checked documents and to work well independently or as a member of a team.

• Exceptional interpersonal skills, including strong public speaking, listening and interpretive skills.

• Demonstrated flexibility and adaptability, including a willingness to undertake both mundane and high profile tasks with enthusiasm and energy.

• Ability to work night and weekend hours, on a regular basis.


• Reporting to the VP of Communications, the executive writer will provide counsel on communication messages, strategies and align executive communications with Syracuse University’s mission. The executive writer will work closely with the marketing and communication division to ensure that executive communications are clear and consistent and reflect the university and leadership team’s values and vision through the following activities:
-Work discreetly on sensitive or confidential assignments, exercise sound editorial judgment, and maintain the trust and confidence of the executive office, senior leaders, and colleagues across campus.
-Prepare the senior/academic leaders for videos and speeches.

• Work closely with the executive team, academic leaders and relevant subject matter experts or stakeholders to establish major message themes/topics; research and write speeches for public appearances and campus events; write and/or edit remarks from outside writers, when necessary; develop an institutional voice consistent with the aspirations and priorities of the University; proofread and fact-check to ensure that information is accurate; and provide final set of eyes on all written communication from the Executive Office.

• Research and draft columns, correspondence, announcements, presentations, speeches, and other materials to support the communication priorities of the University; work with the executive office, subject matter experts, communications leaders, and other stakeholders to gather and synthesize feedback and finalize drafts; craft institutional responses to various incidents and to work proactively on anticipated campus issues.

• Maintain or oversee web and digital content; maintain current biographies for the leadership team and ensure that the some elements of the website and website assets, including photography, video, messages, and archive of writings are kept up to date.

• In collaboration with the social media strategy team, contribute occasional content for social media posts.

• Build and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues throughout the University to facilitate the sharing of content across various channels and platforms.

• Create and manage communications plans about specific efforts or initiatives that may include web content, email, speeches, promotional materials, or news; collaborate with the advancement and external affairs division as appropriate to ensure development communications are appropriate.

• Stay abreast of emerging topics, issues, events, and opportunities for messages on behalf of University leadership.

• Contribute to the planning and implementation of major announcements sent by the executive office or board; and work with other offices to gather information necessary to respond to inquiries.

• Maintain and distribute an active style guide reflecting preferences for voice, tone, forms of address, and related guidance.

• Contribute ideas for topics, themes, and message points based on an understanding of institutional priorities, issues, and opportunities, and based on understanding of current affairs locally, nationally, or in higher education; and attend meetings and take notes—often using those notes to develop various written communications.

• In collaboration with the other departments and offices that drive portions of executive team communications, develop, maintain, and share as appropriate a master trigger calendar outlining major communications deadlines and time lines for completion.

• Participate in other department planning meetings and contribute ideas to strengthen the University’s internal and external communications; and work with other areas to develop high-impact content to inform and engage the University’s many audiences.

• Develop and demonstrate a multicultural awareness and contribute to cultivating an inclusive, diverse and respectful University community; demonstrate civil and inclusive behavior when interacting with staff, faculty, students and visitors to the University; and promote a flexible, collaborative and inclusive work and living environment and engage in educational opportunities to increase awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion.

Physical Requirements Tools/Equipment Application Instructions

In addition to completing an online application, please attach a resume, cover letter and writing samples for consideration.

About Syracuse University

Syracuse University is a private, international research university with distinctive academics, diversely unique offerings and an undeniable spirit. Located in the geographic heart of New York State, with a global footprint, and nearly 150 years of history, Syracuse University offers a quintessential college experience.

The scope of Syracuse University is a testament to its strengths: a pioneering history dating back to 1870; a choice of more than 200 majors and 100 minors offered through 13 schools and colleges; nearly 15,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students; more than a quarter of a million alumni in 160 countries; and a student population from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. For more information, please visit www.syracuse.edu.

About the Syracuse area

Syracuse is a medium-sized city situated in the geographic center of New York State approximately 250 miles northwest of New York City. The metro-area population totals approximately 500,000. The area offers a low cost of living and provides many social, cultural, and recreational options, including parks, museums, festivals, professional regional theater, and premier shopping venues. Syracuse and Central New York present a wide range of seasonal recreation and attractions ranging from water skiing and snow skiing, hiking in the Adirondacks, touring the historic sites, visiting wineries along the Finger Lakes, and biking on trails along the Erie Canal.


Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

Commitment to Supporting and Hiring Veterans

Syracuse University has a long history of engaging veterans and the military-connected community through its educational programs, community outreach, and employment programs. After World War II, Syracuse University welcomed more than 10,000 returning veterans to our campus, and those veterans literally transformed Syracuse University into the national research institution it is today. The University’s contemporary commitment to veterans builds on this historical legacy, and extends to both class-leading initiatives focused on making an SU degree accessible and affordable to the post-9/11 generation of veterans, and also programs designed to position Syracuse University as the employer of choice for military veterans, members of the Guard and Reserve, and military family members.

Commitment to a Diverse and Inclusive Campus Community

Syracuse University maintains an inclusive learning environment in which students, faculty, administrators, staff, curriculum, social activities, governance, and all other aspects of campus life reflect a diverse, multi-cultural, and international worldview. The University community recognizes and values the many similarities and differences among individuals and groups. At Syracuse, we are committed to preparing students to understand, live among, appreciate, and work in an inherently diverse country and world made up of people with different ethnic and racial backgrounds, military backgrounds, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, cultural traditions, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities. To do so, we commit ourselves to promoting a community that celebrates and models the principles of diversity and inclusivity.

Quick Link https://www.sujobopps.com/postings/81317 Job Posting Date 03/16/2020 Application Deadline Full Consideration By Job Category Staff Message to Applicants

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