Cheshire Academy seeks a strategic communicator who is a forward-thinking, marketing professional to apply for the position of Director of Marketing & Communications. The director is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the school’s communications and marketing efforts in this hands-on, multi-faceted, creative role.
Reporting to the Head of School, the Director works collaboratively as part of the Leadership Team and in strong partnership with the Directors of Admission and of Advancement (alumni and development) to ensure coordinated, timely and compelling messaging and initiatives to help achieve engagement, enrollment and fundraising goals.
This senior leadership position has responsibility for and oversight of the following essential areas:
Strategic plan for marketing - define, direct, manage and implement for optimal ROI
reputation and brand management - build, shape, protect and advance institutional image and brand, and competitively position the school in the marketplace
communications - develop and deliver messaging and content, integrated across all channels to engage target audiences, and
leadership – manage, guide, motivate and develop marketing staff and others.
The Director will set the priorities and manage the workflow of a marketing team of three, skillfully knowing when to “do” and when to direct and when to bring in assistance on a wide range of projects, services, initiatives and requests. It is essential in this role to define and manage the school’s investment (time, effort and resources) in marketing, and inspire the department and others to work collaboratively, skillfully and effectively.
The Director will coordinate the process of seeking and retaining appropriate outside resources to launch an anticipated comprehensive branding initiative. The Director will be responsible for implementation of this multi-year plan, ensuring all phases are successfully defined, developed and integrated.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES:
Plan for the design, content, production and distribution of all communications (print and electronic) including the school’s magazine and other publications, website, social and digital media presence, and e-communications
Provide creative direction and strategic leadership for the school's website ensuring functionality, presentation, user experiences and messaging are authentic, accurate, timely and effective
Create, direct and execute a dynamic, data-driven advertising, social media and digital marketing strategy aimed at building awareness, enhancing reputation and increasing engagement with target audiences
Support and help set marcom goals for the Admission Office to meet recruitment and enrollment goals through integrated strategies and tactics relative to the admission cycle, communications funnel, and audience touch points
Support and help set marcom goals for the Advancement Office through coordinated, intentional, authentic and goals-based marketing strategies, tools and tactics that impact stewardship, alumni and parent relations, annual and capital fund raising, campaigns, and major events and projects
Oversee the efficient operation of the marketing department to ensure consistency, high quality service to in-house “clients,” setting and ensuring professional standards of performance, and defining and reporting on key metrics
Serve as a media contact for the school, strengthen relationships with various media outlets
Manage internal and external communications, working with the Head of School and others, as needed, related to school issues, crisis situations and emergencies
Help craft and manage all messaging in the media, coordinating publicity, advertising and public relations, and serve as the school’s spokesperson if so designated
Manage the department’s budgets in order to maximize the effectiveness of all communications investments – this also includes advising other departments on communications expenditures and putting out to bid (on a regular basis) production of materials and services of outside vendors
Manage relationships with outside vendors for the website, photography, graphic design, printing advertising and other marcom-related services and functions
Refine and maintain consistent, high quality editorial and graphic standards across school communications
Initiate and oversee market research, utilizing data to drive and improve marketing strategy
Work with and support the senior staff (Leadership Team) and various committees of the board of trustees
Inform members of the faculty, staff and board of trustees on marketing initiatives and tactics, keeping the organization up to date on the work of the department
Remain engaged in the life of the school with the goal of staying well-informed in order to authentically and effectively promote people, programs, priorities and outcomes
Assist in representing the school in local outreach activities and events, and identify opportunities
Engage in state, regional and national activities related to marketing independent schools, and other professional priorities, keeping abreast of current trends.
Other duties may be assigned by Head of School.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree in marketing, communications or a related field, and at least 8 years of increasingly responsible management experience coupled with relevant work experience with institutional strategic communications and marketing
Experience in independent, secondary school and/or higher education environments
media campaigns, social media and website design
In addition to managing the standard “4 Ps of marketing”, he/she will set and advance the marcom priorities in support of the “5 Rs of school marketing” - reputation, recruiting, retention, relationships and revenue - working collaboratively and pro-actively with the head of school, CFO, director of admission, director of advancement, and other key departments.
Successful experience in building, shaping, protecting, and promoting an institutional brand
Experience handling sensitive media issues, crisis communications and general public relations
Knowledge of and experience in social media platforms, and employing their respective capabilities to meet defined goals
Understanding of and experience with development, stewardship, alumni engagement and/or admissions communications and recruitment efforts
SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
Demonstrated project management and organizational skills, including ability to navigate complex projects from concept to completion on a timely basis within budget, and respond quickly and effectively in times of stress and shifting priorities, while keeping others focused and on track
Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to build positive relationships with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels; the ability to work collaboratively and proactively
Excellent writer, editor and communicator, through all forms of communication
Highly proficient in the use of technology with thorough understanding of digital media tools, integrated
Proven track record as an independent and goal-oriented manager with a dedication to meeting deadlines and high standards of performance
Understanding of best practices of website design, content management and maintenance (Blackbaud/WhippleHill and Word Press preferred)
Technical skills that support the essential job duties and responsibilities as described above, such as: marketing automation (Salesforce); content creation and distribution; print production, graphic design, digital photography, and video; Adobe products, Microsoft Office suite, Google platforms (Drive, Docs, Calendar, Outlook); ability to learn new tools, software and web-based systems
Demonstrated integrity, warmth, flexibility, confidence, a positive outlook and a willingness to assist beyond the role
Additional Salary Information: Cheshire Academy offers a competitive benefits package. Compensation will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Offer will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.
About Cheshire Academy
Founded in 1794, Cheshire Academy is a co-educational college preparatory boarding and day school serving students in grades 9-PG. Our student body, comprised of approximately 350 students from over thirty countries and fifteen states, has the opportunity to pursue the International Baccalaureate Diploma in grades 11 and 12. We challenge our students to maximize their potential by developing the confidence, character, and critical thinking skills that enable them to thrive as global citizens.