Director of Communications- National
College Track seeks a smart, dynamic and entrepreneurial Director of Communications who is passionate about telling the story of unlocking every student's potential through the power of education. This role will report to the Chief Development & Marketing Officer and be responsible fo r leading and executing a multi-year communications strategy that meets the needs of College Track's key stakeholders: partners, donors, students, educators, thought leaders and policy-makers. This person will also be responsible for leading the direction and scope of work of a growing communications team and supporting the development of strategic partnerships, earned media opportunities, and thought leadership in the college completion space.
College Track seeks candidates who are both creative and analytical, and possess extensive knowledge across an array of disciplines and platforms necessary to engage and expand the donor pool, improve student recruitment, and increase brand awareness within existing and new markets.
Primary Responsibilities Include:
- Develop a strategic communications plan for College Track informed by the social justice and equity issues that motivate our current and potential donors, partners and stakeholders.
- Collaborate with the National Leadership Team to create a narrative that advances College Track's mission, broadens awareness of its program approach and results, and increases visibility across key stakeholder audiences.
- Manage the development of College Track's external communications including, but not limited to: social media, newsletters, media outreach, email campaigns, and marketing collateral.
- Cultivate thought leadership opportunities for College Track leadership, including speaking roles/presentations at national conferences at the National office with local stakeholders.
- Support the development of event communications that will allow College Track regions and leadership to create and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including donors and key influencers: program flow, speaker selection, speechwriting, etc.
- Serve as lead point person on media relations, managing College Track's public relations consultant and ensuring that press mentions and landscape articles are circulated org-wide.
- Assist with the development of talking points, presentations, grants, proposals and other supporting material as needed.
- Lead a growing communications team by inspiring and motivating others to perform well through appropriate recognition and coaching.
- Oversee a Communications Manager to advance key communications priorities and supporting the MarCom team through major projects and initiatives.
- In partnership with the Director of Marketing and Alumni Strategy, ensure that College Track staff and boards feel equipped to serve as ambassadors of the organization with regular trainings on our messaging and branding. This includes facilitating trainings during onboarding, leading presentations at all-staff meetings, and CEO communication.
- Define key performance indicators, and measure, track and report success of marketing and communications efforts, working in tandem with the Organizational Performance Department.
- Lead annual strategic planning and budgeting for communications, in partnership with the Director of Marketing.
- Approve and manage work agreements with contract designers, writers, photographers, and content specialists.
- Proactively establish and maintain effective working relationships with all departments across the organization and external partners.
Skills & Experience Required:
First and foremost, the Director of Communications must embody the belief that we can transform low-income communities into places where college readiness and graduation is the norm, not the exception. Additionally, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor's degree (ideally in communications, marketing, nonprofit management, journalism, political science, or a related media field). Advanced degree is preferred, but not required.
- 6+ years minimum experience in the communications/marketing field.
- Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with National Leadership Team, Board of Directors, donors, grantees and staff.
- Experience advancing the stories of undocumented, first-generation, immigrant, or underrepresented minority students.
- Understanding of the education reform space and how our nation's social, political, and economic landscape can inform and inspire a narrative.
- Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements.
- Strong management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers. Experience managing a team of at least two team members, and developing and retaining talent over time.
- Creative and thoughtful about utilization of new digital media technologies and marketing campaign platforms.
- Eager collaborator with the ability to manage up and laterally; positive, solutions-oriented mindset.
- Skilled at giving and receiving constructive feedback to peers/staff.
- Innovative, energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; an ability to function smoothly under strict deadlines and shifting priorities.
- Ability to inspire and foster creative and innovative work.