NORC at the University of Chicago is one of the nation’s foremost independent, objective, non-partisan research institutions that has provided critical insights, data, and analysis on the most important topics facing society for over 80 years. As it looks to the future, the organization understands that the power and reach of its digital content will be indispensable to the organization’s ongoing success by helping to ensure its research informs crucial conversations and reaches the decision-makers, communities, and families who can most benefit from our work.
Reporting to the Vice President of Strategic Communications and External Affairs, NORC’s Digital Director will lead, design, and create the future of NORC’s digital engagement content, platforms, and processes. The role will develop, execute, manage, and measure the necessary digital strategies, programs, and activities required to support success in three primary areas: 1) NORC’s main website and its affiliated web properties; 2) NORC’s overall social media presence; 3) Digital strategy and delivery consultation to colleagues across NORC as needed. This is a leadership role that will require a high degree of independence as well as cross-functional coordination capacity for working across the organization with many stakeholders, including C-level colleagues. In addition, the role requires strategic acumen, supervisory and mentoring experience, as well as comfort with project management and hands-on tasks, and is responsible for managing digital communications working with staff, vendors, and partners.
COMMUNICATIONS AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Strategic Communications and External Affairs supports the entire NORC organization with expertise in corporate communications and creative services, external affairs, internal communications, and select project-level communications.
Our digital work primarily supports the promotion of NORC’s research and people to the public: we work with members of the media to publicize our research projects and our expertise; we support external events where NORC experts present or speak; we maintain the external NORC website, www.norc.org; we support client projects that need digital communications expertise, and we manage NORC’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter.
The role of Digital Director will:
- Oversee NORC’s organizational websites and affiliated web properties, developing communications strategies and plans to ensure that they are up to date, of the highest quality, user-friendly, and optimized for maximum impact and influence.
- Lead NORC’s digital team, including staff in communications, a network of embedded departmental web leads, and the vendors and freelancers who help NORC meet its digital communications goals.
- Collaborate with Communications and IT colleagues to enhance the institution’s overall brand through strategic, valuable content. Coordinate with external affairs and content teams in promoting NORC’s thought leaders and research dissemination strategies.
- Use analytics and data to tune and optimize usage, design, and architecture across NORC’s key platforms. Analytics will be used to set goals for reach, growth, and engagement for the organization and will be measured and shared regularly.
- Lead social media and online market outreach to develop and grow engaged communities and conversations that build support for and awareness of NORC’s initiatives, experts, and research.
- Partner with NORC’s Digital Outreach and Strategy Research Program Area (PA) to both provide support and to engage PA resources in corporate work as needed.
- Supervise and mentor NORC’s digital communications associate.
- Lead, coach, and mentor colleagues as appropriate on best practices for websites, social media, newsletters, and email marketing by establishing appropriate materials, training, resources, and peer outreach in collaboration with key comms colleagues.
- Provide direct support and strategy to research teams who are delivering digital communications services to clients.
- Advise management and research leads on digital publishing and promotion plans to support targeted online outreach and digital engagement best practices.
- Work with IT and Communications to identify and implement optimized infrastructure and tools for supporting a broad range of digital engagement goals.
- Develop digital partnerships with affiliated organizations, particularly top-tier research organizations, academic institutions, media outlets, and research partners to leverage the reach of others in promoting NORC and its work.
- Champion digital accessibility and its implementation across digital spheres including social media, web, and internal communications.
- Stay abreast of emerging innovations in implementing social media programs and measuring social media impact inclusive of paid, owned, and earned exposure.
Guide the organization into the future by continually improving its digital ecosystem and reputation as a best-in-class digital leader in creating and promoting engaging digital experiences.
|EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:
- From a strategic standpoint, the candidate must possess a strong understanding of what makes a powerful narrative and how it is best delivered across audiences leveraging digital platforms, i.e., how to tell a story using words, images, or audio and an understanding of how to create content that engages an audience in different digital environments and formats.
- The candidate should be experienced in identifying and telling compelling stories across digital channels and media outlets and identifying and leveraging platforms and methods for distributing and amplifying messages.
- The ideal candidate should possess an extensive background in digital marketing and/or digital communications. The successful candidate will be a seasoned professional with demonstrated success holding progressively responsible positions in marketing and communications with a focus on creating compelling brand experiences, messaging, and deep digital engagement.
- Experience with social media and digital ad platforms including but not limited to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Google Ads.
- Bachelor’s degree (Master’s preferred) in related field such as marketing, journalism, communications, or related field.
- 10 years related digital engagement/marketing experience in B2C or B2B or nonprofit brands; previous experience working with a premium positioned brand as well as understanding of tactics that can both build and potentially erode brand trust highly desired.
- High-degree of knowledge and comfort with Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) and Adobe analytics.
- Experience in the research industry or a large non-profit setting is desirable though not required.
Candidates with diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and non-traditional career pathways are highly valued and strongly encouraged to apply.
- Strategic Communications Planning and Counsel: Strong experience using data and analytics to develop, execute, and measure the effectiveness of integrated digital communication plans that move key stakeholders from awareness to engagement. Experience providing strategic communication counsel, including ability to actively listen and positively influence stakeholders, business leaders, external partners, and vendors.
- Reputation and Brand Management: Demonstrated understanding of reputation and brand management and confidence in recommending, developing, and incorporating strategies that will protect and build the brand’s reputation with multiple stakeholders.
- Strong Communications Skills and Knowledge: Extensive understanding of stakeholders and audiences and how to communicate effectively and with influence through written, multimedia, digital, and in-person communications. Expertise in leading-edge digital communication theories, techniques, or technologies. Excellent verbal and written communications ability required.
- Business Acumen: Knowledge of the research industry highly desired, including dissemination and outreach experience related to research content. In-depth and/or breadth of expertise in own communications discipline and broad knowledge of other communications disciplines, including design and editorial, necessary.
- Critical Thinking and Change Agility: Analytical thinking, problem-solving capabilities, including the ability to help identify the root causes and key obstacles behind issues or needs, consider stakeholder reactions, and offer communication solutions. Effectively support self and others through change, demonstrating flexibility and confidence amid ambiguity and challenge.
- Team Player and Lifelong Learning: NORC is an extremely collaborative and collegial environment, and we value a wide range of inputs and perspectives when developing and implementing ideas. The successful candidate will work effectively with many different people, departments, and leaders. They will also value continual learning and be excited about teaching and learning from others in the organization at all levels.
- Project Management: Proficient in creating and managing work plans to organize projects into tasks, sequencing activities for maximum efficiency, estimating and managing time and budget required to complete tasks. Identify issues and adapt plan as needed while remaining committed to project deadlines and timelines. Experience leading/co-leading project teams.
- Team Management: Experienced at leading and growing professional communications teams, including attracting, onboarding, and growing talent. NORC takes special pride in its ability to work with its staff to create an environment that values personal growth and career opportunity. Expertise and proven track record of integrating internal and external resources toward common goals and shared success needed.
|WHAT WE DO:
NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.
|WHO WE ARE:
For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.
NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.