Senior Communications Officer for Alumni Affairs and Development, Harvard Public Affairs and Communications
April 4, 2018
USA - MA - Cambridge
The Senior Communications Officer for Alumni Affairs and Development is responsible for media relations and communications activities designed to advance Harvard University's alumni engagement and fundraising efforts. With over 300,000 living alumni throughout the globe, the reach and breadth of Harvard University's donor and alumni community presents a unique opportunity to engage and mobilize support for the university's vision and activities in areas that cross both geographic and academic borders. As a member of the university's central public affairs and communications team (Harvard Public Affairs and Communications – HPAC) and reporting to the Chief of Staff HPAC, this position will work closely with the University Development Office (UDO) and the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) and is responsible for creating and implementing communications and media relations strategies and outreach that further Harvard's engagement and fundraising priorities with donors as well as the university's large and diverse alumni audience.
Duties & Responsibilities: The Senior Communications Officer leads or contributes to the following representative responsibilities:
Selects, adapts, and creates alumni and donor-related content (gift announcements, volunteer profiles, promotion of activities) for university news and distribution channels as well as for external media outreach. This work will take place in close partnership with communications colleagues in alumni affairs, development, and media relations teams in the HAA, UDO, and HPAC.
Creates communications plans and rollout timelines for gift and leadership announcements and fundraising news related to University and Faculty of Arts and Science gifts, with responsibility for drafting key messages and press releases for external, alumni and donor, as well as staff audiences. May be called upon to assist and advise Harvard's schools selectively with significant media moments such as large gift announcements. Is responsible for successful execution of plan, including the determination of key audiences (such as volunteer committees) for advance notice, and providing key information to staff responsible for segmenting data and deploying emails.
Leads response to relevant development or fundraising media inquiries and issues and responds quickly to Harvard news with relevance to the alumni community. Provides guidance in responding to alumni and donor inquiries about university matters. Develops messages and FAQ for fundraisers or alumni affairs officers regarding university announcements.
Develops and maintains relationships with relevant news media, proactively pitching and responding to media related to alumni and fundraising priorities or news. Will have close working relationships with key communications and media colleagues, including but not limited to members of the AA&D communications and digital teams, colleagues across all HPAC government relations and communications teams, as well as media relations and communications colleagues in the Schools.
Works closely on broadcast email strategy and content with HPAC and AA&D colleagues responsible for news, marketing, and communications strategy with broad alumni population in concert with the University's general external outreach.
Provides briefings and background materials for university leadership and key volunteers around media interviews.
Some on-call-related work, including nights and weekends may be required.
Harvard University Benefits Package Vacation/Sick/Personal/Holidays: Harvard offers 3 (union roles) - 4 (exempt) weeks paid vacation, a paid holiday break between Christmas and New Year's Day, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days each year. Medical/Dental/Vision Benefit: Harvard offers a variety of excellent medical, dental, and vision plans which all begin on the first day of employment. Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service. Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted study options through participating Harvard Graduate Schools. Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as parking options to assist employees in their daily commute to campus. Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. There are also fee-based athletic facility memberships available at various locations around the university for employees.
Salary Grade: 058
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Bachelor's degree and a minimum of 8-10 years progressive experience in public relations, media relations, journalism, or directly related field required. Must have experience managing press relations and developing communications strategies, and be a strong, adept, and versatile reporter, writer, and editor. Complete comfort with digital communications channels and social media is necessary. Ability to work with content management systems is required.
The ideal candidate must have exceptional interpersonal and project management skills, and a proven record of working collaboratively with a wide range of constituents. Though a self-starter, the candidate must be able to work as part of a larger team and to balance interests, priorities, and needs of a variety of stakeholders. Respects deadlines. Should have a demonstrated record of success in positions of progressive responsibility in communications for a complex and fast-paced organization. Familiarity with donor relations and fundraising a plus. Prior experience in journalism, editing, or government relations a plus.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Internal Number: 45308BR
About Harvard University
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. The University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.