Associate Director of Communications

Grand Rapids Community College

Job Description

Date:                                     February 21, 2023

Position Title:                     Associate Director of Communications

Department:                      Communications

Job ID:                                   1430

Work Hours/Schedule:  40 hours/52 weeks

Compensation:                 Meet and Confer, Grade 15 - $61,071

Reports to:                          Director of Communications

Posting Close Date:          Open Until Filled



Grand Rapids Community College provides an excellent benefits experience for our GRCC family.  Our benefit package is designed to enhance employees' health and well-being.  Part-time employees have different benefits outlined in the specific collective bargaining agreements and handbooks. Below is an overview of these benefits, additional details are available on the Human Resources/Benefits website:

  • Six health insurance plan options (includes a high deductible plan with a health savings account option).
  • A unique dental & vision reimbursement program (includes coverage for adult orthodontia & lasik eye surgery).
  • Employer sponsored retirement plans as well as voluntary retirement savings plans (403b or 457 plans)
  • Tuition benefits at GRCC for you, your spouse and your dependents.
  • Tuition reimbursement at other higher education institutions for you.
  • Generous time off that includes sick, vacation and personal leave banks.
  • Paid holidays and holiday shutdown period in late December!



The Associate Director of Communications tells the story of GRCC programs and students internally and externally. The person in this role is responsible for the effective and efficient management of college-wide advertising and marketing initiatives. Primary responsibilities include advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations campaign planning; supporting the creation and editing of content (copy, photography or video) that accounts for accuracy, audience, style and tone of messaging in accordance with GRCC brand standards; media buying; ensuring brand consistency across all communications platforms; knowledge of best practice industry standards to capitalize on changes to, and emerging, technologies; initiating communications strategies that support department and college-wide priorities; managing a dashboard that tracks advertising and marketing initiatives; acting as the liaison between the communications department and the college regarding advertising and marketing work.


Essential Job Functions

  • Manage the development and implementation of annual brand advertising campaigns.
  • Manage the development and implementation of annual recruitment and retention advertising and promotions campaigns.
  • Create advertising calendars that coincide with the admissions and enrollment center’s recruitment cycles.
  • Write copy for brand, and recruitment and retention advertising campaigns.
  • Write copy for press releases, student profiles and other materials.
  • Assist the Director of Communications in managing the advertising budget.
  • Support the director of communications in the development and implementation of the communications department strategic plan.
  • Develop creative strategies that interconnect college advertising campaigns with its editorial publications, promotions and social media campaigns.
  • Assist the Director of Communications to identify, develop and implement program-specific advertising and promotions campaigns.
  • Lead efforts to ensure brand consistency across advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations campaigns.
  • Collaborate with the lead graphic designer to create a comprehensive brand suite housed under an editorial and graphic identity guide that supports consistency of copy, photography and video for all advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations materials.
  • Collaborate with the media technologies department to foster a continued focus on brand in video work.
  • Develop proactive relationships with the media and advertising vendors.
  • Conduct annual media buying, analyzing emerging trends and success rates to determine future buys.
  • Manage a dashboard to track advertising and marketing initiatives, and generate reports to inform strategy decisions.
  • Create an advertising portfolio to provide examples, and share successes, of communications department advertising, marketing, promotions and public relations campaigns. Update the portfolio annually.
  • Support the Director of Communications with the implementation of crisis communications protocol.
  • Assist in the deployment of crisis communications.
  • Represent the department on college teams.
  • Regular attendance during normal scheduled hours is required. Being present is essential for serving customers and performing the essential functions of this position.
  • Write press releases, web posts, and other materials.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Communications.




  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations or a communications related field required.


Work Experience

  • Minimum of 3 years relevant experience in a communications-related role, with demonstrated success managing both a  team and advertising campaigns.
  • Prior experience in a higher education setting preferred.



  • The following competencies are essential and will be evaluated for our candidates through the evidence-based selection process:

Foundational Competencies

  • Responsibility
  • Adaptability
  • Achievement
  • Ingenuity
  • Decisive
  • Teamwork
  • Information Skills
  • Listening

Occupational Competencies

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Scheduling Work and Activities
  • Processing Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others


Equipment Use/Knowledge/Skills/Abilities

  • Advanced copywriting and editing skills.
  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Competency in database management systems and related communications support software.
  • Ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Strong organizational skills to manage multiple projects at one time.
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • Possess self-confidence, and have strong facilitation skills. Be accessible to external and internal constituents.
  • Balance priorities and responsibilities between long-term strategy initiatives, and short-term day-to-day department operations for successful completion of all objectives.
  • Employ creative-thinking strategies, and not be afraid to think outside the box.
  • Willingness to learn new skills by practicing quality improvement.
  • High level of creativity, energy, enthusiasm and motivation.
  • Must possess initiative and be able to work independently, and have a strong work ethic.
  • Ability to use good judgment when handling confidential, or sensitive, college material.


Physical Demands

  • Long periods of sitting, reading and writing, in addition to collaborations with external and internal constituents that require adept listening and speaking skills.
  • Must be able to lift up to 20 pounds.


Mental Demands

  • Competency to communicate effectively
  • Able to manage high-stress conflict resolution with a positive approach, be team-oriented, and have a strong work ethic.
  • Ability to strategically work with the director of communications to elevate department work.
  • Ability to transition smoothly between independent and collaborative efforts.


Working Conditions

  • Grand Rapids Community College will comply with any mandated health and safety requirements.  Employees will be directed to our GRCC Policy(s) for compliance information.
  • Fast paced and team oriented environment.
  • Occasional night and weekend work may be necessary to accomplish objectives.
  • Some travel is required to participate in conferences and professional organizations.



Grand Rapids Community College is only accepting online applications for this position at Submit a cover letter and resume in one document. The opportunity to apply for this position will remain open until filled. Individuals with diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Grand Rapids Community College is an equal opportunity employer. Visa sponsorship is not available.

Grand Rapids Community College creates an inclusive learning and working environment that recognizes the value and dignity of each person. It is the policy and practice of GRCC to provide equal educational and employment opportunities regardless of age, race, color, religion, marital status, sex/gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, height, weight, national origin, disability, political affiliation, familial status, veteran status or genetics in all programs, activities, services, employment and advancement including admissions to, access to, treatment in, or compensation in employment as required by state and federal law. GRCC is committed to reviewing all aspects of GRCC programs, activities, services and employment, including recruitment, selection, retention and promotion to identify and eliminate barriers in order to prevent discrimination on the basis of the listed protected characteristics.  The college will not tolerate any form of retaliation against any person for bringing charges of discrimination or participating in an investigation. Further information may be obtained from the EEO Office or the Office of General Counsel, 143 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295.

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