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Assistant Vice President, Communication Strategies

Position Deleted on 7/21/2013. This position is no longer an active posting on HigherEdJobs.
Chicago, IL
  • Admin - Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
  • Executive - Other Executive
Full Time

DePaul University, the nation's largest Catholic University, is a private, urban institution with 5 campuses and more than 275 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University's faculty, students and staff represent a wide range of ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds.

General Summary:

The Assistant Vice President, Communication Strategies is an experienced communications professional who will support the Vice President, Office of Public Relations and Communication (OPRC) in the design, planning and implementation of DePaul's integrated communication initiatives. Those responsibilities include: (1) strategic planning; (2) project management and supervision of creative teams; (3) the creation and oversight of issues management research; (4) oversight of communications research components of the University's integrated communications initiatives; and (5) serving in an advisory capacity to senior administrators on strategic, time-sensitive issues and events of potential impact on the institution's short and long-term communications strategies. This role requires a seasoned communications professional who has the ability to give constructive counsel to senior administrators. Duties include the design and oversight of innovative communication strategies and infrastructure to support the mission of OPRC, V2018 and DePaul University's strategic plan.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Establish short and long-range communication plans that include objectives, messages, target audiences and specify the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Develop innovative and strategic communications plans that demonstrate understanding of the campus colleague/client, showcase the OPRC's team's communication abilities and successfully address the communication opportunities and challenges.
  • Develop communications strategies and help identify the resources to execute their implementation, not only by leveraging OPRC staff responsible for internal and external communications, but include staff in EM&M and others across the University, as may be appropriate.
  • Analyze the objectives and communication needs of colleges, centers, institutes and initiatives to develop public relations and communication strategies that help support the communications efforts of these University entities that have the capacity to influence public opinion, enhance the University's reputation and support V2018, DePaul's strategic plan.
  • Help identify and analyze strategic communication and public relations opportunities on which colleges, centers and institutes might capitalize.
  • Work in collaboration with deans, directors and other administrators responsible for the implementation of such activities.
  • Develop comprehensive strategies for creating engagement opportunities that advance the University's digital influencer efforts.
  • Direct overall strategy development, devising key themes and messages to support communication initiatives.
  • Establish the communication proposal process, time-line and procedures to meet the needs of a specific public relations pursuit or communication initiative.
  • Develop and execute processes and systems for measuring the effectiveness of public relations activities and communication strategies.
  • Monitor and analyze higher education initiatives, current events, public policy concerns and other relevant issues having potential impact on DePaul.
  • Research and evaluate, constantly, multiple external data sources (i.e., special interest groups, industry analysts, and non-profit agencies, weblogs, and subject matter experts) for relevant opinions and strategies applicable to DePaul.
  • Direct all phases of primary and secondary communication research (i.e., communications audits, audience needs assessments, perception and public opinion research, and outcomes testing).
  • Direct the design and administration of research instruments.
  • Coordinate data collection, analyze content; prepare summary reports and presentations, and provide recommendations for future action.
  • Monitor and analyze demographic trends, relevant secondary communication research, applicable national rankings, government data, and institutional research for relevancy to DePaul's communication needs.
  • Forecast potential impact on DePaul and future communication strategies.
  • Track DePaul and select peer/benchmark institutions media presence, content dissemination and frequency; evaluate for competitive advantage.
  • Conduct comparative analyses and competitive intelligence on peer/benchmark institutions and the private sector relative to public relations and communications.
  • Direct OPRC in the absence of the Vice President.
  • Design, implement, and oversee project management process.
  • Direct project teams.
  • Implement business processes (software and personnel management) that lead communication teams throughout an entire project.
  • Track large, multi-year communication integration efforts.
  • Identify and help develop resourcing plans for major projects.
  • Work with colleagues in OPRC to develop and manage a work flow and project management process in order to balance department resources with the campuses many needs.
  • Assist with forecast budgets for future fiscal cycles & direct budget operations.
  • Evaluate the success of public relations and communication initiatives using quantitative and qualitative methods to determine effectiveness, better inform decision-making and ensure that resources are allocated to deliver the greatest impact.
  • Identify thought leadership opportunities.
  • Appraise and synthesize communication intelligence into key areas of focus to heighten relevancy, credibility and visibility with target audiences.
  • Substantiate (or realign) DePaul's communications direction with up-to-date information via written reports and summaries, electronic presentations and team briefings.
  • Deliver time-sensitive intelligence to institutional leadership for rapid response incidents.
  • Evaluate DePaul's media coverage (web, social media, broadcast, print, radio) for regional and national competitive presence.
  • Formulate customized communication strategies for institutional leadership (deans and other senior administrators).
  • Manage two full-time staff as well as a group of interns.
  • Develop constructive and cooperative working relationships with deans, faculty, administrative colleagues, vendors, interns and other University colleagues.
  • Collaborate with other campus colleagues and garner their support in implementing the communications plans.
  • Interact directly with campus clients, as needed, to act as knowledge steward and key communications strategist.
  • Review production materials to ensure message quality, format and content is in order to meet communication needs (goals and objectives as well as budgetary) and ensure consistency with the University's strategic plan.
  • Exhibit strong communication and presentation skills to effectively articulate ideas to campus administrators, colleagues and others.
  • Foster promotion of OPRC as being the primary communication authority for the University.
  • Drive the overall awareness of and preference for DePaul University's OPRC communications expertise through coordinated communications to key constituents.
  • Drive external outreach, enhance and/or support DePaul University's image and reputation.
  • Contribute to other programs and University projects, as needed.
  • Administer all initiatives according to University policies and guidelines.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Master's degree in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, English or related field.
  • 10-15 years of full-time public relations or communications experience, including at least 5 within the higher education arena.
  • Experience with counseling, coaching and communicating effectively.
  • Experience with communications and communication research (both primary and secondary), as well as with a plethora of public relations monitoring, social listening and analytics-based platforms.
  • Experience working successfully with cross-functional teams.
  • Knowledge and experience regarding how best to leverage a variety of communication platforms to achieve communication goals and objectives: on-line communications, social media, publications, traditional media and photography/videography and graphic design in support of communications goals.
  • Proficiency in writing and editing.
  • Proven track record of excellent strategic thinking with a high degree of comfort and flexibility managing multiple, competing priorities and with attention to complex details.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to interface with all levels of senior management as well as with the campus colleagues.
  • High degree of integrity.
  • Ability to problem solve, be a team player, think critically, be collaborative, be nimble and energetic, thick-skinned, resilient, creative, have an attention for detail and accuracy, media savvy, and discerning.
  • Ability to significantly accomplish planning and implementing strategic communications plans and public relations programs, as well as with building strong relationships with campus colleagues.
  • Ability to thrive in fast-paced, high energy environment.
  • Ability to self-start.
Are you interested in joining our team of talented, motivated employees and helping DePaul serve its students and communities around the world? If so, go to and select "Employment" at the top of the page to submit your cover letter and résumé online for this and other jobs. Please reference job number 17658.

Salary & Benefits:
DePaul offers comprehensive and competitive pay and benefits to attract and retain talent to further the University's mission. Please click on the following link to review the full Benefits Summary.

Required Background Screening:
All final candidates extended an offer of employment will undergo background screening.

Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse & Neglect:
Upon accepting an offer of employment with the university, you will also be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Mandated Reporter Status at the time of hire. A mandated reporter is required to make a report to the Illinois DCFS Hotline whenever there is reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be abused or neglected.

For more information about the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, please visit:

DePaul University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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