Associate Director of Communications – Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

Job Summary                                                 

Ensure a dynamic public image for the Smith College Museum of Art and compelling communication of the museum’s programs and its identity, which are driven by SCMA’s mission to connect people to art, ideas and each other. Exercising strategic and tactical leadership, envision and prioritize a broad range of communications and marketing efforts. Responsible for the museum’s media relations; outreach at the local, regional, national, and international level; and development of an array of digital and print promotions for diverse audiences. Represent the museum to its various publics, in the normal course of business and in case of urgent issues or communications needs.

A member of SCMA’s senior leadership team, work in close collaboration with the museum’s Director and curatorial and audience engagement teams, including education, membership, visitor experience and the museum shop. Supervise museum communications staff and student interns, and hire and supervise project consultants as needed. Serve as the museum’s primary partner to College Relations and liaison to the region’s other museums and cultural and civic organizations, including the Museums10 consortium.

SCMA supports Smith College’s commitment to building a just and inclusive campus community founded in respect and trust by fostering an environment that elevates and amplifies diverse perspectives and voices. Work with museum staff and leadership to foster a culture of openness, nimbleness and curiosity and to support SCMA in critical conversations about advancing diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion (DEAI). Lead communications efforts that invite broad participation in SCMA, including full access to the museum’s art and other offerings, and that give a robust, widely-disseminated account of SCMA’s DEAI commitments.

All College staff are expected to take appropriate actions to support a diverse workforce and participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.    

Essential Functions        

Envision, design and implement the strategic plan for museum communications, including top-performing web and social media strategies. The plan will ensure impact within available resources and will balance institutional promotion with program-specific promotion.

Supervise, support and collaborate with the Communications coordinator, developing department strategy and priorities.  Effectively delegate work and manage projects within the department, including hiring, training and mentoring student interns.

Carefully shape a compelling message that can be voiced by the Director and full staff, by ambassadors of the museum (e.g., the Museum Visiting Committee) and by colleagues across the college.

Oversee consistent internal and external implementation of SCMA brand and graphic identity.

Develop the style, format and tone of written, visual and spoken public-facing museum communications. Provide guidance on strategic internal communications.

Develop, manage and adhere to SCMA’s communications and marketing budget.

Support the curatorial and audience engagement teams and stay abreast of their projects.

Develop a mutually supportive working relationship with museum colleagues.

Develop content and coordinate its design and production; serve as project manager; oversee the museum’s web and social media presence; manage all public relations including writing and distributing media releases, fielding press inquiries and ensuring timely dissemination of information to the full range of museum stakeholders.

Support alumnae engagement through tailored communication strategies, coordinated with colleagues in museum membership, College relations, development and alumnae relations.

Coordinate documentation of museum programs.

Serve as managing editor for SCHEMA, the museum’s annual report.

Other Functions       

Partner seamlessly with the college: promotes the college’s message and interests; coordinates communications with College Relations and, as requested, provides strategic and practical assistance.

Serve as liaison to the area’s other museums and cultural and civic organizations, representing SCMA’s interests while identifying opportunities for coordination and collaboration around promoting the region’s attractions.

Play a key role in the museum’s emergency preparedness including 24/7 responsiveness for emergency communications.

All employees are expected to participate in the College’s efforts to create a respectful, inclusive, and welcoming work environment.

Minimum Qualifications (knowledge, skills, education, experience, certifications, licenses)         

Bachelor’s degree required, in Communications, Journalism, Art History, English, or a related field.

Minimum of 8 years of professional experience that demonstrates progressive responsibilities and significant hands-on marketing and communications experience or an equivalent combination of education/experience.

Experience working with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Preferred Qualifications      

Master’s Degree a plus.

Demonstrated supervisory experience and a proven track record of supporting and developing staff.

Experience in marketing and communications for visitor/customer focused organizations in arts or culture is preferred; experience in higher education is a plus.


Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.

Understanding of diversity, equity, social justice, accessibility, and inclusion issues as well as a commitment to working across differences.

Broad marketing experience, including: website tracking and metrics; social media; public relations; advertising; videography and photography; email marketing and communications; CRM database; mobile engagement platforms; E-commerce, including website optimization, email acquisition strategies, and customer conversion.

Acute visual sensibility and a practical understanding of image-driven graphic design. Ability to provide clear art direction to designers and fabricators for print and digital publications. Attention to detail.

Demonstrated brand development experience in both voice and graphic application across print and digital publications; proven ability to manage the brand across all communications.

Skilled at effectively leading a department within a compact and nimble organization, responsible for both high level strategy and logistical implementation.

Experience managing staff, interns, and project contracts.

Experience developing and managing complex budgets.

Other key abilities: is self-directed; has excellent judgement and exercises discretion; is adept at multi-tasking; and works well under deadline.         

Additional Information             

For the care and safety of our community, Smith College requires that all employees be vaccinated as a condition of employment and as such, the incumbent will be required to be immunized against COVID-19 on or before their first day of employment. Proof of vaccination status will be required. Individuals may seek medical or religious exemption with HR, but must do so prior to their arrival.     

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