Job Title: Chief of Communications Wage/Hour Status: Exempt
Reports to: Superintendent of Schools Pay Grade: Administrative

Professional 9

Min Mid Max
107,556 128,043 148,529

Primary Purpose:
Under the direction of the Superintendent or designee, the Chief of Communications serves as principal advisor providing comprehensive and proactive communications, strategies and planning, media relations, and news analysis to the Superintendent, Board of Trustees and Leadership Team. The Chief of Communications is responsible for all Lancaster ISD communications. This means working collaboratively with the Leadership Team and other key stakeholders and setting the vision for and leading the Communications Team, including internal and external communications, media relations, social media, Lancaster ISD external and internal websites, marketing, strategic communications and multicultural outreach.
Promote positive public relations between the school district and community. Prepare and provide information to the public about the activities, goals, and policies of the school district. Distribute pertinent information about the district and its activities to employees.
Qualifications:
Education/Certification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, or related field
  • A Master’s degree or equivalent experience and professional development in communications, marketing, education, public policy administration or related field preferred.

Experience:

  • 3 years journalism or communications experience preferred
  • Proven experience as a leader in communicating with a diverse community
  • Experience in leading and managing a team of professionals
  • Experience working proactively with media, establishing influential productive working relationships
  • Experience functioning successfully as a communications strategist and spokesperson in a politically charged environment
  • Fiscal accountability and budget management experience

Special Knowledge/Skills:

  • Excellent public relations, organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups of employees, parents, or the public
  • Ability to communicate effectively in both written and oral forms with all levels of management, both internal and external to the district
  • Thorough knowledge of media relations and public relations functions
  • Ability to use software to develop spreadsheets, perform data analysis, and do word processing
  • Knowledge of current public education trends, issues and research
  • Skilled in dealing with diverse and sensitive issues with regards to issues of race, learning, disabilities, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, gender, socio-economic group, sexuality or other areas
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (correct English, grammar, punctuation, spelling)
  • Budget development and administration
  • Computer software, hardware, and audio-visual technology related skills

Licenses and other requirements

  • Valid Texas Driver’s License

Major Responsibilities and Duties:
Public and Community Relations

  1. Serve as the information liaison between the school district and the community. Serve as district spokesperson and coordinate media coverage including preparing press releases and publishing articles and photos in local media and other publications
  1. Ensure that public information activities contribute to the attainment of district goals and objectives
  1. Design, prepare, and edit district publications including newsletters, recruitment brochures, programs for special events, and other publications
  1. Serve as district representative on community committees as required. Demonstrate awareness of district-community needs and initiate activities to meet those needs including speaking at civic organization meetings and make presentations
  1. Manage the Leadership Team’s public communications and the District’s brand through well- developed internal communications, public affairs, crisis communications and marketing plan and strategy
  1. Develop, direct, and evaluate the district’s public relations, marketing, communications, and public affairs strategy; execute effective campaigns/programs on a local, state, and national basis, with major emphasis on employee communications and communications between the district and the community
  1. Serve as public relations counsel and advisor to the Superintendent, and serve on the Superintendent’s Cabinet and Executive Staff
  1. Provide professional public relations counsel and assistance to Lancaster ISD’s Administration and the Board of Trustees pursuant to Board Policies and Administrative Regulations
  1. Identify community issues and concerns, and develop strategies for dealing effectively and proactively with community issues and concerns; interact with diverse stakeholder groups, and represent the Superintendent as needed
  1. Assist in problem solving between and among offices in issues involving the Superintendent’s input, and represent the Superintendent on teams for large-scale projects and district-wide initiatives with major employee and community impacts
  1. Represent the Superintendent and Lancaster ISD’s Administration at various community functions and on local, state, and national non-profit and professional boards
  1. Serve as the Superintendent’s representative and liaison to community leaders and groups
  1. Communicate and collaborate with the Superintendent, Cabinet and Executive Staff, Board of Trustees, other administrators, and district personnel to coordinate activities and programs, resolve issues and conflicts, and exchange information; model district standards of ethics and professionalism
  1. Develop overall strategy and plan for district-level employee communications

Marketing/Communications

  1. Build the capacity of Lancaster ISD administrators and departments in communications by providing training on a variety of topics, including public engagement, marketing, and media
  1. Secure the development of public opinion polls, and solicit feedback from Lancaster ISD community members through formal and informal means regarding district initiatives, programs, and decisions
  1. Provide analysis of results, and recommend public relations/marketing strategies and tactics
  1. Develop District-wide advertising and public relations campaigns and collateral materials to market Lancaster ISD
  1. Provide support and direction in effective communications and marketing to school-based customers and district partners
  1. Manage the development and production of district marketing communications, including print and electronic publications, collateral materials, presentations, website content, social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, new media productions, advertising, media relations, videos, and television broadcasts for staff and the community
  1. Develop and maintain a recognizable “brand” and powerful messages for the district that enhances the Lancaster ISD image in the school community and public view
  1. Provide customer service training to all district employees and collect data on the customer service experience for various stakeholders
  1. Responsible for event planning, design and production of district events
  1. Organize the facilities, décor, catering, entertainment, invitations, special guests, equipment and promotional material for district events

Media Relations

  1. Lead the development and delivery of news to broadcast, print, and online media to create media coverage of the school district on a daily basis
  1. Serve as a liaison between the district and the media, and serve as the district’s chief spokesperson, handling sensitive and controversial issues
  1. Develop, coordinate, and monitor the crisis communication plan and implementation
  1. Organize press conferences and the release of information to the media and the public
  1. Develop and maintain working relationships with community leaders, organizations, and members of the media

Public Engagement

  1. Organize and plan regular meetings of various Lancaster ISD advisory groups
  1. Develop processes and systems for garnering public input and support on key initiatives and issues
  1. Communicate to the public the district’s needs, goals and the rationale for Superintendent and Board of Trustees decisions
  1. Establish strong partnerships across organizations and groups such as parents, students, staff members, business and political leaders, and community members

Administration and Management

  1. Plan and administer District-wide functions and events as designated by the Superintendent
  1. Develop and monitor program’s annual objectives, performance measures, and budgets
  1. Plan, develop, and maintain effective processes and channels of communication with internal and external audiences
  1. Develop communication strategies, tactics, and action plans for all major Lancaster ISD initiatives, and serve as a public relations consultant to key district committees and task forces
  1. Work collaboratively with administrators, staff members, and community volunteers in planning/developing public relations programs and strategies for both one-way and two-way communications with diverse constituents
  1. Manage the operations of the Communications Department, with direct responsibility for department personnel, budget, materials, and equipment
  1. Plan, coordinate, and arrange for appropriate professional development opportunities for assigned staff
  1. Provide appropriate professional development opportunities for campus and department leaders and other employees throughout the district

Policies, Reports, and Law

  1. Develop and publicize reports related to the performance of the district and articulate district goals and objectives
  1. Comply with policies established by federal and state law, State Board of Education rule, and local board policy
  1. Compile, maintain, and file all reports, records, and other documents as required
  1. Follow district safety protocols and emergency procedures

Budget

  1. Develop and administer the department budget based on documented needs and ensure that operations are cost effective and funds are managed wisely

Personnel Management

  1. Select, train, supervise, and evaluate staff and make recommendations relative to assignment, retention, discipline, and dismissal
  1. Develop training options and/or improvement plans to ensure exemplary operation of the communications function

Other Duties

  1. Perform other duties as assigned
  1. Maintain sensitive and confidential communications

Supervisory Responsibilities:
Supervise, evaluate, and recommend the hiring and firing of the communication staff
Mental Demands/Physical Demands/Environmental Factors:
Tools/Equipment Used: Standard office equipment including personal computer and peripherals; camera; video camera
Posture: Prolonged sitting; occasional bending/stooping, pushing/pulling, and twisting
Motion: Repetitive hand motions including frequent keyboarding and use of mouse; occasional reaching
Lifting: Occasional light lifting and carrying (less than 15 pounds)
Environment: May work prolonged or irregular hours; frequent districtwide and statewide travel
Mental Demands: Work with frequent interruptions; maintain emotional control under stress