Associate Director of Digital Communications



Job description



118 College Drive
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 39406-0001
United States

University Communications

Position Type

Employment Status
Full Time

Grant Funded

Salary Range
52,995.00 – 71,699.00

Pay Grade


Posting Close Date
June 23, 2023

Job Summary
The Associate Director of Digital Communications is responsible for the University’s primary public-facing web presence across all campuses/locations, leveraging a partnership with iTech and input from decentralized web staff to execute the University’s strategy for utilizing the web as a primary communications asset with multiple constituencies. Initially this position will be responsible for the implementation of comprehensive content, organization, design, and governance recommendations produced by an external consultant. This position is a digital visionary and a highly visible spokesperson for the use of the content management system (CMS) and the central services offered to University units.

Primary Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Directs content creation, content management, and strategic use of the University’s primary public-facing web presence through overseeing content planning and development, design, writing, editing, usability testing, and training for decentralized web staff. Oversees the day-to-day operation and integration of the University’s web pages – owned by multiple units – including editorial content management and advising on improvements to usability, design, analytics, and search engine optimization (SEO).
  2. Serves as the primary web contact and client relations manager for senior officers of the University and mission-critical units. Advises on content direction for major units, including academic colleges. Leads the development, implementation, and enforcement of web policies and standards and chairs related committees. Oversees the development and implementation of central training, education, and support for decentralized web staff, in partnership with iTech.
  3. Ensures that all public-facing digital communications align with the University’s branding and marketing goals and institutional priorities. Recommends and prioritizes web-based plans and solutions for accomplishing the goals and strategies outlined in the University’s marketing and communications plans. Collaborates with Marketing Communications staff to coordinate the production and integration of multi-media and written content for the web with social media content produced by Marketing Communications staff.
  4. Partners with iTech to plan and execute ongoing CMS enhancements. Collaborates with the Office of General Counsel and iTech to ensure compliance with all federal, state, system, and institutional policies and regulations applicable to the University’s primary public-facing web presence. Responsible for the overall implementation of current and future digital communications projects and related migration of web content from all University units. Serves as the functional project lead for future comprehensive and incremental web initiatives as assigned, to include managing team tasks, schedules, and deadlines.
  5. Regularly evaluates engagement and interaction tactics through appropriate metrics and coordinates related improvements. Consults with stakeholders and audience groups to evaluate and improve the experience of visitors across the website and integrated social media channels managed by Marketing Communications staff. Maintains current knowledge of digital communications trends and recommends related enhancements to the University’s web presence as appropriate.
  6. Supervises the Digital Communications team in University Communications, leads the Central Web Team comprised of staff from University Communications and iTech, and performs other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree in advertising, communications, marketing, public relations, or a related field from an accredited college or university. Five years of experience in digital communications with two years of supervisory experience. Strong background in digital strategy and enterprise content management systems. Valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:
Master’s degree in a related field. Previous experience implementing enterprise-level web upgrade projects. Experience working in higher education. Experience with project management processes.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA):

  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously
  • Demonstrated experience building consensus
  • Demonstrated experience managing and completing projects and tasks according to prescribed deadlines
  • Demonstrated experience achieving successful project outcomes
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills
  • Exceptional leadership ability and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team
  • Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to travel between USM locations as needed to fulfill job responsibilities
  • Knowledge of enterprise CMS software and tools
  • Knowledge of best practices for project management preferred
  • Knowledge of best practices for analytics, search, and search engine optimization preferred

About The University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is a comprehensive public research institution delivering transformative programs on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, at teaching and research sites across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as online. Founded in 1910, USM is one of only 131 universities in the nation to earn the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” designation, and its robust research enterprise includes experts in ocean science and engineering, polymer science and engineering, and large event venue safety and security, among others. USM is also one of only 37 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music. As an economic driver, USM generates an annual economic impact of more than $600 million across the state. USM welcomes a diverse student body of more than 14,000, representing 71 countries, all 50 states, and every county in Mississippi. USM students have collected four Truman Scholarships and 37 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, while also leading Mississippi with 27 Goldwater Scholarships, an honor that recognizes the next generation of great research scientists. Home to the Golden Eagles, USM competes in 17 Division I sports sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). For more information, visit

How to apply

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As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer/Americans with Disabilities Act institution, The University of Southern Mississippi encourages minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities to apply.

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Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. In just 100 years, we’ve grown from a small teachers’ college into a premier research university that is a haven for the arts with a tradition of success in both academics and athletics. Southern Miss has a diverse student body of approximately 17,000 students from 56 different countries, all 50 states and every corner of Mississippi. We offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in six degree-granting colleges with more than 180 degree programs. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to six teaching and research sites in Mississippi.