Senior Copy Writer– Marketing, Communications, and Stewardship

Posted on 08/17/2022

Duke Alumni Engagement & Development

Durham, NC

The senior writer and editor will work with AED and university leaders to manage, compose, and edit a variety of communications and marketing materials designed to advance Duke University and enhance the university’s ability to connect with donors and alumni. This position will be responsible for providing persuasive copywriting support for a variety of AED programs designed to keep nearly 190,000 Duke Alumni informed, connected, and inspired. The successful candidate will be culturally fluent with proven experience bringing fresh, insight-driven concepts to life through storytelling, advertising, and multimedia content that engages diverse audiences across a variety of channels and publications.  This position reports to the senior director of marketing and communications leading a creative team of writers, designers, and a videographer who collectively support the creative needs of the organization.

Work Performed

  • Work with the university’s academic leaders and senior officers to help communicate their vision and priorities to an alumni and donor audience
  • Write compelling key messages, elevator pitches, advertising copy, video scripts, and other materials to support a variety of complex university initiatives
  • Serve as a contributor to various websites including and
  • Provide strategic input into the development of marketing plans for annual and multi-year campaigns
  • Write and edit stories and marketing content to deepen engagement among Duke’s alumni affinity groups, which include women’s groups, LGBTQ groups, groups for alumni of color, and for alumni who came to Duke as first-generation college students
  • Collaborate with AED colleagues, schools, and units to identify stories to promote the benefits and impact of giving back to Duke, educate prospective donors about Duke accomplishments and priorities, and promote a positive image of the university
  • Edit the writing of colleagues and freelance writers for style, grammar, content, and messaging as needed
  • Collaborate with graphic designers, web developers, videographers, and other writers on a wide range of marketing and communications efforts
  • Develop and maintain effective working relationships with other alumni, development, and communications offices at Duke
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Preferred Experience

  • 5-7 years of relevant writing experience
  • Brand-centric portfolio that demonstrates strong strategic thinking and the ability to generate and execute creative ideas with a high level of craft and attention to detail. Comfort writing for different audiences and adjusting tone, style, and concepts to address audiences most appropriately
  • Familiarity with AP Style
  • Experience developing ideas for articles, ads, brochures, commercials, and other publications and transforming those concepts into promotional copy
  • Experience interpreting creative briefs and incorporating team and client perspectives to develop unique and engaging content
  • Ability to set schedules and manage deadlines effectively
  • Ability to be flexible and work in a highly collaborative team environment
  • Familiarity with design and production
  • Agency, copywriting, and/or higher education writing experience preferred

Behavioral Competencies

  • Curiosity and Information Seeking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Planning Prioritizing & Multitasking
  • Collaborating with Others
  • Expresses Ideas Orally & In Writing
  • Shares Knowledge

For best consideration, interested applicants are encouraged to include with your resume: a cover letter, and the links for a varied portfolio of at least three writing samples by September 1, 2022.

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.

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