Student Communications Manager - Academic Services - 53846S18 - Grade 7

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Birmingham, ENGLAND
Job Type: Temporary

Student Communications Manager - Academic Services - 53846S18 - Grade 7 - (210001AS)




Position Details

Academic Services

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK 

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792

Grade 7

Full Time

Fixed term contract / Secondment until 4th November 2022

Closing date –  3rd August 2021

Job Summary

Over the next year we are going to fundamentally reshape the way the University communicates with students to deliver the best possible communication experience for our valued students. This is an exciting opportunity for an exceptional communications professional to be at the heart of developing and delivering a new Student Communications framework for the University of Birmingham, a ground-breaking new way of working. The role of the Student Communications Manager will also have line management responsibility for a Communications & Engagement Assistant and will report into the Head of Student Communications in Student Services in order to deliver innovative and effective communications to our student audience, within a coordinated communications community of practice.

You will need to have significant experience in a communications based role in a large and complex organisation. Ideally within an educational setting, but most importantly you will have a demonstrable background in successfully building relationships to create great results with people at all levels.

You will have led innovative communications campaigns you are proud of, and must be able to demonstrate experience of effectively developing and delivering a range of information across multiple channels including face-to-face and virtual events, digital, print and social media. You will be expected to be proficient in a range of associated skills such as copywriting and proofreading along with possessing the ability to translate complicated information in order to communicate it in a clear and concise way. Content creation is key and you will have new and exciting ideas about how to develop the right content for our students, even if not directly creating it.

You will be required to lead on the implementation of new initiatives such as an organisational content calendar, as well as considering and delivering quality improvements to existing practices. You must have excellent communication skills, able to confidently deal with a wide range of internal stakeholders, some of whom will be high profile individuals or teams. An ability to segment audiences and target communications appropriately, and utilise a CRM system is essential. You must have the practical and technical skills to support your creative approach.

This role is based in the Student Services Division, part of Academic Services, which is at the heart of education and research endeavour at the University. The remit of this role is across the whole organisation - you will play a key role in the University’s student communications community and will work closely with colleagues in External Relations and other key teams.

Main Duties

  • Leading the development and delivery of multi-channel communication activities to key stakeholders (e.g. current students and targeted staff).
  • Supporting the ongoing development and delivery of a communications framework for students and other key stakeholder communications.
  • Championing relevant and targeted Student Services activities to students and key stakeholders across the organisation, ensuring its role, services and achievements are well understood.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current communication techniques.
  • Working collaboratively across professional services and Colleges to bring together ideas and best practice around student communications and engagement.
  • Providing leadership and accountability for relevant Academic Services webpages both internally and externally.
  • Playing a lead role in the MyUoB app project team and associated communications
  • Proactively identifying creative communications opportunities that are relevant to the brief and to lead on the implementation of these initiatives working with the wider marketing and communications colleagues as needed.
  • Line managing the Communications & Engagement Assistant role and other staff as required, including temporary student staff.
  • Prioritising your workload; balancing the competing demands of a range of “business as usual” activities against strategic projects.
  • Translating creative initiatives into tangible plans.
  • Leading on campaigns full of innovative content creation e.g. video, infographics etc
  • Negotiating with internal and external stakeholders and where appropriate engaging with third party suppliers.
  • Working with internal and external contacts on critical communications that impact upon the University’s reputation.
  • Interpreting project briefs and providing recommendations on the most appropriate methods of delivery of communication support required for the project.
  • Utilising social media in appropriate circumstances to target key audiences.
  • Developing and delivering an annual communications plan and content calendar for student communications; including key milestones, dates and interdependencies.
  • Working with IT Services and Student Services colleagues on the development of web based content, systems, knowledgebase FAQs, MyUoB app, and functionality.
  • Identifying opportunities to segment audiences to improve communications and engagement, including the use of CRM technology.
  • Leading communications based workshops and training sessions for colleagues within the University.
  • Building a network of relationships / contacts across the organisation that can assist in delivery of projects and initiatives.
  • Ensure appropriate legal and contractual arrangements are in place when engaging any external suppliers.
  • Comply with all relevant University of Birmingham procedures and guidelines.

Person Specification

  • A degree or equivalent experience, ideally with a professional qualification in communications (e.g. CIPR).
  • A communications professional with proven experience in a comparable role in a large, complex organisation, operating in a multi-channel, mixed media environment (ideally with experience of Higher Education or student communications).
  • Experience of planning, implementing and managing a multi-channel communications strategy.
  • Line management experience.
  • Highly developed written and oral communications skills with the ability to engage stakeholders at all levels – to include effective presentation skills.
  • Ability to translate complex messages into engaging forms of communication.
  • Knowledge of emerging social media trends and experience of utilising these channels within a communications or marketing role.
  • Experience of working with Customer Relationships Management (CRM) systems, CMS and other digital platform
  • Experience of copywriting, proofreading and content editing.
  • Experience of commissioning design, video and other content creation assets
  • Calm and focused under pressure.
  • Experience in applying appropriate technology and approach to service delivery.
  • Ability to think strategically and translate strategy into operational plans.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders and partners to achieve common goals.
  • An innovative and creative approach to stakeholder engagement, capable of developing exciting new initiatives.
  • Ability to write persuasively and produce concise copy within short timescales.
  • Excellent IT skills (including experience of web based packages) ideally with experience with graphical design packages and web authoring tools (e.g. Photoshop, Dreamweaver).
  • Ability to prioritise and schedule workloads in the face of conflicting demands while maintaining a high degree of accuracy.
  • Ability to work on own initiative, taking a flexible, proactive and creative approach to work.
  • Good knowledge and understanding of Higher Education and its environment, or a commitment to learn quickly about the sector
  • An understanding of the University’s aims and objectives.
  • Flexibility to work out of hours, on occasion, as required.
  • Commitment to continuing professional development and training.

If you would like to have an informal chat about the role, please do not hesitate to contact Laura Smith, Head of Student Communications ( prior to the deadline for application.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment 

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working. 

Primary Location
: GB-GB-Birmingham
Work Locations
Academic Services 
Nuffield Building University of BirminghamEdgbaston
 Birmingham B15 2TT
: Academic Non-clinical
: Academic Services
: Temporary
Job Posting
: 19.07.2021, 7:00:00 PM
Grade (for job description): Grade 7
Salary (Pay Basis)
: 30,942.00
Maximum Salary
: 42,792.00
Advert Close Date
: 03.08.2021, 6:59:00 PM
Fixed Term Contract End Date 04.11.2022
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