Chicago Scholars is seeking a dynamic communications expert to develop, lead, and manage an engaging content marketing strategy that positions us as leaders in our field. Integrating our programmatic strategy and vision, the Director of Communications and Marketing will be an essential leader on our Development Team to support fundraising efforts. The Director of Communications and Marketing will work to ensure Chicago Scholars presents a consistent and compelling marketing message, and that all of Chicago Scholars’ communications efforts are effectively targeting the intended audience(s) with particular emphasis on donors, individuals, Scholars, and partner colleges and universities.
This position works closely with colleagues throughout the organization in a fast-paced environment to understand and implement impactful marketing and communications programs and materials. This position specifically will assist the CEO with external relations efforts such as proposals and presentations. This role is ideal for someone who likes both developing and implementing strategy, including writing materials and multi-tasking to support many ongoing projects.
Strategy: Develop and manage multi-channel communications strategy that effectively describes and promotes the organization, its programs and impacts
Develop campaigns that consistently integrate and coordinate all elements of marketing and communications
Integrate organizational strategic plan, theory of change, values, and strategies around diversity, equity, and inclusion into organizational communications.
Manage the Chicago Scholar’s brand, including maintaining consistency in the use of logo, language, etc.
Develop media relations strategy, seeking high-level placements in print, broadcast and online media
Identify opportunities for and build new stakeholder development projects that support Chicago Scholar’s goals, reach new stakeholders and build awareness of CS
Evaluate opportunities for partnerships, sponsorships and advertising on an on-going basis
Maintain a keen understanding of industry trends affecting clients and make appropriate recommendations regarding communication strategy surrounding them
In collaboration with the Vice President of Development, develop and manage the budget for marketing and communications
Execution: Lead all public relations functions and oversee implementation of communications strategy on all channels including social media, web portals, web sites, printed materials for key stakeholders, including Scholars, Mentors, Volunteers, Parents, Employees, College Partners, Career Partners and Donors
Manage calendar of communications deliverables, including the execution of at least 2 Annual Appeals to all stakeholders
Develop key messaging campaigns that increase awareness of the CS brand and mission
Coordinate all public relations activities, including support of communications materials for events
Leverage existing media relationships and cultivate new contacts within business and industry media
Manage media inquiries and interview requests
Create written content for all key external documents and materials, including annual reports, website, one-pagers, brochures, etc.
Create templates and branding guides to ensure consistency of communications materials across the organization
Create content for press releases and keynote presentations
Ensure quality control of organizational messaging and materials by creating standards and processes for review of materials shared externally
Work in partnership with the data and evaluation team to ensure accurate promotion of program impacts
Support proposal writing, as needed
Outcomes: Develop and compile performance measures to evaluate impact of communication program and tools
Monitor, analyze and communicate PR results on a quarterly basis
Solicit input from internal/external consumers
Create reporting tools, press packets for Executive Team and Board
Other duties, as assigned
This role will occasionally work on nights and weekends for Scholar and development events and programming, and may have the opportunity to manage an intern. This role is also required to attend and support mandatory all staff events: the UnTied Gala, College Choice Celebration, New Student Orientation, All Scholar Retreat, First Look, the Onsite Admissions Forum, New Student Interview nights, and our Quarterly Staff Retreats.
Education: College degree required
Experience: 5-10 years experience total, with 3-5 years of relevant communications, content marketing, and PR experience required
Experience applying creative and innovative approaches to communications to support strategic positioning of organizations
Experience developing a market segmentation strategy to diverse audiences strongly preferred
-Excellent communications writing skills and experience to cater to diverse stakeholders -Demonstrated technical knowledge in some or most of the areas below:
Proficiency with Squarespace, Wordpress, or similar website management system strongly preferred
Proficiency with email management and creation software, particularly Emma or Pardot
Familiarity with Google Analytics and other digital analytics tools.
Moderate Proficiency with basic HTML Coding preferred
Photography and Videography; Web Design
Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Acrobat Pro)
Strategic Thinking: The ability to think big picture about organizational vision, mission, and direction to guide planning and decision-making. Apply best practices, sector trends, market opportunities, new technologies, research, and innovative approaches to plan and set direction. Strategic planning also includes the ability to link macro long-term vision with daily work.
Creativity and Innovation: The ability to craft organizational design and messaging in new and effective ways. Create and identify new approaches to address challenging situations and problems; develops new ideas or adapt ideas from elsewhere using best practices to create desired outcomes.
Decision-Making: Effectively structures and facilitates decision-making processes; makes decisions effectively and responsibly to improve organizational health and impact.
Communication: Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including staff, board members, external partners, and donors. Excellent writing skills.
Growth mindset: Views growth as important for personal and professional development; seeks out opportunities to expand skills, even if change is required. Ability to collect, enter and track accurate data to inform decision making.
Adaptability and flexibility: Ability to operate effectively and flexibly in changing contexts and operating environments.
Collaboration & Teamwork: Demonstrates awareness and respect of cultural and individual values. Listens to ideas from others, even when different from own. Is careful to ensure all sides are heard before reaching a conclusion. Shares time, energy and knowledge with others to ensure they can succeed.
Accountability: Demonstrated ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Ability to motivate and to take initiative as a self-starter.
Problem solving and critical thinking: Able to break down tasks into manageable sections in order to make informed decisions and solve problems. Able to perceive and resolve a gap and overcome obstacles between a present situation and a desired goal.
Stakeholder Management: Demonstrated ability to cultivate and sustain relationships with diverse audiences (educational level, socio-economic circumstance). Service-orientation approach to developing communications materials and working collaboratively with colleagues.
-Please click 'Apply' to submit your application, including a resume and cover letter, no later than June 3rd.
-Please include a cover letter that explains how your interests and abilities align with the Director of Communications and Marketing position.
About Chicago Scholars
About Chicago Scholars
Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access (Launch), College Persistence (Lift) and College to Careers (Lead), we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders.
86% of Chicago Scholars graduate college within 6 years. Per the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, only 49% of their peers earn a degree within 6 years. Upon graduation, our Scholars move into leadership positions across Chicago, helping to drive the economic future of their communities and our thriving city.
These are a set of guiding principles that apply to all stakeholders within the Chicago Scholars ecosystem. We select and retain stakeholders based on these stated expectations for how we achieve our mission and vision. Each are supported with core competencies and narrative for the sake of clarity.
We Dream Big.... We speak up, innovate, push the boundaries and keep the creativity flowing. We don’t accept the status quo because the stakes are too high. We have an incredible belief that growth and change is possible. While we dream big, we are laser focused on our intended goals and outcomes for our Scholars, our city and the world.
We Show Up. We show up every day; not just physically, but with a positive attitude and willingness to work, connect, challenge, engage, solve problems and have fun. We don’t wait for someone to tell us what to do. We take action and get the job done. If we don’t know how, we figure it out through our knowledge, exploration or our network.
We Embrace Our Differences. We represent a multicultural nation and our collective backgrounds, experiences, styles, values, perspectives and beliefs are an asset to the world. We recognize that together we achieve better outcomes more quickly. Justice and equity starts with us using our collective voice.
We Model the Way. We exhibit the behavior that we want to see in others and in the world. Titles are granted, but our behavior is what earns us respect. In order to model the way, we must be clear about our guiding principles, celebrate our accomplishments and learn from our challenges and failures.
We Care For Each Other Along the Way. We adapt to the needs of the person in front of us. We pause, reflect and listen. We do our best work when we are in good relationship together. We care personally and challenge directly.
We Keep Our Word. When we commit, we are all in. Whether for events, a Scholar, a peer or ourselves. Our words are as powerful as our actions and are the building block of trust, respect, self worth and integrity.