Senior Communications Manager

26 Apr, 2023


Senior Communications Manager

Partnership for College Completion
Chicago, IL

Reporting to the Chief of Staff and leading a full-time staff of one, the SCM will work with the leadership team to develop and execute communication strategy and campaigns across social media, web, and print in all three mission priority areas – policy, institutional change, and data and research. This individual will be tasked with creating compelling messaging and narrative across the multiple facets of the organization’s work. The SCM will be responsible for working across teams to build campaigns, messaging, and materials to support organizational efforts at all stages of deployment. This includes continuing to build and refresh messaging and tools available on the PCC website for a variety of stakeholders, as well as supporting communications strategy across the programs and initiatives of PCC. This often involves working within PCC and across multiple partner organizations on shared goals and priorities.

This individual will be the lead staff member producing PCC’s communications output and positioning PCC as a thought leader in the field. They will be able to work successfully within the organization on a growing team of 16, balancing competing priorities and making recommendations to the leadership team on communications matters related to PCC initiatives across all programming areas. This includes within our policy and advocacy efforts (policy agenda, legislative priorities, community engagement, advocacy, student voice), college and university partnerships (tools and resources, events, communities of practice, professional development, sharing findings from data and reports), and data and research agenda (design and release of new reports and briefs, interactive web elements, and associated communications strategy). This also includes key communications related to fundraising and donor engagement, general PCC communications, and leading the development and production of our first annual report.

As a team leader, the SCM must be able to effectively partner with the Communications Associate in order to build strategy, deploy team members effectively based on skills and interests, evaluate and provide feedback to direct reports through coaching, and support their professional development. Additionally, all team leaders in the organization are expected to uphold the PCC’s core values and contribute to the ongoing building of a strong team and positive work culture for all members.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

  • Lead the development and execution of annual communications strategy across the organization while testing, measuring, and evaluating the impact of various approaches
  • Publicly elevate PCC’s work and output, positioning PCC as a thought leader and as the go- to source of information for policy and practice change related to higher education equity
  • Produce targeted strategy associated with PCC’s different priority stakeholder groups
  • Work across PCC teams to regularly produce timely and relevant communications output in multiple forms (e.g. web-based content, blogs, newsletters, reports, fact sheets, letters)
  • Work with PCC leadership team to create specific communications packages containing data related to PCC programming and research insights to elevate the voices of the PCC Executive Director and leadership team in their respective areas
  • Work with individual teams and departments to support communications strategy for all PCC events
  • Directly oversee the communications team – supervise, mentor, and cultivate skill and capacity development for all direct report(s)
  • Represent PCC with key external stakeholders, including the media, other nonprofit organizations, and in other spaces and venues
  • Work with the Executive Director to draft letters, speeches, and other communications
  • Support all team members in preparing for media engagement, public speaking, and other events where PCC leaders are invited to contribute thought leadership
  • Recruit and manage vendors, interns, consultants and effectively manage vendor contracts for elements of communications work that are outsourced; seek bids from multiple vendors when appropriate/required
  • Develop internal systems and structures to streamline communications requests and needs across the organization
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities & Dispositions

  • Strong commitment to and alignment with PCC’s mission and familiarity with the priority areas of the organization
  • Commitment to PCC core values:
  • o All students can succeed when given the right opportunities, tools, and supports
  • o Equity in higher education is an urgent civil rights challenge
  • o Solutions and resources exist to eliminate racial and socioeconomic inequities in higher education
  • Knowledge of critical issues within higher education and racial/socioeconomic equity
  • Ability to work with diverse constituent groups, including staff and other stakeholders from all backgrounds and cultures
  • Development-oriented mindset; reflective, self-aware, open and responsive to feedback and driven to learn from setbacks
  • Generative and able to work successfully individually and in teams to advance mission-centered priorities in a lean, highly collaborative, high volume, and entrepreneurial environment
  • Ability to work under pressure and produce content on deadline
  • Strong writing skills for multiple audiences
  • Highly attentive to detail – able to closely edit documents and other content for accuracy
  • Ability to generate compelling messaging and visual content for email and web (website, blog, newsletters), social media, and print (reports, briefs, fact sheets, presentations), and events (virtual and in-person)
  • Strong ability to build relationships and effectively work within the organization across teams in a hybrid office environment
  • Ability to build relationships and work effectively with colleagues across partner organizations for collaborative, complex projects with multiple stakeholders


  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • A minimum of 7 years relevant full-time work experience developing and implementing communications strategies
  • Experience supervising staff (minimum of one year)
  • Experience working in nonprofits, higher education, educational equity, policy or in another related field/sector
  • Demonstrated experience in planning and leading successful communications initiatives from concept through planning and execution
  • Experience leading comprehensive communications campaigns, social media campaigns, and web strategy
  • Understanding of email and social media marketing best practices
  • Track record of developing engaging social media copy and content
  • Ability to analyze communications and response data and make recommendations to improve results
  • Ability to effectively outreach to the media and respond to media inquiries, preparing PCC staff for media engagement
  • Experience and facility with WordPress, MailChimp, Hootsuite and design software or other software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator


The PCC offers competitive salary and benefits plans and a flexible work environment. The salary range for the Senior Communications Manager is $80,000 – $90,000 annually, commensurate with experience, along with a generous benefits plan that includes health/dental/vision insurance; 403B plan with a company match; a number of other elective benefits; holiday, vacation, and sick accrual; flexible, hybrid work schedule; annual professional development budget; and other competitive benefits.

Commitment to Diversity

The Partnership for College Completion is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to building a diverse team and to engaging the skills and leadership of people of color, individuals from low-income households, LGBTQ+ persons, differently-abled people, and others that hold identities that represent the significant diversity of college students in Illinois. People from these and other historically marginalized backgrounds and communities are strongly encouraged to apply. We look forward to hearing from you!

Email for more information on how to apply.

Job posted: 2023-04-26