Reporting to the Assistant Head of School for Advancement and Alumni Relations, the Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications provides the strategy for implementation of the school’s overall communications plan and advances the mission by promoting the brand of Mercersburg and raising the school’s profile. Succeeding in this work depends on robust, highly collaborative relationships across the campus. The Director, together with the Strategic Marketing and Communications team, engages with individuals and departments in a variety of ways to ensure that the school’s communications meet the high standards that best represent Mercersburg.
Strategic Marketing and Communications plays a vital role in the recruitment and retention of students, the engagement of external constituents, and securing philanthropic support. Therefore, the team’s relationship with externally oriented offices is of paramount importance. In addition, the Director will work collaboratively to promote effective communications within the organization.
The Director sits on the school’s external team with the Head of School (“HOS”), the Assistant Head for Advancement, and the Assistant Head for Enrollment. The Director provides strategic counsel to this team to determine marketing priorities and ensure brand alignment across channels. The director manages a team of four.
Responsibilities and Duties
Direct branding and marketing efforts in all internal and external channels to advance school’s mission, reinforce brand value, and protect school’s goodwill among internal and external constituents. With team,
develop and integrate diverse content across multiple channels (i.e., advertising, digital media, social media, earned media, print collateral, and video); as needed, secure and analyze market research/data, manage project budgets, and hire/evaluate external partners;
oversee, develop, evaluate, and edit all Mercersburg publications to external constituencies and all content on the school’s website and social media sites;
write quality copy across diverse media, including but not limited to longer feature articles for the school magazine, constituent interviews, and complex news releases on important topics, as well as provide editorial support to the HOS, senior administrators, and others on campus, as needed.
Serve as primary point of contact with the media and school spokesperson when designated by the HOS.
Support marketing and communication needs across campus, including internal requests (e.g., marketing new academic program to students) and external outreach (e.g., marketing summer professional development program for teachers at other independent and public schools). With team,
maintain and evolve the school’s graphic identity and style guide standards across all departments and media platforms to ensure uniformity and consistent school image;
work with division and department heads to position Mercersburg as a thought leader (e.g. developing external presentations and seeking industry recognition).
Establish and maintain highly collaborative relationships with a wide range of faculty and staff, as well as external constituents. Ensure Strategic Marketing and Communication team’s close working partnership with offices most focused on external engagement and marketing (i.e., HOS, Admissions, Advancement, Athletics, and Summer & Extended Programs).
Serve as a member of the school’s Enterprise Risk Management team; be responsible for the development and maintenance of the emergency communication plan.
Serve as manager, mentor, adviser, and coach for all members of the Strategic Marketing and Communications team to ensure a high degree of productivity, commitment, and collaboration.
Maintain and update the departmental budget.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
The ideal candidate is a thoughtful, articulate, creative, and experienced marketing and communications leader who demonstrates the ability to organize diverse constituents toward the common goal of advancing the school’s mission by promoting its brand and raising its profile. This high-profile position requires a strong work ethic, a commitment to working collaboratively across the organization, and a dedication to the school’s mission. Specific knowledge, skills, and abilities include:
Expertise in developing and executing branding and marketing strategies across diverse channels
Knowledge of student recruitment/retention, constituent engagement, and fundraising strategies
Proven leadership skills in managing, developing, and evaluating a team with diverse talents and expertise to meet emerging institutional needs; capacity to lead staff with inspiration and encouragement; ability to transmit passion to and through others
Ability to collaborate and lead in the organization and balance competing needs
Strong communicator with superb writing and editing skills across digital and print platforms
Ability to represent the school as needed with the media and other external audiences
Outstanding listening skills
Well-developed interpersonal skills to communicate effectively with a wide range of constituents in a positive and direct manner, including those at very senior levels
Ability to respond well to constructive criticism and deal successfully with difficult and challenging circumstances
Ability to appropriately manage highly confidential information
Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail with a high energy level and appropriate sense of urgency
Bachelor’s degree; advanced degree a plus
Ten years or more of demonstrated success in marketing and communications; track record in education or similar non-profit is a plus