University of Washington’s search for a marketing leader

Steve’s breakdown: Their job description is below and , as always, it works as a blueprint to their marketing wants & dreams. Use it as your pitch.

SEATTLE, WA: The University of Washington (UW) is proud to be one of the nation’s premier educational and research institutions. Our people are the most important asset in our pursuit of achieving excellence in education, research, and community service. Our staff not only enjoy outstanding benefits and professional growth opportunities, but also an environment noted for diversity, community involvement, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits, and natural beauty.

KUOW is the Puget Sound Region’s NPR-affiliated public radio service for local, regional, national and international news, information and cultural programming. We serve more than one million users monthly: on-air, online, live streaming and on demand. KUOW operates four broadcast frequencies in Seattle and Western Washington State and produces discrete content services on an additional two HD channels. The mission of KUOW is to create and serve an informed public—one challenged and invigorated by an understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

The station is licensed to the University of Washington, which is assisted in its operation and management by Puget Sound Public Radio, a private nonprofit corporation established in 1999 and governed by a community board.

KUOW’s intent is to be the finest possible provider of news from both within and beyond our region. By doing so, we hope to enable our audience to be better citizens of the world and participants in our local community. We intend to push hard with ever better local/regional coverage: deeper reporting, broader reach and inclusiveness, and to establish emotional connections that resonate and connect citizens. By helping the citizens of the Puget Sound enrich their personal truths, tempered through the perspectives of their fellow citizens, KUOW works to bind us together through common understanding rather than rend us. To help in this mission KUOW has an outstanding opportunity for a Chief Marketing Officer to oversee all aspects of marketing.

Reporting to the President & General Manager of Puget Sound Public Radio, KUOW, the CMO is the senior executive responsible for all activities related to conceptualizing and implementing a market strategy; developing leadership vision and strategic direction for this media enterprise’s comprehensive and integrated marketing efforts. This would include direct advertising and earned media – with the desired outcomes of accomplishing the initiatives in the Strategic Business plan, growing audience for KUOW on all platforms, diversifying the consumer base, enhancing KUOW’s reputation and influencing a heightened value proposition among KUOW consumers to create a climate conducive to philanthropy and sales/sponsorships.

Initially, the CMO will be the lead in an internal “start-up”; KUOW has not previously had a Marketing and Communications unit. The CMO will advise senior KUOW leadership on the creation, resourcing and integration of this function.

The CMO provides both strategic and hands-on direction to the company’s marketing efforts. The CMO will build and oversee a staff in the areas of creative, publicity, promotions, public relations, Internet and social media marketing, internal and external marketing communications.

Working closely with the President/General Manager, Chief Content Officer and the Chief Resource Officer, the CMO will have ultimate responsibility for the marketing campaigns for the brand as a whole—as well as for campaigns geared toward promoting KUOW’s network affiliations, discrete programs and/or coverage units, content and/or event specials and other business initiatives.

The CMO position will build and manage a marketing team capable of carrying out the necessary marketing strategies. Ensure the company has the correct technology infrastructure to support marketing goals. Establish core marketing functions, tactics and workflows to introduce and establish KUOW’s brand and master narrative to amplify KUOW’s evolving content strategy. Oversee the day-to-day operations of the KUOW Marketing Communications Team. Responsible for the management, staff development and career enrichment of the Marketing Communications Team. Develop and drive achievement of the unit’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Brand Management (20%) 

•Refine and clearly communicate—internally and externally—the core attributes of the KUOW brand; leverage the Brand Narrative and logo/identity system to maximum affect—as measured by ratings, tracking of content consumption on all platforms, revenue generation, critical acclaim, event success and citizen engagement.

Evangelize for the KUOW brand, providing consistent messaging on what KUOW does (and does not) represent.

Finalize and implement the Brand Identity Manual for use across all platforms with all audiences. Ensure consistent visual and aural identity; ensure brand message is aligned across paid, earned, owned and shared channels. Work with the Director of Digital Media to create web and mobile friendly brand standards.

Integrated Marketing Communications (20%) 
•Create and implement strategic messaging campaigns to effectively tell KUOW’s story—and—provide expert advice across the station to implement a narrative that aligns with and supports KUOW’s objectives.

Energize and infuse new creative energy and analytical know-how into the development and implementation of KUOW’s marketing and promotional activity on all platforms (on-air, online, social, live on-site, etc.) producing measureable results.

Media Relations/Reputation Management (10%) 

•Develop and implement a media relations strategy that includes garnering earned media, and improving recognition of key content producers, hosts, reporters and other KUOW personalities. Provide guidance and leadership for KUOW executives and spokespeople. Manage crisis communications, messaging and teams when necessary. Create consistent and strategic talking points to protect KUOW’s reputation.

Research (10%) 

•Analyze/synthesize ongoing research data and commission episodic quantitative/qualitative research as appropriate. In tandem with the Chief Content Officer, the CMO will lead the strategies to stay on top of changing consumer demographics, market forces, etc. toward a goal of minimizing threats and preempting competitor encroachment. Provide consistent and reliable data and analyses to KUOW leadership to foster an environment of fact-based decision making.

Team & Partner Management (15%) 

•Liaise with KUOW’s content syndication partners (e.g. NPR, APM, PRI, etc.), network affiliations (e.g. Northwest News Network), etc. toward collaborative work that would lead to enhanced awareness/positioning for KUOW.

Internal Communications (5%) 

•Create an internal strategic communication plan to share KUOW’s business objectives, desired culture and values to employees, the Puget Sound Public Radio (PSPR) board and collaborative partner organizations.

Membership Support (10%) 

•Assist in creating a membership communications plan to support conversions of Core listeners to members, elevate high-capacity donors to their optimal level of philanthropy, and to enhance the philanthropic experience.

Underwriting Support (5%) 

•Support the Corporate Sales unit by leveraging market research; developing in collaboration with the Director of Corporate Sales (DCS), a strategy to support business creative projects including competitor analyses and demographic/lifestyle segmentation and consumer positioning research. Provide analysis and creative support to produce compelling and effective sales collateral materials. Assist that unit in conceiving/implementing appropriate community connections and visibility to enhance awareness and relationship building and drive sales growth.

Budget/Other (5%) 

•Assume overall management and budgetary responsibility (especially recommending/driving optimal resource investment as this is a new unit for KUOW) for a full range of classic marketing activities including company and brand positioning, media campaigns, competitive intelligence, promotions, marketing communications and public relations. Recruit, hire, manage vendors and contractors across multiple disciplines including graphic design firms, public relations, advertising and marketing firms, freelance writers, photographer/videographers, event design firms, production vendors, etc.


• Bachelor’s Degree in mass communications, marketing, journalism or related field
• 9+ years’ experience in marketing/public relations; 5 years in a leadership/supervisory position
• Experience in the full suite of marketing disciplines from branding to digital.
• Ability to maintain brand integrity and articulate internal image/brand awareness conventions; regulate use of logo and brand identity system
• Demonstrated experience in creating/aligning/directing/supporting every component of an integrated marketing program that includes: public information (including print/outdoor & transit advertising); public outreach and community relations; publication production; graphic design; media relations; owned and earned media
• Show tactical expertise/demonstrate the “how” to analyze/interpret KUOW’s market and brand distinction (using formal research and other means). Deep experience in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) utilizing sophisticated software applications. Proven ability to translate consumer insights into creative expressions that would enhance the perception of KUOW with its consumers on all platforms.
• Demonstrated track record of leading organizations through change; implementing both a creative and analytical approach to recommendations and decision making
• Demonstrated ability to think strategically beyond short-term goals, with big picture vision; needs 24-36 month thinking to drive sustained transformation of this multi-platform enterprise
• Demonstrated experience as a key team motivator and accountability agent
• Ability to lead/collaborate in crisis management/crisis communications process
• Demonstrable passion for KUOW’s mission and vision.
• Understands the “firewall” issues relevant to a news organization and professional journalists

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


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