The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) seeks a Director of Communications (DC). Reporting to the Director of the museum, this senior management position ensures a dynamic public image for the museum and compelling communication of the museum’s programs and its identity, which are driven by its mission. Exercising strong strategic and tactical leadership, the DC envisions and prioritizes a broad range of communications and marketing efforts. The DC is responsible for the museum’s media relations; outreach at the local, regional, national, and international level; and development of an array of print and digital promotions for diverse audiences. The DC represents the museum to its various publics, in the normal course and in case of controversy or crisis.
The DC works in close collaboration with the museum’s Director, senior management team, and curatorial and education/engagement teams. The DC supervises museum communications staff and student interns, and hires and supervises project consultants as needed. The DC also serves as the museum’s primary partner to Williams College’s office of communications, and primary liaison to the region’s other museums and cultural and civic organizations.
The DC is part of a remarkable museum and college environment. WCMA makes dynamic art experiences to inspire new thinking about art, museums, and the world—and it does so from within the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts college. A vibrant center for the arts at Williams College, the Museum embodies the liberal arts’ ability to catalyze both creative and critical thinking. It is a vital hub for deep student learning and participation; for taking risks and testing creative, future forms of scholarship and teaching; and for boldly affirming the relevance of the history of art and the arts broadly. Visit our website: http://wcma.williams.edu.
Williams College is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty and staff. Working with the senior leadership team, the DC is a key partner in developing a genuinely inclusive museum. The DC leads communications efforts that invite broad participation in WCMA, including full access to the museum’s art and other offerings, and that give a robust, widely-disseminated account of WCMA’s commitment to diversity.
Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation and religion. Applicants should highlight relevant experience with building, working with, and supporting a broadly diverse employee community.
Key responsibilities of the DC:
- Envisions, designs, and implements the strategic plan for museum communications. The plan will: embrace traditional and less traditional forms of communication alike (the DC initiates and oversees film/video projects and develops a vision for the museum’s web and social media presence); ensure impact within available resources (the strategic use of paid advertising is a prime example); calibrate the right mix of institutional promotion versus program-specific promotion; etc.
- Carefully shapes a compelling message that can be voiced by the Director and full staff, by ambassadors of the museum (e.g., the Visiting Committee and museum alumni), and by colleagues across the college.
- Develops the style, format, and tone of written, visual, and spoken museum communications.
- Develops, manages, and adheres to WCMA’s communications and public relations budgets.
- Supports the curatorial and education/engagement teams and stays abreast of their projects. Develops a mutually supportive working relationship with the staff on those teams: the DC recognizes that promotion in high-profile and other media outlets is crucial for the success of projects and even careers; and the staff recognize that their assistance in the DC’s promotional efforts, and understanding of practical considerations, is likewise crucial.
- Writes, designs, and produces content; serves as project manager; oversees the museum’s web and social media presence; fields press inquiries; and ensures timely dissemination of information to the full range of museum stakeholders.
- Partners seamlessly with the college: promotes the college’s message and interests (e.g., in continued excellent community relations); as requested, gives strategic, practical, and discreet assistance to the college’s office of communications; and liaises with college counsel on contractual arrangements and matters of intellectual property.
- As the primary liaison to the area’s other museums and cultural and civic organizations, which are close-knit, the DC represents WCMA’s interests while being a team player. The DC participates actively and collegially in the collective effort to promote arts tourism in a region that is already extraordinarily vibrant culturally yet has the potential to become even more of a year-round cultural destination.
- Serves the field by advising other academic museums and colleagues on communications strategy and approach.
- Plays a key role in the museum’s emergency preparedness including 24/7 responsiveness for emergency communications.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Art History, English, Journalism, Communications, or a related field.
- 8-10 years of experience in communications, public relations, or marketing; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Excellent writing and editing skills (in print and electronic media alike). Ability to communicate in a poised, knowledgeable, and diplomatic manner for multiple audiences
- Acute visual sensibility and a practical understanding of image-driven graphic design. Ability to provide clear art direction to designers for print, web, email and social. Attention to detail.
- Public relations/communications/marketing abilities developed and proven in a museum or other cultural non-profit organization, preferably in a college or university setting. Strong interest in the visual arts and museums.
- A working knowledge of software for business (G Suite and Microsoft Office), design (Adobe Creative Cloud, including Photoshop and InDesign), and web technology (HTML, WordPress, Google Analytics, MailChimp, social media management). Photography and/or videography experience a plus.
- Experience managing staff, interns, and project contracts.
- Other key abilities: is self-directed; has excellent judgment and regularly and successfully exercises discretion; is adept at multi-tasking; and is accustomed to and works well under deadline.
- Flexibility to represent the museum and monitor its digital presence during non-work days and hours.
For optimal consideration, please submit resume materials by May 10, 2019; review of resumes will continue until position is filled. Job Group
Employment at Williams is contingent on the verification of background information submitted by the applicant, including the completion of a criminal record check, and education when applicable.
Beyond meeting fully its legal obligations for non-discrimination, Williams College is committed to building a diverse and inclusive community where members from all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive.
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