Primary Purpose of Position
The Director Agricultural Communications is the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES) top communication leader, responsible for the development of communication strategies and initiatives to enhance the visibility and reputation of CAES locally, nationally and internationally. The Director is a creative and innovative professional who will lead the College communication unit and work in collaboration with all CAES units, specifically Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Research, to design, plan, implement and lead internal, external and executive communications. The Agricultural Communications Director is expected to:
1. Develop visionary communication strategies to promote CAES using creative print and digital communications to increase the college’s visibility and enhance brand recognition,
2. Build internal and external relationships and inform/engage external stakeholders to increase the College’s visibility and advance its mission.
3. Identify, analyze and develop strategies to ensure the right messages are communicated to the right audiences, both internally and externally,
4. Work closely with the University Relations to ensure full coordination and alignment of CAES messaging and branding with the university requirements,
5. Continuously engage diverse audiences and stakeholders through creation, editing, and coordination of a broad range of communication materials including, traditional media coverage, social media posts, website content, e-newsletter, videos, and printed publications, and promotional events,
6. Assist CAES units with internal communication and communication training and awareness to ensure relevant stories and impacts are communicated effectively and in a timely manner,
7. Contribute to planning, promotion and coverage of all college events and draft relevant press releases,
8. Maintain a comprehensive editorial calendar for CAES’s communication needs and work with staff and contractors to ensure timely execution of planned projects and activities.
9. Provide effective leadership for the Ag Communication Unit, which includes seven staff members,
10. Deliver quality work under the pressure of competing deadlines and priorities while maintaining a collaborative spirit with the Ag communications team and CAES units.
11. As necessary, identify and collaborate with external vendors to develop communications deliverables including videos, educational curricula, and other publications
Primary Function of Organizational Unit
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T) is the nation’s largest and top-ranked HBCU and the second oldest institution in America created under the 1890 Morrill Act. NCA&T produces more African-American graduates in Agriculture at the bachelor’s level than any university in America, and the third-most at the master’s level. The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences is the leader among colleges at A&T in sponsored research, and A&T ranks third in the 17-campus UNC System in research productivity. With more than 1,000 students, CAES is the nation’s largest agricultural college at an HBCU. A&T’s Cooperative Extension has representation in nearly half of the 100 counties in NC, providing a strong connection to the small farms and family farms that are A&T’s primary focus in serving agricultural interests around the state. CAES has a rich history of innovation and application of cutting-edge technology across its four academic departments: Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education; Department of Animal Sciences; Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; and Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design. Within these departments, students are offered a myriad of opportunities for classroom learning, research and field work. In addition, the college’s research and experiential learning are strengthened by non-academic units, including the university’s 500-acre farm with its soon to be completed $15-million agricultural complex, and the center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at the North Carolina Research campus in Kannapolis, NC. Through its Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension Programs, CAES conducts research on issues of national importance and provide research-based extension training and services to citizens, communities and industry partners across the state of North Carolina.
Master’s degree in a relevant field and four (4) years of progressively responsible relevant experience, which includes three (3) years or more of managerial experience, or an equivalent combination of education an experience (i.e., Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and six (6) years of related experience). The successful candidate must show evidence of demonstrated experience in developing comprehensive communications plans; experience which demonstrates excellence in producing communications materials; demonstrated experience in public relations, media relations, crisis management, traditional media, and emerging/social media/digital marketing.
Preferred Years Experience, Skills, Training, Education
- Advanced degree in mass communications, agricultural communications, journalism, marketing or a closely related field.
- Experience with or working in higher education, especially Cooperative Extension.
- Knowledge of social media and web-based analytics and their use in content planning, reach and impact assessment.
- Background in media and/or public information industries.
- Experience as a spokesperson or media director for a large organization.
- Knowledge of issues affecting higher education.