International Communication Association

Director of Digital Communications

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois, United States
4 days ago


Department: MCC Marketing
Salary/Grade: EXS/10

About McCormick:

Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is redefining engineering education and research through its pioneering “Whole-Brain Engineering” philosophy, integrating the elements of left-brain thinking - analysis, logic, synthesis, and math - with the kind of high-level right-brain thinking that fosters intuition, metaphorical thought, and creative problem solving. Augmenting the analytical core of engineering with substantial initiatives in design, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal development, and unusual collaborations that span disciplines, Northwestern Engineering students and faculty are prepared to take the world in a whole new direction.

Northwestern Engineering comprises more than 1,800 undergraduate students, 2,000 graduate students, 190 faculty members across nine academic departments and varied programs, centers, and institutes. Northwestern Engineering staff members support innovative academic programs, an intellectual footprint that deepens the frontiers of knowledge, partnerships that catalyze education and research, and a diverse culture that embraces different viewpoints and ideas.

Job Summary:

The Director of Digital Communications provides leadership for the day-to-day management of digital communications for the McCormick School of Engineering. Reporting to the Senior Director Marketing Communications, the Director has primary responsibility for web strategy (including design, content, usability, accessibility, and analytics) for McCormick school-level sites, as well as department and program sites. The position also manages other digital projects, including email campaigns, enrollment strategies, and digital signage.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Serve as the communications leader for the McCormick website, developing and implementing a web strategy that ensures that all McCormick school- and department-level websites are best-in-class and help meet the reputation and enrollment goals of each program. This includes design, user experience, information architecture, content production, accessibility, and analytics.
  • Oversee a suite of 60+ websites associated with McCormick (including the main site, magazine, nine departments, 11 professional programs, and all institutes and research centers), ensuring that they are aligned and well maintained by working in conjunction with individual departments and programs, internal content producers, external vendors, and McCormick IT.
  • Drive design and content strategy for all sites, supervising internal and external resources for web design and content development
  • Serve as the primary interface and work closely with McCormick IT in the development and testing of webpage templates and the optimization of our content management system (currently Hannon Hill Cascade) user experience for internal web content producers
  • Manage tracking initiatives and evaluate analytics for McCormick websites, setting appropriate goals to meet school-level needs and reporting to administrative leaders as required
  • Manage open projects and prioritize incoming requests; deploy department resources as necessary
  • Research and develop new online marketing tools to meet specific school needs
  • Manage search engine optimization and accessibility techniques and guide departments and programs in the implementation of preferred strategies
  • Manage, advise, and work on one-off special digital projects as they arise
  • Work with McCormick senior leadership, department chairs, and program directors to ensure that digital initiatives are aligned with the overall strategy of the school and units.

  • Set overall strategy for electronic communication, including email, internal signage, event invitations, and social networks
  • Select and manage systems for electronic communications with key constituent groups
  • Oversee the development of templates for email communications for internal and external audiences
  • Manages analytics and reporting for e-communications to drive further growth
  • Oversees the production and deployment of content for 20+ digital signs within campus buildings, serving as a key tool for internal communication
  • Set policies and priorities for departments and programs wishing to use digital signage
  • Supervise the posting and ongoing maintenance of content

  • Supervise one full-time staff (Sr Communications Coordinator), including responsibility for giving work direction, disciplinary action and performance reviews;
  • Source and manage external talent, including freelance and agency, to support the overall workload and ensure that deadlines are met
  • Maintain dotted-line supervision of digital communications work in other areas of the department
  • Lead marketing-IT web team, including responsibility for agenda setting and meeting follow up•

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, business or related field required, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable skills can be acquired.
  • A minimum of 7 years of digital communications experience, including demonstrated leadership in the development of best-in-class digital initiatives, including websites and other electronic communication
  • Familiarity with emerging digital platforms and best practices for digital communications

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and negotiating skills. Ability to train and work well with others in group and individual settings.
  • Strong proficiency in Microsoft Office products, Photoshop, Google Analytics, and website testing tools
  • Strong proficiency in HTML and CSS, and a knowledge of how webpages and emails are built
  • Experience in managing the digital design process
  • Experience working with HTML email platforms
  • Exhibit problem-solving and organizational skills and ability to manage numerous jobs and priorities at one time.
  • Strong English language skills.
  • Experience with Content Management Systems, online blogging solutions, and other online applications

Preferred Qualifications:
  • A master's degree or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience for which comparable skills can be acquired;
  • Proficiency with web development
  • Experience in graphic design for the web
  • Confident, professional, positive attitude with a sense of humor;
  • Ability to adapt to different people and situations, and incorporate honesty, respect and fairness in daily actions;
  • Ability to follow through on commitments

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
  • Familiarity with JavaScript and other programming languages a plus.
  • Experience with Hannon Hill Cascade
At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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Job Information

  • Job ID: 63294239
  • Location:
    Evanston, Illinois, United States
  • Position Title: Director of Digital Communications
  • Company Name For Job: Northwestern University
  • Job Function: Other

Please refer to the company's website or job descriptions to learn more about them.

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