Senior Communications Manager for Direct Marketing

Posted on 06/19/2024

William & Mary

Williamsburg, VA

The Senior Communications Manager for Direct Marketing is a key member of the Strategic Communications team in University Marketing at William & Mary. University Marketing includes all William & Mary efforts to develop and execute marketing programs and campaigns that increase brand identity, perception and awareness across three core areas: enrollment, advancement and institutional reputation. William & Mary’s ability to flourish and advance as a preeminent university depends largely on our ability to drive competitive application and enrollment metrics, ensure long-term financial sustainability and raise W&M’s profile on a national and global scale.

The Senior Communications Manager partners with and advises colleagues across University Advancement and works closely with University Marketing partners to develop strategic direct marketing communications plans that are consistent with branding and appeal to segmented target audiences. The Senior Communications Manager for Direct Marketing reports to the Director of Marketing Communications and is responsible for drafting and executing a variety of content and strategies that effectively promote and advance the university’s mission and goals to an audience of current and potential donors, including alumni, via various direct marketing channels, including direct mail, appeal letters, email campaigns, social media ads, webpages and other digital channels. Responsibilities include writing and editing compelling content, and management of direct marketing projects and initiatives with a number of units across the university.

The Senior Communications Manager for Direct Marketing is also responsible for developing subject matter expertise on the university’s target audiences to better understand their needs and preferences and will help lead the messaging and strategy for calendar year end, fiscal year end and One Tribe One Day, W&M’s annual giving day. This person will also develop messaging for annual giving ads for various publications, including the alumni magazine and digital channels.
University Marketing is led by a creative and collaborative team of talented professionals who bring their unique expertise to every project. Our innovative, inclusive and results-oriented approach positions William & Mary as a preeminent university at the vanguard of academic achievement and leading-edge research. University Marketing’s work helps to create a lasting, robust culture of engagement and philanthropy by engaging prospective and current students, alumni, parents and friends, corporations and foundations, and faculty and staff. Engagement is often defined as “going, giving and serving” — staying connected and active in the W&M community through attending events, contributing philanthropically and volunteering. William & Mary’s ability to flourish and advance as a world-class university depends largely upon the active support of these key stakeholders.

The successful Senior Communications Manager will be a proactive member of this talented and creative team which includes responsibilities for strategic communications, marketing and branding, strategic events, and project management across three core areas: enrollment, advancement, and institutional reputation. The Senior Communications Manager will be an innovator who will foster a culture of belonging that embraces all people and perspectives. This position is based in Williamsburg, Virginia. William & Mary offers a flexible work environment.
Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing, English or related field or several (typically four or more) years’ experience or specialized expertise directly related to solicitation writing/appeal writing required.
  • Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills with the ability to write persuasive and engaging copy and perform a variety of different writing tasks with creativity, invention, imagination, originality and talent in message development and communications, grounded in a strong command of AP style, proofreader’s marks and editing conventions, with the demonstrated command of correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Experience in direct marketing and digital marketing, coordinating and developing communications across a variety of marketing channels (typically three or more years) with strong knowledge of marketing or communication principles.
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to identify short-and long-range goals and affect, interpret and implement communication strategies including work on cross-functional teams. Ability to lead and manage multiple projects at the same time while adhering to strict deadlines.
  • Demonstrated initiative, independent judgment, diplomacy, confidentiality, and a positive, responsive, service-oriented attitude when working with individuals on and off campus and responding to external audiences.; collaborate with other team members to build support and consensus across a complex organization and express nuanced ideas; and excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, with the demonstrated ability to exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in support of the goals of advancement and William & Mary.
  • Strong interpersonal & communication skills with the proven ability to work with a diverse audience.
  • Firm understanding of web technologies and applications, including social media tools and current communication trends with the ability to analyze data and make data-driven decisions.
  • Great degree of flexibility and outstanding organizational skills. Ability to adapt to changes and/or upgrades in office procedures and systems.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in all aspects of public communications including writing, strategy, planning, project management, editing and publishing (typically three or more years).
  • Marketing or communication experience with an understanding of the complexities of higher education and the conventions of writing, editing and proofreading (typically three or more years) in a higher education environment. Significant experience in print publication and integrated media communications (typically two or more years).
  • The ability to write, develop and implement strategic communications plans, based on best practices for fundraising, philanthropy and engagement.
  • The ability to analyze trends, evaluate feedback and recommend improvements.
  • Extensive portfolio that includes a variety of communications pieces (including publications, appeal letters, social media collateral, proposals, talking points, website content, scripts and digital communications).
  • Knowledge of alumni, advancement, and student information systems.
  • Understanding of the operating structure of universities and the complex relationship of public universities to their constituencies.

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