Job Opening for Communications Director, Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) in Middlebury College (Monterey, CA)

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Job Category : Management
Company Name: Middlebury College
Position Name: Communications Director, Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS)
Location : Monterey, CA
Job Description : The Communications Director advances the mission, vision, and goals of MIIS and Middlebury by positioning the Institute and its people as meaningful contributors to the research, teaching, and everyday engagement of issues of consequence in the world. The Director is both a keen communications strategist and a producer of compelling content with responsibilities for storytelling, media relations, internal communications, executive communications, crisis communications—and, ideally, crossover expertise writing marketing copy. Working proactively across platforms to raise the Institute’s visibility with stakeholders and audiences—and to protect its people and reputation in times of emergency—the Director will “capture the soul” of this mission-driven institution in its communications and project its character and voice at every turn. Reporting to the associate vice president for marketing with a dotted-line relationship to the vice president for communications and marketing, with daily consultations and interactions with the Institute dean, MIIS leadership group, and MIIS community, the Director is a key colleague in an ecosystem of Middlebury, Vermont, and Monterey, California, talent—leading communications efforts in Monterey, partnering with peers across the division on shared projects, and advancing the essential relationship between communications and marketing so together they can increase graduate school enrollment, make deeper connections with alums, and bring greater visibility to a remarkable institution. The Director will serve as the Institute’s primary spokesperson. Responsibilities Essential Functions Offer is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check. COVID-19 vaccinations are required prior to employment Establish communications priorities with the associate vice president for marketing, Institute leadership, vice president for communications and marketing, and select peers. Make communications strategies for storytelling, media relations, internal communications, executive communications, and crisis communications in consultation with leadership at MIIS and Middlebury and select peers. Ensure that communications strategies and deliverables are designed to help drive enrollment, engagement, and other essential Institute goals. Concept, write, edit stories in varied genres—news, narrative, op-eds—that support strategy and goals for MIIS outlets across platforms. Write compelling marketing and “sell” copy when needed: smart, aligned with business goals, and authentic to the institution. Manage media relations daily, maintaining media contacts and database, responding to inquiries, developing story ideas to pitch to local, regional, and national outlets. Confer regularly with program area and marketing colleagues to ensure storytelling and media efforts help further program and marketing goals. Manage MIIS social media strategy, edit calendar, and content creation, aligning with colleagues in the communications and marketing division. Create crisis communications plans in consultation with MIIS leadership and teams in Vermont, leading in-the-moment efforts on site in Monterey. Research and write briefing materials, holding statements, talking points, press releases, and statements to the community. General Responsibilities Create internal communications plans with MIIS leadership and teams in Vermont, leading communications efforts on site in Monterey. Research and write executive-level communications as needed, including speeches, remarks, and statements to the community or the public. Manage the MIIS broadcast studio and provide media training as needed. Supervise work of graduate assistants. Serve as an active member of the Institute Leadership Group and advise leadership on a range of communication strategies. Perform other duties as assigned to assist the department in fulfilling its mission. Qualifications Education Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field desired. Master’s degree could help with understanding graduate school programs and environments, but not required. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Insight into higher education communications and marketing, especially as it applies to graduate education. An entrepreneurial perspective to size up and move quickly on promising opportunities, and spot trends for potential longer-term initiatives. Outstanding time management and planning skills with ability to handle multiple projects concurrently and adapt on the fly in a fluid environment. Superior strategic thinking skills in editorial communications, internal communications, crisis communications, and executive communications. Superior writing skills across these genres. Superior editing skills across these genres. Imagination in developing story ideas that drive strategy and executing and delivering them creatively. Familiarity or direct experience with the workings of institutional brand, marketing, and differentiation as communications support these efforts. Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills. Ability to work in fast-paced, high-pressure environment while exercising steadiness, diplomacy, and tact. Ability to work in a matrixed organization and collaborate with teams and individuals dispersed geographically and reporting to different staff. Genuine respect for and the ability to promote inclusive, equitable, and diverse communities. A self-starter—action-oriented and resourceful—who can take a project from concept to launch to completion. Ability to handle confidential and sensitive materials as required. Experience in a variety of online communications tools, including website CMS, project-management software, and broadcast email platforms. Ability to function effectively under pressure and to meet deadlines while exercising initiative, good judgment, creativity, and diplomacy. Must be flexible and available outside business hours. May be called to respond to urgent matters at any time, including scheduled days off. Experience Minimum 10 years’ experience in organizational or institutional communications, preferably in a fast-paced, high-volume, and fluid environment. Sensitivity to the workings of mission-driven organizations a plus. Physical Demands Posting Information Close Date Open Until Filled No Special Instructions to Applicants Offer is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check. COVID-19 vaccinations are required prior to employment Recommendations Some postings require contact information for reference providers for confidential letters of recommendation.
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