Assistant Director, Marketing and Communication

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

ID: 7217002
Posted: February 13, 2024
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description

Job Summary:

The Northwestern Institute for Policy Research (IPR) is seeking a full-time Assistant Director of Marketing and Communication. This dynamic marketing and communication professional will complement the skills of our excellent communication team and bring an innovative approach to IPR’s dissemination, marketing, and communications. The goal is to create and execute world-class communications and marketing campaigns that promote and support the Institute, its programs, and current strategic goals. Strong background in research and/or science communication preferred. Experience with marketing and fundraising communication a plus.

Under the direction of the Communications Director, this position is responsible for writing, editing, and proofing print and web articles for the Institute for Policy Research and for curating faculty research coverage and content. Additionally, the position assists IPR’s Communications Director and Team with publications and other content, planning and execution of events, and execution of overall communications for the Institute. The position also reviews and edits grant proposals by IPR faculty as needed.

Specific Responsibilities:

• Under the direction of the Communications Director and in collaboration with the Communications Team, create, implement, and manage an integrated strategic communications and public relations plan to advance the IPR brand, broaden awareness of its programs, accomplishments, and priorities; and increase its visibility across key stakeholder audiences and to cultivate new and enhance existing relationships with targeted audiences.

• Writes and edits research summaries, analytic, informational, and/or feature web and print articles on policy-relevant, social science research topics based on academic papers/publications, interviews with faculty, and events. Adapts existing content to other digital media and print formats.

• Develops strategic content for donor-related and fundraising-related communications at the request of the Director and ARD.

• Collaborates on editorial work for IPR publications—its monthly newsletters, annual report, policy research briefs, pdf newsletter, and other materials as needed (social media content, media releases, brochures, reports, working papers, conference materials, internal communication, speeches, flyers, etc.). Works with team members to conceptualize infographics and visual assets.

• Seeks out and identifies faculty research for coverage, ensures accuracy of research findings in communication supports, and maintains a database of articles for content creation. Works with team members on selecting research coverage for editorial content. Stays abreast of current and ongoing faculty research topics. Curates, formats, and posts working papers to IPR’s working paper series online. Maintains the series.

• Uncovers communication insights and trends, especially in relation to donor and fundraising communications, and discover creative ways to capitalize on these. Execute all the programs and features of the communication and marketing products to ensure that content and presentation are in-synch with IPR branding and overall communication strategies.

• Writes, schedules, edits, and sends out IPR’s weekly internal communications to the IPR faculty, staff, and students, as well as handling specified communications with other internal units.

• Collaborates on events planning, marketing, and organization with the Communications Team in accordance with assigned deadlines. Attends events as needed to ensure their smooth functioning. Occasionally, events might require working outside of normal working hours in the evenings and on weekends.

• Develops meaningful metrics, monitor and track results to calculate return-on-investment, and provide data-driven recommendations for continued improvement and best practices.

• Reviews, edits, and critiques grant summaries by IPR faculty as needed. Necessitates understanding the grant requirements and adhering to formatting.

• Assists IPR’s communications department, senior leadership, and administration as needed (proofing reports, articles, writing speaking points, conducting background or historical research, etc.). Serves as team leader in the absence of the Communications Director, which might require working outside of normal working hours in the evenings and on weekends. Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications: (Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances)

• Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree.

• A minimum of 6 years of applicable experience.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

• Fluent in AP Style, with knowledge of Chicago and/or APA Styles, with an exacting eye for grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling.

• Demonstrated interest in the social sciences, evidence-based research, and public policy.

• Good news judgment and outstanding editing and communications skills.

• Rigorous attention to detail.

• Basic knowledge of current copyright and libel laws.

• Demonstrated experience with software/platforms: Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and content management systems for websites.

• Able to set priorities, organize workflow, work independently on assigned projects, and collaborate in a hard-working, small-team environment, demonstrating an exceptional work ethic and following through on initiatives.

• Punctual and reliable, with the ability to meet deadlines, strive for continuous improvement, solve problems quickly, and think outside of the box.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

• Master's degree.

• 5+ years of part- or full-time experience writing and editing for a publication and/or website.

• Experience writing for social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and/or multimedia production experience (audio, video).

• Background in science, or the demonstrated ability to make complex scientific concepts, methods, procedures understandable to a lay audience.

• Strong knowledge and understanding of communication platforms, including digital media and social media tools.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

• Software/Apps: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and InDesign), Google Analytics, Content Management System (Cascade), and email marketing platforms (MailChimp), Listserv management (LSoft).

• Photo selection and basic photo editing.

• Excellent communicator: Uses varied vehicles and opportunities to promote dialogue and develop shared understanding and consensus. Maintains continuous, open and consistent dialogue with others.

• Technologically savvy

• Critical and analytical thinking: Using logic and reason to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Ability to review and dissect information and apply analytic concepts and calculations.