Director of Marketing and Communications

Winchester Thurston School

http://www.winchesterthurston.org

Website Winchester Thurston School

Winchester Thurston is a PreK - 12 independent school.

Established in 1887, Winchester Thurston School (WT) is an independent, Junior Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, coeducational college preparatory day school in Pittsburgh, PA, serving 650+ students.

At WT, we define success not only by our high academic standards, but also by our commitment to an engaging learning experience that allows students to explore their passions, expand their knowledge, and develop their skills. WT has been a beacon of progressive education in Pittsburgh and has led the way in educational innovation, rigorous academics, and a learning environment that better prepares students for the challenges of a rapidly changing, complex world – and admission to the most selective colleges in the nation. Students are recognized and appreciated for their academic achievement, strong character, creativity, and willingness to try new things.

WT’s nationally recognized City as Our Campus is an important element of the WT experience and provides opportunities for experiential learning across all divisions and departments. As an extension of our core academic program, City as Our Campus provides meaningful, authentic experiences that engage a diversity of community members, utilize various locations in our city as learning environments, and study real-world problems as a way of enhancing student learning and preparing them to be informed and engaged citizens.

Position Summary

WT seeks an experienced and dynamic Director of Marketing and Communications who will be responsible for the overall development and implementation of the communications plan and marketing strategy as well as public relations to advance the school in accordance with its Mission, its strategic priorities, and its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. This is a full-time, 12-month administrative position, with a comprehensive benefits package and a competitive salary based on experience.

Mission

Winchester Thurston School actively engages each student in a challenging and inspiring learning process that develops the mind, motivates the passion to achieve, and cultivates the character to serve.

Philosophy of Teaching and Learning

The Philosophy of Teaching and Learning is our Mission in practice. At Winchester Thurston School, we offer an equitable and inclusive learning experience that is grounded in our credo to “Think also of the comfort and the rights of others” and is guided by our commitments to:

  • Learn Passionately: We empower all individuals to drive their own learning through a relevant and immersive experience.
  • Foster Community: We embrace strong relationships as a critical component for powerful learning.
  • Embrace Diversity: We enable individuals to understand their own identity while honoring multiple perspectives.
  • Break Boundaries: We support deep learning that happens across disciplines and in non-traditional settings.
  • Create Change: We nurture learners to be engaged citizens who challenge inequities, address real problems, and make an impact in our school and our city.

Equity and Inclusion Statement

As a means to fulfill our credo, “Think also of the comfort and the rights of others,” Winchester Thurston will be an inclusive community and will pursue the social and pedagogical benefits that diversity brings. We will place the highest value on enabling students to understand their own identity and those of others. It is our moral imperative to be courageous and intentional in promoting understanding, addressing bias, identifying and honoring qualities of justice, respecting multiple perspectives and contributions, and valuing the dignity of all.

Enrollment Information

WT has enjoyed record enrollment and growth every year thanks to its innovative curriculum and dedicated employees. In the 2021-22 academic year, WT enrolled a total of 656 students from 65 zip codes and 39 school districts with 242 students in the Lower School, 150 students in the Middle School, and 264 students in the Upper School. More than 36% of WT’s student body are students of color. WT annually awards over $3.8 million in financial aid.

Our Vision for the Future

WT is engaged in a dynamic strategic process that takes a bold approach to imagining our future. Our strategic priorities are to Reimagine Learning, Rethink Time & Space, Strengthen Community, and Support Employees. There are many opportunities for our next Director of Marketing and Communications to engage in supporting these priorities. The strategic vision overview can be found on our website.

The Position

WT seeks a Director of Marketing and Communications who will plan, develop, and implement the communications strategy to increase brand awareness, support the school’s enrollment, cultivate a culture of giving, and build a proud, engaged school community. Working across and in collaboration with all departments and divisions, the Director of Marketing and Communication guides the school’s leadership in all matters of communication, including crisis situations; and, coordinates the school’s advertising and social media campaigns. Both thought leader and project manager, the Director of Marketing and Communications will work closely with the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, the Head of School, Head’s Council, other administrators, faculty, staff, consultants, and vendors.

Primary Responsibilities

Marketing Strategy

  • Develops and drives WT’s overall marketing plan, translating institutional goals into marketing and communications strategies, overseeing the conceptual development of creative messages and campaigns, and applying data to assess the effectiveness of marketing communications activities
  • Works closely with the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, Advancement and Admission Offices, Academics Department, and administrators, staff, and faculty throughout the school to direct, design, and execute integrated marketing plans and campaigns that engage internal and external constituents in the support and promotion of the school; supports constituencies to ensure brand standards are consistently applied across all print and electronic materials, proposals, scripts, etc.
  • Oversees the production of a variety of materials meant to increase the school’s visibility and competitive positioning and enhance the public’s perception of the school

Communications and Public Relations

  • Develops and implements cohesive, compelling, consistent messaging
  • Serves as editor of the school’s magazine, “Thistletalk”
  • Oversees the implementation of a proactive media relations strategy and crisis communication plan; serves as the school’s media spokesperson
  • Collaborates with all departments, including athletics and the arts, to trumpet student activities and successes and to celebrate the WT community
  • Supervises the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications in their work related to web, email, and social media content and strategy to ensure WT’s web presence (main site, micro sites, blogs, and portals) is in alignment with overall marketing and brand strategy, serves as a dynamic marketing tool for external audiences, and is an informative resource for internal audiences
  • In collaboration with the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications, develops and maintains responsibility for vendor, advertising, and media relationships; oversees contract designers, writers, printers, developers, and others
  • Provides oversight of all direct mail, advertising, and other outbound promotional initiatives across the school, and ensures integration with email campaigns and social media
  • Develops and negotiates advertising packages
  • Serves as strategist, editor, and reviewer to key administrators in their communications
  • Assists in the creation of community surveys to gather feedback and allowing for greater collaboration
  • Develops and oversees the budget for Marketing Communications and ensures the return on investment
  • Manages all weather and other emergency notifications to parents and employees

Market Trend Analysis/Competitive Analysis

  • Oversees and conducts research to understand constituency perceptions and needs, and integrates findings into strategy
  • Identifies emerging opportunities, designs effective targeting strategies, and reports on results
  • Looks proactively at new and unique ways to market and establish a strong presence in the marketplace

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in Marketing and/or Communications or a related field is preferred
  • Seven to ten years’ work experience in a progressively responsible, management-level marketing communications role
  • High degree of professionalism and be able to maintain confidentiality, meet multiple deadlines, and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong creative, strategic and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to build strong relationships and have a commitment to working with shared leadership in cross-functional teams
  • Proven writing, editing and oral communication skills
  • Exceptional project management, organizational, problem-solving, and analytic skills
  • Proficiency in various software programs, including Google Suite, design and photo software, and project management tools.

Expertise in marketing and communications should include:

  • Knowledge of marketing and branding best practices, promotional marketing tactics, messaging programs, web design, print production, graphic design, photography/videography
  • Experience managing ad placement and sponsorships
  • Experience overseeing the design and production of print materials and publications
  • Experience managing marketing service vendors
  • Demonstrated success in developing and implementing marketing communications strategies that meet stated goals
  • Experience in preparing and implementing complex budgets
  • Familiarity with survey and ROI tools and their applications

Supporting Your Transition

All new administrators at WT receive support as they transition into the school community. The Director of Marketing and Communications will be paired with an internal mentor who guides them through the onboarding process. They also have the option to be paired with an external mentor serving in a similar position at another school to provide that additional, objective perspective on the challenges and opportunities facing them. Our professional development opportunities are abundant and personalized to the needs of the individual.  Finally, the Director of Marketing and Communications will work closely with, and be supported by, the Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications and other members of the administrative team.

Welcome to Pittsburgh, PA!

Pittsburgh is nestled in the picturesque intersection of three major waterways and rolling hills, and has played an important role in our country’s industrial history. Throughout the years, Pittsburgh has moved from the steel industry to become a leader in healthcare, education, technology, and financial services with a rich and robust arts and food culture. Pittsburgh has been transformed to a modern, vibrant city.

The City of Pittsburgh offers everything a person might be looking for in a home. Pittsburgh is known for having more named neighborhoods than any American city. Ninety distinct urban and suburban communities collectively create the culture of Pittsburgh. Winchester Thurston’s home neighborhood of Shadyside is located approximately five miles east of the city center and in the heart of one of Pittsburgh’s most lively educational, cultural, medical, and research centers. Shadyside is a highly walkable area known for its historic homes, hip boutiques, and lively restaurant scene. Its close proximity to universities, museums, and large city parks offers a variety of cultural and recreational activities, such as Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History and Frick Park. Nearby are other great neighborhoods that are excellent places to live and visit. Oakland and Squirrel Hill are home to University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Chatham University. The Strip District is a wonderful market spot known for its variety of food and unique stores. If you’re looking for more of a creative and artistic side of Pittsburgh, pass through the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville. East Liberty is a growing neighborhood with new development and the home of businesses such as Duolingo and Google. South Side has a fun and exciting nightlife full of clubs, sports bars, and laid-back pubs. North Shore is where you can catch a Steelers’ game, kayak the rivers, or visit the Warhol Museum. Finally, Downtown, like most downtown districts, has great food, theaters, and events.

Nicknamed “Kidsburgh,” and the former home of Mister Rogers, Pittsburgh is often recognized as one of the country’s best places to raise a child. Our affordable city is a fun and comfortable place to call home. Numerous attractions are here for family fun, such as the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Zoo, Kennywood Amusement Park, Carnegie Science Center, and over 20 local public libraries. There are plenty of activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle through local parks and playgrounds and farmers’ markets in every neighborhood.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the sixth largest populated state in the United States. Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania and has an estimated 310,000 people. The population’s average age is 33. Pittsburgh serves as the County Seat of Allegheny County, which has an estimated population of 1.2 million. Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area with its eight surrounding suburban counties has an estimated population of 2.6 million.

For Consideration

All inquiries are confidential, and a review of candidate files will begin immediately. You may view the job posting, complete an application, and upload your resume, letter of interest, and references at https://www.applitrack.com/winchesterthurston/onlineapp/.

Winchester Thurston School is an equal opportunity employer. WT is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic community and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ candidates, and women.

To apply for this job please visit www.applitrack.com.