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Director of Communications

Reports to: Chief Administrator
Date: April 2019

Classification: Management

Job Summary:

Promotes, designs, coordinates and implements communication strategies that stimulate and support AEA internal and external partnerships to help ensure success for all learners. Builds awareness and understanding about educational issues and AEA services.


  1. Master’s degree in communications, public relations or related field (or alternatively, Bachelor’s degree and four years of experience).
  2. Professional experience in public relations or related area.
  3. Working knowledge of educational systems.

Essential Functions:

  1. Provides leadership in developing and facilitating a systemic organizational marketing and communication plan that promotes awareness, understanding and support for the Agency mission, programs and services.
  2. Serves as counsel to Agency administrators on the public impact of decisions and change.
  3. Assesses needs, seeks data, promotes planning and evaluates communication needs and efforts.
  4. Identifies and implements innovative methods to attract positive media attention for the purpose of expanding the coverage of Agency events, celebrating Agency successes, and recognizing cutting-edge practices.
  5. Supervises the development and planning of Agency-wide internal and external information channels, including newsletters, brochures, directories, reports and the Agency web site.
  6. Plans and directs the Agency’s social media efforts.
  7. Creates and coordinates information for news media and facilitates media relations.
  8. Supports district communication, public reporting and community involvement activities related to school improvement.
  9. Supports, manages, supervises and evaluates effectiveness of designated staff.

Additional Responsibilities:

  1. Participates in projects, committees or activities to support the Agency’s mission, goals and priorities.
  2. Coordinates special events for staff recognition and Agency celebrations.
  3. Represents the Agency at governmental and civic occasions.
  4. Provides communication consultant services for area school districts, including assistance with public relations, communication planning and referendum campaigns.
  5. Supports and assists the statewide public relations efforts of Iowa’s AEAs.
  6. Coordinates Area 10 AEA legislative communication and staff awareness of legislative issues.
  7. Maintains current knowledge of trends and developments in the field of educational communications.
  8. Demonstrates self-discipline and initiative to produce high-quality, organized and dependable results.
  9. Conveys a positive and professional image to staff and public.
  10. Develops and maintains effective team functioning through collegial problem solving and coaching.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  1. Ability to communicate effectively and maintain effective working relationships.
  2. Ability to function effectively as a team member and work collaboratively with others or independently as appropriate.
  3. Ability and willingness to be flexible and respond to the changing needs of the Agency, clients and stakeholders.
  4. Customer-oriented communication skills with sensitivity to staff and community.
  5. Ability to apply and integrate technical knowledge, techniques and expertise in a manner that facilitates positive change and continuous improvement.
  6. Effective presentation and group facilitation skills.
  7. Extensive knowledge of communication technologies, systems, techniques and procedures.
  8. Knowledge of best practices in public relations and communications.
  9. Ability to use data to make sound decisions.
  10. Ability to maintain confidentiality and demonstrate understanding for sensitive situations.
  11. Ability to effectively monitor, evaluate, lead and develop staff.
  12. Ability to read and interpret documents, write reports and correspondence, and apply appropriate mathematical concepts.

Physical Requirements:

  1. Ability to travel between sites served.
  2. Normal, routine levels of activity related to bending, carrying, climbing, hearing, lifting, reaching, sitting, standing, vision and walking, and may also involve above-average levels of activity at times that can’t always be anticipated.
  3. Sufficient manual dexterity to be able to operate all equipment needed to completed assigned responsibilities.