Merit School of Music seeks a highly qualified candidate for the position of Director of Marketing & Communications to begin immediately. The Director of Marketing and Communications helps direct the development and creation of all marketing strategies, marketing communications, and public relations activities, both external and internal. The Director is also responsible for managing the implementation of all Marketing and Communications efforts and achieving strategic deliverables in terms of organizational awareness and visibility.
Since its founding in 1979, Merit School of Music has successfully motivated and inspired over 50,000 young people with high-quality music instruction. The School’s broad-ranging comprehensive curriculum, extensive level of financial aid, sense of community and the standard of excellence set forth by the faculty and students are major components of its success.
Merit offers a multi-leveled, structured curriculum in a college preparatory environment. Programs take place at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center in Chicago’s West Loop and at nearly 30 locations in neighborhoods across the City. Instruction is offered to approximately 5,000 students of all ages, from infants to adults, and from beginners to the Juilliard-bound by over 150 accomplished faculty members.
Merit has an annual operating budget of $6 million, of which nearly half is supported by contributed revenue.
Merit School of Music transforms the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.
The Director of Marketing & Communications reports to Vice President for Development & Marketing
Responsibilities of the Director of Marketing & Communications include, but are not limited to:
Direct the development of all marketing, communications, public relations activities and materials, including print and online advertising, email marketing, web site management and content development, press releases, multimedia and marketing collateral.
Work with the VP for Development and Marketing to develop a long term, multi-channel marketing and communications plan for Merit with a particular focus on highlighting the school’s 40th Anniversary.
Create communication plan to deliver targeted and segmented messages to Merit constituencies including parents, students, alumni and friends.
Lead efforts to enhance Merit’s digital platforms.
With support from the VP for Development and Marketing, serve as staff liaison for Board of Trustees Marketing Committee.
Direct efforts to market and advertise Merit’s onsite and offsite classes and performances
Manage content for Merit’s social media channels and website.
Oversee the design and copy production for all of Merit’s print and electronic collateral (letterhead, use of logo, website, emails, brochures, etc.).
Work in conjunction with Development staff to create proposals, donor brochures and other collateral.
Work in conjunction with the Program Department to develop collateral for student registration, concerts, and other activities.
Manage marketing department calendar and ensure deadlines and deliverables are met.
Direct the efforts of Merit’s public relations firm to increase visibility and awareness of Merit’s mission and program by creating Merit’s annual public relations calendar, press materials, and coordinating logistics with media.
Develop short- and long-term plans and budgets for all marketing initiatives, monitor progress and expenses, and ensure adherence and evaluate performance.
Manage Merit’s creative team of freelance professionals and agencies (printers, designers, photographers, etc.).
Maintain marketing files on Merit’s network as well as photo, video, and audio archives.
Aid in the preparation of presentations for use in Staff, Board, and Faculty meetings, and in any external presentations.
Manage all branded merchandise and promotional items.
Coordinate projects as assigned, such as exhibits and special events.
Represent Merit at various community and partnership meetings as needed.
Supervise part-time Graphics & Social Media Associate.
37.5 hours a week
Flexible and dependent on time of year, workload and availability. Some evenings and weekends required
Compensation is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include: Health, Dental, Long-term Disability, Flexible Spending Accounts, Retirement Plan
(after 1 year of employment), and Paid time off.
Interested candidates should send a résumé and a portfolio of 3-4 samples (press releases, marketing collateral, etc.) to:
Merit School of Music does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran status, physical or mental disability or any other protected status in admission or access to, or employment in its programs and activities.
2-3 years of relevant experience in marketing and communications
The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:
Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills
The ability to multi-task, prioritize responsibilities, and work on deadline
Ability to craft strategic messages, content and copy
Excellent organizational skills and a detail-oriented work style
A strong work ethic and a willingness to take initiative
The ability to work both independently and as a member of a team
Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), including Power point and/or any other related marketing software