Northrop, UMN Hiring Temporary Communications Associate

Respond by:
Image of the empty theater at Northrop, University of Minnesota.

Northrop, University of Minnesota Position Description

Working Title: Temporary Communications Associate

Classification: 8341MC – Marketing & Communication Professional 1

Dates of Position: Immediately through June 30, 2024. Position open until filled. 

Salary Range: $18.44-24.36 per hour

The Organization:
Northrop shapes Minnesota’s rich cultural environment through arts presentations that celebrate excellence and innovation, community engagement, and creative exchange. Considered a Minneapolis architectural treasure, Northrop is an enduring symbol of the University of Minnesota, and the focal point of the Twin Cities campus and community.

Since opening in 1929, Northrop has served as the University's primary gathering place for the performing arts, concerts, lectures, academic ceremonies, and major civic events. Our performances and engagement activities reach far beyond the student body and University community to citizens all across Minnesota and beyond. Programming has focused on bringing world-class artists and thinkers to Northrop, where the arts are incorporated into the student experience and shared with regional audiences. At the heart of our programming is the Northrop Season, presenting a series of extraordinary dance from all over the world since 1970 and a music series centered around our historic pipe organ. Northrop has commissioned new works, and presented scores of premieres, ranging from state and regional to US and world premieres.

The revitalized Northrop has been in operation since the grand reopening in April, 2014. The theater revitalization included re-configuring the existing 4800-seat outmoded auditorium into a new theater of 2692 seats featuring state-of-the-art acoustics, excellent sightlines, cutting-edge technologies, and updated amenities. In addition, the building now boasts the 168-seat Best Buy Theater, expanded lobby areas, The Bistro, and newly incorporated space for three signature academic programs: The Institute for Advanced Study, the University Honors Program, and the College of Design. Several lobby lounges provide spaces for student study and team learning activities.

Northrop is also the business owner and service provider of ticketing, membership, and donation services to the five U of M system campuses and the U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar, listing thousands of campus events showcasing the U of M as a hub of activity in service to the campus and community.

Mission Statement:
Rooted in the belief that the arts are essential to the human experience, we are committed to cultivating intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.

Vision Statement:
Directly aligned with the teaching, research and service mission of the University, Northrop is a catalyst that uses the boundless power of arts and education to ignite transformation in each individual, inspiring positive change in our world.

Organizational Values:
INSPIRATION: We embrace a culture that ignites discovery, bold creativity and transformation.
EXCELLENCE: We deliver programs of the highest quality that advance arts, education and cultural enrichment.
CONNECTIVITY: We foster and illuminate connections that bring meaning and value to our lives.
INCLUSIVITY: We invite, welcome and respect everyone, honoring and celebrating the richness inherent in our differences.
COLLABORATION: We cultivate relationships that create unique opportunities for exponential impact.

Staff Values:
INTEGRITY: We each act according to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct and serve as positive advocates for Northrop.
RESPECT: We uphold a workplace culture that is collaborative, encouraging and fulfilling.
EMPOWERMENT: We value and trust the skills of our colleagues and empower each individual to do their job, while upholding the mission and furthering the goals of the organization.
ACCOUNTABILITY:  We are an outcome based, impact driven, data informed organization.  Goals are transparent and each individual has ownership in successes and challenges.
BALANCE: We recognize the ebb and flow of our workloads and are committed to helping one another find and maintain sustainable work / life balance.

Position Overview
The Temporary Communications Associate performs a broad range of internal and external communications work in support of Northrop’s communications, marketing, sales, fundraising, campus and community engagement, and K-12 arts education for Northrop programming, Northrop’s Gallery, the rental of Northrop spaces, The Bistro at Northrop, U of M Tickets and Events, and the U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar. This position will collaborate closely and communicate with colleagues in all areas of Northrop, campus and community partners, media, and the general public. The Temporary Communications Associate will write, edit, and proof an expansive variety of materials from a large volume of information for all digital and print platforms and channels, ensuring clear, consistent, and effective messaging and branding following Northrop and U of M brand and editorial standards. In partnership with and under the direction of the Marketing Systems Manager and Interim Communications Director, the Temporary Communications Associate may build content on Northrop’s website; build, test, and send email communications to targeted audiences; and support the U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar by communicating with and assisting users and executing communications tactics for its promotion and expansion. This temporary position reports to the Interim Communications Director, but also takes direction from and works in close partnership with the Marketing Systems Manager. This is a 75%-time (30 hours per week) currently hybrid (remote and on-site work) temporary position with full benefits, primarily working weekdays, and occasionally weekend and/or evening hours as needed based on the schedule of Northrop’s events.

Responsibilities/Duties of Position:

50% Copywriting, Editing, and Proofing  

  • Write, edit, and proof copy for a variety of channels, goals, and objectives for internal and external audiences for Northrop programming and related campus and community engagement, the Northrop Gallery, the rental of Northrop spaces, The Bistro at Northrop, U of M Tickets and Events, and the U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar.
  • Maintain the overall messaging strategy and brand voice of Northrop and adhere to Northrop and U of M editorial style guides in conjunction with industry guidelines.
  • Ensure digital content is optimized for search engines, accessibility, user experience, and other platform specific guidelines and engagement strategies.
  • Collaborate with Interim Communications Director and others to analyze and evaluate effectiveness of the communications to identify trends and strategies to continuously improve outcomes.

25% Website and Email Communications

  • In collaboration with Marketing Systems Manager, build new and edit existing content on Northrop website using Drupal.
  • In collaboration with Marketing Systems Manager, build, test, and send email communications using Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio and potentially AudienceView ticketing system.

10% U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar

  • Execute communications tactics for promotion and expansion of U of M Twin Cities Campus Events Calendar.
  • Communicate with departmental platform users.
  • Proof and review content submitted by departmental account holders in accordance with style guide.
  • Respond to platform service inquiries; set up accounts for users.
  • Provide training as needed for departmental account holders.

10% Administrative/Miscellaneous  

  • Build and track projects on Team Gantt project management system.
  • Respond to internal and external questions, comments, and requests for information through Northrop email and other channels as needed, providing excellent customer service.
  • Assist Northrop team at events and/or monitoring email and other communications platforms on or off-site during weekend and/or evening hours as needed.
  • Provide exemplary customer service focused on creating positive and memorable experiences for all Northrop patron touchpoints.
  • Assist with research and patron feedback.
  • Backup Interim Communications Director, Marketing Systems Manager, and other team members as needed.
  • Administrative support and various tasks. Other duties as assigned.
  • Participate in industry or role-related professional networking or learning opportunities.
  • This position requires that essential functions are performed during weekend and/or evening hours as needed, based on the schedule of Northrop’s events.

5% Media Relations  

  • Support the Interim Communications Director with media relations tasks such as writing and distributing press releases, media advisories, and briefings/talking points.
  • May assist with developing and updating targeted media distribution lists using Agility PR platform.
  • Occasionally help escort media at on-site events.
  • Contribute to archive of media coverage.

Minimum requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as communications, English, or journalism, or a combination of related education and work experience to equal at least four years.
  • Demonstrated excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills for a variety of content types and platforms, preferably in the performing arts or entertainment industry requiring ticket sales and meeting goals.
  • Experience writing and editing for target audiences using key messages in support of communications and marketing plans and goals.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Experience creating content supporting search engine optimization strategies.
  • Commitment to collaboration, partnership, and co-creation within an organization and with external partners.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Proficient with Google and Microsoft Office suite of products.
  • Demonstrated work ethic with ability to handle and organize multiple projects simultaneously with varied timelines and duties.
  • Investigative, deductive, and critical thinker with excellent attention to detail.
  • Experience working both as a team and independently.
  • History of completing projects and generating new ideas.
  • Upbeat and positive personality; build and maintain professional and positive relationships; excellent and intuitive customer service skills and philosophy.
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced, goal-oriented, multi-faceted environment.
  • Able to learn new areas quickly, take ownership of issues/projects, and develop recommendations.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Interest in/knowledge of performing arts.
  • Experience with Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio.
  • Experience with Drupal or similar.
  • Basic understanding of HTML.
  • Experience with Agility PR or similar.
  • Experience with any project management platform.
  • Experience with AudienceView or other ticketing platform.
  • Experience with media relations.

The employer reserves the right to change or add job duties to this position if consistent with the job classification.
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Application instructions: please submit resume, cover letter, three writing samples, and references with your U of M application.

For more information and to apply:
External applicants:
Internal UMN applicants:
Job ID: 358330