Executive Director - Communications
District Office in Downtown Chicago
City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), the largest community college system in Illinois, is made up of seven colleges and five satellite sites, providing more than 70,000 students each year access to a quality, affordable education.
Reporting to the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Branding & Strategic Marketing, the Executive Director of Communications (EDC) is responsible for developing and overseeing strategic communications at CCC by executing integrated communication plans to position CCC strategically before its diverse constituents, to support enrollment goals, and to strategically advance the institution.
The Executive Director of Communications manages the content communications hub within the Marketing & Communications Department (MarCom) and is accountable for developing strategic communications and assisting in content development as part the collaborative communications team.
- Strategy & Planning
- Strategic Communications : Develops and executes on internal and external communication strategies in coordination with the MarCom VC and in alignment with CCC senior leadership. Builds a proactive comprehensive communications strategy that is based upon institutional priorities and major CCC strategic initiatives in order to meet institutional goals.
- Planning : Develops, maintains and manages the execution of on-going communications plans for each CCC business unit (colleges, institutes and district departments) in coordination with the respective unit leadership.
- Messaging : Identifies core messages that leverage and emphasize CCC's unique strengths, differentiates CCC among target audiences and aligns with institutional branding. •
- Supervises the Director of Content Communications and the Director of Media Relations and is responsible for the overall operations and activities of the content communications hub within the MarCom department, including media relations, internal and external content development. •
- Project Management & Workflow:
- Manages communications operations to assure work streams and communications process are efficient and optimized.
- Budgeting & Financial:
- Develops financial plans to support communication initiatives and manages the communication budget. •
- Editorial Calendar
- Creates, manages and maintains the annual editorial calendar to align communication activities with cyclical needs, internal communications, institutional priorities and enrollment initiatives.
- Develops communications plans that are designed to track and meet key performance indicators and provide analytics on engagement to guide communication future strategies.
- Client Management:
- Serve as in-take manager for new communications projects and manage related internal college and district client relationships. •
- Manages and develops responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Validates responses with CCC legal and CCC leadership.
- Content Support: Provides overflow support for the MarCom content hub in the following areas:
- Student Outreach : Works collaboratively with MarCom team to develop communications strategies to support outreach to prospective students that encourage interested students to commit to enrolling.
- Development Communications : Aligns communications messaging with the CCC Foundation to support strategies that engage alumni and portray the legacy, pride and values of CCC to appeal to major donors.
- Media Relations : Provides overflow support to media relations in the areas of proactive earned media and reactive media. Supports Media Relations in developing pitches/press releases and securing approvals for release to media.
- Crisis Communications : Supports the Director of Media Relations in reacting, responding and leading internal/external crisis communications.
- Spokesperson : Serves as backup spokesperson for CCC on internal and external proactive and reactive media responses.
- Writing : Provides overflow support for writing and editing speeches, largely for senior leadership, but at times for others.
- Internal Communications : Provides overflow support to meet communication needs of faculty/staff projects, student-facing projects and related processes. Similarly, edits student newsletters, faculty/staff newsletters, retention communications and other collateral managed by the content hub team.
Reports To Vice Chancellor, Institutional Branding and Strategic Marketing
Direct Supervision Director, Media Relations; Director, Content Communications
- Master's degree from an accredited college or university in communications, public relations, journalism or a related field.
- A minimum of ten (10) years of experience in higher education and/or communications-related leadership, including five (5) years in a managerial role.
- Demonstrated understanding of, and experience with brand communications, integrated communications, media relations, crisis communications, market research, social media and best web practices for credit and non-credit markets.
- Experience overseeing and/or managing major communications projects.
- Crisis communications experience required.
- Demonstrated writing ability and record of quality media placements.
- Excellent writing and verbal communication necessary.
- Must be able to effectively represent the District’s seven colleges.
- Proven ability to deliver high-quality written materials on deadline.
- Flexibility and willingness to travel to colleges across Chicago. Access to a car is helpful.
- Evening and weekend work required on occasion.
- Ability to learn new things and prioritize competing demands.
- Must work well with employees at all levels of the organization, in addition to students and other customers.
- Proven ability to work effectively within a racially and culturally diverse environment.
- Must be able to handle all situations with tact, professionalism, persuasiveness, and diplomacy.
- Proficient in the use of technology, including social media and Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook).
Chicago residency is required for all full-time employees within 6 months of hire.
We are an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer.
Thank you for your interest in City Colleges of Chicago.
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