Job Opening — Director of External Communications, Northwestern

Here’s a major PR position I just saw last night in a jobs roundup I receive from Good luck, good hunting, and always be job hunting.
John N. Frank

Dir, External Communications
Northwestern University – Evanston, IL
About the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University is a premier institution for management education. Founded in 1908 and based just outside of Chicago, Kellogg is home to a renowned, research-based faculty and the best and brightest MBA students from around the world.

Global business education is different today because of the teamwork and collaboration models that Kellogg pioneered 40 years ago. And, in the 21st century, Kellogg is truly a different voice in management education: We believe business can be bravely led, passionately collaborative and world changing.



At Kellogg, we are educating, equipping and inspiring leaders to excel in today’s complex Collaboration Economy. As a global community, Kellogg welcomes and embraces diverse perspectives that together enrich learning. Our vibrancy can be seen throughout our dynamic community:

-Kellogg students learn to build strong organizations that drive value creation in markets, harness the architectures of collaboration, deftly navigate between the private and public sectors, and innovate in the marketplace at firms large and small.

-Our world-class faculty are recognized thought leaders whose teaching and cutting-edge research change how the world thinks about complex problems affecting business and society.

-The school’s powerful global alumni network is 54,000-strong, comprised of true Kellogg leaders who lead top organizations.

About This Position

The Director, External Communications is charged with building the Kellogg brand and reputation through strategic, proactive media and external relations and positioning. The Director will oversee the coordination and execution of all aspects of media and public relations including the management and development of relationships with top target and national media outlets. H/She will work closely with the school’s dean, senior leadership team and faculty to provide external communications support to drive thought leadership which collectively promotes the Kellogg brand. This position will develop and execute an external communication strategy for the school and supporting plans for the Dean, faculty and strategic initiatives. In addition, this position will provide strategic counsel, material development and messaging for key clients, including the dean. Due to the nature of the field, and to support events on-site during evenings and weekends, this role may experience work outside the standard business hours. This role may also involve limited travel.

Specific Responsibilities:

Responsible for recruiting and selecting, developing and coaching, rewarding and retaining, and optimizing talent.
This position will be responsible for embedding the Kellogg School of Management’s mission/strategy, leadership philosophy/approach, and performance-driven culture into the MarComm organization;
Steward institutional reputation and positioning; Develops and implements an external communication and media relations strategy and supporting plans to promote the Kellogg School, the Dean, senior leadership, faculty, students and alumni on a global basis;
Manages issues to protect and enhance the school’s reputation among key stakeholders;
Contributes to strategic external marketing planning to advance goals of the organization;
Manages and oversee the external communications team and all day-to-day media and public relations activities to drive positive, strategic coverage with target and mainstream media;
Manages PR agency and contractor relationships;
Develops messaging and materials to support external communications and media relations activities including press releases, contributed stories and speeches, etc.
Crafts story angles, handles breaking and opportunistic news pitches and ongoing feature story development;
Secures media coverage across a wide range of media types ‘ consumer, business and trade ‘ on television, radio and print, online and offline, across traditional and digital media platforms;
Serves as external communications liaison/partner on all integrated projects within Marketing & Communications department;
Partners with marketing and communications teams to ensure message alignment and impact;
Responsible for measuring impact of media relations strategy and ensuring alignment with other strategies;
Acts as spokesperson for Kellogg School of Management when required;
Performs other duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or related field, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired;
Minimum of 8 – 10 years of experience in all aspects of media and public relations, strategic internal/external communications and reputation management with increasing levels of responsibility;
Strong, strategic media and public relations experience and a proven track record of driving media and public relations campaigns and generating positive coverage that builds organization’s reputation;
Proven ability to counsel executive and senior leaders on effective media and communication best practices and approaches;
In-depth understanding of how the media landscape works, online and offline;
Maintains relationships with top-tier national, business and trade media;
Proven expertise in crisis and issue management;
Experience handling media monitoring, interview preparation, spokesperson training and media events.

Preferred Qualifications:

Five or more years’ experience in a management-level communications role.

As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.

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