Website Northwestern University

Department: Trienens Institute

Salary/Grade: EXS/6

Job Summary

**Please submit cover letter and resume with application. **

The Sr. Communications Coordinator provides project leadership for communications initiatives, such as writing and editing print and web articles for the Paula M. Trienens Institute for Sustainability and Energy. Manages specific communications projects, such as social media and newsletter production, and ensures that projects meet deadlines. Leads editorial projects, including assisting with publications and execution of internal and external communications for the Institute. Leads daily management of social media accounts and supervises student work study in this area. Trains, mentors the student work study on social media, photos, and other projects as needed.

This position will create written and web communications, print and digital publications, administer the websites of the Trienens Institute and its centers and programs, and associated social media accounts, as well as support the marketing strategy for the Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability program, and other associated programs as assigned. This position requires a high degree of independence, discretion handling confidential information, attention to detail, organizations skills, excellent communication (written and verbal), and ability to follow up on meetings and plan next steps in collaboration with Trienens Institute leadership and staff.

This is a term position ending on 8/31/2029. Opportunity for renewal will be based on performance and available funding.

Please Note: Attends events as needed to ensure their smooth functioning. Occasionally, events might necessitate working outside of normal working hours, in the evening, and on weekends. Manages social media accounts on select weekends. Occasional lifting of heavy objects weighing more than 10 pounds.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Contribute to the development of effective communications and branding strategies and manage projects in alignment with editorial priorities and communication strategy:
  • Uses news judgement to select and pitch content based on recent academic papers/publications, and events.
  • Initiates and conducts interviews with faculty and others, writes and edits analytic, informational, and/or feature web and print articles.
  • Obtains approvals for copy and reviews and posts final article.
  • Selects, manages, and creates editorial and design pieces for publications—media releases, brochures, reports, working papers, conference materials, internal communication, flyers, etc.
  • Sets and manages deadlines to ensure that content is produced in accordance with overall deadlines and respects current copyright and libel laws.
  • Ensures that content is free of spelling and grammatical errors, follows AP and in-house style, and meets the Institute’s high standards for accuracy and factual rigor.
  • Identifies accompanying images, graphics, and hyperlinks; and sources/produces the related content.
  • Identifies and adapts existing content to other digital media and print formats.
  • Selects, analyzes, and reports on appropriate analytics to measure project success and creates associated reports.
  • Identifies opportunities for content partnership with other units/organizations.
  • Reaches out to and coordinates with other units/departments/organizations as needed to produce marketing and communications materials.
  • Supervises social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) on a daily basis; trains and mentors the student work study on social media accounts.
  • Plans and manages the social media calendar, objectives and strategy, messaging, writing posts, sourcing or creating the visual images for these posts, aligning to the Institute’s overall product and marketing plan.
  • Monitors peer social media accounts for updates.
  • Tracks analytics through each account and offers recommendations for improving account activity.
  • Stays abreast of the latest trends and incorporates best practices and new tools into social media accounts as needed.
  • Tailors content to a particular channel.
  • Grows engagement, reach, and impact through proactive campaigns and management.
  • Design flyers and other promotional materials for events, academic opportunities, and other programs.
  • Administer the websites of the Trienens Institute and its centers and programs
  • Selects research for and renders complicated academic concepts as infographics by designing visually appealing charts and graphs for infographics, policy research briefs, and other formats.
  • Necessitates basic statistical understanding and an ability to manipulate data in programs such as Excel.
  • Able to follow existing design standards and create new templates and style guides.
  • Collaborates with the Communications Team on major events planning and organization in accordance with assigned deadlines. Attends events as needed to ensure their smooth functioning. Occasionally, events might necessitate working outside of normal working hours, in the evening, and on weekends.
  • Trains and mentors the students work study on how to:
  • Identify subjects for photos and take digital photos of a variety of people and events, using Photoshop and Google Photos to edit/manage them.
  • Conduct image searches.
  • Obtain copyright and audiovisual release forms as needed.
  • Manage hired photographers.
  • Augment and maintain the Institute’s photo database by ensuring proper storage and quick retrieval of images and other media files.
  • Hires and supervises student workers (1–4 each year) on a day-to-day basis (scheduling, training, workflow, etc.) and provides work direction.


Performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications with a social science minor; or a Bachelor’s in a social science field (political science, sociology, etc.) with a journalism or communications minor; or a Bachelor’s degree in a related field, with the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which similar skills can be acquired.
  • 2-3 years of experience writing for a publication and/or website (experience can also be part of an internship or part-time position) and experience in running social media platforms for a nonprofit or organization. Includes experience with primary ownership of content planning, creation, and maintenance.
  • Prior experience in managing a small team of at least 2 people.
  • Demonstrated interest in the social sciences, evidence-based research, and public policy.
  • Must be able to grasp complex social science concepts.
  • Good news judgment and outstanding editing and communications skills.
  • Able to set priorities, organize workflow, work independently on assigned projects, and collaborate in a hard-working, small-team environment, demonstrating an exceptional work ethic and following through on initiatives.
  • Punctual and reliable, with the ability to meet deadlines, strive for continuous improvement, solve problems quickly, and think outside of the box.
  • Rigorous attention to detail.

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Well versed in AP style, with a sharp eye for grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Basic knowledge of current copyright and libel laws.
  • Able to work in a Mac computer environment.
  • Demonstrated experience with Software/Platforms: Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop and InDesign), and Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), MailChimp or other event email marketing platforms.
  • Demonstrated experience with content and photo management systems for websites and social media.
  • Demonstrated experience with social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  • Demonstrated experience in effective use of and presenting information from analytics tools for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google.
  • Demonstrated image/design experience (page designs, web layouts, editing images and graphics, etc.).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in journalism, communications with a social science minor; or a master’s in a social science field (political science, sociology, etc.) with a journalism or communications B.A.; or a Master’s degree in a related field, with the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which similar skills can be acquired
  • Software: Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator and After Effects), Google Analytics, Cascade Content Management System, and Sprinklr, or equivalent.
  • 2 – 3 years of full-time experience writing for a publication and/or website and experience in running social media platforms for a nonprofit, institution of higher education, or other organization.

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • Knowledge of SEO and SEM.
  • Multimedia production experience (audio, video).


At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life And Wellness

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Professional Growth & Development

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The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

Target hiring range for this position will be between $59,000-$72,000 per year. Offered salary will be determined by the applicant’s education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.

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