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Communications Director, Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease


Communications Director, Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease

  • req2567
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23284
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
The Communications Director is responsible for the day-to-day leadership and operations of the communications and marketing activities for the new Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health (SSLI). This position will focus on audience awareness perception, knowledge and understanding of the Institute’s core story, messaging, and brand identity and writing about the research and discovery activities of the SSLI.

Reporting to the SSLI chief operating officer, the communications director will collaborate with SSLI leadership to drive the long-range planning and implementation of SSLI strategic communications.

Position Summary:

This position will deliver high-quality internal, external and executive communications as both a strategic and tactical partner to SSLI leaders and the Institute overall. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to:

Promote and manage the SSLI core story and messaging platform that elevates and differentiates the Institute among its targeted audiences
Act with independence of thought, high energy and the urgency required to be effective in a fast-paced environment.
Develop and implement fully integrated marketing and communications plans.
Manage a small communications team, including but not limited to content, digital and social media, and design.
Adjust to changing priorities and opportunities.
Leverage diversity in functional skills, experience levels and backgrounds for innovation while managing conflicts constructively and maintaining focus on desired deadlines and outcomes.
Speak, write and present information in a timely, proactive, clear, concise and compelling manner.
Develop both long- and short-term strategies and plans for meeting goals while anticipating obstacles.

This position is highly collaborative and will develop and leverage relationships with the School of Medicine chief of staff and communications team, University Relations, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, Medical Philanthropy and VCU Health marketing, to advance communications initiatives.

Supervisory responsibilities (if applicable): Hire, train, manage and evaluate a communications team. Oversee the selection, development, management and evaluation of direct reports.

Core responsibilities for the position will include:

Communications Planning :

Develop and implement the communications plan for the SSLI for both internal and external communications and marketing
Design and implement a yearly editorial calendar for SSLI communications
Work closely with the University Relations, OVPRI, SOM and various research centers to develop and leverage content related to research and scientific news
Work closely with VCU Health Marketing on the promotion of SSLI clinical services and providers to patients and referring providers

Implementation of Communications Tactics :

Manage, develop, and disseminates routine communications (e.g. newsletters, updates, blogs, fact sheets, video, briefing documents, and intranet content)
Build communications channels, including a strong social media presence
Create and customize effective written and oral (i.e. memos and presentations) communication and web (inter and intra) content across internal and external audiences and platforms, i.e. the university, including faculty, staff, and trainees in the SSLI
Work with SOM web and communications team to update and enhance SSLI website
Write a variety of materials to support SSLI communication goals and strategic initiatives
Collaborate with other communicators and units across the health system and university, including but not limited to University Relations, OVPRI, major research centers, health sciences schools and college, Medical Philanthropy and Alumni Relations and VCU Health marketing
Customize messages for various audiences, including current and prospective health care providers, team members, students, faculty, staff, government, civic, corporate, cultural and academic leaders; professional associations.
Produce multimedia content in support of SSLI goals and initiatives
Provide leadership and support for SSLI event communications/marketing and physician and staff recruitment communications

Science Writing :

Elevate the reputation of the SSLI through reporting on scientific advances and new grants
Build new channels for news about the research taking place at the SSLI
Collaborate with other university communications professionals for amplifying research news

Team Management :

Build and supervise a small team of communications professionals for the Institute as the needs evolve.
Complete annual evaluations
Provide continuous constructive feedback and ideas for improvement and/or support to both individuals and teams in a respectful and ethical manner

Additional position requirements: Occasional after-hours and weekend work required.

Minimum Hiring Standards:
  • Results-oriented, decisive, can-do attitude.
  • Excellent planning, writing and verbal skills are critical to the success of this position.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Public Affairs, Mass Communications or related field.
  • 7 years minimum experience as a communications professional with progressive roles
  • Must have a demonstrated commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion in past experiences or a commitment to do so as a staff member at VCU.

Preferred Hiring Standards:
  • Managerial experience preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, superior organizational skills
  • Master’s degree in communications or related field preferred
  • Work in a university, research organization or academic medical center
  • Strong background in science writing
  • 10+ years as a communications professional with progressive roles
  • Science writing capability and experience with adapting content effectively for targeted audiences (scientific, clinical, government policy, patients, and public)

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Medicine is a premier academic medical center located in the heart of Richmond. Accounting for almost half of VCU’s sponsored research, the School of Medicine is internationally recognized for patient care and education. All full-time university staff are eligible for VCU’s generous benefits package that includes: competitive health benefits, paid annual and holiday leave, retirement planning and savings options, tax-deferred annuity and cash match programs, Virginia Retirement System (VRS), professional development & certifications, tuition waiver, parental leave, caregiving leave and community service leave. Learn more about VCU’s benefits here: https://hr.vcu.edu/careers-at-vcu/why-work-at-vcu/

Virginia Commonwealth University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action university providing access to education and employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or disability.

The School of Medicine continuously strives for our workplace and learning environment to reflect the demographic and social milieu of the communities we serve. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

Position will remain open until filled.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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