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Communications Specialist, Advancement Communications

The Communications Specialist reports to the Director, Advancement Communications within University Relations and will specialize in communications for the advancement portfolio. The incumbent is a member of the university's broader Strategic Communications team.

Primary Purpose: The Communications Specialist works as part of the Advancement Communications Team to strategize, plan, execute and evaluate communications initiatives that support advancement priorities and programs, including the university's comprehensive campaign communications, in order to achieve the goals of the University Relations Strategic Plan 2025. The primary goal of the position is to support advancement goals with effective and high-impact communications in order to build and maintain a positive reputation for the university and within the university's over 164,000 global alumni network, as well as with donors. Work should be aligned with the University Relation's strategic plan and the overall University Plan.

Nature of Work: The Communications Specialist has extensive knowledge and expertise in communications best practices, specifically in advancement communications, which includes alumni and donor audiences and stakeholders. This position provides leadership and expertise in advancement communications strategy, implementation and measurement to colleagues on the Advancement Communications Team, as well as within University Relations and relevant colleges and units. The position involves considerable judgment and discretionary decision-making in the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of multiple communications plans. The incumbent will work both independently and collaboratively within University Relations and with staff across the colleges and other campus units. It is expected that all work will be coordinated appropriately between college-based and central channels to ensure the maximum benefit to both the college and university. It is expected that the individual develops a solid understanding of University Relations programs, culture and stakeholders. It is critical that the individual establish and maintain positive relationships with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders, including senior leaders, faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, partner organizations, and media, among others. Consequence of error is significant to the reputation of the college and university. The environment is dynamic and fast-paced. The position may require some travel (in the future) and occasional work in evenings and on weekends.

Typical Duties or Accountabilities:

1. Leads and supports the planning, implementation and measurement of integrated marketing and communications plans that support a broad range of advancement programs, including USask's comprehensive campaign, alumni engagement and development programs, initiatives, and events.

2. Continually monitor industry trends and best practices related to advancement communications and applies this learning across the team.

3. Ensure that all communications work is coordinated across University Relations and relevant colleagues and aligned with strategic priorities.

4. Conceptualize, seek out and generates content that celebrates alumni and donor successes and stories and builds pride for the university, written in accessible language that is appropriate for various mediums.

5. Conceptualize messaging and prepare speaking notes and provide advancement communications support to senior leaders as requested, ensuring USask key messages are infused in communications, as appropriate.

6. Manages budget for assigned advancement communications projects, ensures effective use of resources, and follows all university guidelines.

7. Stewards the USask brand and visual identity.

Education: An undergraduate university degree, preferably in communications, marketing, journalism or related field. Experience working with advancement communications is considered an asset. An equivalent level of education and experience may be considered. Credentials and professional designations through IABC or CPRS would be considered an asset.

Experience: Five to seven years of directly related experience with a demonstrated progression in level of responsibility, including a breadth of experience developing, leading, and implementing all areas of strategic communications and/or marketing. Knowledge of the University of Saskatchewan, the academic environment and/or advancement would be an asset.


  • Demonstrated leadership, analytical and organizational skills, including the effective planning and management of multiple projects, able to adjust to changing priorities in a fast
  • paced environment
  • Proven abilities to lead, develop and implement communications strategies that involve a wide variety of stakeholders and audiences
  • Understanding of digital communications, social media, marketing
  • Thorough understanding of communications principles and strategies, proven experience in applying them and achieving results in a complex environment
  • Excellent writing and editing abilities, careful attention to detail and proofreading skills
  • Ability to conceptualize and create content for a variety of channels, including web, video, social media, media, print, etc.
  • Excellent interpersonal and relationship-building skills including tact, diplomacy, professionalism and ethical behavior
  • Ability to deliver projects on time and on budget
  • Experience with, or an understanding of, alumni and donors, Indigenous cultural competency, and fundraising and marketing campaigns would be an asset

Department: University Relations

Status: Term maternity leave replacement of up to 18 months, with the possibility of extension

Employment Group: ASPA

Full Time Equivalent (FTE): 1.0

Salary: The salary range, based on 1.0 FTE, is $64,107.00

  • 100,169.00 per annum. The starting salary will be commensurate with education and experience.

Salary Family (if applicable): Specialist Professional

Salary Phase/Band: Phase 2

Posted Date: 6/3/2021

Closing Date: 6/15/2021

Number of Openings: 1

The University believes equity, diversity, and inclusion strengthen the community and enhance excellence, innovation and creativity. We are dedicated to recruiting individuals who will enrich our work and learning environments. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. We are committed to providing accommodations to those with a disability or medical necessity. If you require an accommodation in order to participate in the recruitment process, please notify us and we will work together on the accommodation request. The University of Saskatchewan's main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis. We pay our respects to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. Together, we are uplifting Indigenization to a place of prominence at the University of Saskatchewan.

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