Communications Officer, Advancement

Website University of Waterloo

Full job description


The Communications Officer is a key member of the Advancement Team, and will deliver creative, tactical planning, implementation and project management of integrated communications plans, projects and strategies to increase alumni engagement, raise philanthropic support and build Waterloo Champions.

Reporting to the Senior Communications Officer, the Communications officer works as part of a dynamic and integrated team within Advancement and with campus partners, to thoughtfully and effectively engage our community of alumni, donors, prospects, through compelling communications using various channels.

The Communications Officer is accountable for the planning, project management, delivering, evaluating and reporting on the impact of digital marketing and communications strategies to inspire and engage alumni, donors and prospects, This role is responsible for developing a digital content strategy, ensuring the creation of compelling content, accuracy and a dynamic user experience of online content while managing the day to day website content creation and maintenance. The role manages social media planning for Advancement, in partnership with Science Communications, and Advancement colleagues.


Create, plan and execute creative digital and social content for all Advancement audiences

  • Proactively writes, manages, curates, copy edits and updates content for Advancement websites, online community engagement platforms, and social media channels
  • Creates digital communications strategies and sets tactical plans to deliver on objectives Job Description
  • Manages the Advancement websites and establishes a content strategy, including day-to-day content creation and maintenance, regular content audits and supporting web maintainers via editing support and best practices
  • Acts as Advancement’s lead for the Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) and attends monthly Web Advisory Committee meetings to represent Advancement
  • Looks for ways to improve the online user experience, working collaboratively with colleagues on web best practices, information architecture, usability etc.
  • Creates an Advancement social media strategy, and develops and executes compelling social media plans and creative content that promotes Advancement initiatives and inspires alumni and donor engagement
  • Provides social media support and training for colleagues in support of events/activities
  • Identifies and develops targeted and creative approaches for the integration of print, digital and video strategies
  • Remains current on issues, trends, technologies, demands and approaches in digital marketing and communications
  • Proactively explores and suggests creative ways to tell our story and expand our audience reach and engagement
  • Ensures all strategies and content aligns with the University of Waterloo brand platform and supports the needs of Advancement

Collaborates, advises and consults

  • Uses digital and social media expertise to provide advice on strategic and integrated communications plans to develop audience-specific content that will best resonate with audiences and maximize results
  • Works collaboratively as member of Advancement Marketing and Communications team to strategically support Advancement and University goals
  • Works closely with the Marketing and Communications team to ensure accuracy, consistency and integration of messaging
  • Works closely with campus partners, including Faculties, colleges, and units such University Relations on projects, in a highly collaborative and creative environment
  • Provides high level of customer service internally and externally to support relationship cultivation and engagement with Waterloo
  • Provides creative direction to Creative Services or third-party vendors on writing, design, photography and videography
  • Participates in communications committees/working groups as needed

Manages digital marketing and communications projects

  • Coordinates the marketing and communications strategy and execution of existing and new digital initiatives, and collaborates in the planning, developing and implementing of digital projects, in partnership with colleagues
  • Oversees the development of the strategy for the alumni and friends online engagement platform
  • Coordinates and art directs photography and video projects as needed; works collaboratively with colleagues who may be the project lead
  • Create content for events using iModules
  • Liaise with Central Advancement Communcations to create broadcast email content


  • Hires, coaches and manages co-op student and junior contract staff, as needed.
  • Provides backup copy writing and editing services as needed
    Assumes roles in special projects or committees, as assigned
  • Provides social media or event support for key Advancement events including Reunion/Alumni Weekend, Convocation and President’s receptions, as needed
  • Engages in active, ongoing learning by seeking opportunities for ongoing training and professional development (ie: industry articles and blogs, webinars, conferences)


  • University degree in communications, marketing, journalism, media studies or public relations, or equivalent combination of education and experience Experience
  • 3-5 years’ experience in communications, marketing or community manager role, preferably in education or not-for-profit sector with a proven record of writing, editing and developing creative digital communications for multiple audiences
  • Demonstrated experience in web-based communications, marketing and technology strategies, including website design, content strategy and management
  • Strong writing skills in both print and digital platforms
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices in information architecture, navigation, user interface, usability, accessibility standards and testing
  • Strong knowledge of social media trends, analytics and current/emerging technology
  • Experience with digital analytics tools, reporting and making recommendations based on findings
  • Experience working with alumni/donors or membership-based audiences preferred; University advancement experience considered a strong asset
  • Ability to build consensus, work collaboratively and foster teamwork with multiple stakeholders and work with integrated project teams
  • Ability to understand the goals, strategy and planning of Advancement and the University and translate that into compelling communication content
  • Strong organization skills, including a disciplined approach to project planning and execution with exceptional attention to detail and accuracy
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills, passionate about communications and high-quality work, and deliver creative and consistent work in demanding environment with multiple stakeholders, projects and deadlines
  • Resilient, able to excel in fast-paced environment with shifting priorities, ambiguity and public scrutiny
  • Experience with a content management system (Drupal); Advanced Word, Excel and PowerPoint skills; Adobe Creative Suite
  • Willingness to work occasional hours outside of traditional hours

Equity Statement:

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within the Office of Indigenous Relations.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.

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