The University of St. Michael’s College, federated with the University of Toronto, is a Catholic institution of higher learning founded by the Congregation of St. Basil, whose motto, “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge,” sets the tone for campus life. Committed to the pursuit of knowledge, meaning and truth, USMC is a dynamic centre where Catholic intellectual life thrives in a context of academic freedom and rigorous debate. The University of St. Michael’s College boasts a large and dynamic undergraduate division, a graduate Faculty of Theology and one of the busiest and most important libraries on the University of Toronto campus.
Reporting to the President, the Director of Communications is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction in the development and implementation of the University’s short and long-term communications, marketing, and media strategies. The Director will work closely with department heads and their staff to understand and support their priorities and to recommend and ensure the development of supporting communications activities. The Director will act as an advisor to senior leadership in support of their communication goals within the framework of the University’s broader communication agenda.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
Develop and manage the University’s communications and marketing strategies including key publications, websites, social media platforms, events, advertising, media relations, recruitment materials, brand building and issues management.
Develop strong working relationships with internal clients and external partners (including the University of Toronto) and ensure requests for communications support are dealt with in a collaborative, collegial way to effectively support key projects.
Hire and manage a developing staff of communication professionals and assume responsibility for human resources, labour relations and financial management including dispute resolution and compliance of collective agreements.
Assume primary responsibility for developing and enhancing the profile and public outreach of the University, working in collaboration with the Offices of Advancement and Alumni Relations, the Registrar, Student Affairs, and Academic Divisions.
Develop and oversee forward-thinking social media strategies.
Work closely with the media, editorial teams and stakeholders across St. Michael’s to identify and profile students, faculty, staff, alumni, researchers and programs locally, provincially and nationally.
Provide strategic long-term planning and overall management of the University’s brand by working collaboratively across all programs and areas to ensure consistent brand execution across publications, websites, social media platforms. promotional materials and events.
Lead the University’s communication responses to emergent issues and crises in consultation with the President.
Oversee the planning and development of the University website to ensure appropriate content and reflective of objectives, initiatives and goals of the University.
Communicate announcements, activities and events to community on a weekly basis.
Ensure all stakeholders find the university website to be useful, accessible, visually appealing and engaging.
Research new technology and methods of administering and communicating programs to enhance current systems and promote a cohesive communications network.
Develop and monitor project budgets based on understanding of resources needed for completion of work, work processes, resource allocation needs, including forecasts of actual expenditures.
Coordinate projects with external design/advertising firms in the development, planning and implementation of marketing initiatives, including market research.
Contribute to the development of benchmarks and forms of measurement to continually evaluate and improve upon communications strategies.
Minimum of 7 years related progressive and strategic communications experience.
Significant management experience with proven ability to inspire and guide teams towards the achievement of challenging goals.
Extensive experience in all aspects of strategic communications and marketing from message development and identifying target audiences, to the execution of programs and campaigns across multiple channels and social media platforms.
Experience in evolving a brand strategy to reflect the needs of the University and demands of a rapidly changing marketplace.
Experience in guiding and counselling senior leaders on strategic communications issues, including development of messages, identifying audiences, mapping out initiatives and establishing the criteria for success.
Strong leadership, team building and interpersonal skills.
Outstanding writing and editing skills and verbal and presentation skills.
Ability to deal professionally with tension and potential conflict to lead teams collaboratively through challenging issues or projects.
Strong creative and strategic thinker.
High level professional and collegial demeanor.
Detail oriented to ensure accurate and reliable implementation of communications strategies.
Proficiency with personal computers and appropriate software packages including word processing, online content management systems, spreadsheets, databases and web and desktop publishing/graphic design.
Knowledge of latest electronic marketing tools and approaches such as web practices and learning portals.
Highly motivated, flexible, diplomatic and tactful.
Demonstrated superior analytical, problem solving, decision-making and judgement skills with a willingness and ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines while remaining focused and productive.
Service-oriented with sensitivity to various levels of expectation from senior administration, faculty, staff, students, external contacts, general public and suppliers.
Demonstrated ability in developing networks of contact and interest, particularly in the information field.
Strong track record of building online and social media PR profile, as well as traditional media relations.
Post secondary credentials in journalism, communications and marketing, public relations, English or related field.