Manager, Strategic Communications

  • Company:
    University of Waterloo
  • Location:
  • Salary:
    negotiable / month
  • Job type:
    Full-Time
  • Posted:
    17 hours ago
  • Category:
    Business / Mgmt

Over 70% of undergraduate students choose to enroll at the University of Waterloo because of the co-operative education program. The average annual student employment rate of 97% speaks to the success and excellent global reputation of the University of Waterloo’s co-operative education program.Within the University of Waterloo’s Cooperative and Experiential Education (CEE) and University Relations (UR) teams, the Manager, Strategic Communications plays a critical leadership role accountable for operational oversight and successful implementation of all activities associated with a strategic and integrated CEE communications plan. This position plays a major role in shaping institutional co-operative and experiential education communication strategies, which significantly impact co-op job development and employer retention rates, support crucial institutional recruitment initiatives, and have a substantial effect on the successful achievement of UR communication objectives.The Manager, Strategic Communications plays a crucial role in the successful achievement of institutional goals around co-operative and experiential education. To retain our current employers and to support increased hiring from this employer base, the incumbent is accountable for developing communications to drive and support a robust employer engagement and recognition framework that includes events, activities and campaigns both within Canada, the United States and internationally. The incumbent directs integrated messaging to engage with prospective employers across Canada and internationally at over 50 annual industry conferences, tradeshows, sponsorships, top employers’ receptions and awards and employer speaking panels.Lead the effective development, implementation and management of integrated strategic communications plan to promote key messages around the University’s leadership in co-operative and experiential educationApply messages accordingly to create a consistent, clear and comprehensive narrative for a wide variety of stakeholders, including those within the expanded CEE portfolio (Co-operative Education, Operations, Centre for Career Action, WatPD, EDGE, WatCACE)Lead the development of key messages about CEE and co-op with other departments (e.g., Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment, Institutional Analysis and Planning, Office of Research) to craft key messages, PowerPoint and other presentations, Q&A’s and other documents used by senior administration to convey strategy and to ensure consistent, coherent delivery of information externally and across the institutionLead the development of executive messaging and prepare presentations, briefing notes, backgrounders, reports, proposalsand research summaries for use by the Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education, the Executive Director, Co-operative Education, and on occasion other CEE Directors or senior university officialsLead the creation of media messages about co-op and experiential education to meet outreach needs at the request of senior University administration in consultation with CEE executive team, recognizing deadline pressuresWrite letters, briefing notes, speeches, presentations and keynote addresses for a variety of campus and external events, industry relations, government relations, out-reach and advocacy initiatives in addition to employer and student communication as requiredRepresent Waterloo’s voice and position in print, video, online and social media, and facilitate conversations that enhance Waterloo’s reputation and are of value to key local, national and international audiences and stakeholdersLead the adaptation of the messaging as required for a wide variety of audience groups and evolve the narrative and messaging as required over timeLead the development and implementation of appropriate metrics to define, monitor report, analyze and refine all communications initiatives as a basis for strategy developmentLead strategic development for all communications initiatives, including personnel, resources, time, and budget, ensuring proper control of expenditures for the strategies for which s/he is responsibleLead the development, writing, and implementation of strategic planning documents that accurately capture all components of each particular communications strategy for which s/he is responsible, and contribute appropriate updates to the overall CEE strategic planLead the development and management of the budget associated with CEE communication activitiesDirect, develop, and apply current, relevant market research and institutional knowledge in strategic communications around co-operative and experiential educationCreate and provide advice about audience-centred strategies that incorporate industry knowledge and the role of major influencers in the decisions of prospective co-op employersDirect the research, interviews, writing, editing and fact-checking a variety of communications materials in support of the CEE marketing and communications plans and in alignment with University Relations’ strategic directionProvide research and writing for strategic institutional documents across the University of WaterlooAct as the central University and CEE resource for any messaging about experiential education, including co-operative educationShare information about experiential learning including co-operative education to ensure accuracy, consistency and reliability of messaging across the University, within CEE and for external sourcesLead the research to create relevant, current, and targeted messaging for speaking engagements, written articles or editorials for the Executive Director, CEE and other senior university staffLead and mobilize strategic communication strategy for employment relations and business develpment, to deepen understanding of the labour market in various industries in Canada and internationally and to provide marketing communications supportLead and develop consultation inititatives with campus leaders to collaborate and advise on strategic communications around co-operative and experiential educationAdvise and consult with the Director, Communications and Marketing, with respect to the goals and strategic direction of communications strategies as well as any changes in the operating environmentWork closely with Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education, Executive Director, Co-operative Education, and Director, Communications and Marketing, CEE to deepen strategic knowledge and to develop an acute understanding of current messaging in support of co-operative and experiential education across the institutionWork closely with Director, Integrated Communications, UR, and others within UR to create a message platform for co-operative and experiential education that can be utilized in all external institutional communications including media inquiries, print and digital stories, social media, and brandingServe in a senior capacity on university committees that lead institution-wide collaborative projects, ensuring that the needs of CEE audiences are carefully consideredLead the development of strategic communications materials to support business development goals as well as employer engagement and recognition strategic initiativesWith recognition and understanding of the disparate priorities of on-campus partners,proactively establish and fostercollaboration with the faculties, professional schools, and university colleges; University Relations; the Student Success Office; and other departments in order to provide co-operative and experiential education communications expertise, to contribute to institutionally adopted communications strategies,to build consensus, and to co-ordinate the alignment of CEE communication strategies so that the needs of other areas are balanced with the effective marketing of the university as a wholeLead the effective integration and consistency of messaging across all CEE communication and digital initiatives, and to take advantage of opportunities for leveragingProactively share knowledge so that all CEE team members and institutional partners can incorporate new information and techniques into their strategiesRepresent CEE at university-wide meetings, proactively providing expertise and insight with respect to co-operative and experiential education issuesDirect, motivate, mentor and manage a high-performing, resilient team and ensure delivery of results in support of the University’s Basic Principles and CEE’s vision, mission and guiding principlesSupport staff to be successful in their rolesSupport team-building within the Communications and Marketing team and within CEECreate opportunities for high levels of communication and collaboration within the Marketing Outreach team, the Communications and Marketing team, CEE and the University overallUniversity undergraduate degree in communications or marketing or related discipline, or relevant experienceAt least 8-10 years of experience in a communications management roleExperience working within a university is desirableMust be a strategic thinker with the ability to internalize the current messaging, positioning and branding ofthe University of Waterloo and CEEExcellent communications, writing and presentation skills are essentialThe talent to communicate the same message to diverse audiences with nuanced changes in the tone of voice but still supportive of the overall master brand expressionOutstanding detail-orientation is imperative for success in this roleSolid understanding, experience, and successful track record with:Working closely with content experts and senior executives to understand communication needs and meet expectationsWriting for and producing digital mediaDemonstrated ability to understand and effectively manage the development and use of current and emerging technologies to support communications and marketing effortsProduction processes for all media formats from print to digital mediaExcellent marketing writing and presentation capability with a demonstrated track record of successSolid research skills to gather, aggregate and interpret data to provide greater insight to stakeholders and to inform messagingDemonstrated ability to thrive in and contribute to an integrated and collaborative team environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with colleaguesEssential: flexibility, diplomacy, sound judgment, and relations-management skills coupled with the ability to influence and motivate others and to manage crisis situations effectivelyKnowledge of Co-operative Education and Career Action or a similar organization is desirableExcellent organizational and administrative capabilities and time management skillsExperience with multi-tasking and last minute changesStrong team work ethic and collaborative approachHigh tolerance for ambiguity is a critical requirement coupled with a strongly self-motivated attitude that can manage conflict constructively