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Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications

University of Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh, PA - Posted 1 month ago

The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications (AVC for Communications) envisions, develops and leads a sophisticated, proactive and comprehensive strategy for successfully communicating the goals and priorities of the University while increasing the national and global reputation of the University of Pittsburgh. Reporting to the Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing, the AVC for Communications directs and manage the teams responsible  for communications content, media relations and issues management, and is responsible for the execution, quality and deliverables associated with the University’s communications channels and platforms, including Pittwire and Pitt Magazine.

As a thought partner and an advisor to senior leaders in the Office of University Communications and Marketing and across the institution, the AVC for Communications provides strategic, tactical and operational support for partners within schools and units, resulting in enhanced recognition and amplification of the contributions of the University’s talented and diverse faculty, staff, students and alumni. The AVC for Communications, in partnership with the AVC of Marketing, also plays a significant role in fostering a productive and supportive work environment that strengthens administrative and operational efficiency.

The University seeks an energetic, seasoned, collaborative and entrepreneurial leader for this role.

Job Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities Leadership and Management:

  •   Serves as a senior communications strategist for the University, including spokesperson responsibilities as needed.
  •   Leads and manages the University’s communications team, comprised of content writers and publishers, editors, executive communications, media relations staff, and a team of social media managers who dually report to the AVC of Marketing.
  •   Develops and implements rapid responses to manage issues and crises. Serves as an advisor to University leadership on matters requiring crisis communications.
  •   Provides strategic, tactical and operational support for internal clients, resulting in enhanced recognition and amplification.
  •   Builds a network to collaborate with communications professionals across the institution to share resources and coordinate University-wide communications efforts.
  •   Works with Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing and the AVC for Marketing to implement strategic communications and integrate workflows across traditional and digital media and to increase collaboration, shared resources, and strategies across the marketing and communications units.
  •   Creates, directs, and shares process and systems improvements that strengthen administrative and operational efficiency. Strategy and Planning:
  •   Serves as a strategic partner and advisor to the Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing and University senior-level administrators
  •   Develops strategic communications plans, short- and long-term communications goals and associated metrics for success.
  •   Designs and implements proactive and strategic media relations and storytelling approaches and a proactive research media relations system that strengthens our media relationships, supports University priorities, and assists in managing issues effectively.
  •   Oversees evaluation of communications products; identifies and implements opportunities to shift and share  resources to improve effectiveness.
  •   Serves as an advisor to University leadership on matters requiring crisis communications.
  •   Develops and implements sophisticated tracking of readership and reach analytics, compile and present findings and recommendations for improvement.

Requirements

Qualified candidates will possess:

  •   Bachelor’s or advanced degree in Journalism, Communications, English or other Liberal Arts field.
  •   15+ years of experience leading a team of communicators.
  •   Demonstrated ability to inspire and lead teams with varied backgrounds and skills.
  •   Significant, progressive experience in supervision in complex environments with multiple constituencies.
  •   Successful track record in sensitive and complex project management.
  •   Exceptional professionalism, communication, and organizational skills and demonstrate the ability to act as a thought-partner to vice chancellor and senior leadership team.
  •   Demonstrated success in newsroom is strongly preferred.

A minimum of 15 years of professional experience working in a communications role involving management and professional growth of other professional communicators.

Qualified candidates must exhibit significant, progressive experience in supervision in complex environments with multiple constituencies.  Successful track record in sensitive and complex project management is required. Must demonstrate exceptional professionalism, communication, and organizational skills and demonstrate the ability to act as a supportive partner to VC and AVC for Marketing. Must possess and use discretion, maintain confidentiality, show flexibility and adaptability to changing situations and requirements. Must be able to respond effectively in crisis. Must have a sense of perspective, strong follow through, and a sense of humor.

Expert written and oral communication skills required. Expertise in social media and digital strategy a strong plus. Must model professional behavior and serve as a mentor to rising junior employees.

All employees serve as representatives of the University and are expected to display respect, civility, professional courtesy, consideration of others and discretion in all interactions with members of the Pitt community and the general public.