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Assistant Director of Strategic Communications

  • University of Kansas
  • Lawrence (Full-Time)

Posted: Sep 22, 2023


Job Description:

The Assistant Director of Strategic Communications is a full-time, unclassified position, with a reporting line to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs. The Office of Public Affairs reports to the Vice Chancellor of Communications and Public Affairs and works in concert with the offices of the Chancellor, the Provost, General Counsel, and other university units. This position assists with messaging and communications projects related to the university’s public image and brand, administration priorities, crisis communications, and other matters involving the public’s perceptions of KU.

If you are looking for a rewarding and dynamic career, look no further than the University of Kansas. In addition to a competitive salary, KU offers great benefits to employees with up to 176 hours of paid vacation per year, 96 hours of sick leave earned per year, 9 paid holidays plus one discretionary day, a great retirement program, medical and dental insurance, life and disability insurance, other benefit plan options and state of Kansas discounts offered by various vendors. KU also offers employees educational opportunities for employees. KU is a great place to work!

Job Responsibilities may include but are not limited to the following:

45% Develop media relations initiatives on behalf of the university’s schools, centers, departments and programs consistent with the university’s strategic messages

  • Works with administrators, deans and faculty with the goal of achieving measurable media results, as well as collaborating with communicators from across the university as well as deans, department chairs, and faculty members to proactively develop strategic long-term media relations plans.
  • Establishes effective working relationships with local, national and international journalists from print, broadcast, community, ethnic and digital media.
  • Identifies opportunities to utilize newer forms of information technology, in addition to pitching news and interview opportunities directly to reporters and editors.
  • Writes news releases and news advisories for local, national and international media.

45% Independently research and prepare communications with the university community and the public

  • Prepares speeches, testimony, presentations, articles, internal and external messages, and other written materials for the Chancellor, Provost, other administrators and university units.
  • Oversees communication priorities of the Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs and university leadership.
  • Provides communication leadership to other university units.

10% Other duties as assigned

  • Carry out or coordinate other projects and activities requested by the Director of Strategic Communications or Director of News & Media Relations. Occasionally, these duties take place in the evenings and on weekends.
  • Participates in crisis communications and response at the request of the Chancellor, Provost, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs, Director of Strategic Communications, the Director of News & Media Relations and other units as appropriate.


  • Minimum five (5) years of professional writing experience, to include: producing press releases, news or feature stories for newsletters, publicity materials, remarks, speeches, talking points, proposals, reports and/or briefing papers.
  • Excellent written communication skills as evidenced by application materials and writing samples.


The minimum level of education and experience required to perform the job.

  • A Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, public relations, communications or a related field from an accredited college or university PLUS five (5) years of progressively responsible experience in any of the following areas: public relations, media relations, governmental relations, marketing communications, news reporting or special events.

Licensing & Certification: 

Preferred Qualifications: 

Any additional skills, experiences, or qualifications that would be beneficial, but aren’t strictly necessary.

  • Master’s degree in journalism, public relations, communications or a related field.
  • Strong personnel, time management and or project management skills.
  • Experience in advertising, visual communications and/or brand development.
  • Experience using the Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Experience as a journalist, and/or in an educational institution, public affairs environment or a public relations environment.
  • Experience with media campaigns.
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience giving presentations.
  • Social media experience in a professional setting.
  • Knowledge of AP style

How to Apply:

A complete online application includes:

  • Cover letter addressing how you meet the required qualifications.
  • Resume.
  • Contact information for three professional references (including at least one previous or current supervisor).
  • Three (3) writing samples such as a press release, communications plan, promotional campaign or other correspondence demonstrating professional writing skills.

Contact Information:

Joe Monaco, [email protected]

Salary Range

$ $80,000