Specialist, Content Strategy
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON
Overview

The Specialist, Content Strategy is responsible for the development and implementation of day-to-day editorial planning and content strategy for Marketing and Undergraduate Recruitment (MUR) communications in order to achieve the departmental goals.

Trusted to develop and maintain productive working relationships with all faculties, departments, schools, and units (FDSU) at University of Waterloo in order to collaboratively plan content and strategically deploy multi-platform communications plans that provide just-in-time information to future students and their key influencers at each stage of the decision-making process, according to the Enrolment Management Funnel.

Accountable for planning, evaluating, and reporting on the impact of marketing and communication initiatives, including but not limited to; print, web, email and social communication campaigns. All of which are designed to inspire and engage prospective undergraduate students and their key influencers, on and off campus, each having a substantial and coordinated impact on the successful achievement of enrolment management and revenue objectives.

Directing the content plan with the support of a highly capable team of marketing and communication professionals, while seeking to align with institutional priorities, industry best practices, and audience preferences.

Reporting to the Manager, Marketing and Communication Strategy, and in collaboration with colleagues in the Registrar’s Office, Marketing & Undergraduate Recruitment and campus partners, plays a major role in shaping undergraduate recruitment initiatives that effectively build on the University’s global brand reputation.

Responsibilities

Engineering and optimizing content to achieve departmental goals

Manages the execution of MUR’s multi-channel content strategy communication across a variety of platforms for domestic and international audiences, in order to ensure timely messaging, implementation of best practices, and coordination of efforts across the team
Directs the day-to-day communications and editorial calendar for MUR, identifying and delegating new opportunities as they arise. Maps content to the Enrolment Management Funnel and makes data-driven decisions and adjustments to the evolving content marketing strategy
Identifies opportunities to diversify message deployment across print, digital, email, and social media, and facilitates a content-centric culture among MUR Marketing and Communications team
Partners with MUR colleagues to conducts research, interviews, writes, edits and fact-checks a variety of communications materials in support of the overarching MUR marketing and communications plan
Works with the Specialist, Marketing Insights, to establish research objectives and create data analysis solutions to inform decision-making, strategy development, messaging, and budget spend; to determine the optimal methods of evaluating the effectiveness of the strategies for which s/he is responsible; and to ascertain and recommend the most effective enhancements
Applies an extremely high standard with respect to grammar, punctuation, and language usage, and for ensuring that all printed materials safeguard the outstanding Waterloo reputation and position the university as an innovative, high-quality academic institution

Collaborates, advises, and consults

Works closely with MUR/RO and FDSUs to ensure messaging is cohesive, consistent, and well timed, and shares knowledge so all team members can incorporate new information into initiatives
Advises the Manager, Marketing and Communications Strategy, and other MUR team members with respect to new or evolving marketing strategies for recruitment and admissions
Interacts with the MUR/RO and FDSUs, with respect to scheduling campaigns and contributing to a holistic campus content plan
Interacts with FDSU marketing and undergraduate recruitment professionals to share best practices, research, and seek opportunities to integrate communications efforts
Coordinates editorial calendar with the Manager, Marketing and Campus Engagement, to avoid duplication of effort and audience fatigue and ensure the integration and consistency of messaging of marketing materials across FDSU
Advises Creative Services on the MUR brand and voice within recruitment materials, and facilitates negotiations related to production schedules, vendors, and budget
With recognition and understanding of the disparate priorities of on-campus partners, proactively establishes and fosters collaborative relationships with the FDSUs; in order to build consensus, and to co-ordinate the alignment of recruitment activities so that the needs of other areas are balanced with the effective marketing of the university as a whole
Represent MUR/RO at university-wide meetings, proactively providing expertise and insight with respect to recruitment and marketing issues, and advocating on behalf of the prospective undergraduate audience

Understands and applies current, relevant market research and institutional knowledge

Maintains a clear understanding of generational characteristics and the needs of prospective students and influencers at every stage of the enrolment management funnel to enhance the content strategies
Strategically reviews scholarly research to discern content of interest to MUR target audience. Evaluates research discoveries to determine the most strategic and engaging approach to creating multimedia content that will be used across the University’s communications channels
Conducts environmental scans to identify new approaches and assess new technologies to deliver content in new and innovative ways
Keeps fully informed and knowledgeable about all aspects of programs, admissions, student life, visual identity and branding, success after graduation, and other issues related to undergraduate prospective students, applicants, and admitted students, including all relevant research, communications, recruitment initiatives, current departmental and campus-wide initiatives, and how any changes impact the strategies for which s/he is responsible
Works with the Specialist, Marketing Insights to conduct competitor audits, communication audits, and gap analyses in order to identify opportunities for new or amended engagement with the target audience
Works with the Specialist, Marketing Insights to provide audience expertise to a variety of campus departments

Manages, motivates, and mentors staff

Trains campus partners on the prospective student voice, storytelling, and alternate story-telling forms
Manage students who develop organic content for prospective students
Provide day-to-day guidance to peers in regards content creation and management
Hires, supervises, mentors, and evaluates co-op and work term students who work on communications and interactive projects, including the management of interview committees, the selection of outstanding candidates, salary negotiations, and any disciplinary action necessary
Creates and maintains a work environment that fosters, recognizes, and rewards supportive mentorship, professional quality, respectful communication, creativity, positive energy, and synergy

Project manages work flow and business practices

Monitors, reviews, and oversees internal communication practices to ensure that processes are effective, and proactively recommends new opportunities to build greater efficiencies across the department and campus partners
Ensures that appropriate metrics are defined, monitored, reported, analyzed, refined, and examined for communication and marketing activities as a basis for strategy development
Applies MUR project management best practices and tools to accurately document all components of each campaign strategy for which s/he is responsible, and contributes appropriate updates to the overall MUR strategic plan
Manages the department’s editorial calendar to ensure transparency and strategic messaging
Collaborates with the Specialists, Design & Visualization and Specialist, Content Production to develop and maintain consistent documentation and recording methods across all communications projects

Other

Participate in MUR recruitment events and in the administration of specific RO department-wide responsibilities, including other general and specific duties as may from time to time be determined
Qualifications
University degree in business, communications, advertising, marketing, media studies, or equivalent combination of education and experience
4+ years of experience in marketing and communications, specifically the areas of content marketing
3+ years of experience in writing/editing and technology platforms for social media, web, video and email campaigns
3+ years of experience in project management
Experience planning and driving thought leadership and event marketing programs from inception to activation
Proven ability, extensive experience, and strong working knowledge and understanding of integrated communications strategies within a highly complex institution and competitive marketplace
Skill in promotional writing with a specialty in student audiences, including knowledge of the use of research to acquire an understanding of their styles, approaches, and preferences
Knowledge of new and emerging digital communications platforms and how they can be integrated across multiple marketing channels including traditional activities
An eye for effective design, graphic balance, and the impact of layout and messaging in communication materials
Excellent written and verbal communications skills, with a solid knowledge of both English grammar and the specialized requirements associated with writing for the web and other digital media
Ability to build consensus, foster teamwork among a variety of stakeholders, and lead integrated project teams
Strong organizational skills coupled with the ability to handle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and excel in a fast-paced environment characterized by changing priorities
Demonstrated ability to thrive in and contribute to an integrated and collaborative team environment and to apply a positive team approach to working with colleagues
Knowledge of Waterloo’s Content Management System (e.g., Drupal and AODA)
Knowledge of student recruitment marketing and enrolment management principles, as defined by industry enrolment management experts such as Noel Levitz; the university brand; and the significant forces that influence Waterloo’s quest for high-quality undergraduate students
Clear understanding of the influencers of the university’s primary prospective student audience (parents, teachers, guidance counsellors, friends) and of the most effective methods of communicating with those influencers

Intermediate to advanced use of the following tools:
Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat) // Hootsuite Enterprise
Project Management Software (Smartsheet)
Blast email software (e.g., MailChimp)
SEO (moz.pro)
Customer Relationship/Engagement Management Systems
Slack // Mattermost
Apple Pages // Microsoft Word
Apple Numbers // Microsoft Excel
Apple Keynote // Microsoft PowerPoint
Role may involve intermittent work outside the normal operating hours of the institution and occasional travel