Position With the focus to support and advance the School’s mission, vision, and values, the Director leads the comprehensive strategic marketing and communication plan for the School. The primary objective is to tell the unique story of Portsmouth Abbey School internally and externally, to inform and increase awareness of the School, generate interest and demand among prospective families, strengthen our institutional brand and reputation, and raise visibility both regionally, nationally, and internationally.
Collaborate with the Head of School, Admission and Advancement Offices to develop new strategies for enhancing the existing marketing and communication plan. The Director is a collaborative and impact-focused communicator who uses a well-developed understanding of the School and its people to support the wide-ranging engagement with the Abbey community and the institution's many stakeholders and audiences.
Manage the work of the marketing and communications department consisting of the Director and an Assistant Director, which is responsible for producing all official school communications to all major constituencies (prospective students and their families, parents, alumni, key volunteers, major donors), including:
Digital communications: website, institutional communication, and social media channels
Print publications: admission materials, alumni direct mailings, school handbook, the curriculum guide, the Annual Report on Giving, and employee recruitment materials
Periodicals, printed and digital. Current examples: The Bulletin, Monthly Musings
Media relations: local, regional, and national
Advertising: print, digital and through use of Google analytics
Videos, video streaming, slideshows, etc.
Maintain and manage the School’s website, including content, appearance and architecture of the site, working in conjunction with other departments to ensure their pages are consistent with standards for design, content and end user experience.
Maintain and manage the School’s social media pages, including content, appearance and architecture of each, working in conjunction with other departments to ensure their pages are consistent with standards for design, content, and end user experience.
Oversee and manage official school communications across all media platforms and ensure materials are timely, accurate, in adherence with the School’s Style and Standards Guide, and in support of the School’s mission and priorities.
Manage the use of the official School branding across departments such as logos, colors, and fonts, to ensure consistency of use schoolwide
Review the School’s Style and Standards Guide annually and revise as needed.
Provide support to the Head of School, administrators, and departments schoolwide to identify communications, marketing, media, and public relations opportunities to inform and solidify relationships with all constituencies - including students, parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater community.
Partner with the Director of Enrollment Management and the Office of Admission to develop and implement admission marketing and communication strategies, including outreach to prospective students and families from inquiry to enrollment, and continued support for new students and families to welcome them to our community.
Ensure that strategies and content are in alignment with Portsmouth Abbey School communications policies and protocols relating to brand identity, editorial style, image use, copyright, social media guidelines, web hosting, accessibility and vendor hiring.
Provide support to the Director of Parent Relations with communication to current families to engage parents and enhance retention.
Collaborate with the Director of Advancement and the Office of Development & Alumni Affairs to design and implement marketing and communication strategies to strengthen donor engagement and drive increased contributions and participation.
Identify, track, and report the impact of communications with key benchmark data and survey metrics.
Conduct market research to analyze current trends and identify opportunities to promote the School.
Manage the Marketing and Communications budget to meet and remain within the annual allocation.
Represent the School’s senior administration at events, serve on School committees, and attend School events, as appropriate. Examples include: School Assemblies, special student events, Admission Open Houses, Commencement Weekend, Reunion Weekend
Hire outside photographers as needed for special events
Assist in communications response in crisis situations.
Perform other related duties as assigned.
Preferred Skills, Capabilities, and Qualifications:
The ideal candidate will have excellent writing, communication, and interpersonal skills, think creatively and strategically, be a problem-solver, possess proven leadership skills, be a team player, and be a great cultural and mission fit for the School community.
Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, marketing, or equivalent field required. Master’s degree preferred.
Five or more years of experience in marketing and communications with independent schools, college/university or non-profit organizations preferred.
Excellent writing and editing skills, including proficiency in MLA and Associated Press writing styles
Proven ability to effectively lead and manage a team.
Proven ability to effectively lead and manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Be adaptable and flexible in a fast-paced environment.
Familiarity with Finalsite, Raiser’s Edge, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator or their equivalent.
Possess excellent organizational skills and the ability to provide reasonable expectation parameters to consistently meet project deadlines.
Portsmouth Abbey School is a coeducational Catholic boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12. Founded in 1926 by the English Benedictine Congregation, the School is located on a 525-acre campus along Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, less than 30 minutes south of Providence and 20 minutes from Newport.
Portsmouth Abbey combines a classical education in the Catholic intellectual tradition with Benedictine values. With 350 students, the School believes that the love of learning leads to the desire for God, and that the quest for intellectual understanding propels students to the search for ultimate meaning. The School is known for encouraging students to engage passionately in academic and intellectual pursuits, innovative electives and extensive opportunities in athletics and the performing and visual arts as well as a commitment to service and a focus on things that matter. Students are inspired to become the next generation’s leaders, stewards, innovators and problem solvers all the while grounded in Benedictine values of love of God and neighbor, humility, hospitality and a desire to serve the common good.