Communications Manager, Division of Marketing & Communications

Apply now Job no: 493852
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Marketing / Communications / Media

The Division of Marketing & Communications (MarComm) speaks with a unified, authentic and resonant voice to strategically advance the University of Denver's brand with four goals in mind:

  1. To promote and protect DU's reputation
  2. To inspire students to enroll and engage
  3. To increase inclusion
  4. To strengthen the University

MarComm aims to strengthen DU's strategic position locally, regionally and nationally through data-driven and authentic storytelling across multiple channels with focused support on the university's value drivers: academics and research; enrollment and admissions, athletics and advancement. Whether through public or media relations, digital strategies, social media, print, podcast, issues or crisis management, community relations or thought leadership and training, MarComm drives results through narratives that involve words, pictures and design. With true understanding of and connection with our diverse audiences, we aim to foster collaborative problem solving, creativity and innovation. 

Position Summary

The Communications Manager (CM) oversees development of key internal communications and tools. The CM will work with partners from across the institution to advance the institution’s brand reputation through the successful execution of purposeful campaigns, projects, creative work and messaging to showcase the university’s brand and strategic initiatives. The CM supports unit leadership in a variety of ways, including oversight of communications execution for assigned campus partners and leadership-identified strategic priorities, MarComm-owned internal newsletters, internally-focused communications and marketing asset production, toolkit development, campaign execution and communications evaluation. The CM leads and maintains the strategic development and distribution of a variety of communications materials in electronic and print format, including web content, brochures, fact sheets and posters, scripts and talking points, articles, emails, and environmental displays; writes and edits content as needed; coordinates the work of designers, videographers, photographers, writers and select vendors as needed.

As a member of the university’s communications team, this collaborative position interfaces with the unit marketing, strategic positioning, creative, operations/finance and media relations teams, as well as the university’s agencies and internal partners to ensure the successful delivery of a heavy schedule of short- and long-term projects. Under the direction of the Sr. Director of Communications and Issues Management and indirect direction of the Sr. Director of Strategic Positioning and in collaboration with the remainder of the unit’s leadership team, the CM provides clarity and structure to strategic direction for the successful execution of communications projects, campaigns and initiatives and tracks progress to ensure delivery that is on message, on time and on budget according to established targets. The Communications Manager will collaborate with colleagues across the unit to evaluate the effectiveness of DU’s internal communications efforts to advise leadership on adjustments to strategy and implementation. Additionally, the CM will provide consultation for campus partners and collaborate with the Sr. Directors to refine processes, manage projects/timelines, and ensure excellent customer service to campus stakeholders. 

Essential Functions

  • Assists unit leadership by managing the successful execution of internal communications plans, MarComm-supported signature events and strategic initiatives and select communications initiatives.
  • Develops content and directs creative execution to provide a consistent, targeted, and impactful message; writes messages, stories, speeches and other materials as needed to effectively advance key strategic initiatives to stakeholder audiences.
  • Implements internal communications strategy by coordinating corresponding processes and managing calendar of internal communications.
  • Builds and maintains solid partnerships with assigned internal campus partners to better develop, coordinate, direct, and facilitate strategic communications designed to meet DU goals and ensure consistency of brand voice, tone and strategic positioning.
  • Designs communications plans and campaigns to target internal audiences, placing an emphasis and discipline on campaign performance to help with recommendations for future programs.
  • Coordinates in-house and external graphic designers, photographers, videographers and other media-production specialists integral to the completion of managed initiatives and projects.
  • Contributes ideas for new communications programs, researching and recommending innovative branding techniques.
  • Identifies and presents opportunities for consistency in messaging and customer experience across channels from in-store signage to digital to print.
  • Develops an understanding of and actively supports short- and long-term department goals and planned initiatives.
  • Adjusts and communicates plan changes as necessary to ensure costs for materials, media, and labor are in line with anticipated outcomes.
  • Stays informed of developments in the field of marketing and communications within the higher education industry to foster ideas and innovation.
  • Build and maintain messaging toolkits and plans for strategic projects, to ensure consistency with campus partners and communicators.
  • Monitors effectiveness of managed initiatives in partnership with unit’s Marketing Analytics Manager and provides recommendations for future improvement in communication campaigns and process.
  • Directly manages and coordinates the distribution of MarComm-owned internal newsletters and select strategic communications for the chancellor’s office through email platforms, CMS and forthcoming CRM.
  • Supports Senior Director of Communications and Issues Management on crisis communication efforts as needed.
  • Shares expertise and findings with peers based on observation, analytics and survey results.
  • Leads and/or collaborates on special projects/initiatives as assigned.
  • Identifies, writes and edits compelling stories and copy to showcase DU’s unique value propositions, students, faculty and alumni.
  • Attends meetings and works on campus committees as assigned.
  • Performs limited other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Strong, versatile copywriting skills.
  • Good organizational, planning, and coordination skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and re-prioritize as needed.
  • Ability to independently manage assigned projects/initiatives while keeping leadership apprised of progress and status changes.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Possesses a sense of urgency; is self-motivated and detail-minded.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build collaborative relationships.
  • Good verbal presentation, group dynamic, and facilitation skills.
  • Proactive and collaborative approach in resolving problems and issues.
  • Proven project management skills with experience balancing multiple priorities, deadlines and budget allocations.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead matrixed teams to complete projects or campaigns on time and on budget.
  • Proven ability to process and prioritize heavy workload and work efficiently.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word/Pages, PowerPoint/Keynote, Adobe Acrobat, Photoshop (or other photo editing program) and social media platforms.
  • Established record of collaboration and good interpersonal and communication skills with diverse internal and external constituents.
  • Working knowledge of how to compile reports, building charts and graphs, and displaying content in compelling ways.
  • Excellent attention-to-detail skills.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and work experience (Veterans with equivalent combination of military certification/education and experience may substitute for the degree qualification).
  • 5 years of experience executing communications or brand marketing initiatives across multiple channels, including digital and print, to achieve unit goals.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communication, public relations or related field.
  • 8 years of experience executing communications or brand marketing initiatives across multiple channels, including digital and print, to achieve unit goals.
  • Experience writing, producing and editing both informational and strategic communication materials as well as developing talking points.
  • Previous supervisory experience.
  • Project management certification.
  • Track record of demonstrating initiative in identifying innovative techniques for navigating the modern communications landscape and a willingness to learn new techniques in real time.
  • Demonstrable understanding of the higher education market.
  • Experience using content management systems and other distribution tools, including web, email, and customer relationship management/automation systems.
  • Familiarity with crisis communications techniques and strategies.
  • Familiarity with advancement and fundraising practices as well as corresponding communications strategies.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on June 21, 2021.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number
The salary grade for the position is 13.

Salary Range
The salary range for this position is $85,000 - $95,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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