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Executive Director of Marketing/Communications

Holy Family University | Philadelphia, PA - Posted 5 months ago

As a leader within the Office for University Advancement, the Executive Director of Marketing/ Communications is responsible for strategically guiding the institution’s branding, marketing, and communications in partnership with the University’s senior leadership and manages the department’s core service functions of branding, media and public relations, publications, creative services, photography, and digital communications.

The Executive Director, reporting to the Vice President for University Advancement, will manage communications with key constituencies; increase awareness of the institution and its people, programs, and events, and most importantly, its impact; and support enrollment and development goals.

Direct reports include the Art Director, Communications Specialist, Web Specialist, and Technical Support Specialist. The Executive Director must understand and embrace the mission of Catholic higher education and must commit to the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of Holy Family University in word and deed.

Job Responsibilities

Responsibilities, include but are not limited to:

  • Create for the University, secure approval, and implement a written, data-driven Strategic Institutional Marketing Plan, enlisting key stakeholders in the process. Serve as its advocate and caretaker, responsible for leadership in accomplishing its implementation and outcomes.
  • Create and secure approval of a written Strategic Marketing/Communications Plan to include: tactics, assignment of responsibilities, timelines, measurements, and outcomes; assessment of results and feedback into the planning process.
  • Provide leadership and enlist others to develop, integrate, and execute short- and long-term strategic and tactical branding, marketing, traditional and digital communications, and advertising plans for the University’s schools, sites, programs and other subunits necessary to move the institution toward the accomplishment of strategic initiatives in alignment with the University Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan.
  • Manage the University’s combined advertising budgets by collaborating with key enrollment stakeholders to develop and implement media strategies, plans, and executions. Manage/oversee the work of the University’s media placement agency of record and various creative agencies. Integrate needs of branding, event support, and programmatic support.
  • Direct qualitative and quantitative research initiatives necessary to inform the development and execution of strategic communications, marketing, advertising, and branding plans and to assess their results and effectiveness.
  • Serve as chief steward of the University’s image and brand identity and ensure consistent messaging and standardized visual design for all University communications.
  • Manage the financial resources and human resources necessary to fulfill the department’s mission.
  • Oversee the broader digital communications strategy for the University, in conjunction with the Web Specialist, including (but not limited to) developing and redeveloping the website to keep current with trends in higher education and maintaining a plan for mastering emerging digital media to meet ever-changing needs of perspective students and our larger University community.
  • Engage interpersonally with key stakeholders across the University including members of Senior Administration, division personnel, academic deans, faculty members, and others; serve on various committees and working groups as assigned by the Vice President for University Advancement. Meet regularly with the Vice President of University Advancement; participate in all Advancement staff meetings, appear occasionally before senior administration meetings; and serve actively on the University Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees.
  • Develop strategic partnerships with various external business, community, and cultural organizations; represent the University in the community as requested, assisting the Vice President for University Advancement and the President, as well as the University as a whole in maintaining a public relations presence externally.
  • Produce documents and presentations reporting on the department’s plans, activities, and results, including broader projects serving the University.
  • Provide counsel and advice to senior administrators regarding marketing, media, and public-relations opportunities, threats, and crises. Prepare in advance responses to potential crises or scenarios that would invite media interest. Support the University President in her role as chief spokesperson for the University, and perform the role in her absence as directed, serving as a buffer for her as appropriate.
  • Manage vendor and consultant relationships for the Marketing and Communications area.
  • Write articles for the Holy Family University Magazine or other publications, media releases, assist in writing speeches, introductions, executive summaries, reports, and letters, including fundraising or stewardship letters as appropriate.
  • Prepare and edit copy for advertising and publications, including editorial releases.
  • Maintain awareness of current events in the region, nation, and world and how those events impact higher education generally and Holy Family University, specifically.
  • Study issues and trends in higher education, communications, marketing, advertising, branding and development and share as needed.
  • Maintain active membership in professional associations, such as CASE, CUPRAP, PRSA, PPRA, AMA, Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association, and the Philadelphia Ad Club.


The successful candidate should possess:

  • Superior leadership, in order to accomplish the initiatives and responsibilities of the position;
  • The ability to think and perform strategically in a collegial environment;
  • Outstanding written and interpersonal communications skills, as well as strong presentation and management skills (personnel and budget);
  • Proficiency in the use of appropriate technology, as well as understand conceptually the role of technology in higher education, specifically in marketing, enrollment management, and fundraising.;
  • Familiarity with desktop publishing, photography, and graphic design software.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism, marketing, business or related field required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • A minimum of five years success in marketing, especially experience at a leadership level that focused on developing and executing strategic communications, marketing, and advertising plans direct experience in branding, and media placement required.
  • Supervisory experience in managing people, projects, and budgets and evaluating their performance; demonstrated ability to write well and to speak persuasively to small and large audiences; high levels of creativity and discretion; and an ability to foster teamwork required.
  • Three-to-five years of experience working in higher education and at least one year of enrollment management experience preferred.
  • Fundraising experience or knowledge of fundraising principles and successful experience in stewardship are assets preferred.
  • The position requires attendance at off-campus meetings and events that are accessible by automobile.
  • Evening and weekend work occasionally is required.