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Western Carolina University
David Kinner

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Cullowhee North Carolina United States 28723


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Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Job ID: 64535
Job Views: 530
Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina, United States
Postal Code: 28723
Job Category: Public Relations | Marketing,Media Business Positions,Advertising,Corporate Publications | Newsletters
Employment Type:
Salary: per month
Posted: 12.09.2021

Job Description

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Western Carolina University (WCU) invites applications and nominations for the position of Chief Marketing & Communications Officer.
About the Position
Situated in between the gorgeous Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, Western Carolina University is a growing, dynamic University of North Carolina constituent campus that is seeking an innovative and results-focused marketing and communications visionary.  Building on the success of our enrollment growth and award-winning marketing achievements, including multiple CASE awards, the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer is a high-profile leadership position responsible for driving go-to-market, top-level strategic direction of the University’s branding, communications, content marketing, and social media efforts. The Chief Marketing & Communications Officer joins a University undergoing a renaissance of its campus offerings, student, alumni, and community outreach, and brand initiatives. The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer will be a critical part of the campus leadership team that successfully implements WCU’s strategic plan, Honoring Our Promise (  This position will report directly to the University’s Chief of Staff in the Chancellor’s Division and will hold a seat on the Chancellor’s Leadership Council.  The position will work extensively with other senior campus leaders in the advancement of university priorities and serve as the primary spokesperson for the University.
WCU’s new strategic plan requires the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer to work with the executive directors of communications, creative services, and marketing services to develop and manage a comprehensive integrated plan which coordinates marketing- and communications-related activities across the University community and the region. Plan goals include ensuring consistency in positioning, branding, messaging, and promotions toward diverse constituencies and target markets. The Chief Marketing and Communications Officer must have strong and demonstrated characteristics that include vision, executive management skills, experience with integrated marketing in complex organizations and working with diverse stakeholders. The integrated marketing and communications plan must include brand research including current market analysis, new market study, competitive analysis, perception study, a strategic plan including psychographic analysis of all of our target audiences, white space opportunities, a SWOT analysis, short and long-range goals for the brand, and a PR plan that supports the brand goals. The CMCO should determine a proposed budget to implement and support the plan. The integrated plan must interpret the institution's mission and strategic priorities to multiple internal and external audiences, while defining and leveraging the University's distinctiveness, achievements, and key initiatives.
We expect the CMCO to be bold in their vision, be agile and ready to test and adapt messaging, be unafraid and embrace doing things in a new way, and be ready to jump in with the team to shape and execute a modern marketing plan that connects with target audiences in a meaningful way and activates those audiences.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities
  • Create, advance, and manage a marketing and communications vision and an integrated marketing plan that embraces the University’s mission and strategic priorities, articulating our identity and our “brand promise” to diverse external and internal constituencies.
  • Develop and advance successful and competitive strategic positioning of the University, support enrollment growth and student retention, highlight the talent and activities of faculty, and enhance the University’s service and situation in regional, state, and national markets.
  • Mentor, inspire, and lead a highly talented and dynamic department that allows members to take responsibility for their jobs and goals. Delegate responsibility, expect accountability and provide regular feedback to enable each employee and the department to succeed.
  • Define the scope of the University Marketing and Communications (UCM) team within the University and communicate UCM’s strategic priorities to campus leaders.
  • Serve as the lead spokesperson and crisis management officer for the University.
  • Determine communications strategy and execute programs to deliver on communications objectives throughout the University.
  • Oversee media relations and maximize media opportunities.
  • Gather, analyze, and disseminate market intelligence, which assesses the needs, perceptions, expectations, and satisfaction of a diverse set of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and other stakeholders of the University.
  • Build and foster relationships across the University to support a cohesive brand identity.
  • Consult with university stakeholders to guide them in building strategic and comprehensive marketing plans for their areas that ladder down from the larger brand campaign 
  • Oversee an internal training campaign for university stakeholders to assist those units in executing tactical parts of the brand campaign that relate to their specific areas.
  • Plan the launch and rollout of new brand campaign(s) or large UCM initiatives within the university community and the region, if appropriate.
  • Manage the Communications and Marketing Council, WCU’s internal committee comprised of the primary marketing partners across campus.
  • Stay ahead of the curve and on the pulse of what is happening not only in higher education marketing, but where our target audiences are and how to curate content for those spaces and platforms.
  • Salary/Benefits
    Anticipated hiring range is commensurate with credentials and experience.  Salary is comparable to private sector positions of similar scope and responsibilities. The UNC System offers a comprehensive benefits package.
    To apply
    Applicants must complete an official WCU application: .  In addition, applicants must submit a résumé with cover letter and the names and contact information for a minimum of three professional references.  The cover letter should include a brief discussion and examples of how the candidate has built working partnerships with campus or organizational leaders across all levels as well as with the broader community.  Examples of integrated marketing communications plan and/or significant broad-scope marketing program initiatives must accompany the application package as well. 
    Western Carolina University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer and welcomes all qualified applicants. Applicants will receive fair and impartial consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status, or other legally protected status. In addition, Western Carolina University welcomes all persons without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
    Applications are only accepted via Human Resources link above. Inquiries should be directed to:
    Search Committee Chair: Dr. David Kinner, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, (828) 227.7646 |

Job Requirements

Required Skills & Attributes
Evidence of the following demonstrated skills and attributes are essential to success in this position:
  • Significant executive-level organizational management experience in a marketing and communications environment.
  • Significant brand development, brand management, and messaging strategy experience
  • Fiscal responsibility and budget management experience commensurate with executing integrated marketing and communications plans for organizations of similar scope and stature to Western Carolina University
  • Experience working with and directing creative strategy and resources in the areas of content marketing, communications/PR, social media and digital marketing, direct marketing, websites, broadcast, and print collateral.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Strong research and analytical skills
Preferred Skills & Attributes
  • Experience in higher education marketing
  • Experience working within a cross-functional organization
Education/Experience Required
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or related field AND 15+ years of progressive experience in marketing, communications, and promotions in similarly complex organizational environment OR
  • Master’s degree in marketing, advertising, communications/PR, or directly relevant discipline AND 10+ years minimum of related work experience in marketing strategy, brand management, and communications. 

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