COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

University of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations
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Posted on March 4, 2020
Req #: 177473
Department: eSCIENCE INSTITUTE
Appointing Department Web Address: http://www.escience.washington.edu
Job Location: Seattle Campus
Posting Date: 03/04/2020 
Closing Info: Open Until Filled 
Salary: Salary is commensurate with experience and education 
Shift: First Shift 
Notes: As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs.  For detailed information on Benefits for this position, click here.

Although open until filled, priority application date is March 22, 2020.  

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. All of which has allowed the UW to be nationally recognized as a “Great College to Work For” for six consecutive years. 

The eScience Institute at the University of Washington has an outstanding opportunity for a Communications Specialist (Public Information Specialist). 

The Communications Specialist will contribute to the continued success of the University of Washington eScience Institute through the production of timely, high-quality and compelling content that showcases the academic excellence, research contributions, and service of eScience Institute faculty and staff. Using a variety of media, this position will expand the quantity and quality of communications targeting campus and external audiences to increase the visibility and reputation of the Institute and the University of Washington as leaders in data science education and research. This position reports to the Executive Director.

The eScience Institute’s mission is to engage researchers across disciplines in developing and applying advanced computational methods and tools to real world problems in data-driven research. The Communications Specialist position requires a high degree of knowledge, experience, and skill in translating complex topics in scientific research and technology into language that appeals to a variety of audiences, from research peers to the general public. A thorough understanding of the research and teaching environment and the ability to tell its many, varied stories with enthusiasm in ways that appeal to a diverse set of audiences is vital. This position will be responsible for the proactive identification, development, management, and dissemination of a range of communications activities and projects, both deadline-driven and ongoing, to support the eScience Institute’s and the University’s public relations goals and amplify the success of our staff, faculty and students. Analytic skills and the ability to build and maintain positive working relationships with a variety of stakeholders are essential, as is a willingness to continue building new skills and keeping current with trends in communications principles and platforms.

RESPONSIBILITIES:
Internal and External Communications – 70%
• Lead strategic media relations, public relations, and communications using traditional and social media tools.
• Serve as the primary curator and editor of Institute website content; ensure content and look remains fresh and fits within UW branding guidelines; and maintains current web governance plan.
• Write news or promotional copy for Institute publications and website. Elicit new content from participants, editing and drafting content using WordPress.
• Develop and manage marketing plans and promotional materials; develop and support the use of various communication technologies, including multi-media, blogs, social media, portals, intranet tools and other emerging media for specific area initiatives, information sharing with external constituencies, and engagement among students, faculty and staff.
• Actively manage the website presence of the Institute and supported programs on internet search engines via search engine optimization techniques, write site metadata, and analyze success rate of strategies.
• Manage photography and videography projects, working with external partners and vendors as appropriate.
• Actively pitch and work with UW news offices to coordinate placement of stories about Institute members in relevant local, national, and international publications.
• Independently draft, edit, and distribute a weekly newsletter of recent and upcoming activities and recent news items to Institute constituents.
• Develop promotional materials, posters, flyers, etc. maintaining a consistent style.
• Identify key Institute constituent groups, maintain mailing and contact lists, and use appropriate tools (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, MailChimp) to facilitate communications and maintain connections.
• Create storyboards, provide research, develop content and images, and/or provide expert advice on Institute presentations as requested by directors.
• Respond to media requests.

Special Projects & Relationships - 25%
• Maintain strong working relationships across the UW, including various Deans’ offices, central marketing and communications, advancement, and advisory boards to ensure smooth execution of Institute events and to obtain participation and support of key constituents.
• Promote events both externally and internally among appropriate units at the university, college, and department level.
• Provide expert public affairs and communications counseling to faculty and administrators. Support the development of major proposals: advise on style, format, and presentation of content; help contract specialized communications and design services as needed
• Write or edit materials that support stewardship and encourage donor giving; develop multimedia products in digital and social media to keep donors informed and connected.
• Work with strategic communications consultants and contracted service providers to develop content, identify opportunities, and make connections.

Other - 5%
• Represent Institute at appropriate meetings to stay up-to-date on regulations and policies affecting work and seek training opportunities related to marketing and communications.
• Make effective use of existing Institute and shared UW resources (including space, physical resources, web tools, support) and make recommendations for purchases that promote efficiency and/or cost savings. 
• Organize and maintain shared marketing and communications file system, photos, schedule of events, and invite lists.
• Other duties as assigned.

REQUIREMENTS:
• Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 4 years of experience in professional communications.  Equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills have been acquired may substitute for degree.
• Demonstrated computer skills, including proficiency with Google Suite and Microsoft Office. Working knowledge of Adobe products: Photoshop, Acrobat Professional, InDesign.
• Competence with HTML and content management systems; ability to communicate effectively about web and internet related topics with technical and non-technical audiences.
• Experience on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and in leading social media campaigns.
• Experience with newsletter content development and distribution software, such as MailChimp.
• Familiarity with science and technology topics and ability to translate complex concepts to appeal to a variety of audiences.
• Must be self-motivated and demonstrate both intellectual curiosity and a strong commitment to the mission of the eScience Institute and the University.
• Ability to quickly learn and use new software packages effectively.
• Effective communications:  Expresses oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication, verbal and written, one-on-one and group, etc.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

DESIRED EXPERIENCE
• Masters degree in communication or related field.
• Professional photography and videography experience.
• Experience working in in a higher education setting.
• Familiarity with AP style and UW brand guidelines.
• Competence in marketing strategy and search engine optimization techniques.
• Experience in graphic design.
• Experience with creating website content in WordPress.

Work Conditions:
• Ability to work a flexible schedule when needed, to support occasional deadlines that require extra work.

Application Process:
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 / 206-543-6452 (tty) or dso@uw.edu.