The Associate Vice President for Communications leads an inclusive, integrated, interdisciplinary, and proactive communications and public relations organization that generates high quality content for all university channels and presents a consistent, professional, and elevated public image of the institution. This leadership position oversees a comprehensive and complex organization comprised of centralized and embedded, constituent-based professionals and managers in various organizational units including, advancement communications, academic communications, internal communications, digital communications (web/mobile), crisis communications/issues management, and public and media relations. This position directs the university's communications strategies and serves as a senior spokesperson with the news media and press, reviewing, editing, and approving the university's most visible strategic communications, publications, and channel content. As the senior public relations officer, the AVP is responsible for defending the institution's reputation, increasing beneficial visibility and exposure, and elevating the university's renown for academic excellence, ensuring alignment with the university's values, mission, and brand.
Define integrated communications and public relations strategies that direct, drive, and support the university's external and internal outreach and engagement objectives. Align unit plans and priorities with MarComm's annual goals, unit-level plan, and the university's strategic plan. Develop key performance indicators, measure and report progress, and develop a team culture of accountability, progress, and momentum.
Communicate and represent the university's vision, interests, and perspectives internally and externally. As the senior public information officer and authorized spokesperson, ensure that accurate and timely information reflects the university's official position and promotes a positive image, increases beneficial visibility and exposure, reinforces brand narratives, and increases positive engagement.
Elevate, preserve, and defend the university's reputation by developing and executing proactive and comprehensive issues management and crisis communications strategies, reputational risk mitigation measures, and offensive/defensive communications tactics.
Manage and implement concurrent short, medium, and long-term plans to build robust, responsive, and broad-based communications, content management, and outreach capacity and programs.
Cultivate collaborative and productive relationships with key colleagues across the university community and external contacts to support goals and objectives.
Lead a service-oriented team environment that fosters optimism, collaboration, transparency, teamwork, flexibility, and attention to detail. Coach team members to maximize creativity, productivity, and effectiveness. Set priorities, manage budgets, monitor performance, and assess outcomes.
Ensure consistent, high-quality, detail-oriented output from team members and units. Serve as the executive editor of strategic announcement and communications, assuring that drafts presented to the SVP, Provost, and Office of the President are clear, concise, and reflect the style, tone, and nuanced preferences of the author and an awareness of the intended audience's needs and sensibilities. Develop and monitor processes and protocols with writers and editors consistent with a learning organization focused on continuous improvement.
Execute university-wide communications and creative initiatives across disciplines.
Review, edit, and approve the university's most visible communications assets, press releases, public statements, and positions to ensure a high degree of consistency, control, appropriateness, tone, mission integration, brand platform alignment, and target objectives are considered, reflected, and achieved.
Convene periodic meetings with key internal areas served to ensure synchronicity. Collaborate with the chief executives of the colleges, schools, other units to measure performance, productivity, and accomplishment of intended outcomes. Oversee all non-marketing communications activities across a matrix of complex priorities, schedules, deliverables, and outcomes.
Supervise internal communications resources to support a culture of community awareness, transparency, and constituent engagement at every organizational level. Work with institutional leaders to produce communications designed to promote shared governance and to support decision making and change management.
Develop strategies and tactics that showcase the scholarship, research, creative works, academic achievements, and expertise of the university's highly esteemed faculty. In conjunction with Public and Media Relations, set and achieve metrics for faculty expert placement in the media, ensuring that appropriate support resources are in place to promote academic outcomes and success. Collaborate with faculty leaders to assess priorities, potential areas of focus, and mobilize resources accordingly.
Serve as the senior architect of the university's public image and position by leveraging the university's perceived strengths and credibility to build awareness and visibility. Drive institutional strategy and message development.
Serve as the university president's strategic publicist. Increase earned impressions and featured placement of the president and presidential editorial priorities.
Advance the university's mission-focused and diversity, equity, and inclusivity goals through recruitment, hiring, and retention practices, by proactively identifying and improving processes for how MarComm develops and delivers diverse and inclusive content, and through active and persistent collaboration strategies that reinforce the university's anti-racism objectives.
Serve on and lead university task forces, committees, and working groups as assigned.
Perform other duties as assigned.
Typically a Master's degree, preferably with a specialization in communications, journalism, and/or business management or related fields. Incumbent is expected to continue upgrading knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to keep abreast of best practices and industry trends.
Minimum of 15 years of related communications and/or public relations experience in positions of increasing responsibility, preferably within higher education.
Minimum of 7 years' experience in a senior leadership role with a hands-on collaborative style with cross-disciplinary direct reports and/or teams.
Ability to demonstrate a record of leading an organization and producing outputs that reflect diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist values.
Experience with building complex communications organizations and organizational content capacity required. Expert-level knowledge of communications and content management methodologies.
PRSA or equivalent training in public relations practices preferred.
Advanced experience with traditional and digital communications functions, channels, and activities. Ability to interpret large amounts of data in a multi-tasked environment.
Possesses exceptional verbal and written communications skills and compelling and impactful presentation abilities. Must demonstrate examples of motivating and inspiring optimism, creativity, productivity, and collaboration as an experienced leader of creative, communications, and public relations organizations.
Experience brainstorming ideas and concepts for communications and content development and recommend solutions within the context of an institutional brand, communication, and marketing strategy.
Demonstrated experience managing creative projects and executing across multiple communications and marketing channels and media;
Demonstrated ability to work independently and entrepreneurially; experience creating, developing and implementing new initiatives;
Evidence of a positive, energetic, flexible, and creative leadership style that produces high quality deliverables with meticulous attention to detail. Must be metrics-driven and results-oriented manager with excellent analytical skills. Ability to provide quick turnaround and updates for multiple requests while maintaining high quality work.
Must be able to perform successfully in a fast-paced, intellectually intense, and service-oriented environment. Significant experience leading successful outcomes and navigating political dynamics within a complex organization required. Willing and able to adjust to changing demands and shifting priorities.
Demonstrated experience and leadership in proactively building relationships with top-tier reporters and editors, business influencers, and other external contacts.
Extensive successful writing and editing experience and managing a team of writers/editors in an institutional setting.
Excellent judgement and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution skills.
Reasonable Expected Salary - $175,000.00 - $190,000.00. Salary offer commensurate with education and experience.
COVID Vaccination Requirement
To ensure the safety and well-being of our community Loyola Marymount University requires that all students, faculty and staff are vaccinated or have been approved for a qualifying medical or religious exemption.
Founded in 1911, LMU is a premier Catholic university rooted in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions. Our enrollment includes 5,962 undergraduate, 2,129 graduate and 1,278 law school students. Our 142-acre bluff-top campus is located in West Los Angeles and is among the nation's most beautiful and green campuses.