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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position, include your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a diverse learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

The Director of Communications plays a key role in advancing the School’s mission, reputation and its research and intellectual capital by setting strategic direction and managing all aspects of our communications program. The individual leads and manages a team responsible for integrating creative and effective content through public relations, social media, website, editorial, and research promotion to achieve overall school and program-specific goals for the Ross School of Business.  This person and his/her team will create and disseminate content that is meaningful, relevant, and compelling to engage a sophisticated and global audience of internal and external constituents including prospective and current students, alumni, donors, corporate partners, and media.

This position reports to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).


Strategic Communications Planning

  • In collaboration with the CMO, set public relations, editorial, and social media strategies to achieve objectives set by the Dean and leadership team in partnership with the Brand Management team.
  • Develop and execute strategic plans for communications and media relations that successfully engage Michigan Ross’ multiple audiences and keep Michigan Ross highly visible in a changing media landscape.
  • Work with the marketing analytics and research team to establish ambitious measures of success for Michigan Ross communications efforts; evaluate and adjust strategies in order to meet those metrics.
  • Keep abreast of important trends in the marketing and communications industry and incorporate best practices, particularly as it applies to higher education.
  • Work collaboratively across the Marketing and Communications team to ensure an integrated marketing communications approach – across paid, earned and owned media – that aligns with objectives.
  • Oversee building and maintaining the Ross brand in the digital space by driving exposure, influence, and engagement through the development and execution of a social media strategy.
  • Work closely with print, online, broadcast, and social media to optimize exposure in service of key objectives.

    Implement Communications Strategies
  • Oversee creation and distribution of various types of content and storytelling (e.g., Dividend Magazine, Ross website, promotional brochures, newsletters, blogs, emails, interviews) and formats (i.e., print, digital, video, social media and event-based) that engage key audiences of current and prospective students, alumni, donors and corporate partners.
  • In collaboration with the CMO and University partners, effectively deliver messages that enhance the visibility and reputation of Michigan Ross.
  • Build and maintain strong and productive relationships with journalists in both print and electronic media.
  • Position Michigan Ross faculty as thought leaders in the media.
  • Ensure final copy is of high quality with a consistent look and feel.
  • Provide media training to the Dean, the leadership team, faculty and staff to ensure they have the skills and confidence to deliver appropriate messages when communicating with journalists/media.
  • Represent Ross within the University of Michigan communications community; foster partnerships and align objectives with other schools and colleges, and the central University’s public and media relations team.
  • Direct external firms, agencies, and freelancers on Ross communication strategies and objectives.

    Team Leadership
  • Provide positive, effective and highly visible leadership to a team of communications professionals (writers, editors, social media specialists); communicate vision and parameters; provide opportunities for professional growth through ongoing performance feedback, coaching and skills development; recruit new staff members as required.
  • Empower employees to identify innovative approaches to enhance organizational performance.
  • Enable change by sharing expectations, ensure team has necessary skills, tools and information, and remove barriers to success.
  • Support development of the annual budget and maintain spending within budget while achieving overall and client-specific goals.

Required Qualifications*

The most competitive candidates for the position will possess excellent communication skills, media relations experience, sound judgement, strong collaborative instincts and highly developed leadership skills. The role will require a highly productive approach as both a hands-on doer and leader of the content team’s overall strategic planning. Specifically, the candidates should have:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, English, journalism, marketing, or related field
  • At least 10 years of experience in public relations, communications, social media and writing/editorial, with progressively more responsibility at a medium-sized or large organization
  • Contributes to a positive work community by approaching work with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind; treats others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listens, values feedback, and learns from the perspectives of others.
  • A deep understanding of public and media relations, crisis communication, branding and the ability to apply that knowledge within a collaborative team
  • Exceptional communication, writing, editing and message development skills; ability to easily change writing styles to fit the audience and voice of the piece
  • Experienced at persuasive writing and articulating a strong case
  • Hands-on experience creating content for a variety of channels including print, online, email, social media, broadcast media and in-person presentations
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a fast-paced, team oriented atmosphere and effectively meet deadlines while remaining flexible and accommodating
  • Strong industry contacts – media, industry professionals, third party organizations – and client relationship skills
  • Ability to quickly learn the higher education culture and organization
  • Strong leadership experience with a staff of journalists or communications professionals and the ability to mentor and manage performance and strategy
  • Exceptional judgment
  • Experience in strategic planning and execution
  • Ability to work independently and to exercise initiative
  • Demonstrated project management and organizational skills; strong attention to detail

Desired Qualifications*

  • Master’s degree 

Additional Information

Skills testing is not required.

Physical Demands/Work Environment

  • The person in this position routinely communicates with faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders about programs, events, activities, etc.
  • The person in this position frequently moves through the building and campus to attend meetings/events/activities and access files or information
  • The person in this position occasionally presents information at events
  • Will require work during early mornings, nights, and/or weekends
  • May require domestic and international travel

    Michigan Ross values a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We are committed to the development of diverse and culturally intelligent staff who thrive and contribute to a positive and inclusive environment.

    The statements included in this description are intended to reflect the general nature and level of work assigned to this classification and should not be interpreted as all-inclusive.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.