The Associate Vice President for Communications and Public Affairsreports to the Executive VP for Institutional Advancement, directing and managing comprehensive and cohesive internal and external communications and public relations strategies for UT Southwestern that enhance the international, national, regional, and local reputation of UT Southwestern in education, research, and patient care. Key audiences include faculty, employees, patients, local consumers, referring physicians, the donor community, media and other important stakeholders.
The Associate VP serves as a key advisor to the President, the Executive VP for Academic Affairs, the Executive VP for Health System Affairs, and other leaders serving as reputation management and communications stakeholders.
Experience and Education
Bachelors degree in Journalism, Communications, English or related field. A Masters Degree in Business or another relevant advanced degree is highly desirable.
The incumbent should have at least 10-15 years of increasing responsibility for managing the communications of a significant organization. At least 5 years of experience managing a group of communications professionals is required.
The areas of focus and responsibilities for the position include, but are not limited to:
- Leads a high-performing communications team to deliver the strategic objectives and goals. Develops performance management standards and measures to reflect stronger accountabilities for business outcomes.
- Creates a cultural evolution, moving the communications team from transactional to strategic and from reactive to proactive through the proper alignment of form, function and accountability.
- Ensures that UTSWs communications activities are consistent, coordinated and appropriately tailored to the audience. Makes it a priority to learn the unique characteristics of different constituents, while incorporating those qualities into a larger vision with a commitment on UTSWs mission and strategies.
- Communicates a clear and compelling agenda for team members who inspire others to work toward a future state of cross-functional collaboration to optimally support UTSWs mission and strategies.
- Develops annual operating budget that includes appropriate funding for all relevant programs. Monitors and evaluates spending on an ongoing basis, with a goal of maximizing cost effectiveness.
- Develops short- and long-term brand strategies with the purpose of expanding UTSWs brand positioning, enhancing brand awareness, respect, personality and messages using a combination of multi-media and multi-disciplinary strategies (including public relations, community engagement, employee relations, and media relations).
- Leads crisis communications strategy and execution programs. Develops clear communication and relationships with Development, Community and Corporate Relations, and Government Affairs and Policy and external public relations teams to align on press communications in these areas.
- Develops focused expertise and capabilities to guide, deliver and manage the UTSW brand in all communication channels (owned, paid and earned).
- Identifies and capitalizes on opportunities to build the institutions reputation internationally, nationally and locally, by communicating the many differentiated value propositions of UT Southwestern.
- Manages relationships with external agencies to promote, protect, and extend the UT Southwestern brand with its various audiences.
- Maintains relationships and information exchange to learn from other industries transforming the brand message and content.
- Applies in-depth knowledge of industry trends to proven practices to properly position and communicate for UTSW.
- Assures that custom qualitative, quantitative and syndicated research studies are conducted as necessary to provide developmental and directional information to meet the strategic objectives and data needs of the organization.
- Coordinates with Marketing to ensure public relations programs will support and complement clinical marketing campaigns.
- Provides oversight of the development and distribution of written, oral and electronic communications to a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders in support of the Universitys mission. Utilizes announcements, newsletters, presentations, speeches, meetings, website and intranet content, as well as proactive media relations to deliver these communications.
- Overall responsibility for quality maintaining and delivering on a standard of excellence in writing and communications related to all areas of institutional mission.
- Develops insight into UTSW/academic medical centers and ensure department has expertise in covering matters related to biomedical research as well as healthcare.
- Collaborates with institution leaders on messages to be distilled and delivered to key audiences.
- Develops methodology and utilizes tools to measure and monitor the effectiveness of communications initiatives. Uses data to optimize communications and continuously improve impact and deliver key messages.
- Works closely with Human Resources to enhance employee engagement by developing strategies and delivering communications to a highly diverse workforce.
- Conducts media training for administration and faculty.
Digital/Social Media Strategy
- Effectively utilizes social media tools to reach key external and internal stakeholders.
- Collaborates with Digital and Interactive team to leverage use of technology and other social media tools.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities
- Work requires in -depth understanding of public relations strategies and plans and the ability to establish and implement cohesive communications on an institutional basis.
- Work requires developing strong working relationships with Senior Leadership, Department Chairs, Health System Administration and Academic Affairs, and staff to ensure that a strong and high functioning communications model is in place to meet individual and collective needs.
- Work requires knowledge and understanding of the mission, goals, and objectives of a major educational and research institution.
- Work requires the ability to analyze complex problems, interpreting operational needs, and developing integrated, creative solutions.
- Work requires expert knowledge of communication principles, media, and public relations techniques.
- Work requires demonstrated background and excellence in written communication to include external articles, speeches and internal communications.
- Work requires practiced knowledge of employee communications, change communications and corporate communication strategy concepts.
- Work requires advanced knowledge of online communication and social media.
- Work requires outstanding interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate and work effectively within a diverse community. Executive presence and comfort in all interactions with employees, senior-level management and critical external stakeholders, (e.g. media, donor community etc.).
- Work requires superior writing, speaking, and presentation skills.
- Work requires seasoned, self-motivated, hands on leader and team player, with strong management skills. Proven ability to lead through influence, flexibility and diplomacy.
- Work requires excellent employee development, succession planning and performance management skills.
- Work requires organizational planning, structuring, and staffing skills.
Job Number: 392449