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Communications Engagement Specialist

Topeka, KS
Company: Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation
Job Title: Communications Engagement Specialist
Job Classification: Exempt, Full-time
Work Schedule: Monday-Friday, 8 am – 5 pm Occasional evening and weekend hours 
Reporting Relationship: Executive Director of Engagement

Primary Accountability:
The Communications Engagement Specialist is responsible for communication initiatives and events for the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation (Foundation) and the Washburn University School of Law Alumni Association. This position is a key contributor to the Foundation’s Engagement team and the School of Law Alumni Association and Development team.

The Communications Engagement Specialist will work closely with the Engagement, Alumni Association, and School of Law Alumni Association teams to support the overall print and digital communication and marketing plans of the Alumni Association and Foundation and School of Law Alumni Association. The position will oversee the entire social media plan for the Foundation.

The individual will also help implement a comprehensive event program for law and university alumni that engages audiences and builds key relationships with prospects, supporters, donors, board and committee members at all levels.

Internal relations include regular contact with the Foundation staff, Alumni Association, and the School of Law Alumni Association. External relationships include contact with alumni and donors, campus partners, and with outside vendors and freelancers to coordinate marketing and communication plans.

The Communications Engagement Specialist will establish and nurture effective, collegial working relationships with co-workers and University partners representing the Foundation in a positive and professional manner.

Major Duties Include:
  • Editor of the Washburn Lawyer magazine, leading the story budget, photography and writing assignments, budgeting, printing and distribution. Oversee freelance writers and photographers who work with the editor to develop content on current achievements of the School of Law, accomplishments of its alumni, and to attract and maintain the interest of its graduates;
  • Responsible for social media strategy and content production for the Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation platforms that engage alumni and friends from all parts of the University;
  • Along with the Engagement Team members, responsible for maintaining and consistently refreshing Washburn Alumni Association and Foundation general content on thewualumni.org website, including but not limited to, feature stories, news pages, event registrations, and content related to giving to the University;
  • Editor of the SOL Alumni e-newsletter;
  • Lead event organizer (point of contact for vendors and catering, budgeting, selection of itinerary/programming, coordinating data and invites, and managing day-of execution) for some in-person and virtual law and university alumni events. Some travel with events will be required.
  • Serve on the WUAAF events team and assist with day-of execution of events as needed;
  • Serve as a writer for the Washburn University alumni magazine, the Ichabod, and assist in editing the publication when needed;
  • Respond to or delegate general communication inquiries to the Alumni Association and Foundation
  • Assist in managing the event marketing including print, digital (website and mobile app), and social event marketing tactics;
  • Serve as an Engagement Team liaison on the University-wide Communications team and with the Law School Alumni Association and Foundation soliciting social media content, feature story ideas, and overall news to share with alumni;
  • Works with outside vendors as necessary for printing, production, and mailing;
  • Work on special projects and perform other duties as assigned;
  • Work collaboratively with the Engagement Team; and
  • Represent the Foundation in a professional and diplomatic manner at all times.
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, public relations, or other related discipline required;
  • Excellent writing and editing skills required;
  • 1-3 years experience in event planning preferred;
  • Experience creating virtual event experiences preferred;
  • Knowledge of content-managed websites preferred;
  • Experience running social media channels for an organization required;
  • Higher education experience and knowledge of Washburn University and its programs preferred;
  • Ability to think creatively and strategically;
  • Proven ability to understand and work with data to drive strategy;
  • Ability to work early days, evenings and weekends as required, as well as some overnight travel;
  • Strong organizational and project management skills required;
  • Ability to take initiative to coordinate processes and solve problems;
  • Professional attitude and ability to maintain confidentiality;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Intermediate level skills in Word and Excel software preferred;
  • Reliable and predictable attendance.
Physical Demands:
  • Ability to sit for extended periods of time;
  • Ability to read computer screens and mail;
  • Ability to unpack and move supplies up to thirty (30) lbs.
Work Environment:
  • Professional and deadline-oriented environment in an office setting;
  • Interaction with staff and campus partners.
Additional Duties:
Additional duties and responsibilities may be added to this job description at any time. The job description does not state or imply that these are the only activities to be performed by the employee(s) holding this position. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related responsibilities as requested by their supervisor.

To apply:
To apply, applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and three writing samples to Lisa Zerbe, Lisa@hrpartnersks.com. The three writing samples must include at least one feature/news story, but can also include social posts, speeches, newsletters, etc.

Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation is committed to building a community of support to continuously strengthen Washburn University and enhance the educational opportunities and experiences of our students. We build life-long partnerships with alumni and friends, and secure, invest, and steward private financial support.
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