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Public Relations Specialist, Senior

Duke Alumni Engagement & Development
Durham, North Carolina
Posted Date
Jul 22, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Alumni Affairs
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Senior Public Relations Specialist, Marketing & Communications is an assistant director-level position that oversees marketing and promotion for a wide range of programs and partners within Duke Alumni Engagement and Development (AED)'s Marketing, Communications, & Stewardship team. This person will work to design and implement marketing strategies and communications plans that aid in achieving program goals and ensure alumni, donors, students, and friends remain engaged with the university.

Additionally, this position contributes strategic thinking, project planning, and discrete efforts to key MCS projects. Reporting to the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, position responsibilities include:



  • Lead development of strategic marketing plans that drive engagement, event attendance, and giving to Duke. Build and manage long-term relationships with assigned partners within AED, schools, and units across campus to set long-term marketing objectives, identify strategies, define audiences, create timelines, and implement tactics across email, social media, direct mail, and other platforms as identified. Manage discrete partner projects aligned with overall marketing and communications plans. Work with digital and creative teams to develop videos, websites, messaging, written communications, and other resources that support marketing efforts to drive engagement, fundraising, and stewardship. Develop and implement integrated event marketing plans to maximize attendance at key AED events, such as Homecoming, Reunion, Women’s Weekend, volunteer programs, donor events, and others. Oversee advertising to drive AED objectives including Duke Chronicle, Duke Magazine, social media, digital, and campus signage, and others. Collaborate with creative teams to make recommendations and execute tactics. Integrate individual marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts into larger AED communications. Coordinate marketing efforts with other members of marketing and social media team, Director of Fundraising Communications, Duke Magazine, and University Communications as appropriate.


  • Lead market and audience research, including primary and secondary methods, to gather insight that informs marketing plans, event execution, messaging, and creative work (may include writing and distributing alumni surveys, organizing online and in-person focus groups, extrapolating learning opportunities from case studies and peer universities, etc.). Research and implement engagement and fundraising best practices for nonprofits and universities.
  • Identify opportunities for A/B testing of marketing materials and make recommendations based on results. Work with the digital team to review web and social media analytics to make marketing recommendations.



  • Plan and lead timelines, budgets, and asset creation in collaboration with project manager and creative team. Prioritize work, meet deadlines, and actively communicate progress and deliverables with the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications and AED partners. Manage development and secure appropriate approvals of marketing materials across a range of mediums, including print, digital, and social. Work with AED partners to facilitate discussion, gain consensus, and manage expectations in difficult or ambiguous situations Maintain organized records and files including work product, timelines, plans, etc. Ensure that projects that fall under the position’s oversight are compliant with departmental and university branding standards and policies. Perform other duties as assigned.




  • Bachelor's degree and 5 -7 years of relevant marketing and/or communications work with increasing levels of responsibility required Demonstrated excellence in messaging and brand development Experience developing and implementing effective direct marketing campaigns across multiple channels required Experience and comfort managing design, video, and other multimedia production projects required Experience in event marketing, digital marketing, social media, and market/audience research to develop communications plans preferred Knowledge of educational engagement or fundraising, higher education issues, research universities, and Duke University preferred Agency experience preferred


Candidate must:

  • Be able to set schedules, prioritize work, and manage deadlines effectively. Be able to deal with ambiguity and shift gears comfortably when situations change. Effectively and clearly communicate thoughts, ideas, and facts through writing and oral presentations. Develop positive relationships and work collaboratively with a variety of campus partners and AED stakeholders to achieve shared objectives. Demonstrate an ability to influence and persuade others. Demonstrate a careful attention to detail.



Work requires the ability to perform creative writing and related activities such as conducting interviews and research, and copy editing normally acquired through attainment of a bachelor's degree in Journalism, English or a related discipline.



Work requires two years of directly related writing experience.



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