Director of Communications

Elgin Community College

Elgin Community College serves over 9,000 students at every stage of their educational journeys, including university transfer programs, career and technical education, continuing education classes, and adult basic education. As a community, we pride ourselves on nurturing a welcoming campus where every person—students, staff members, faculty members, and campus visitors—feels valued. The work of each ECC employee is central to the college’s mission, and as an employer, the college fosters a positive environment through professional challenges, excellent benefits, and opportunities for recognition and camaraderie.

Position Details

Director of Communications
Northern Illinois
Elgin, IL

An employee in this classification performs work of considerable difficulty by overseeing the college’s Communications Office (as part of the marketing and communications department) and its major initiatives, including planning and implementing communications strategies to promote, enhance, and protect the college’s image and reputation, convey accomplishments and initiatives, and assure a positive image through an aggressive media, social media and public relations agenda. Work requires the ability to handle a crisis or urgent situation at a moment’s notice. Direction is received by the assigned manager.

Essential Duties:

  1. Develop and maintain relationships with media and local and regional NIMS public information officers to effectively work with them during a crisis. Serve as a member of the college’s emergency response team to plan and respond to emergency situations on campus. Prepare, maintain, and test the college’s crisis communications plan and resources. Work with the CMCO to monitor and prepare crisis messaging for various platforms including internal channels, social media, and the college website.
  2. Responsible for planning and execution of strategic day-to-day media relations initiatives on a yearly basis, including story pitches and proactive and reactive plans and tactics. This includes working with the CMCO to draft key messages for the media for internal and external issues affecting the image, reputation, and brand of ECC. Develop, maintain, and improve key relationships with local, regional, and national journalists and reporters to ensure appropriate, fair coverage of ECC. Review, analyze, and report media relations outcomes and use that data to inform future media relations efforts.
  3. Manage the strategy and content creation for the college’s official social media sites
  4. Responsible for 24/7/365 monitoring of search terms related to Elgin Community College and other online content/mentions related to or involving ECC and must be prepared to respond. This position is “on-call” and is expected to be available during off hours during the event of a crisis or incident that could escalate to a crisis. Must also track, monitor, and analyze the effectiveness of social media messaging.
  5. Research and implement new media to build and sustain relationships, and provide strategic consultation, planning and assisting in the incorporation of blogs, podcasts, social media, and other technology in the college’s communication efforts.
  6. Work with the Communications and Social Media Manager to develop content for social media, blogs, and for the college’s online newsroom, which serves as a repository for college news and features as well as a resource for reporters on the ECC website.
  7. Work with Communications and Social Media Manager to create a social media calendar and ensure implementation.
  8. Drafting and approving content for college-wide communications emails and approving content/monitoring the use of the “everyone” email listerv. (Enforcing the policy)
  9. Responsible for oversight of multiple pages on the college’s website, collaborating with marketing and the web team to ensure content is up-to-date and incorporates key messages.
  10. This position also works with the Managing Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation and the Senior Director of Marketing Strategy to provide input as needed on digital content in alignment with marketing and communications goals and initiatives.
  11. Under the direction of the Senior Director of Content and Creative Services, set strategic direction to meet internal communication goals. Assist with strategic planning for key internal communications components, including the college’s intranet. In addition, ensure the alignment and integration of college branding and communications processes. Oversee strategy and execution of communication platforms, such as the Gateway and ECCTV electronic signs, including day-to-day and use in crisis communications. Work with the CMCO to plan and execute various college meetings. Serve on strategic college committees. Additionally, oversee the college’s official internal, electronic newsletter and editorial plan, in collaboration with staff members.
  12. Advise college departments on how to communicate programs or services to students and staff, develop communication plans, and measure the results of those plans.

Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

  1. Bachelor's degree in communications, public relations or related field or academic discipline or equivalent level of education and experience 
  2. Minimum of three to five years of management experience in public relations, government relations or communications required. 
  3. Excellent written communication skills in a wide variety of forms, including but not limited to news releases, social media, internal messaging, and effective communications strategies. Practical knowledge of AP Style editing guidelines and other editorial standards and copy-editing techniques. 
  4. Excellent social media skills required, including the development of content and overall content strategy and deployment. 
  5. Computer application skills required. MS Office standard at ECC. Proficiency in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and knowledge of the entire Microsoft Suite and other software such as Adobe Photoshop. 
  6. Demonstrated written communication skills on the application/resume and in a portfolio. 
  7. Demonstrated planning ability as evidenced on the resume and in a portfolio. 
  8. Demonstrated social media skills required. 
  9. Demonstrated oral communication skills. 
  10. Demonstrated human relations skills. 
  11. Knowledge of continuous improvement principles and processes 
  12. Demonstrates self-awareness and ability to pause and make sound judgement 
  13. Ability to work well under pressure in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment. 
  14. Ability to work a flexible schedule which includes days/evenings/weekends as needed by the department. 
  15. Experience with working with marketing and creative teams a plus.

Rate of Pay:

This position is a grade 16 with a minimum of $66,075 and a mid-point of $88,100. Salary offer will be commensurate with the education/experience, in alignment with the College’s compensation philosophy, and the current CBA, if applicable.

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