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External Relations Associate

External Relations Associate

University of Pennsylvania Job Location: Pennsylvania Apply By: Open until filled Date Created: 04-26-2021

The External Relations Associate will support a variety of projects in alignment with the Penn Libraries’ Strategic Plan 2020-2025. The Associate will produce written materials, presentations, and communications campaigns to advance the vision of the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries; raise visibility of the Penn Libraries’ strategic priorities, key collections, services, and resources; and build a positive public image with local, regional, national and international audiences. Reporting to the Director of Strategic Communications, the Associate will work closely with the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries as well as the Libraries’ Director of Development. They will also coordinate with other Penn Libraries leaders and divisions—as well as with Penn’s Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) communications team. Ideal candidates for this position will have superlative writing and editing skills; the ability to develop key messages to communicate complex information; excellent judgment and discretion; and experience supporting senior leaders to advance strategic goals. An understanding of the role communications plays in building relationships, demonstrating impact and value, and engaging stakeholders is vital. This role requires the ability to adapt quickly to address evolving needs and the flexibility to serve as back-up in a variety of communications functions.

Key responsibilities:

  • Draft communications materials for the Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, including event and meeting remarks and presentations, and personalized correspondence. Review remarks/correspondence drafted for Director by other colleagues and edit for consistency in messaging.
  • Develop, write, and produce pitches, press releases, creative impact stories and other strategic materials aimed at high-impact channels in philanthropy and higher education. Secure interviews and quotes from University and Libraries leadership and partners to illuminate important announcements.
  • Translate fundraising priorities into communications, including funding proposals for individual and institutional donors; slide decks or print overviews, and other materials.
  • Create text for personalized gift acknowledgments and correspondence and stewardship reports for individual and institutional donors.
  • Develop, write, and produce reports, briefs, and presentations for the Penn Libraries Board of Advisors, Orrery Society Council, Orrery Society Volunteers, and Young Alumni Board.
  • Develop print and digital collateral for high profile events, including but not limited to slide presentations, follow-up messages, and program one-pagers.

Required qualifications:

  • Minimum of three years professional experience in communications, public relations, fundraising, or related field.
  • Ability to understand, appreciate, and articulate the Penn Libraries’ mission and strategy.
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Superlative writing, editing and proofreading skills.
  • Professional experience writing copy in a variety of forms and lengths to advance strategic goals and messages. Speechwriting experience is a must.
  • Experience supporting senior leaders to advance strategic goals.
  • Ability to establish objectives, set performance standards, and organize a successful approach to achieving results.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects, work well under pressure, and meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated success working with significant autonomy, and collaboratively, as part of a goal-oriented team.
  • Ability and willingness to adapt quickly to address evolving needs.
  • Discretion and excellent judgment in handling sensitive information.
  • Strong computer literacy and presentation skills, including presentation software, with a preference for Microsoft PowerPoint.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in an academic institution, research library, or cultural organization.
  • Experience collaborating with colleagues and partners across a wide range of roles within a complex organization, including high-level administrators.

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