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Director of Marketing and Communications

Swarthmore College | Swarthmore, PA - Posted 4 months ago

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

The Director of Enrollment Marketing & Communications is a senior member of Swarthmore College’s Office of Communications responsible for developing, supporting, and implementing marketing and communications strategies and tactics that engage and influence various audiences, with a primary focus on prospective students, their parents/families, and school counselors. Reporting to the Vice President for Communications, the Director works closely on these initiatives with the Vice President and Dean of Admission, the Director of Admissions, the Director of Financial Aid, and other members of the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices to ensure that marketing and communications efforts are aligned, support the College’s mission and brand, and are in keeping with the College’s strategic goals and priorities.

The individual in this role will help determine the communications needs of Admissions and Financial Aid and the most effective ways to meet those needs. The person in this role will identify and bring together the appropriate staff and/or external partners to complete each project and manage projects from conception to completion. The individual in this role will have the ability to measure the effectiveness of such efforts and recommend and implement changes based on that assessment.

As the Communications Office’s primary liaison with both the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices, the Director also keeps colleagues within Communications apprised of admissions and financial aid priorities and works with other members of the team to identify opportunities to maximize the effective use of Communications content and help ensure brand consistency across audiences.

The Director is a hands-on collaborator – A doer, who is deeply committed to collaborating with others, staying abreast of trends in higher education and advances in technology. The ideal candidate is highly creative at putting such knowledge to work.

Job Responsibilities

• Serve as an integral part of a communications team that supports high-level College goals and initiatives, with a particular focus on prospective students, their parents and families, and school counselors.
• Oversee and contribute to the College’s strategic communications around student recruitment and financial aid, from developing strategic marketing and communications plans to writing, editing, and producing creative content.
• Collaborate with the Communications Office’s Content Strategy Team to develop compelling and authentic video, social media, digital/web-based, and print content; geared toward informing and influencing prospective students and their parents/families, as well as school counselors and other influencers.
• Manage the admission communications budget throughout each fiscal year with close attention to detail in order to maximize the use of the College’s financial resources; develop budget forecast worksheets for upcoming fiscal years that are informed by reports about past spending, future recruitment goals, market conditions, and vendor negotiations; prepare year-end budget worksheets for reporting purposes.
• Collaborate with Admissions on regularly evaluating and enhancing the College’s visit and off-campus recruitment experiences, working to ensure such experiences are distinctive and impactful.
• Understand and regularly evaluate/map the journey of prospective students, their families, and school counselors.
• Contribute to the strategic communications and marketing initiatives for the College, and particularly the Offices of Admissions and Financial Aid and participate in regular staff meetings and periodic retreats of each office.
• Partner with Admissions staff in reviewing feedback and making informed judgements about ways to maximize the impact of the recruitment experience.
• Oversee, develop, and help evaluate all communications for the Swarthmore Summer Scholars Program (S3P).
• Chair/co-chair a committee comprising members of the Offices of Admissions, Communication, the Deans Division and Financial Aid that oversees the communication strategy as students transition from recruits to matriculants.
• Analyze data to inform adjustments to email/campaign outreach, and provide analysis of Google Analytics for web traffic; continually work toward maximizing impact of digital/electronic messaging.
• Conduct training sessions with Admissions staff on ways to leverage electronic communications/social media to maximize impact.
• Select and manage vendors and technology solutions that support admissions communications cost-effectively with the highest quality, including full-service agencies, graphic designers, printers, and project management software.
• Routinely investigate best practices and industry trends for marketing, student recruitment strategies and engagement through participation in online and in-person professional networks, conferences, and membership associations.
• Represent Swarthmore as a thought leader such as presenting at conferences and nominating work for industry awards.
• Deliver presentations to the Board of Managers, Parents Council, and other key constituents as requested.
• In collaboration with Institutional Research, supervise the College’s annual submissions to college guidebooks (both narrative and data updates).
• In collaboration with the VP’s of Communications, Admissions, and the Director of Financial Aid, work with Institutional Research to establish and carry out a regular schedule of market research on prospective students, families, and school counselors.
• Manage periodic updates and new content development as needed for suite of digital brochures that represent the College’s academic majors and programs, distinctive campus spaces and resources, and notable initiatives.
• Contribute to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with a broad range of cultures and backgrounds.
• Ensure the accuracy of all facts and data used in various admissions and financial aid communications.
• Oversee the development and placement of advertising and advertorial content on the College’s behalf as needed.
• Perform other job-related duties as assigned.


Required Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of relevant, professional communications experience with a focus on marketing, writing, editing, public relations, or related experience.
• A demonstrated history of tackling and solving complex challenges while managing multiple projects with key campus partners.
• Demonstrated leadership abilities, and a history of contributing and collaborating with members of a creative team.
• Must be a proven collaborator who builds successful relationships with con and coworkers. Communicates and works effectively as a team member.
• Familiarity with the college admissions cycle and demonstrated awareness of the prospective student experience/journey.
• Familiarity with the college financial aid cycle, trends, and common challenges when communicating about financial aid to key audiences, including prospective students, their families, and school counselors.
• Experience managing budgets and developing budget forecasts and reports.
• Experience with the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) software.
• Demonstrated experience conceiving of and implementing successful digital marketing initiatives, with a preference of executing such initiatives for the prospective student audience.
• Demonstrated understanding of maintaining brand standards and elevating brand awareness.
• Ability to establish and measure key performance indicators.
• Superior written and oral communication skills and the ability to interact with people using tact and diplomacy.
• Outstanding organizational, project management, and interpersonal skills. Attention to detail and ability to manage multiple and diverse projects and meet deadlines.
• Experienced in evaluating and working with external partners such as communications agencies, commercial printing firms, mail house operations, and graphic designers.
• Adept in digital communications including enterprise email platforms, social media, web, video, and other emerging trends. Demonstrated computer skills in the use of Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator; and Google Suite and Microsoft Office.
• Must be able to work a flexible schedule that includes some evenings and weekends.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Familiarity with the college admissions cycle for highly selective institutions, and demonstrated awareness of the prospective student experience/journey.
• At least four years of direct experience with College admissions and financial aid communications.
• Familiarity with the basic components of financial aid need analysis methodology.
• Experience with the specific CRM Slate.
• Experience participating in a comprehensive rebranding of institutional collateral marketing initiatives specifically for prospective students and families as well as school counselors.
• Experience using and applying insights gained from analytics platforms such as Google analytics.