Human Resources Employment Opportunities

Senior Communications Specialist

Apply now Job no: 514704
Position Type: Staff Full Time
Campus: UMass Boston
Department: Communications
Pay Grade: 32
Date opened: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

General Summary: 

The Senior Communications Specialist is responsible for developing and managing communications projects, media and public relations efforts, and other public information activities for the university. The incumbent will consult on a regular basis with faculty, staff, and students who are involved in newsworthy activities and will plan, assign, and/or write stories, edit, and produce news content for print, web, social media, and other platforms. In association with the director and assistant director of communications, the senior communications specialist will assist with media efforts, including developing news releases for print, broadcast, and electronic media.

The Senior Communications Specialist will pay a lead role in ensuring the university’s communications are of the highest quality and will participate in strategy and message development for both internal and external communications priorities, including for the Chancellor’s Office. They will also be responsible for highlighting coverage of the university to internal and external audiences via news clips, postings to the website, and other means. The incumbent will contribute to the university’s news social media channels and will monitor the use of social media to supplement the university’s news operations. The senior communications specialist will assist in the execution of the university’s communications plans and will assist the communications director with research and other communications activities.

The successful candidate will also assist with public information efforts, helping to shape and disseminate campus emergency communications and respond to media during crisis events. The incumbent may also share on-call responsibilities during non-business hours.

Examples of Duties: 

  • Plan, edit, and produce the university’s news publications and other communications products from the Office of Communications, which include priority broadcast emails, news columns, press releases, and departmental and university magazine and reports;
  • Serve as manager, strategist, and content developer for the university’s news-related social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and monitor analytical data from these platforms to evaluate impact; provide training and consultation to faculty and staff on social media, and oversee the university’s social media policy;
  • Supervise the use of social media to supplement the university’s emergency communications operations regarding campus closures, weather issues, safety concerns, and other issues of imminent importance;
  • Serve as senior editor for the Office of Communications, ensuring the highest quality of all written materials; review work product as needed and provide feedback; work closely with the Chancellor’s Office on priority communications, particularly in the absence of the director;
  • Serve as part of the university’s public information team and regularly participate in campus-wide emergency communications;
  • Research campus events, activities, and accomplishments and consult with faculty, students and staff for possible stories for the university’s website, publications and the media; assist in researching news outlets and developing media outreach lists for particular events and news pitches, as needed;
  • Communicate news about the university to external and internal audiences through public relations activities, web postings, and publications; assist in the development of website content and provide editorial oversight as needed;
  • Participate in strategy and message development on both internal campus and external civic priorities for the Chancellor’s Office;
  • Contribute to the university’s news publications, including developing and/or writing stories and organizing photography needs; write broadcast emails, memos, chancellor’s columns and other strategic communications pieces, as needed; develop and manage special communications projects, as needed;
  • Oversee the distribution of daily electronic news clips featuring news about UMass Boston and its faculty, staff and students;
  • As needed, respond to media inquiries for additional information about the university; connect the media with faculty experts on campus, develop media expert profiles and promote their availability; continue to build and maintain a UMass Boston faculty and staff experts database on the website;
  • Staff events at the university to assist with press needs and inquiries; develop media plans for major university events;
  • Work with campus photographer to secure photos for press materials, website, and other needs;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Bachelor’s degree, preferably in English, journalism, communications, or public relations, and a minimum of five to seven (5-7) years of experience in communications, public relations or journalism. The incumbent may be required to work occasional evenings and/or weekends, and on occasion be on-call during non-business hours.

  • Proficiency in the use of technology, such as desktop publishing and e-newsletter software;
  • Proficiency in the use of social media as a marketing and recruitment tool;
  • Ability to execute communication plans and activities with minimal direction and supervision;
  • Ability to handle confidential material;
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a broad range of constituents;
  • Demonstrated strong writing and oral communications skills;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including capacity to respond to criticism, problem solving, and good judgment;
  • Strong editing and news management skills, with a proven record of editing publications;
  • Strong commitment to customer service.

Application Instructions: 

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three professional references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date. 

Only Internal candidates in the Professional Staff Bargaining Unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting.  All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

Salary Ranges for the appropriate Pay Grade can be found at the following link: 


Salary Ranges

This is an exempt union position.

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to confirm proof of their vaccination status including booster. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

The University of Massachusetts Boston provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, genetic information, pregnancy or a pregnancy-related condition, or membership in any other legally protected class. The University of Massachusetts Boston complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the university operates. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment.

UMass Boston normally does not provide H-1B visa sponsorship for non-academic positions.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is committed to providing a safe and secure environment that is supported by qualified employees for all of its students, faculty and staff to carry out the University's teaching, research and public service missions. As a condition of employment, the University will conduct appropriate background check reviews. For more information, please see the University of Massachusetts Boston campus policy and procedures for employee background reviews.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated and to confirm proof of their vaccination status. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons. Regardless of vaccination status, you must wear a face covering in public indoor spaces on campus.

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