Associate Director, Strategic Communications

at Southern Methodist Universtiy (view profile)
Location DALLAS
Date Posted August 26, 2019
Category Marketing
Job Type Full-time


The Associate Director of Strategic Communications supports the marketing plan for the University in alignment with Development and External Affairs (DEA) goals and SMU’s strategic plan.

The position reports to the Director of Strategic Communications, and is responsible for developing and writing internal university communications and executive communications for administrative leaders, including speeches, correspondence and reports.

Essential Functions:


  • Research, write and prepare internal communications for executive level administrators and university programs, including speeches, introductions, reports, presentations, videos, statements, articles, correspondence and other materials. Note: The percentage of executive communications work may rise in volume as DEA moves into a campaign.
  • Manage deadlines and project flow of communications including setting internal deadlines as necessary and working with colleagues in Marketing and Communications, DEA, and SMU schools and units to see projects through to completion.
  • Share and access communication materials with multi-level MarCom team to ensure consistent messaging across platforms. Ensure the accuracy of all facts and details in speeches, statements and quotes by researching topics, rigorously fact checking, writing, editing and consulting with the extended team and others.
  • As appropriate, attend events to learn the voice of executive leaders and to establish relationships and good communications with the university's many diverse constituencies. These events may include functions off campus and outside DFW area. Work with appropriate staff to ensure all the audio-visual and technical aspects of a presentation are covered. Other duties as assigned.
  • Provide support on issue management and crisis communications, such as drafting messages, statements, and other correspondence as needed for internal and external audiences. When communications issues or crises arise, work with Director of Strategic Communications, VP of DEA, the Office of the President, Legal Affairs and other offices to develop and execute a communications plan for students, faculty, staff, alumni, media and other audiences.
  • Support Director of Strategic Communications with preparation of annual reports required to comply with various state and federal mandates, such as the Clery Act Annual Security and Fire Safety Report and Public Information and Warning/Notiication Emergency Support annexes. Basic FEMA training may be required upon hiring to participate in campus emergency responses.
  • Identify and develop internal strategies and tactics that effectively communicate the vision and goals of SMU in alignment with the strategic plan. Use innovative internal communications channels, including but not limited to newsletters, videos, webinars and surveys to engage and inspire faculty and staff about SMU priorities and brand. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of communications for continuous improvement. Other duties assigned by supervisor.




Education and Experience:

  Bachelor’s degree is required. Degree in Communications, English, Journalism or similar degree is preferred.

A minimum of five years of professional work experience in journalism, professional speech writing and/or corporate communications.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as well as the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.

Candidate must also possess strong writing, editing and proofreading skills. The ability to translate complicated concepts into clear, compelling language for audiences ranging from key stakeholders to media to consumers is also required. Demonstrated ability to develop content for effective executive communications requiring minimal editing and rework is essential.

Candidate must possess strong organizational, planning and time-management skills with the ability to proactively manage multiple priorities and work under pressure. Must also demonstrate a strong attention to detail, as the candidate in this role will prepare communications for the President of the University, VP of DEA and at times with other executives. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive and seek assistance as needed. The ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team is essential. Candidate must be flexible and able to manage constantly changing priorities.

Experience working in Keynote, Prezi, and PowerPoint presentations is strongly preferred.

Physical/Environmental Demands:


  • Bend, crawl
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Stand
  • Walk for long distances.

Deadline to Apply:

  September 16, 2019

  SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,

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