Sacred Heart Schools - Sheridan Rd | Chicago, IL | Marketing/Communications Director

Title:  Marketing/Communications Director              
Department:  Institutional Advancement
Reports to:  Executive Director of Institutional Advancement
School Description
Founded in Chicago in 1876, Sacred Heart Schools at Sheridan Road (Hardey Preparatory for Boys and Academy of the Sacred Heart for Girls) are independent, Catholic, single-sex elementary schools committed to academic excellence within the context of a Christian, faith-based community. The educational mission is deeply rooted in the 200-year tradition of the Society of the Sacred Heart and shared with the Network of Sacred Heart Schools located in 30 countries; including 25 schools in the United States and Canada. The essence of this tradition is the total development of each child: spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical. Our girls and boys are taught in single-sex classrooms but follow a similar curriculum and share in many activities. With a total enrollment of approximately 700 students, the Schools are organized into three academic divisions each led by a division head.
Position Description
The Marketing/Communications Director is responsible for developing a comprehensive strategy to build understanding and support for the mission of Sacred Heart education, and enhance the reputation of the Academy and Hardey Prep as leaders among independent Catholic schools, locally, and nationally.  The Director manages resources and oversees initiatives that raise awareness of the school's distinctive character, strengthens Sacred Heart's brand position, and engages as well as informs key constituent groups.  Key areas of responsibility include school publications, social media, public relations, advertising, and brand identity, as well as the supervision of full and half-time Communications staff.  This individual also works closely with outsourced graphic designers, printers, and remarketing personnel.  The position demands a full range of communications skills, both creative and technical:  copywriting, graphic design, photography, website updates, and experience in using electronic media to support institutional goals.
The ideal candidate is a strong project manager who can think both creatively and strategically, and who can complete complex projects from start to finish and on deadline.  In addition, the Marketing/Communications Director demonstrates a commitment to staying abreast of trends in marketing and communication methods, and to practices among peer schools.  The Director exhibits strong leadership and interpersonal skills, is able to work effectively with colleagues, volunteers, and vendors, and consistently projects a positive image of Sacred Heart Schools. 
The Communications Office is one of the three offices, including Admissions and Development, which make up the Department of Institutional Advancement (IA).  The Director reports to the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement.  The IA Team works collaboratively to build understanding and support of the school’s mission and programs, and to secure resources to enhance the school and secure its future.  Collectively and individually, the team strives to model the values expressed in the Goals and Criteria of Sacred Heart education.
Essential Job Functions
Strategy and Policy
  • Develop and execute an annual marketing plan designed to advance the vision, mission, and strategic objectives of Sacred Heart Schools; ensure the plan is closely aligned with the Board of Trustees’ Strategic Plan
  • Develop metrics that define success, assess effectiveness, and measure progress; regularly provide reports to Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and Head of Schools
  • Develop and maintain standards for the school's brand, editorial, and visual identities
  • Implement “best practice” policies for communications as articulated by professional and accreditation organizations such as the National Association for Independent Schools, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools
  • Develop and maintain an effective crisis and emergency communications policy and train key personnel
  • With the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement, provide input for budget development and administer all budgets related to communications
  • Serve on the Enrollment Management Committee and Development Committee of the Board of Trustees
  • Lead the effort to build and execute the annual communications calendar, maintaining a clear focus on institutional priorities while remaining responsive to constituent requests
  • Ensure constituents receive timely and accurate school information through a variety of user-friendly and easily accessible communication vehicles (i.e. eblasts, text messages); ensure school information, messages, and themes are consistent, cohesive, and reinforced across all platforms, both in print and electronic
  • Serve as chief editor and publisher for key school publications such as the Annual Report, Heartbeat, and the school yearbook
  • Work closely with Communications staff to ensure the excellence of the school’s website and social media channels; stay abreast of trends in electronic communication, keeping the school current with new developments
  • With the assistance of the Communications staff, maintain a robust portfolio of professional and staff-generated photography and video of school events, facilities, programs, and personnel for use in publications, both print and digital; maintain list of students who cannot be shown in photographs or on video, and ensure they do not appear in publications
  • Provide counsel and support to the Head of Schools and Academic Leadership Team in identifying effective ways to communicate with parents and other key constituencies
  • Collaborate with the Admissions and Development offices to produce high quality materials that support enrollment and fundraising objectives
  • Work with the School Office to ensure back-to-school and other essential parent/school information is available to the school community in timely, accurate, and user-friendly ways
  • Coordinate regular Editorial Board meetings to generate ideas and encourage feedback from faculty/staff
  • Support word-of-mouth marketing efforts through the Parent Ambassador Network and Angel Family program
  • Stay abreast of academic, classroom, and extracurricular programs and activities
  • Develop a rich understanding of Sacred Heart’s history, traditions, and key differentiators (single sex education, values-based education, Network of Sacred Heart Schools, Society of the Sacred Heart) and communicate them effectively
  • Meet regularly with Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and the Admissions and Development Directors to share information, plan, and manage the activities of the Driehaus Center (headquarters for IA)
Media and External Relations
  • Establish media contacts; serve as the first point-of-contact for media inquiries; identify public relations and promotional opportunities to position the school for greater media visibility
  • Serve as communications liaison with the Archdiocese of Chicago, Network of Sacred Heart Schools, and the Society of the Sacred Heart; suggest stories and provide content as needed
  • Recruit, manage, and supervise Communications staff and volunteers
  • Manage assignments and workflow for Communications staff
  • Provide annual reviews for Communications staff and work with them to create professional development plans to enhance their skills
Other projects as assigned by the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and/or Head of Schools.
Qualities and Requirements
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • 5+ years of relevant professional experience in communications, marketing, public relations, or advancement, preferably in an educational or non-profit setting
  • Thorough understanding of marketing and branding principles, as well as solid grasp of new media channels
  • Strong project management skills; demonstrated ability to manage multiple and complex tasks with hard deadlines
  • Excellent writing, editorial, and proofreading skills
  • Excellent computer skills using Microsoft Office
  • Graphic design experience and facility with Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
  • Experience in website management and familiarity with content management systems
  • Experience with digital photography, iMovie and/or Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Ability to work in fast-paced environment
  • Ability to work remotely form home when necessary (occasional weekend and evening work)
  • Experience with Finalsite or Blackbaud a plus
  • Experience in independent or Catholic education a plus
Characteristics of Success:
  • Warm and welcoming, collegial, steady, and mature; works positively with parents and children from a wide variety of backgrounds; outwardly reflects the school’s mission, culture, and values
  • Manages confidential material respectfully and handles private information with discretion and tact
  • Commitment to Catholic education and comfortability in expressing its value
  • A strong work ethic, highly motivated and self-directed, and excellent organizational and time management skills; attention to detail and accuracy
  • A leader and problem solver that can think through projects step-by-step to design easily understood workflows
  • Ability to work independently as well as manage and motivate a team to meet admissions goals and manage accountability
To Apply
Apply directly at the School's website ( in the Career Opportunities section, submitting a cover letter and resume.
Sacred Heart Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate.
Schools of the Sacred Heart share in the educational mission of the Society of the Sacred Heart as articulated in the Goals and Criteria. The structure supporting Sacred Heart education in Canada and the United States includes the Conference of Sacred Heart Education and the Network of Sacred Heart Schools.  Together they provide services and programs to ensure vitality of mission for the member schools sponsored by the Society of the Sacred Heart.