Reporting to the Chief Communications & Marketing Officer for Columbia College and serving as a leader on the Communications & Marketing team, the Director of Strategic Communications develops and executes communication strategies across all channels, through high impact messages, data-informed segmentation and innovative user experiences for outreach from Columbia College (CC) and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), to undergraduates and families. The Director leads all student communication campaigns and initiatives, encompassing email, web, social media, print and other channels.
The Director also leads planning and implementation of activities that enhance the Columbia College brand, including media relations and crisis communications, communication strategies for central or sub-unit priorities, and brand strategy and enhancement, coordinating closely with University partners to ensure coordination and strategic alignment.
Develops, coordinates and implements a variety of strategically integrated communication efforts that support and engage current CC/SEAS undergraduate students, including events marketing, policy messaging, promotion of community-building and resources, and orientation and graduation journeys. Leads strategy development, campaign planning, asset design and implementation process to deploy across relevant channels, upholding College/Engineering priorities, establishing consistency and streamlining execution. Identifies and recommends innovative and user-friendly communication strategies to enhance the student experience and sense of engagement and connection with the schools, University and Columbia community. Creates clear objectives and plans, calendars and processes, along with measures of success. Oversees development of communications assets, including graphic design, copywriting, video and other media.
With CCMO, the Director serves as the primary point of contact for all central Columbia College communication initiatives related to reputation management, crisis communications and centralized messaging and communication strategies. Serves as a key member of the CC/SEAS On-Call and Emergency Response team, providing leadership in the management of student, parent and campus crisis or emergency communications. Owns the crisis communications protocols and development of support communications for staff and external media. Acts as point person on media relations, building relationships with key contacts, drafting press releases, and preparing public remarks and briefings.
Works closely with the CCMO to enhance the Columbia College brand strategy, developing visual assets, strategic content, and coordinating strategies to strengthen consistency and overall institutional narrative. Oversee quality control of communications throughout the College; benchmark and identify best practices and creative strategies to elevate brand and influence team and partners towards a long-term vision. Influence and support key partners to enhance coordinated communications throughout the College.
Partners closely with data and IT teams to advance use of technology and data integration to enhance campaign execution and user experience. Understand and design efficient workflows, access processes and reporting, as needed so that communications can be data-informed and leverage modern capabilities.
Serves on communications-related committees.
Additional related duties as assigned.
Bachelor's Degree and/or its equivalent required.
Minimum of six years of relevant experience required.
Must be a self-directed strategic thinker skilled at critical, analytical and creative thinking while also comfortable with hands-on production, as necessary.
Exemplary written and oral communication skills, and excellent editorial, interviewing, proofreading, and research skills with attention to detail along with a reputation for integrity and discretion.
Ability to write to diverse audiences and synthesize facts, trends, events into coherent messaging and storytelling on behalf of Columbia College.
Must be detail oriented, calm under pressure, and have the ability to think creatively while working both independently and as part of a team.
**Applications submitted without a resume and cover letter will not be reviewed**
Master's Degree in Communication, Journalism, Higher Education or related field preferred, ideally with experience in complex organizations.
Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines and juggle multiple responsibilities in high-volume, fast-paced environments, working collaboratively with people at all levels.
Strong visual aesthetic with intuitive understanding of a range of multimedia content, excellent design, and adherence to best practices.
Able to stay abreast of state-of-the-art techniques and technologies.
Familiarity with higher education constituencies, structure and administration desirable.
Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran
Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.
Internal Number: 514076
About Columbia University
Columbia University is one of the world's most important centers of research and at the same time a distinctive and distinguished learning environment for undergraduates and graduate students in many scholarly and professional fields. The University recognizes the importance of its location in New York City and seeks to link its research and teaching to the vast resources of a great metropolis. It seeks to attract a diverse and international faculty and student body, to support research and teaching on global issues, and to create academic relationships with many countries and regions. It expects all areas of the university to advance knowledge and learning at the highest level and to convey the products of its efforts to the world.