At VCU, we Make it Real through learning, research, creativity, service and discovery — the hallmarks of the VCU experience. A premier, urban, public research university nationally recognized as one of the best employers for diversity, VCU is a great place to work. It’s a place of opportunity, where your success is supported and your career can thrive. VCU offers employees a generous leave package, career paths for advancement, competitive pay, and an opportunity to do mission-driven work.
As VCU’s integrated communications and marketing office, the Division of University Relations is energized by diversity and inclusion and thrives on collaboration and innovation. We reflect the culture of the university and health system community in our official communications and marketing. We leverage the power of our institutional knowledge to deliver results. We foster an equitable and supportive work environment to empower our talent. We work hard to tell the best stories about VCU and VCU Health.
The Assistant Director of Public Affairs for VCU Health will develop and execute health care content campaigns that connect with external stakeholders, including patients, the community at large, influencers and the media. The role initiates and conducts public relations programs to support the organization’s overall plan and business goals, including strategic plans for editorial coverage.
The primary purpose of this role is strategic storytelling that promotes and protects the reputation of VCU Health through integrated public affairs campaigns, national and regional media relations, issues management, multi-channel content creation and other messaging needs. A primary area of responsibility will be VCU Medical Center, the academic medical center of VCU Health System with strong ties to VCU’s health sciences schools.
The position will serve as the right-hand to the Director of Public Affairs for VCU Health, represent the public affairs office in internal and external meetings regarding specific projects or long-term communications efforts, and will assist with daytoday management of the VCU Health public affairs office, including the optimization of workflows.
The assistant director will engage with leadership in a complex organization and work collaboratively with senior leadership and enterprise-level project teams when needed.
Core to VCU Health’s safety-net mission, the assistant director will play a key role in developing and maintaining an external content strategy that demonstrates our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and strengthen the VCU Health brand by communicating equitably with all communities in a way that builds trust and engagement.
Content creation and media outreach are key parts of this role. The assistant director needs to have strong record of writing web-optimized news content and collaborating with part-time writers, video producers and designers to create multimedia content for maximum engagement on social media and digital channels. The assistant director understands and strategically uses social media to meet public relations objectives.
Strong initiative and strategic communications skills to adapt to the evolving needs of a growing academic health system are critical.
Minimum Hiring Standards:
- Demonstrates a track record in fostering a diverse and inclusive environment through communications/marketing work, operations, and interpersonal relationships.
- Equity-focused and inclusive approach to communications
- Must have skills and abilities in writing, public speaking, and interpreting concepts/ideas into written and/or verbal form to selected audiences.
- Must have crisis communication skills and strong knowledge of integrated communication and public relations practices, methods, and strategies.
- Must be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously under deadlines with evolving priorities, including coordination with other university and health system departments and external vendors.
- Must have experience creating communications content for digital and social media channels.
- Understanding of how to use social media to meet public relations objectives
- Proven media relations experience including the ability to promote human-interest stories, research and clinical news to local, regional and national journalists and place media communications.
- Proven experience in public relations, journalism, marketing communications, or related field that required strategic and creative thinking skills, writing and editing
- Demonstrated leadership in providing guidance and counsel to colleagues regarding time management, conflict resolution, relationship-building, and communications strategy
- Bachelor’s degree or higher in public relations, marketing, communications or journalism, or equivalent related experience.
- Must be able to solve complex issues independently with minimal supervision
- Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU
Preferred Hiring Standards:
- PR agency experience and/or APR certification
- Experience in health care or related field (i.e. non-profit)
- Management/supervisory experience
- Master’s Degree in Communications, Marketing, Public Relations or related field from an accredited program
- Bilingual in English/Spanish
- Experience in project management and graphic design