The Vice President for Marketing and Communications reports directly to the President, and oversees the communication efforts of Alcorn State University. Communications effort includes all internal and external communications, including strategy and policy, message development, media relations, issues and crisis management, university-level internal communications with enrolled students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff, brand management, marketing and advertising, social media, website management, and graphic design services. The Vice President is also charged with strengthening relationships with all university stakeholders and driving local, state, national, and global communications.
As a dynamic leader and change agent, the Vice President’s goal will be to strengthen existing communications and create a strategic plan that reflects the University's mission and goals, addressing target audiences and key stakeholders, as well as ensuring alignment and consistency of communications across the institution. S/He will develop a communications plan for Alcorn State University, managing activities that promote, enhance, and protect the university’s desired image and position.
As a strategic advisor, the Vice President will serve as the primary communications and marketing resource for the President and the University's senior leadership.
SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY:
The Vice President for Marketing and Communications will plan, develop, integrate, and implement the University’s marketing strategies, communications, branding, and public relations activities, both internal and external. S/He will be responsible for varied and integrated communications products and services including newsletters and other print publications web, e-news, and other online communications; media and public relations; and marketing and branding. The individual will work collaboratively with senior leadership, athletics, the School of Agriculture, and other internal constituents to develop, coordinate, and implement communication strategies to drive broader awareness, enhance and elevate the institutional profile, and increase donor support for the University.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
Serve as chief communications counselor to the university president and other university leaders on all internal and external strategic communications, branding and marketing, with responsibility for oversight and direction of those functions and staff
Manage university-wide marketing and communications, including media relations, issues and crisis management, university-level internal communications, digital communications and social media, brand stewardship, marketing, and graphic design services.
Set communications policy/standards and a high-level messaging framework for campus and college communications teams to work within successfully.
Create and implement a strategic, integrated communications plan that addresses varied priorities and stakeholders. The plan should address a proactive media relations strategy and program at the local, state, national, and global levels and encompass print, television, and social media outlets.
Coordinate crisis management efforts involving both the university as a whole and its individual units.
Handle media spokesperson duties and conducts media interviews for the university when appropriate.
Collaborate to strengthen, align, and guide the University's overall and unit brands, including athletics, advancement, and Agriculture, through strategic marketing activities. Ensure brand standards are maintained and consistent throughout the organization
Take a research-based approach to identify key messages and audiences, and work consistently to tell the University’s stories, weaving them together to create a consistent, unified message in support of the Alcorn brand to a broad range of targeted, diverse audiences
Work with University senior leaders, faculty, and staff to assess the University's communications and marketing needs and identify strong messages, compelling stories, and key audiences
Collaborate across schools and administrative units - including admissions, development and alumni affairs, and athletics - to align messages and to promote key initiatives of the University
Reinforce a culture of excellence, innovation, and creativity, one that is proactive and quick to mobilize around important issues facing the University at all levels
Anticipate, prepare for, preempt, and mitigate issues with the potential to negatively impact the University's reputation. Oversee issues-management and crisis communications plans and advise senior leaders in the event of a crisis
Lead strategy and provide oversight for internal communications to ensure that faculty, staff, alumni, students, and their families are kept informed of the University's goals, objectives, and progress. This will include the creation of a framework and content for internal and external websites.
Develop and oversee a dynamic, interactive, and comprehensive website that meets the needs of multiple constituencies.
Lead the strategic use of digital media and other current social media tools to disseminate brand messages and achieve University application, enrollment, and other objectives
Cultivate and sustain collaborative relationships/partnerships with external stakeholders, government and community leaders, businesses, and foundations
Oversee the day-to-day operations of the Office of Marketing, and Communications including staff supervision and evaluation, workflow efficiency, budgeting, planning, and professional development
Develop and mentor staff performance based on goals, accountabilities, objectives, and priorities
Work in collaboration to support University events, including but not limited to Commencement and Convocation
Serve on University committees
Perform other duties as assigned by the President/IOE
At least 7 years of progressive leadership responsibilities and experience managing communications and/or marketing in a complex, dynamic environment.
A holistic understanding of all aspects of communications, positioning and messaging, including industry best practices in both traditional and emerging media platforms and experience with state-of-the-art communications technology. Demonstrated experience with digital communications strategies and new media
Proven ability to lead with direct authority and through influence, including collaborating across peer leadership groups and deploying resources to support individual units as well as an enterprise-wide narrative. Ability to forge effective relationships, influence, and collaborate internally and externally at all levels
Demonstrated political savvy in identifying influencers in the broader public context, and in achieving public relations impact among outside stakeholders
Demonstrated senior leadership experience designing and executing a strategic communications plan in a large, complex, decentralized organization with varied priorities and stakeholders
Experience managing teams and budgets in a highly complex organization. This includes experience hiring, developing, and retaining high-performing professional teams, as well as evaluation and retention of and change management for existing teams
Outstanding management and planning skills, including the ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
Excellent and nuanced writing ability and range. Strong interpersonal skills and persuasive presentation and public speaking skills
Licensing and Certifications
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, and ABILITIES:
A strong record of success as a supervisor, including but not limited to performance evaluation, professional development, setting individual goals, and assessment of performance effectiveness
Demonstrated effectiveness as a culturally competent professional with broad experience interacting with and supporting the needs of a diverse student population
A high level of collegiality in working with other campus units, along with the ability to build collaborative relationships characterized by mutual respect, trust, and commitment to shared goals
Integrity, creativity, energy, and decisiveness along with the capacity to engage and inspire others
Highly effective in all aspects of crisis management, including the ability to work collaboratively with others in managing crises
Excellence as a manager of complex organizational processes, heavy reliance on assessment data to inform decisions, superb supervision and professional development skills
Effectiveness in setting priorities and deadlines to ensure project goal and objectives are met
Strong skills in developing and managing budgets
Sensitive, diplomatic, and highly articulate in written and verbal communications with all constituencies
Well-developed skills in assessing organizational effectiveness and identifying areas of strength as well as needs for improvement
Ability to sit at a workstation for extended periods
Occasional ability to lift, carry, and put away parcels weighing up to 25 pounds
Normal physical mobility, which includes movement from place to place on the job taking distance and speed into account
Extended work hours; occasional travel
Application packet must include: a) Letter of interest b) Current curriculum vitae c) Leadership Philosophy Statement d) At least five references with full contact and e-mail information
(References will not be contacted without applicant’s consent.)
Finalists for the position will participate in on-campus interviews that will include a public presentation. Submit application and nomination packet to firstname.lastname@example.org (preferably as PDFs).
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
About Alcorn State University
Alcorn is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the United States and the second-oldest state-supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi. Alcorn University was founded in 1871 as a result of the people of Mississippi’s efforts to educate the descendants of formerly enslaved Africans. It was named in honor of the sitting governor of Mississippi, James L. Alcorn.