Communications Associate

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, East Bank Campus
The starting salary range for this position is $50,000-$55,000 with comprehensive benefits.
Dec 28, 2021
Jan 18, 2022
Job Opening ID: 345243
Job Type
Employment Status
Full Time

We are looking for a new teammate like you if you are:

  • An enthusiastic storyteller and media consumer,
  • An honest and positive teammate excited to contribute in a variety of ways to a successful and supportive team,
  • A creative thinker, willing to innovate, experiment, and try new things,
  • Eager to be part of an organization that improves the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world, today and into the future,
  • Seeking experiences with leaders and experts at all levels of a large, diverse and mission-driven organization.

The communications team at the University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is seeking a Communications Associate, reporting to our Director of Communications.

Our ideal candidate will:

  • Collaborate successfully across units and departments within the University of Minnesota.
  • Utilize strong organizational skills, and an ability to juggle multiple tasks in a professional manner;
  • Learn and lead as a member of our team, including developing approaches to enhance strategic public relations efforts, responsiveness, and efficiency.
  • Employ curiosity, personal initiative, and problem-solving skills to translate complex research topics into everyday language for general audiences.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The Communications Associate is an integral part of a small, multi-skilled, communications team that provides communications, marketing, and public relations services for OVPR leadership and administrative/business units. This person will assist with developing and implementing communications strategies, in partnership with multiple other University units and departments, as well as external companies. The associate:

  • Writes, edits, and/or coordinates the production of content for website, news releases, speeches, newsletters,  mass email, marketing collateral, and other outlets to highlight the impact of University of Minnesota research, technology transfer, and corporate engagement efforts. Reviews materials for grammatical and stylistic accuracy, message consistency, and clarity of presentation. Collaborates with team members to establish editorial calendars and pitch story ideas. Seeks out and identifies relevant, systemwide UMN research stories to feature via OVPR channels.
  • Manages OVPR social media accounts that highlight and amplify University research stories and messaging.
  • Assists website project manager in updating web content for OVPR units using the Drupal content management system.
  • Works with University Relations Public Relations and college/campus communications professionals to develop successful media pitches that amplify University of Minnesota research stories and messaging.
  • Undertakes related support activities, such as recording media placements, tracking metrics, maintaining project status reports, handling information requests, and other tasks as assigned.

Work Environment
This team is currently working in a hybrid mode (flexibility to work partly from home and partly on campus). The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and OVPR Communications endorses a “work with flexibility” approach, and the Communications Associate position is eligible for a range of options from fully on-campus to fully remote (with required attendance for some on-site events). OVPR Communications management retains the right to modify flexible work arrangement agreements on a temporary or permanent basis for any reason at any time.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Marketing, or other writing or communications-intensive field with two years of experience or a combination of related education and work experience to equal at least six years
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including proofing and editing, sound news judgment, and an entrepreneurial attitude
  • Demonstrated commitment to critical communications skills, including flexibility/adaptability, active listening, an ability to understand and incorporate other perspectives, etc.
  • The ability to help develop and execute communications strategies, prioritize work, and follow through and work independently under deadlines
  • Demonstrated success communicating (or working) sensitively and effectively across cultures, including historically marginalized/underrepresented communities
  • Proven understanding of how stories may be strategically amplified through social media and other communications channels

Preferred Qualifications

Any of these qualifications will help our team:

  • Knowledge of Drupal content management system
  • Knowledge of AP style or other style guides
  • Experience working across units at the University or other large complex organizations
  • Experience developing successful pitches for earned media
  • Proficiency with these apps: Microsoft Office and Google Suite; Adobe Photoshop,  Illustrator, and Lightroom; Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Mailchimp; Social Studio and Tweetdeck
  • Project management experience
  • Photography experience

Applications will be reviewed beginning January 18, 2022, and accepted until the position is filled. Applications should be made electronically through the University of Minnesota's Career website at (job ID 345243).


If you have difficulty negotiating the electronic application process or to request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.

OVPR Communications is dedicated to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Diverse teams, perspectives, and backgrounds are necessary to create a strong and creative team that communicates effectively to the University’s many communities, on campus and beyond. The University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Black, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQIA+, women, veterans, and members of historically underrepresented communities are highly encouraged to apply.

The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Similar jobs

Similar jobs