Digital Communications Officer

  • 3-8 Year
  • Waterloo
  •   Posted On: June 9, 2018
  •   Skills:  Communication, Interpersonal, Marketing Communication

Job Overview

Roles & Responsibilities

The Digital Communications Officer is a key member of the Advancement communications team and will deliver creative and tactical planning, implementation, project management and evaluation of integrated digital communications strategies, plans and initiatives to support the Office of Advancements goals: to increase alumni engagement, raise philanthropic support and build Waterloo champions.

Reporting to the Associate Director, Communications, the Digital Communications Officer works as part of a dynamic and integrated team within Advancement and with campus partners, to thoughtfully and effectively engage our community of alumni, donors and prospects, through compelling social and digital communications.

The Digital Communications Officer is accountable for the planning, project managing, delivering, evaluating and reporting on the impact of digital communications strategies to inspire and engage our alumni, donors and prospects. This role is responsible for developing a digital content strategy, ensuring the creation of compelling content, accuracy and a dynamic user experience of the website while managing the day-to-day web content creation and maintenance. The role manages social media planning and execution, in partnership with Advancement colleagues, and partners including University Relations, to integrate and leverage content across a range of online channels.

This role develops, implements and manages communications strategies and promotion for new and existing digital initiatives, in partnership with partners, while providing advice and guidance on the best ways to inform and engage our audiences.

*At the USG 10 level, the job title becomes Senior Digital Communications Officer.


Create, plan and execute creative digital and social content for all Advancement audiences

  • Proactively writes, manages, curates, copy edits and updates content for Advancement websites and social media channels
  • Creates digital communications strategies and sets tactical plans to deliver on objectives
  • Manages the Advancement websites and establishes a content strategy, including day-to-day content creation and maintenance, regular content audits and supporting web maintainers via editing support and best practices
  • Acts as Advancement’s point of contact for the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS)
  • Looks for ways to improve the online user experience, working collaboratively with colleagues on web best practices, information architecture, usability etc.
  • Creates an Advancement social media strategy, and develops and executes compelling social media plans and creative content that promotes Advancement initiatives and inspires alumni and donor engagement
  • Provides social media support and training for colleagues in support of events/activities
  • Identifies and develops targeted and creative approaches for the integration of print, digital and video strategies
  • Remains current on issues, trends, technologies, demands and approaches in digital marketing communications
  • Proactively explores and suggests creative ways to tell our story and expand our audience reach and engagement
  • Ensures all strategies and content aligns with the University brand and supports the needs of Advancement

Collaborates, advises and consults

  • Uses digital and social media expertise to provide advice on strategic and integrated communications plans to develop audience-specific content that will best resonate with audiences and maximize results
  • Works collaboratively as member of Advancement communications team to strategically support Advancement and University goals
  • Works closely with communications team to ensure accuracy, consistency and integration of messaging
  • Works closely with campus partners, including Faculties, colleges, and units such University Relations on projects, in a highly collaborative and creative environment
  • Provides high level of customer service internally and externally to support relationship cultivation and engagement with Waterloo
  • Provides creative direction to Creative Services or third-party vendors on writing, design, photography and videography
  • Participates in communications committees/working groups as needed

Manages digital communications projects

  • Coordinates the communications strategy and execution of existing and new digital initiatives, and collaborates in the planning, developing and implementing of digital projects, in partnership with colleagues
  • Collaborates with colleagues on the creation of the digital version of the Waterloo Magazine and its social media plan, and supports the delivery of the alumni e-newsletter and other digital projects
  • Sets measureable goals and regularly tracks and reports against goals to determine effectiveness of digital communications, translates performance metrics from digital campaigns and conducts post-mortem exercises to inform future decision making to ensure return on investment
  • Coordinates and art directs photography and video development as needed; works collaboratively with colleagues who may be the project lead
  • Remains current on digital communications and marketing trends and best practices for effective communications with alumni and donors
  • Establishes and regularly writes performance reports (eg alumni engagement on social media platforms) to share with key stakeholders and content creators, to help drive tactical decisions
  • Provides training and guidance for the Advancement team to leverage social media as required, and sets schedules that are integrated with an overall social media strategy
  • Acts as back up support for Encompass web tool (iModules), for mass email and content creation


  • Hires, coaches and manages co-op student and junior staff, as needed
  • Manages project budgets
  • Provides backup copy writing and editing services as needed
  • Assumes roles in special projects or committees, as assigned
  • Provides social media or event support for key Advancement events including Reunion, Convocation and President’s reception, as needed
  • Engages in active, ongoing learning by seeking opportunities for ongoing training and professional development eg industry articles and blogs, webinars, conferences


University degree in communications, marketing, journalism, media studies or public relations, or equivalent combination of education and experience

USG 8-9

3-5 years’ experience in communications, marketing or community manager role, preferably in education or not-for-profit sector with a proven record of writing, editing and developing creative digital communications for multiple audiences

USG 10

  • 6-8 years’ experience in communications, marketing or community manager role, preferably in education or not-for-profit sector with a proven record of developing communications strategies, writing, editing and developing creative digital communications for multiple audiences, with demonstration of progressive responsibility for complex communication projects
  • Demonstrated experience in web-based communications, marketing and technology strategies, including website design, content strategy and management
  • Strong writing skills in both print and digital platforms
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices in information architecture, navigation, user interface, usability, accessibility standards and testing
  • Strong knowledge of social media trends, analytics and current/emerging technology
  • Experience with digital analytics tools, reporting and making recommendations based on findings
  • Experience working with alumni/donors or membership-based audiences preferred; University advancement experience considered a strong asset
  • Ability to build consensus, work collaboratively and foster teamwork with multiple stakeholders and work with integrated project teams
  • Ability to understand the goals, strategy and planning of Advancement and the University and translate that into compelling communication strategies and content
  • Strong organization skills, including a disciplined approach to project planning and execution with exceptional attention to detail and accuracy
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills, passionate about communications and high-quality work, and deliver creative and consistent work in demanding environment with multiple stakeholders, projects and deadlines
  • Resilient, able to excel in fast-paced environment with shifting priorities, ambiguity and public scrutiny
  • Experience with a content management system (Drupal); Advanced Word, Excel and PowerPoint skills; Adobe Creative Suite
  • Willingness to work occasional hours outside of traditional hours

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