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Northrop, University of Minnesota

Communications Manager

Location: MN - Twin Cities Metro
Type: Full Time
Category: Marketing and communications

City: Minneapolis, MN
Salary: $65,000 per year depending on qualifications
Organization website: https://www.northrop.umn.edu/
Direct link to apply: https://www.northrop.umn.edu/jobs-internships
Is this a remote / work from home position?: This is a hybrid position (partially remote, partially site-based)

Job description

The communications manager is Northrop’s primary writer, editor, and content manager with a focus on sales, fundraising, campus and community engagement, and K-12 arts education for Northrop programming, the rental of Northrop spaces, and U of M Tickets and Events. With a strong initiative to discover, create, and share content, the communications manager is an excellent storyteller and champion for Northrop, U of M Tickets and Events, and the University of Minnesota, strategically developing and matching content with appropriate channels and audiences, ensuring messaging aligns with Northrop’s brand and strategic plan. In partnership with and under the direction of the director of marketing and public relations, the communications manager is Northrop’s primary media liaison, and is responsible for spearheading all earned public relations strategies. In collaboration with other team members, the communications manager is responsible for all organic content on Northrop’s channels. This position supports Northrop’s vision as a vital multi-purpose center of academic distinction and a preeminent cultural and performing arts center, which establishes Northrop as a bustling, dynamic destination for collaboration and study, entertainment, exploration, and intellectual experiences.

This position currently supervises one student intern but can give direction to other part-time and full-time staff. The communications manager reports to the director of marketing and public relations.

Strategic Planning and Evaluation (25%)

• Research, develop and maintain comprehensive strategic messaging, editorial content, and communications plans that align with and support Northrop’s mission, vision, values, initiatives, goals, and strategic plan that follow industry best practices.
• Ensure that Northrop’s content finds expression on as many platforms as possible.
• Plan and maintain annual editorial calendar in coordination with team members.
• Seek out, evaluate, and implement emerging communications opportunities.
• Plan, write, and oversee all organic social media content in partnership with other team members and departments to meet goals and objectives.
• Engage with campus departments, community partners, and area arts organizations on communications strategies and tactics.
• Measure and evaluate communications strategies using key metrics to ensure they are effective and efficient in supporting goals.

Copywriting, Editing, and Proofing (25%)

• Be the lead copywriter and editor for Northrop.
• Update and maintain Northrop editorial style guide in conjunction with U of M and industry guidelines.
• Ensure that digital content is optimized for search engines, accessibility, user experience, and other platform specific guidelines and engagement strategies.
• Manage all content and project management for Northrop performance programs.

Communications (10%)

• Act as lead communications contact with artists, agents, partners, and team for content gathering, editing, and approval.
• Advise on internal communications.
• Determine criteria for and direct appropriate response to patron feedback.
• Maintain consistent voice and branding for Northrop with accurate details and customized messages crafted for various audiences.
• Create and maintain emergency communications plan.
• Consult and advise on sensitive, controversial, or high impact topics, in consultation with University Relations.

Media/Public Relations (20%)

• Be Northrop’s primary media liaison, responsible for spearheading all earned public relations strategies.
• Maintain high visibility for Northrop by identifying and securing campus, local, regional, national, and international media opportunities and coverage.
• Develop and implement annual strategic media relations plan in conjunction with director of marketing and public relations.
• Effectively build and cultivate relationships with journalists and editors.
• Work in cooperation with university partners to maximize media exposure.
• Write and distribute press releases, media advisories, and briefings/talking points.
• Develop and regularly update targeted media distribution lists.
• Determine when and how to respond to media.
• Maintain archive of media coverage and share with key stakeholders.

Supervision (10%)

• Supervise communications intern and collaborate with other intern supervisors on cross-training and backups.

Other/Miscellaneous (10%)

• Build and track marketing projects on Team Gantt project management system.
• Work with the director of marketing and public relations and other team members to implement a patron journey and evaluate necessity for a membership program.
• Respond to public questions, comments, and requests for information through Northrop email and social media accounts, providing excellent customer service.
• Assist Northrop team at events and/or monitoring social media on or off-site during weekend and/or evening hours as needed.
• Provide exemplary customer service focused on creating positive and memorable experiences for all Northrop patron touchpoints.
• Assist with market research and patron feedback.
• Backup Communications Manager, Creative Director, Digital Marketing Manager, and Director of Marketing and Public Relations as needed.
• Administrative support and various office tasks. Other duties as assigned.
• This position requires that essential functions are performed during weekend and/or evening hours as needed, based on the schedule of Northrop’s events.

Qualifications or requirements

Required Qualifications:

• Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Arts Management, or related field and a minimum of four years of relevant professional experience. Or a non-communication related bachelor’s degree and six years of professional communications experience.
• Proven track record in planning, developing, implementing, and measuring strategic communications plans and content across various channels for a program, product, or service, preferably in performing arts or entertainment industry requiring ticket sales, fundraising, and meeting various goals.
• Excellent strategic experience in high-level segmented message formulation and positioning; proven editing and proofreading ability following a style guide.
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills that engages the reader/listener.
• A natural storyteller who has a keen eye for spotting story opportunities that meet organizational goals and objectives and brings them to life across platforms.
• Experience and success with developing media strategy, pitching targeted stories, building relationships with the media, and landing earned editorial coverage.
• Experience creating and posting organic content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube platforms for a business, organization, or club.
• Experience with search engine optimization strategies.
• Investigative, well-organized, deductive, and critical thinker with excellent attention to detail. Experience in data and trend analysis and using data to inform strategy.
• Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
• Proficient with Google suite of products including Google Analytics, Microsoft Office, and social media platforms.
• Demonstrated work ethic with ability to handle and organize multiple projects simultaneously with varied timelines and duties.
• Appetite for spotting, assessing, and taking advantage of related applicable trends.
• Experience working both as a team and independently.
• Creative.
• History of seeing projects through to completion and generating new ideas.
• Upbeat and positive personality; build and maintain professional and positive relationships; excellent and intuitive customer service skills and philosophy.
• Comfortable in a fast-paced, goal-oriented, multi-faceted environment.
• Able to learn new areas quickly, take ownership of issues/projects, and develop recommendations.
• Supervisory experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

• High level of knowledge of the performing arts (especially dance and music), current artists, and the entertainment industry.
• Experience with any project management platform.
• Experience with Agility PR.
• Experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio.
• Experience with Drupal or similar.
• Knowledge of and relationships with Twin Cities local and national digital and print media outlets.

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, three professional writing samples, and three references. Final applicants will be asked to complete a writing exercise.