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Summary:We are a team of information collectors, connectors and content creators who work to strengthen relationships between Smith and internal and external stakeholders. The Director, Communications and External Engagement will serve as an advisor to offices across the college and the liaison between Smith and the City of Northampton, and will oversee crisis communications. In this role, they will protect and strengthen the reputation of the college and its relationships. The ideal candidate will be a strategic thinker and an accomplished writer eager to identify opportunities to further the aims of the college, develop plans to address those opportunities, and work collaboratively with others to achieve them.
Lead communications efforts for campus-wide initiatives, developing and implementing communications strategies to support success.
Advise college departments (e.g., Residential Life, Office of Equity and Inclusion, Human Resources) that create messages for the Smith community, serving as a thought-partner and providing input on communications strategies and tactics to achieve desired goals. Review and edit messages to ensure consistency with college messaging and with an eye towards potential reputational impact. Draft messages as needed.
Act as a liaison between offices across campus and the Office of College Relations and Communications. Find and share information that inspires the creation of content by the Editorial and Digital teams.
Serve on college committees as appointed (e.g., Campus School, Campus Safety Advisory Group, Cromwell Day)
Support other Smith-focused initiatives (e.g., United Way campaign) as assigned.
Community Engagement: (40%)
Serve as primary relationship manager with the Office of the Mayor of Northampton
Oversee community giving strategy: evaluate, recommend, and manage sponsorships that are mutually beneficial, strengthening relationships with the city while advancing Smith's goals.
Identify opportunities for strengthening community relationships at both the local and regional level. Work with colleagues across the college to create and effectively implement plans to build on such opportunities.
Manage annual community breakfast for Smith leadership and Northampton business and government leaders; write remarks for President; develop invitation list; work with Mayor to create agenda; coordinate with Events Management.
Act as primary communications contact for the Carbon Neutral/Geothermal Project, and any other major projects that affect the city.
Crisis Communications and Reputation Management: (15%)
First point of contact for urgent campus communications
Prepare talking points and draft communications as needed
Coordinate with Director, Media Relations to manage media response
Act as key member of ad hoc crisis communications teams, providing communications advice to minimize reputational damage and creating messaging as needed
Maintain crisis communications playbooks
In conjunction with the Social Media Manager, monitor engagement with Smith's Social Media accounts and student message boards to anticipate potential issues of concern
Engage with crisis communications consultant as needed
Serve as College Spokesperson if needed
Government Relations: (5%)
Monitor federal, state, and local issues that affect higher education and Smith; make recommendations for action, as appropriate.
Evaluate and respond to requests by NAICU to support federal legislation.
Bachelor's degree with 5 - 7 years' experience in marketing, communications, public affairs, or similar role
Superior writing, editing and proofreading skills, and verbal communication skills
Superior verbal communication skills
Proactive; calm under pressure
Proven ability to develop and manage relationships with a broad range of stakeholders
Strong understanding of social media and its role in building and harming institutional relationships
Experience beyond higher education a plus
Self-starter who takes initiative and is able to work independently
Highly collaborative team player; the ability to build effective relationships across campus and with members of the Northampton community
Demonstrated ability to initiate and manage multiple tasks under competing deadlines and shifting priorities
Learning mindset, including taking and responding to feedback
Excellent attention to detail
Demonstrated commitment to supporting a diverse workforce, and willingness to participate in the College's efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment
Proven ability to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.
Proven ability to handle confidential information with integrity and discretion, exercising sound judgment
Ability to achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
Proficient with Zoom, Google Workspace and Microsoft Office, including the ability to create visual presentations and slides using PowerPoint or other platforms
This position is eligible for Smith's Remote/Hybrid work program. Given the nature of the position, the schedule requires four days in office and one day remote.
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Review of applications will begin
September 18, 2023
About Smith College
Located in Northampton, MA, Smith College is one of the largest women's colleges in the country and is dedicated to excellence in teaching and research across the liberal arts. A faculty of outstanding scholars interact with students in small classes, as advisors, and through student-faculty research projects. The College is a member of the Five College Consortium with Amherst, Hampshire and Mt. Holyoke Colleges, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Students cross-enroll and faculty cross-teach across the Five Colleges.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 151B, it is the policy of Smith College to provide reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability, unless such accommodation would cause an undue hardship. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. If reasonable accommodation is needed, please contact our recruiting team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As set forth in our mission and values, Smith College is committed to promoting a culture of equity and inclusion among students, staff and faculty. The College will not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, genetic information, age, veteran status, physical or mental disability, or any other classification protected by law. Smith College is an equal opportunity employer and complies with all state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination.
CAREERS AT SMITH Smith College employees are a hard working, creative, talented and caring community who keep the college running. We pride ourselves on being a diverse group that brings different skills, perspectives and experiences to support our nearly 2,900 students—women who are becoming leaders to address society's challenges. Join us, and become part of the team whose work makes the college work.Why Smith?Teamwork—A supportive group of co-workers who celebrate individuality and empower one another.Success—A comprehensive and competitive benefits package as well as career advancement resources. Balance—Flexibility for supporting your life outside of work; some positions are eligible for hybrid/remote work options.