- Bachelor's Degree
- Master's Degree
- Web Design
- Project Management
- Adobe Creative Suite
The Communication Specialist plays an essential role in IT Communications’ efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive, campus-wide communication and marketing strategy that raises awareness for Northwestern IT’s services, initiatives, and strategic priorities. A creative team player, the specialist develops editorial content and communications for a diverse constituency and various channels, all while ensuring a coordinated and consistent approach. In partnership with the Director of Teaching and Learning Technologies, the specialist leads the Digital Learning Site Steering Committee and guides the editorial direction of the Digital Learning website, which showcases examples of digital educational innovation at Northwestern. The specialist also collaborates with technology leaders, business partners, and students, faculty, and staff members across the schools and units; enhances targeted projects and campaigns by developing content and communications to promote new, migrating, or retiring services, system upgrades/replacements, and new processes; assists with incident response communication; develops e-newsletter and internal communication content; and is responsible for strategy, content planning, and evaluation of IT’s social media presence. The specialist must be a versatile writer and demonstrate excellent communication and editorial skills, the ability to direct projects across a decentralized organization, and experience publishing consistent, high-quality, and timely content.
Serve as lead content creator for the IT Communications team with a particular emphasis on developing digital content for Northwestern IT’s website, e-newsletter, and social media accounts, as well as the Digital Learning website. Lead the production and implementation of digital—and sometimes print—media that showcases innovation in education technology and markets Northwestern IT services, events, and workshops to key stakeholders. Responsible for ensuring web content is fresh, accessible, and easily repurposed for other mediums, including digital signage and print. Experience producing digital media (e.g., podcasts, videos, animations, screen capture modules), as well as relevant experience with universal web design, user experience, and user-interface design, is welcome. Usage of analytic tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Siteimprove, etc.) to produce reports that provide detail around who is engaging with the content and what content they find most interesting is essential.
Project Communications and Site Management
With minimal supervision, successfully perform communications-related activities around targeted projects and campaigns that promote new, migrating, or retiring services; system upgrades/replacements; and new processes. Additionally, co-lead the Digital Learning Site Steering Committee and Digital Learning website editorial decisions, producing a robust schedule of content updates. Utilize metrics—Google Analytics and user experience testing and feedback—to improve effectiveness, reach, and readership of the site. Assist with IT Communications’ efforts to implement a communications toolkit for Northwestern IT colleagues.
Review and comment on various communications developed by colleagues—including presentations, digital media, print communications, strategic plans, annual reports, etc.—to ensure material is accurate, clear, concise, compelling, and error-free. With the principles of accessibility in mind, evaluate and remediate digital content on an ongoing basis. Represent Northwestern IT on University accessibility committees and assist in the production of guidelines meant to ensure best practices across Northwestern IT.
In partnership with the Associate Director, IT Communications, oversee the social media strategy and analytics for Northwestern IT. Responsible for benchmarking, developing, executing, and tracking content across all channels, ensuring analytics drive successful outcomes and achieve maximum impact on various audiences.
Relationship and Network Building
Develop connections with students, faculty, and staff members across the University to produce timely and compelling content that addresses and supports key areas of interest and common goals (e.g., Digital Learning website, annual TEACHx conference, etc.). Engage with colleagues outside Northwestern IT and Northwestern University to proactively identify effective best practices and innovative ideas for publicizing Northwestern IT services and digital innovations related to a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including students, faculty, and staff.
Other Duties as Assigned
Take part in Northwestern IT workshops, activities, and events as appropriate.
Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, English, or related field.
Three (3) to five (5) years of experience in a content, marketing, or communications capacity
Basic understanding of Google Analytics, web accessibility principles, and web content management.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Versatile writer with experience working across mediums and with diverse constituencies
Strong written and oral communicator
Proven analytical and problem-solving skills
Desire to work collaboratively in a fast-paced environment
Experience developing effective communication to influence others
Ability to build and nurture effective relationships to promote communication initiatives
Strong project management skills
Demonstrated social media skills across all social platforms
Openness to learning new technology quickly
Master’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing, English, or related field.
Advanced experience in a content, marketing, or communications capacity, preferably in an educational or technical field
Advanced experience with Google Analytics, SEO, web accessibility best practices, web design, and web application testing
Advanced skills in Adobe Creative Suite, video- and audio-editing software, and web content management
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Above minimum competencies, plus:
Familiarity with the culture and mission of a major research university and decentralized model
Experience with web accessibility best practices and tools (e.g., WCAG compliance)
Knowledge of WordPress, Drupal, and Cascade web publishing platforms
Experience with various computer applications and web publishing/scripting skills (e.g., HTML)