Communications Manager

Position Summary

Conceptualizes, directs and implements communications strategies to support key MSU priorities and provost office initiatives to enhance the overall positive working environment and reputation of the university among diverse internal and external audiences, including students, faculty/staff, alumni, community members, peers, opinion leaders/influencers, and the general public.

Serves as lead communications professional responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy to support MSU's broad Diversity and Inclusion strategy. Serves as the communications lead to the Senior Adviser to the President for Diversity/Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Works in collaborative partnership with other leaders and a variety of communicators across campus to drive execution of key diversity and inclusion communications activities across the organization. In addition, this communicator works as part of a collaborative communications team supporting communications needs for several units within the Office of the Provost, including the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, WorkLife Office, Academic Advancement Network, HUB for Innovation in Learning and Technology, and the Graduate School. As a member of this team, this communicator will assume direct project leadership for specific communications initiatives supporting these units, including strategy and planning roles, as well as execute strategies and tactics associated with projects led by other team members.

Essential qualities for this position include the ability to independently conceptualize, formulate, and execute comprehensive strategic communications plans for priority initiatives that reflect MSU core values, including its core value of inclusivity; effectively manage day-to-day communications in support of those initiatives in all forms of digital and traditional media; write and edit content for communications materials including printed publications, electronic media, social media, advertising, and other promotional vehicles; function successfully in a fluid and innovative team environment; and form productive, collaborative relationships with coworkers and colleagues in various offices across the university.


  • Develop and execute strategies to communicate consistently about high profile MSU priorities and provost office initiatives, with particular emphasis on communicating MSU’s broad commitment to diversity and inclusion, and its place in a global community; assist in anticipating, analyzing, and identifying emerging PR threats and opportunities related to these initiatives. 
  • Develop and execute communications strategies and tactics, both proactively and reactively, for specific audiences, initiatives, and issues, including MSU’s broad diversity and inclusion strategy, and develop or oversee development and dissemination of content to advance diversity and inclusion goals internally and externally.
  • Work with CABS and other university units to facilitate common messaging throughout MSU’s communications infrastructure and to leverage all or parts of the communications network to communicate key diversity and inclusion themes consistently. Ensure alignment of communications with MSU branding, CABS efforts and MSU core values.
  • Lead and coordinate development and maintenance of specialized communications associated with the core goals of the initiatives and communications needs of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives or other designated provost office units, including maintenance and leverage across the institution of appropriate websites, brochures, annual reports, newsletters, advertising, and other collateral.
  • Provide complex communications consultation, strategic planning, implementation, and project leadership for MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives programs and projects, targeting both internal and external audiences, to drive results and meet organizational goals.
  • Develop, lead, and manage the social media strategy for designated themes and/or accounts. Plan and implement strategies to increase social media presence and engagement. 
  • Perform media relations functions including developing and writing news releases, conducting media monitoring to track coverage on key initiatives and issues, assisting with issues management and media training, coordinating and running press events, and assisting with social media monitoring and analysis.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


Candidates should have:

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in:

  • journalism
  • communications
  • public relations
  • English
  • or related field that prepares the individual to communicate effectively with diverse audiences


Three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in:

  • Marketing communications, public relations or a related field in higher education, an agency environment, or a large, complex organization
  • Developing and executing integrated strategic communications programs
  • Developing and writing content for PR and marketing purposes including news releases, web and social content; monitoring media and social media on key initiatives and issues
  • Leading and coordinating development and maintenance of specialized communications for diverse and target audiences
  • Developing, leading and managing culturally sensitive social media strategies and implementing strategies to increase social media presence and engagement with a wide range of audiences
  • Managing complex projects
  • Working with diverse communities and individual leaders within diverse communities and developing effective relationships with members of various and diverse communities
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

 The desired candidate will have:

  • Minimum of seven years of professional experience developing and executing integrated strategic communications programs in a fast-paced PR or marketing agency or working closely with an agency to achieve strategic communications objectives
  • Demonstrated mastery of high-quality, professional-level project management, planning and conceptualization, plan execution, and results assessment, with particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion programs and projects, directed at both internal and external audiences
  • Demonstrated excellence and mastery of communicating to diverse audiences, including social media communication reaching diverse audiences, requiring knowledge of different cultures, values, experiences, expectations and effective ways of interacting
  • Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural skills
  • Demonstrated excellence in clearly and persuasively communicating concepts and ideas both verbally and in writing, including communicating concepts and ideas that impact diverse populations
  • Experience working with local, state, and national news media and other media outlets
  • Experience creating and manipulating multimedia content for social media and web properties

How to Apply

To assure full consideration, please apply online at (posting #5092) by April 9, 2017. Applications must include a cover letter, resume, and writing sample.

About MSU/East Lansing

Michigan State University is situated on a beautiful, park-like campus, close to major metropolitan centers, with outlying research facilities and natural areas and a proud land-grant heritage. The campus is located in East Lansing and adjacent to the capital city of Lansing, with a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The campus has nearly 5,500 faculty and academic staff, more than 6,300 support staff, and more than 50,000 students. MSU is an equal-opportunity employer committed to supporting and actively increasing diversity in all areas of campus. MSU is proactive in exploring opportunities for employment of dual-career couples, both inside and outside the university. Information about MSU’s dual-career support can be found at

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.