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Senior Public Relations Specialist

Duke Alumni Engagement & Development
Durham, North Carolina
Posted Date
Sep 26, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Public Relations & Marketing (Campus)
Employment Type
Full Time
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The Senior Public Relations Specialist for Fundraising Communications oversees, manages and administers fundraising direct marketing activities for the Marketing, Communications & Stewardship (MCS) team. Fundraising communications initiatives overseen include annual gift planning programs, the central Duke Annual Fund program in support of 9 partner school annual funds, and other discrete university initiatives. Solicitations and communications efforts overseen by this position reach over 200,000 alumni, parents and friends annually, and propel Duke’s fundraising success.


The Senior Public Relations Specialist also facilitates ongoing communication with internal and external partners in order to coordinate projects, organize efforts, engage partners and inform university teams on the status of current projects and potential new opportunities. This position reports to the Director of Fundraising Communications.



Manage complete process for each direct marketing fundraising communications project from concept through production for fundraising communications schools and partners.

  • Identify, collect, and analyze all project opportunities as the point of contact for major internal programs (gift planning, annual fund, and nine school partners). Present new project opportunities to fundraising communication team to determine if/how the projects fit into the overall communication operating plan. Establish and document goals, milestones and deadlines for each project utilizing project management tools in Box, Asana, MS Teams and others.  Develop and maintain a shared project communication schedule and work in close partnership with MCS, Annual Fund staff, Gift Planning staff and Annual Fund Directors to ensure deadlines are met. Initiate and facilitate project kickoff meetings to outline project goals, deadlines, and milestones and maintain ongoing communication with project partners. Notify staff of any problems or delays and work to create an acceptable resolution in a timely manner to maintain accuracy, and keep the project moving forward. Collaborate with the business intelligence team to ensure that all data drops are clearly specified and print/email ready.  Coordinate and follow up with all partners on drafting, editing, design, proofing and final approval for each project. Identify and interface with external organizations, i.e. printers, designers, and mail houses, as appropriate to ensure cooperative efforts are enhanced and available resources are utilized to maximize efficiency and guarantee accuracy in the final products. Work with external vendors to ensure adequate samples for distribution and archive all final proofs and data files for historical reference. Manage newsletters, blogs and giving URLs for tracking solicitations, events, and volunteers. Partner with social media manager and others to coordinate social posting, texting and phonathon calling as appropriate for fundraising campaigns.   




  • Convene and lead Annual Fund project check-ins with MCS and communications partners Create meeting agendas, report regularly to senior leadership within the MCS team on projects.   Manage the day-to-day operations of assigned fundraising communications projects. Identify areas to improve efficiencies and streamline project processes through thoughtful analysis and testing.


Serve as an active member of the Duke Annual Fund, Gift Planning and the MCS Team

  • Work with other Communications staff members in support of operating plans, quarterly reports, and mid-year analyses.
  • Attend staff and team meetings.
  • Attend and participate in fundraising events as needed (i.e. Homecoming, Graduation, Parents weekend, Annual Fund Advisory Board, and Reunions Weekend).
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


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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