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Job Summary

Poverty Solutions is a university-wide initiative that partners with policymakers and communities to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty in Michigan, the nation, and the world.

One of the central goals of our work is to connect U-M’s action-based research on poverty to the public through strategic communications and engagement—including community outreach, policy engagement and advocacy, and media interactions. Our communications and public engagement efforts support and amplify expertise across U-M to help inform the policies and programs that can bring about positive change. 

We are seeking an agile self-starter for a communications specialist role to support these efforts.

Reporting to the director of communications and public engagement, the new communications specialist will help to execute Poverty Solutions’ internal and external strategy. The successful candidate will be a seasoned, skilled storyteller with the ability to craft content that engages audiences around the the initiative’s identity, mission, programming and impact. The specialist will join the communications team to implement a communication and outreach strategy to raise awareness and advance the public impact of Poverty Solutions’ priorities and projects. Responsibilities include identifying and writing stories, drafting briefs, and developing high-level editorial content and other relevant communications.


- Work with the Poverty Solutions team to create and coordinate the implementation of a strategic, multi-channel, marketing and communications plan.

- Plan, research, write, and edit news releases, feature stories, promotional copy, and other content for Poverty Solutions publications, including digital and print outlets. Work with videography, photography, web and social media experts to communicate stories most effectively.

- Work in collaboration with the Poverty Solutions team by researching and securing opportunities for storytelling and information sharing for Poverty Solutions faculty affiliates and others. 

- Research and identify regional and national opportunities for story sharing and placement. 

- Effectively publicize Poverty Solutions related activities, such as new research innovations, student engagement efforts, lectures, seminars, workshops, and other sponsored events.

- Assist with the tracking and measurement communications initiatives and other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications*

- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public communication, fine arts, marketing, communications, public policy, or related field 

- At least 3 to 5 years of communications experience, including demonstrated writing experience, public relations, marketing, print and digital publishing.

- Ability to analyze and translate raw data, technical, and scholarly works into accessible language for multiple audiences; and an in-depth understanding of current digital marketing technologies, industry trends, and audience engagement tactics.

- Demonstrated success collaborating with teams and the ability to manage and prioritize numerous projects in a fast-paced environment.

Desired Qualifications*

- Experience in gathering and analyzing data to guide strategy and be willing to quickly pivot if strategy is proving to be unsuccessful.

- Experience/knowledge in graphic design and marketing a plus.

Additional Information

This position will report to the director of communications and public engagement at Poverty Solutions. The selected candidate will also work in collaboration with the Vice President for Communications' staff, and in coordination with a campus-wide group of communicators engaged in poverty research.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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