Director of Communications and Alliance Development

  • Career Education Colleges & Universities
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • Sep 04, 2021
Full time Communications / PR

Job Description

Overview

This role works within CECU's Office of Communications, reporting to the Vice President of Communications. The successful candidate will lead CECU’s media relations activities and have oversight over external partnerships and organizational alliances. 

Responsibilities 

This will be an externally facing role leading the association’s relationships with press and its external alliance development activities. The selected individual will cultivate external relationships beneficial to CECU, advancing its advocacy, communications, and member service activities. Working directly with the Vice President of Communications, the selected candidate will help lead the build-out of CECU’s multimedia platform, including Career Education Review (CER) magazine and related digital offerings. A key component of the role will also be to identify and cultivate external organizations and constituencies focusing on career and technical education and to help CECU better leverage these relationships on behalf of its members and advocacy partners. 

The work includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Assist with the drafting and delivery of all internal and external communications that are distributed to CECU members and the press, including Government Relations updates, CEO letters, press releases, and notifications of upcoming member events
  • Review and proof all internal and external communications
  • Draft and create member resources including issue one-pagers and talking points for key issues and sector priorities
  • Monitor and respond to all communications access points for the association
  • Lead the maintenance and activities related to CECU and CER’s websites and social media accounts
  • Drive, develop, and implement strategies to grow CECU’s positive relationships with trade press and national outlets
  • Cultivate relationships with external media and pitch appropriate and timely stories
  • Create talking points for key issues related to CECU’s advocacy, grassroots, and member service activities
  • Ensure standardization of language in all formal and external communications issued under the CECU and CER brands
  • Identify and cultivate potential sponsors and advertisers for CER’s multimedia products
  • Collect and disseminate stories of success from CECU member schools and students
  • Identify potential external collaborative partners, including employers, thought leaders, advocacy organizations, think tanks, associations, and government entities
  • Leverage external relationships to create opportunities to strengthen and supplement CECU’s advocacy, grassroots, and membership service activities
  • Cultivate external partners with a mutual interest in career and technical education, giving consideration to ways those organizations can support CECU’s mission 

Personal Attributes

  • A self-starting, energetic creative thinker able to carry forward tasks from the drawing board to completion
  • Outgoing people person able to cultivate external relationships and find win-win opportunities in every situation
  • Innovative thinker able to identify opportunities and determine the best approach toward success
  • A passion for higher education, particularly in the career and technical education sector
  • An interest in CECU’s mission, members, and issues and a desire to learn more and stay current on news important to the sector
  • Excellent organizational skills that reflect the ability to perform and prioritize multiple tasks seamlessly with excellent attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with stakeholders, including internal and external partners
  • Impeccable written and verbal communication skills
  • A proactive approach to problem solving with strong decision-making capability
  • Highly resourceful team player with demonstrated ability to think innovatively and achieve high-performance goals, meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to understand and effectively research necessary/required subjects
  • Prioritize conflicting needs; handle matters expeditiously, proactively, and follow through on projects to successful completion, often with deadline pressure
  • Confident and mature with executive presence and the ability to interact comfortably with senior leaders
  • Must have the ability to exercise sound judgment in a variety of situations 

Professional Qualifications

  • 5+ years of communications experience, preferably with an association, think tank, advocacy organization, college, or government entity
  • Strong understanding of the role of proprietary and career education schools in the higher education ecosystem, with a knowledge of the political debate surrounding these issues
  • Demonstrated success in relationship building and external communication
  • Experience writing press releases and cultivating relationships journalists
  • Proven skill for innovative and effective use of social media, websites, and other multimedia tools
  • Bachelor's degree required
  • Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office skills
  • Knowledge of Adobe Creative Cloud products a plus 

About Career Education Colleges and Universities 

Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization representing postsecondary career education institutions, staff, and students. Its mission is to support the work of our members in providing access, opportunity, and quality education to students seeking new or enhanced career skills. CECU's office is located in Arlington, VA. 

More information about CECU is available at https://www.career.org/ and @CECUed.

Organization

Career Education Colleges and Universities

Salary

$110,000 to $125,000 annually