August 29, 2013

JOB OF THE WEEK: Duke University, Director of Strategic Communications (Durham, NC)

Duke UniversityDuke University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative is seeking a Director of Strategic Communications with a minimum of eight years experience and a salary of no more than $85,000.

The Director of Strategic Communications is accountable for developing and implementing a vision and strategic marketing, communication and public relations plan reflective of the priorities of the Initiative that enhances marketing, fundraising and public relations initiatives, and promotes ongoing communication with faculty, staff, students, alumni and other stake-holders. Reporting to the Director, your portfolio will encompass branding, digital and social media communications development, public relations, marketing and communications policy development and stakeholder outreach. Your digital communications and marketing experience will ensure that all of the Initiative’s messages work together to seamlessly address the Initiative’s ambitious goals.

In addition to generating content, you will join the leadership team and provide strategic communications counsel relevant to a continually and rapidly shifting media landscape. Your deliverables will include the design, development and maintenance of print and web-based communication programs for diverse audiences and constituencies.


1. Develop and implement PR and marketing strategies and tactics, including community relations, to build and maintain a positive reputation among key constituencies and to develop a consistent brand for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative

2. Develop and execute a comprehensive PR and promotional plan for the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative at Duke, while collaborating with Duke Communications to create an integrated program consistent with Duke’s overall vision and objectives.

3. Identify and partner with key internal and external stakeholders (Deans of Schools, legal, government affairs, alumni affairs, etc.) to ensure communication support for potential issues, such as advocacy, compliance, student affairs, alumni engagement, etc.

4. Working with the Duke faculty and the leadership team of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, initiate a strategy and develop content that clearly positions Duke as a national thought leader in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

5. Manage process through which Initiative-developed thought leadership content is disseminated across a range of outlets, to further engage our different constituencies/communities.

6. Assume responsibility for writing, design and timely production and distribution of all PR materials, including feature articles on university programs, profiles of successful faculty/students/alumni, press kits, press releases, newsletters and video/audio scripts. It is anticipated that the candidate will both take an active role in the preparation of these materials, as well as make use of other on- and off-campus resources.

7. Review and edit materials prior to distribution to ensure clarity and appropriateness for each audience.

8. Broadly deliver the Initiative’s vision and success through a variety of vehicles, including the internet (including initiative’s website and social media accounts), blogs, newsletters, trade, business and consumer PR, advertising, executive messaging and related materials.

9. Select and direct external agencies to support PR activities, as needed.

10. Develop and manage a set of key performance metrics and analytics to allow for continuous improvement in the areas of communications and marketing.


1. Results orientation/sense of urgency

2. Problem solving and decision making

3. Ability to react and respond to changing priorities and manage a complex and diverse workload in a dynamic, fast-paced culture.

4. Excellent organizational skills and outstanding ability to establish and meet deadlines.

5. Thorough knowledge of the news media and experience in working effectively with reporters and editors. 

6. Understanding of university culture.

7. Experience with media relations, marketing, stakeholder relations, communication relations, government relations, alumni relations and institutional advertising.

8. Ability to communicate effectively with visual arts experts, as well as general-interest print and electronic media. 

9. Excellent verbal communication and writing/editing skills.

10. Proven ability to function effectively in a team environment, as well as work independently. 

11. Demonstrated experience with social technology (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, Flickr, blogs, wikis, RSS, social bookmarking, discussion forums and community software). 

12. Experience with online monitoring and measurement platforms including but not limited to Omniture, Facebook Insights, YouTube Insights, Google Analytics, HootSuite, TweetDeck, and Social Mention.

The mission of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (Duke I&E) is to create a robust culture across the entire university in which we inspire and prepare students and faculty for innovative leadership and actively support and celebrate the translation of knowledge into the service of society.

Administratively housed within the Office of the Provost, Duke I&E acts as a centralized organizer for "all things I&E" on campus and in our community. We connect students, faculty and alumni to the infrastructure and resources - programs, funds, educational opportunities, and advisors - to increase their ability to realize solutions with impact. Moreover, we exist to bring visibility to Duke's history of successes in innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase our ongoing programs.

TO APPLY: Click here.  (PF tipster)

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

    Laura Gross - Contributor
    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
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    Blain K. Rethmeier - Contributor
    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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