Communications Manager

Illinois Public Health Institute

The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) mobilizes stakeholders, catalyzes partnerships, and leads action to promote prevention and improve public health systems to maximize health, health equity and quality of life for the people of Illinois.

IPHI advances health-equity focused systems change initiatives through the Center for Community Capacity Development, the Center for Health Information Sharing and Innovation, and the Center for Policy and Partnership Initiatives. IPHI leads the national Data Across Sectors For Health (DASH) strategy advancing communities' capacity to share data across sectors through catalytic community collaborations.

Across Illinois and the nation, IPHI provides convening, facilitation, training and technical assistance to foster multi-sector community collaborative health transformation initiatives. In Chicago and suburban Cook County, IPHI serves as the backbone of the multi-hospital, multi-stakeholder Alliance for Health Equity to collectively implement initiatives aimed at upstream, social determinants of health including housing and food systems.

IPHI is a leading policy and advocacy voice in Illinois, promoting state and local policy efforts aimed at nutrition, physical activity, opioid use disorder and public health capacity building and convenes the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity policy coalition. With an annual budget of more than $8 million and more than 35 talented staff leaders, IPHI works with numerous partners, contractors, consultants, and foundations to achieve our vision that all people and communities, especially those that experience health, social and racial inequities, are able to achieve their optimal health, supported by an effective multi-sectoral public health system.

Position Details

Communications Manager
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Position Brief:

The Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) is seeking a Communications Manager to collaborate with the Communications Director and staff throughout IPHI to create policies, plan, and oversee the execution of communications projects and products throughout the organization.

Public health and health equity are at the forefront of the minds of people throughout the communities served by IPHI. The Covid-19 pandemic, persistent racial injustices, climate threats, and economic uncertainty are among several factors that continue to destabilize the health and well-being of all Americans, especially BIPOC. IPHI team members and partners work to understand, communicate, and take action to address these factors, with a specific focus on health inequity, to engage strategic partners and build power to improve health outcomes. The communications manager will collaborate with staff and external partners to drive action to improve health in communities in Illinois and across the nation through health messaging and communications.

Impact of the Position:

The Communications Manager will play a critical role in ensuring IPHI communicates the mission, vision, values, and impact of the organization and its programs. In a collaborative partnership with, and under the supervision of, the Director of Communications, the Communications Manager is responsible for developing and implementing strategic communications initiatives and tactics to advance IPHI’s brand and narrative as a leading innovator in public health, research, policy, partnerships, and data sharing in the national conversation for health equity. As the department builds a framework for communications, his/her/their work includes managing internal and external creative and support services from conception through production, and eventually delivery. This role involves building systems and procedures to ensure the organization develops values-based communications on target to our key audiences and their most relevant segments. The Communications Manager is a regular, full-time position which reports directly to the Director of Communications and is based in Chicago.

Primary Responsibilities:

Project Management, Execution, & Delivery

  • Collaborate with the Director of Communications, staff, consultants, and key stakeholders to develop project landscapes 
  • Provide leadership and oversight of day-to-day execution of activities and initiatives, including priority setting for communications projects 
  • Create and manage communications work plans, budgets, and collateral 
  • Coordinate the workflows of staff, partners, consultants, and external vendors to achieve project and department goals 
  • Foster collaboration among program team, actively contributing to initiatives and successfully resolving conflicts 
  • Monitor and report on communications objectives, key results, milestones, roadblocks, and setbacks 
  • Manage and report on project budgets, as appropriate

Content Strategy, Planning, & Innovation

  • Work alongside the director, staff, consultants, and key stakeholders in developing a comprehensive integrated communications and messaging strategy to drive awareness and engagement 
  • Develop and manage systems for storing project files online, ensuring that key correspondence and materials are easily accessible 
  • Lead strategic execution to achieve program goals with ability to understand the “big picture” and build upon linear and non-linear ideas 
  • Communicate relevant evidence-based state, local and national public policies, systems, and environmental change related to IPHI projects and programs 
  • Contribute to the development, design, and execution of communications deliverables and storytelling to build a culture of communications excellence 
  • Promote and empower capacity development among staff, vendors, and partners by providing insights, information, and solutions

Collaboration, Relationship Management & Resource Development

  • Manage and deepen relationships with program partners and key stakeholders to achieve communications and program goals 
  • Negotiate solutions to move program work forward 
  • Represent IPHI at external venues/events to build awareness, cross-promotion, and collaboration across organizations 
  • Contribute to drafts, design, and edits to reports, position papers, background documents, presentations, fact sheets, and newsletters to support dissemination

Continuous Improvement

  • Identify opportunities to disseminate program impact, create capacity, promote operational efficiencies and/or improve budget management 
  • Lead/support implementation of improvement/refinement projects 
  • Support program interns, contracted staff and/or vendors to achieve program goals. 
  • Provide feedback and coaching to stakeholders to ensure program deliverables are met

Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge & Skill Requirements:

  • IPHI values multiple pathways to attaining professional experience, education, and skills. The ideal candidate will have a combination of education and experience equivalent to at least five to seven years in storytelling and communications project management roles.
  • Experience in public health, human services, healthcare, public policy, or non-profit settings are a plus. 
  • Excellent written, oral communications and interpersonal skills; ability to listen and assess the interests of various audiences and communicate complex or new ideas in person and in writing in a clear, articulate, and accessible manner to compel individuals to action. 
  • Proven experience and leadership in managing brand, comprehensive strategic marketing and communications and content marketing programs to advance an organization’s mission and goals. 
  • Strong commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and addressing root causes of health inequities and health disparities from lived or learned experience. 
  • The ability and experience to engage diverse stakeholders in strategic communications and/or leading communications for systems change initiatives (internally and externally). 
  • Preferred candidates operate as a self-starter, quick learner, team player and are comfortable working in a dynamic environment and ambiguity. 
  • Demonstrated experience using and monitoring results of with all types of web-based communication and social media tools (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). 
  • Bilingual abilities a plus. 
  • A multitasker with the ability to wear many hats in a fast-paced environment. 
  • Personal qualities of integrity, accountability, credibility, and customer service are important.

Accomplishing the Work:

  • Ability to pay close attention to detail, focusing on accuracy and quality without losing sight of the bigger picture (focusing on synthesis of near-term actions and long-term vision).
  • Strong organizational skills including sense of urgency to set priorities, juggle multiple tasks, organize time effectively, conduct research, and identify resources for projects in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • A customer service focus at all times, being responsive to requests and providing high quality service. The communications department is a hybrid agency requiring frequent communication with internal and external customers about program activities, initiatives, and projects. Must be able to exchange accurate information in these situations.

Compensation: $60,000 - $67,000 depending on years of relevant experience and qualifications. IPHI offers competitive benefits including health, dental and disability insurance, sick and vacation time, and a retirement plan with employer matching contributions.

Location*: The position is located at the IPHI office in Chicago’s West Loop.

*IPHI Leadership continues to assess COVID rates and telecommuting policies to prepare for a return to work when deemed safe. IPHI staff are currently working remotely.

Starting Date: Immediate.

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