Faculty Recruiting Support CICS

Assistant Director of Communications & Content Strategy - CICS

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

The Assistant Director of Communications and Content Strategy is responsible for producing compelling and engaging print, website, advertising, video, and social media content to raise the visibility of the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) with internal and external audiences, including prospective and current students, faculty, alumni, donors, and peers in higher education. In cooperation with members of the college's communications and marketing team, this position will be responsible for the complete content lifecycle from story cultivation and prioritization to distribution and metrics reporting, ensuring that all content meets university and college brand standards and aligns with strategic goals.  


Essential Functions

  • Work closely with the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing to develop, implement, and manage a content and messaging strategy for the College of Information and Computer Sciences. 
  • Generate ideas for communications that engage external and internal constituents and effectively promote the college. Assign research and writing projects, and proofread, edit, and approve content before it is presented to the public.
  • Supervise the college's Communications Manager, as well a team of student communications assistants. Coordinate with printers, freelance writers, designers, and other vendors. 
  • Coordinate a comprehensive and decentralized content management strategy for content featured on the college website including managing and uploading material for the main webpage. 
  • Direct the college's complete social media presence. Ensure that all posts on social media are engaging and accurate. Maintain a deep knowledge of current and evolving social media platforms, trends, and best practices. Monitor the reach and response of posts to ensure we are reaching our social media strategic goals.
  • Collaborate with the university's Office of News & Media Relations to develop media strategies and pitches for high-profile stories. Maintain lists of faculty media experts and targeted media outlets.
  • Create content calendars to maximize and leverage content in every area, to every audience including developing and prioritizing content for web, video, social, print collateral, email blasts, e-newsletter, and other vehicles. Maintain an electronic archive of text, photo, and video content. 
  • Provide insight regarding best practices and content strategies for groups within CICS including the offices of career development, diversity and inclusion, and student advising.
  • Continually improve content using key communications metrics (e.g., media mentions, social media engagement, email open/click-through rates); generate periodic reports on metrics for presentation to college leadership. 
  • Assist in redesign of the College of Information and Computer Sciences website (cics.umass.edu) to improve audience engagement. 


Other Functions

  • Perform related duties as assigned or required to meet department, college, or university goals and objectives.
  • Understand responsibilities with respect to conflicts of interest and behave in ways consistent both with law and with university policy.
  • Contribute toward creating a positive and respectful workplace defined by personal and professional competence, integrity, and collaboration.
  • Understand and contribute to implementation of departmental and institutional goals for achieving non-discrimination and creating a respectful, inclusive environment that is supportive of diversity.
  • Use access to sensitive and/or not yet public university related information only in the performance of the responsibilities of position and exercise care to prevent unnecessary disclosure to others.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Communication, Marketing, Public Relations, Creative Writing, Computer Science, Information Science, or a related field and 4 years of relevant work experience in communications, advertising, or public relations.  A Master's degree in Journalism, Communication, Marketing, Public Relations,Creative Writing, Computer Science, Information Science, or a related field may be substituted for two years of the required experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to write grammatically correct content for publishing, construct compelling promotional copy,  and translate complex technical information for non-experts.  
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact effectively, and create and maintain harmonious relationships with a diverse population of staff, faculty, students, and off-campus constituents. Ability and willingness to work empathetically with a diverse student population and contribute to their success.
  • Independent initiative. Must have the ability to stay on task and work productively with a minimum amount of supervision or guidance. Willingness to take on a variety of tasks related to the successful operation of the communications team. Ability to adapt and work effectively as the college grows.
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills; ability to lead individuals and provide feedback to team members.
  • Excellent project management and facilitation skills with high-level attention to detail. Ability to work on many projects simultaneously, and to set and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and maintain confidentiality. The ability to think through problems, organize and seek out data/information, identify key factors and underlying causes, and generate solutions.
  • Strong computer skills including at least intermediate expertise with:
    • Email
    • Calendar systems such as iCal, Outlook, or Google
    • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs
    • Spreadsheets such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets
    • Understanding of various publishing and distribution platforms and channels (i.e., email marketing, social media, magazine publishing, video, etc.); strong working knowledge of at least one content management platform (e.g., Drupal).
  • A commitment to strong client/customer service is essential.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Higher education experience.
  • Media relations experience.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Typical office environment activity.


Work Schedule

Monday-Friday 8:30 am-5:00 pm.


Salary Information

Level 26 

PSU Salary Ranges


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and the contact information for 3 professional references.

Please apply by December 25, 2019 to ensure consideration.

To apply, follow this link:



UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.