Associate Vice President of Communication

Lawrence University

Lawrence University, a nationally ranked private liberal arts university and Conservatory of Music, seeks an accomplished and strategic leader for the position of Associate Vice President of Communications. Lawrence University’s Associate Vice President of Communication serves as the chief communication strategist for the university. Lawrence is operating with a sense of urgency as we position ourselves to thrive into the future. With this sense of urgency, the AVP will be responsible for setting direction; establishing a compelling and consistent university narrative and brand profile; and managing the implementation of all proactive and reactive communications and marketing efforts. The AVP will support presidential-level communications, university enrollment- and advancement-related needs, conservatory of music communication, in addition to the overall university communication portfolio. The AVP leads the Office of Marketing and Communications, serves on the president’s cabinet as a key strategic partner, and reports to the Chief of Staff.

Position Details

Associate Vice President of Communication
Northeast Wisconsin
Appleton, WI

Major Objectives:

  • Develop and implement a long-range strategic communications and messaging platform that focuses on bolstering the profile and reach of the university with key stakeholders and recommended audiences. 
  • Develop and execute an annual tactical communications plan for communications and marketing. 
  • Collaborate with university leadership to identify appropriate strategies for communicating with various audiences. 
  • Implement brand messaging that is consistent with the mission of Lawrence University and refined to align with audience needs. 
  • Implement brand messaging and graphic identity of Lawrence University that are consistent in all university publications, the web site, other digital and social media, and all other settings. 
  • Establish close working relationships across campus with faculty, administrators, students and other staff that contribute to building a more comprehensive internal and external communications strategy that is authentic to and effective for Lawrence University. 
  • Collaborate with enrollment management for marketing and communications strategies for prospective students and families that are consistent with the integrated brand strategy.
  • Collaborate with university advancement for marketing and communications strategies for alumni, parents, and friends that are consistent with the integrated brand strategy. 
  • Create a clear set of metrics and analytics to evaluate the efficacy/ROIof all marketing and communications efforts that align with the institutional KPIs. · Create proactive communications efforts that tell stories aligned to the university narrative across earned, owned, and shared media platforms. 
  • Develop and implement a presidential and senior leadership communications plan that uses the proxy voice of university leaders to raise Lawrence’s profile in higher education liberal arts and conservatory of music publications and general media.
  • Oversee the management of the communications budget, including staffing decisions and engagement of support services. 
  • Develop an effective crisis communications plan in collaboration with the crisis management team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities based on the Major Objectives:

  • Develop and execute a comprehensive, long-term and proactive university-wide communications, marketing and branding strategy, consistent with the strategic goals, plans, and aspirations of university leadership. 
  • Partner with the Chief of Staff and President on public relations and positioning strategies. 
  • Provide leadership and drive the vision for the university’s strategic and integrated marketing and communications functions. 
  • Manage and direct the marketing and communications staff. 
  • Coordinate at the strategic and tactical levels with university departments. 
  • Plan and oversee design, copy writing and editing, and production of marketing, public relations, and advertising products. 
  • Represent the university as spokesperson where appropriate. 
  • Serve as a key player in crisis communication.
  • Develop strategy and execution for web site management and updates. 
  • Coordinate the creative development and placement of general university advertising.
  • Identify needs for market research, implement necessary studies, and analyze results. 
  • Develop and execute individual marketing plans for university-sponsored programs. 
  • Manage the creation of Lawrence magazine. 
  • Manage the budget prudently and strategically. 
  • See the value of cultural, ethnic, gender, and other individual differences in people. Help to create an environment of learning about, valuing, encouraging, and supporting differences.

Education and Work Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; master’s degree strongly preferred.
  •  Broad knowledge of all facets of higher education marketing and communications strongly preferred.
  • Minimum of 10 years of professional experience in marketing and communications; minimum of 5 years’ experience in higher education preferred. 
  • Strong working knowledge of the latest web development, publications, media relations, crisis communications, e-communications, branding and market research techniques and practices. 
  • Proven experience leading teams — developing, evaluating, directing, and motivating staff. 
  • Familiarity and comfort working in a highly collaborative environment. 
  • Demonstrated experience in managing and implementing comprehensive marketing and communications strategies as well as developing short and long-term strategic planning — translating broad goals into achievable steps. 
  • Experience advising senior management on complex communications issues. Strong understanding of reputational risk and issues management. 
  • Depth of experience, sound judgement, and confidence befitting a senior strategic leadership position. 
  • Must possess outstanding oral and written communications skills. 
  • Deep knowledge of cross-channel marketing, advertising, programmatic and digital advertising, social media, media publishing, media relations and crisis communication. 
  • Extensive experience working with all forms of communications tools – traditional, social, and digital. This includes print; broadcast; online, new, and mainstream media.

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