Director of Communications
This is a full-time position at our National Office in Oakland, California. In close partnership with the Vice President of Marketing & Communications, the Director of Communications will lead College Track’s communications strategies for internal and external communications. The Communications Director will promote College Track to all internal and external stakeholders including full-time and part-time employees, students, families, philanthropists, school districts, community groups, college and corporate partners, and media outlets. This role reports to the Vice President of Marketing & Communications and will manage the Communications Manager, as well as consultants.
College Track seeks candidates who are both creative and analytical, and possess extensive knowledge across an array of disciplines and platforms in communications. This role is responsible for increasing College Track’s brand awareness with existing and new external stakeholders, and increasing student recruitment and philanthropic opportunities.
College Track has grown at a rapid rate and will continue to grow in scale over the next four years to a $40 million annual budget, 400 full-time and part-time staff, 5,000 students, 1400 alumni, and 13 centers in five regions nationwide. In the context of this rapid growth, the Communications Director will lead an internal communications strategy that will create a culture of transparency and inclusion rooted inCollege Track’s core values, and an external strategy that inspires students and donors alike to join College Track’s movement.
Primary Responsibilities Include
Communications Department Management (15%)
- Manage, inspire, and motivate a Communications Manager by providing appropriate professional development, recognition and coaching, and seeking collaboration and thought partnership from the team.
- Define Key Performance Indicators, and measure, track, and report success of marketing and communications tactics, working in tandem with our Organizational Performance department.
- Help lead the MarCom department’s strategic planning process, including annual budgeting, in conjunction with the org-wide annual planning process.
- Approve and manage contracts with vendors, including consultants, graphic designers, photographers, and content specialists.
- Proactively establish and maintain effective working relationships with all departments across the organization and external partners.
Communications Strategic Planning & Execution: Internal Communications (50%)
- Create internal communications standards and best practices to ensure important, consistent, and timely information is conveyed across the organization.
- Leverage internal communications to create a vibrant culture where staff feel valued, appreciated, and informed, which, in turn, attracts and retains top-tier, mission-driven talent.
- Project manage and help lead monthly All-Staff meetings and publish the monthly internal newsletter, by collaborating with department and project leads to create College Track branded, strategic content, consistent with internal best practices.
- Lead and manage crisis communications for key stakeholders, by collaborating with PR consultant.
- Lead the internal communication plans for large, enterprise-wide initiatives, ensuring that staff understand the “what,” “why,” and “how” of major projects.
- Serve as the communications thought partner for the organization’s leaders, project owners, and teammates.
Communications Strategic Planning & Execution: External Communications (35%)
- Lead College Track’s brand voice/tone/messaging and communications strategy to advance our mission on a National and Regional level.
- Develop and implement a strategic communications plan, informed by social justice and educational equity issues, to inspire current and potential external stakeholders to partner with College Track.
- Develop and maintain best-in-class external communications channels including, but not limited to, marketing collateral, website content, social media, newsletters, media outreach, and email campaigns.
- Collaborate with PR consultants and lead crisis communications strategy and implementation
- Collaborate with the Senior Director of Marketing & Alumni Strategy on brand visual identity
- Collaborate with the Director of Philanthropic Initiatives to ensure the Partnerships Team leverages our National marketing and communications strategies and tactics to achieve annual fundraising goals.
Skills and Experience Required
First and foremost, the Communications Director must be deeply passionate about College Track’s Vision for Impact: to produce college graduates, who maximize their potential, become role models in their communities, and inspire others with our approach and results. Additionally, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
- Strong identification—personally and/or professionally—with our students’ life experiences and demonstrated commitment to social justice and educational equity.
- 8+ years minimum experience in the communications/marketing field. 5+ years of internal communications experience and an additional 3+ years of external communications experience
- Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with National Leadership Team, Board of Directors, donors, grantees and staff.
- Experience advancing the stories of undocumented, first-generation, immigrant, or students of color.
- Understanding of the K-12 and higher education space and how our social, political, and economic landscape can inform and inspire our work.
- Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements.
- Expertise in digital marketing and social media campaigns, including the ability to leverage analytics to measure the effectiveness of marketing and communications strategies.
- Exceptional and inspiring writing and communications skills; passion for word play and editing, with a strong eye for design and art-direction.
- Proven management and team leadership experience in a fast-paced, high-volume, resource-constrained environment.
- Strong decision-making capabilities, able to make complex decisions, and manage through ambiguity.
- Prior management experience of at least two direct reports; and, proven track record of attracting and retaining top-tier talent.
- Superior project management skills, including the ability to lead others to manage work plans, timelines, and budgets; fastidious attention to detail.
- Metrics-driven, entrepreneurial, growth mindset that informs strategy and tactical work.
- Positive, proactive, solutions-oriented disposition with exceptional ability to collaborate with all levels of staff, across all departments in the organization.
- High level of self-awareness, humility, and emotional intelligence; skilled at giving and receiving constructive feedback to and from direct reports and peers.
- Highly adept at Google Analytics, RivalIQ, or other comparable analytics services
- Adept at HootSuite,Constant Contact, Mailchimp, Classy, Joomag, or other comparable digital platforms
- Bachelor’s degree (ideally in communications, marketing, nonprofit management, journalism, political science, or a related media field). Advanced degree is preferred, but not required.
Compensation & Benefits
College Track offers a competitive, region specific, salary based on the organization’s compensation philosophy, which is grounded in market data. We also offer comprehensive health & welfare benefits and top of the market paid time off.
Please upload a resume and a thoughtful cover letter with your application. We will only contact candidates chosen for further consideration. No phone inquiries please.
College Track works to remove barriers for first generation college students on their journey to college completion. Our commitment to removing barriers for first generation college students doesn’t stop when college ends. While we hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds, we especially encourage applicants who identify as first-generation college graduates to apply for open opportunities on staff.
College Track is an equal opportunity employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. College Track does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
Job posted: 2021-08-29