Job Opening: Communications Associate, Van Andel Institute

Job Description: (Click here to apply)

This is not an entry level position; it does require 4 to 9 years of post-graduate professional work experience.

Van Andel Institute is currently inviting qualified candidates to apply for a Communications Associate II position, within our Department of Development, Marketing & Communications (DC&M). This person will provide communication support to VAI’s Development Office which is focused on expanding the national profile of VAI to produce sustaining private financial support for cancer and neurodegenerative research and science education.

As a Communications Associate II on our team, you will be involved in:

• Researching, writing, and disseminating news releases, feature stories, photo releases, calendar announcements and story pitches to appropriate news media outlets.

• Drafting, developing, and distributing pitch letters, media advisories, press releases, photo captions and other forms of media correspondence.

• Directing, coordinating and developing strategic and tactical plans for consideration including confidential and sensitive topics.

• Managing project interface with web designer to ensure proper positioning and treatment of relevant communications and marketing website content and graphics on VAI internal and external websites.

• Identifying, acquiring and managing content; building and branding social media sites; and monitoring conversations and activity for new business or fund development initiatives.

• Responding to media inquiries and making appropriate arrangements for interviews with VAI staff.

• Supporting daily public relations activities, such as updating media lists, writing and distributing press materials, distributing media coverage reports, fielding incoming media inquiries.

• Ensuring message consistency across all materials and proofread content for proper grammar usage, typographical errors, and content accuracy; utilize skills in the area of writing, editing, and proofing of different types of content (web, email, print).

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have:

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills including thorough understanding of correct grammar and public speaking presentation skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure and deadlines and be flexible and adaptable to unexpected changes
  • Significant experience in an online/Web-based communications environment required, including digital marketing and communications and search engine marketing and optimization, i.e. templates, CMS, and Word Press.

Required Experience

To join our team you will need to have at least:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, English, or Liberal Arts; MBA or Master’s degree in Communications and APR or PCM accreditation preferred;
  • 4 to 9 years of post-graduate professional work experienc
  • Demonstrated experience with media (print, television, radio, digital) and in media relations
  • Demonstrated experience in writing news releases, feature stories, pitch letters, statements and talking points and ability to create targeted messages for a variety of media outlets
  • Non-profit and life sciences/research experience preferred

This full-time, exempt position includes the following benefits:

  • Medical, dental, and vision
  • Employer sponsored Life and AD&D insurance
  • Additional voluntary term Life and AD&D insurance for employees and dependents
  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses
  • 401(k) retirement savings plan with employee/employer contributions
  • Paid vacation, personal days, and holidays

To apply for this position, submit a resume and a cover letter outlining your degree and your relevant post-graduate professional work experience.

VAI is EEO Employer/Female/Minority/Vet/Disability

Job LocationGrand Rapids, Michigan, United StatesPosition TypeFull-Time/Regular