Director of Communications and Special Projects

05 May, 2020


Director of Communications and Special Projects

Brown University
Providence, RI

Job Description:

The Director of Communications and Special Projects is principally responsible for external communications and the management and advancement of strategic planning and project development at the John Carter Brown Library. Reporting to the Director/Librarian, the incumbent will work closely with all members of the senior leadership team (Associate Librarian, Director of Development, and Director of Academic Programming and Fellowships) to shape the Library’s messaging strategy in accordance with emerging initiatives and core programs at this world-class research institution. The incumbent will work closely with the Director/Librarian to manage special projects related to the Library’s mission and strategic plan, accompanying and standing in (as appropriate) for the Director/Librarian at meetings across campus, nationally, and internationally and ensuring that projects and initiatives are kept on track internally as well as externally.

Working directly with the Director/Librarian, the Director of Communications and Special Projects (CSP) will assist in managing the strategic activities of the Library’s Director, especially those oriented around communications and outreach. With close attention to the Library’s current strategic plan, the Director/CSP will develop strategies for tracking progress in all areas of the Library’s activities. In this role, the Director/CSP will work closely with the Associate Librarian to ensure that day-to-day Library operations that support the strategic vision of the Library are being adequately communicated to external constituencies; with the Director of Academic Programming and Fellowships to see that academic projects are aligned with the Library’s broader communications plan; and the Director of Development to ensure that messaging is consistently aligned with strategic fundraising activity.

The Director of Communications and Special Projects at the John Carter Brown Library is the chief coordinator of communications and is responsible for a wide array of print and digital projects that seek to communicate the range of the Library’s activities – academic and otherwise – to an increasingly diverse, multi-faceted, and international audience. The Director/CSP develops, implements, and manages a comprehensive and strategic internal/external communications and public engagement strategy plan to engage diverse audiences locally, nationally, and around the world. These constituencies include: our worldwide community of scholars and researchers; former Library fellows; local (Brown and RISD) faculty and community partners; libraries and academic institutions in the US and internationally; donors and foundations; and the media. This position also evaluates communications activities in support of the Library’s communications plan. In conjunction with the Director of Academic Programming and Fellowships, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring that the website is up-to-date and reflects an ever-changing, always engaging window onto the activities of the institution. In coordination with the Associate Librarian, Director of Development, Director of Academic Programming and Fellowships, and Director, the incumbent will handle all outgoing communications regarding Library activities, including content for digital and printed newsletters, proofreading content, and ensuring that the institutional voice is consistent and at the appropriate level for each audience. This person is responsible for leading print projects related to programming, fundraising, as well as the Library’s annual report, and for liaising with Brown University communications when and as appropriate. The Director of Communications will be responsible for aligning practices with standards governing communications in the areas of copyright, permissions, intellectual property, web hosting and accessibility.

Assembles and synthesizes data, prepares briefs and presentations, researches and provides relevant background materials and information, and drafts reports or policy statements for the Director and other relevant members of Library staff. Coordinates assigned projects and partners in a collaborative fashion with constituents inside and outside the Library. In coordination with the Assistant to the Director, prepares correspondence on behalf of the Director, and ensures the Library is effectively represented at events so that the Library’s message is consistently communicated. The incumbent is responsible for providing strategic communications support for the Library’s fundraising operations, including assistance to the Director for high-level donors and the Director of Development for all fundraising operations.

Job Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, marketing, public relations, or a closely related field; advanced degree preferred;
  • At least five years of related experience in marketing or a closely related field.
  • Or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Demonstrated excellent written and verbal communication abilities, including the ability to elicit and communicate information in a clear, informative and concise manner and strong command of English language and grammar. Confident public relations and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to speak to a broad set of constituencies, including members of the academic and library communities, donors, business executives, administrators, researchers, service providers, etc.
  • Strong organizational, administrative and time-management skills, plus meticulous attention to detail.
  • Initiative and judgment to independently problem solve and prioritize in a pressured environment; Ability to manage multiple tasks with competing priorities.
  • Effective delegation skills and ability to coordinate the work of others, previous supervisory experience highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience building effective communications plans.
  • Experience in a college or university setting, non-profit service organization, or the private sector related to marketing and public affairs.
  • Excellent computer skills in word processing, computer applications (Microsoft Office Suite and the Google environment), and spreadsheet/database management (including contact and education management databases).
  • Thorough understanding of marketing permissions, copyright and all aspects of intellectual property management for communications
  • Experience with website content maintenance, newsletter creation in software applications and social media strongly preferred, including knowledge of web and digital accessibility requirements.
  • Ability to correspond and communicate in Spanish highly desirable.

As Director of Communications and Special Projects, the incumbent must serve as a skilled ambassador for the Library. This position requires tact, composure, and flexibility while always maintaining a positive attitude and welcoming demeanor. The incumbent must be proactive and well informed about Library policies to effectively support the Director. Must occasionally be able to work at night and on weekends because of planned events and activities during those times, as well as occasional travel to support out-of-town events.

Any offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check and employment verification.

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-05-05