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Work Arrangement: 
Requisition Number:  207169
Regular or Temporary:  Regular

Durham, NC, US, 27710

Date:  Nov 4, 2022

The Public Relations Specialist, Sr. of Marketing and Communications serves primarily as the dedicated specialist for Trinity College and the Graduate School in the Marketing, Communications and Stewardship (MCS) department, within Duke’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Development (AED). This individual represents those offices on issues related to strategic communications, marketing, fundraising communications, and donor relations.


Additionally, this position contributes strategic thinking, project planning, and discrete efforts to key MCS projects. Reporting to the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, position responsibilities include:


Strategic Communications

  • Advise Trinity College and Graduate School development colleagues on opportunities for strategic communications and policies related to fundraising communications.
  • Develop and implement communication strategies to support major initiatives and projects within Trinity College and The Graduate School.
  • Integrate discrete marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts into larger communications driven by MCS.
  • Collaborate and contribute on the planning of communications strategies and initiatives undertaken by MCS in pursuit of deep alumni engagement and philanthropic support
  • Provide consultation in the development, review, and distribution of internal and external departmental communications.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative working relationships with Trinity College and Graduate School communications teams, to highlight scholarship, teaching, and other achievements made possible by philanthropy, within the broader scope of all communications managed by MCS.
  • Work in partnership with Trinity College and The Graduate School development and communication directors to develop and to distribute regular communications for the boards and committees including:
    • Newsletters and news round ups
    • Scheduled email to the Trinity College Board of Visitors and the Graduate School Board of Visitors
  • Establish editorial guidelines related to grammar, content, and tone as well as provide oversight for content created for various communication channels, based on MCS style guides.
  • Establish metrics, analytics and marketing reporting guidelines and processes for Trinity, Graduate School and other integrated MCS communications projects, to measure efficacy of efforts and tactics




Programmatic Content & Proposal Development

  • Aggregate and organize information on Trinity College departmental priorities, working in partnership with the Trinity College Program Directors.
  • Develop content for frontline fundraisers to use in donor meetings and pitches, and draft proposals to support research, programs, and undergraduate and graduate education, in coordination with the Assistant Vice President and in consultation with colleagues in MCS.
  • Develop templates and generic proposals for strategic academic priorities for Trinity College and The Graduate School that reflect the overarching vision of academic leadership for each respective school.
  • Curate and manage Trinity College and Graduate School-related content for distribution among relevant parties within Alumni Engagement and Development and the university at large.


Donor Relations and Stewardship                                                                                                                                         

  • Manage all Trinity College and Graduate School activities related to gift acknowledgement, donor recognition, and stewardship, in partnership with MCS Donor Relations and fundraising communications team(s). Activities include:
    • Creating templates and models for donor relations, including standard acknowledgments from the Dean of Arts & Sciences and the Dean of The Graduate School
    • Researching details of gifts that need acknowledgment by academic leadership, and other key officers
    • Collaboration with major gift officers on the personalization of acknowledgments and stewardship for their donors
    • Drafting acknowledgments for deans’ signatures, ensuring appropriate personalization, style, and timeliness, as well as accuracy of content and syntax
    • Maintaining database and files of all donor stewardship materials
    • Creating new or enhanced stewardship programs in response to the changing profile of donors and/or fundraising priorities; and
    • Coordinating questions regarding gift credit, acknowledgment letters, etc.
  • Work with MCS Donor Relations colleagues to ensure stewardship practices are streamlined and collaborative for Trinity College, The Graduate School and related fundraising initiatives
  • Recommend policies and procedures for donor relations programs within Trinity College, The Graduate School and other AED teams at large.





Behavioral Competencies

  • Attention to detail: Values and ensures thorough and accurate information. Organizes and delivers information in a clear and concise manner.
  • Organizational awareness: The ability to understand and learn organizational relationships and dynamics and use them to achieve objectives.
  • Planning, prioritizing, and multitasking: The ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work; effectively manages multiple tasks or projects simultaneously.
  • Decisiveness and judgment: Uses sound judgment to make appropriate, timely decisions in complex situations for which there are no set procedures.
  • Listening: Is an “active listener”. Establishes rapport with and is receptive to speaker. Picks-up on underlying messages; “hears between the lines”.



  • Minimum of 5-7 years of communications or marketing experience with a preference for those who have worked in fundraising, not-for-profits, alumni affairs, public relations, student activities, program administration, or a related field
  • Demonstrated excellence in persuasive writing and in developing communications/marketing plans
  • Experience with volunteer management and engagement
  • Careful attention to detail
  • Ability to use Microsoft Office applications
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and deadlines
  • Ability to work autonomously and as a member of a team
  • Experience handling confidential information


  • Minimum Qualifications



    Work requires the ability to perform creative writing and related activities such as conducting interviews and research, and copy editing normally acquired through attainment of a bachelor's degree in Journalism, English or a related discipline.


    Work requires two years of directly related writing experience. OR AN EQUIVALENT COMBINATION OF RELEVANT EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE


Duke is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to providing employment opportunity without regard to an individual's age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas—an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard. All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.


Essential Physical Job Functions: Certain jobs at Duke University and Duke University Health System may include essentialjob functions that require specific physical and/or mental abilities. Additional information and provision for requests for reasonable accommodation will be provided by each hiring department.


Nearest Major Market: Durham
Nearest Secondary Market: Raleigh