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Division of Human Resources

Chief Communications Officer

The Position

Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer of the University of South Carolina, the Chief Communications Officer oversees and coordinates all public relations activities; manages the institutional brand; directs the marketing plan; oversees budgets for communications activities; ensures consistency in contact with target audiences; supervises all units within the Office of Communications and Public Affairs. The incumbent is responsible for the creation, implementation and direction of a communications program for the University of South Carolina encompassing all aspects of marketing, public relations, internal communications and crisis communications.

Major duties and tasks of the CCO include but are not limited to:

  • Serves as the institution’s primary spokesperson and principal communications officer to the University administration and advises on system-wide strategic communications focusing on institutional public relations, marketing and branding, and issue and crisis management.
  • Develops and implements a comprehensive, cohesive internal and external marketing and communications plan to promote the University and its mission. Develops and provides leadership for brand management and ensures consistency with target audiences.
  • Provides leadership in creating and implementing plans to accomplish the mission of the University. In addition to marketing and communications duties, assists the President as a member of the executive council management team. 
  • Works closely with the Government and Community Relations staff regarding strategic communications with legislators and other state and local government leaders as well as volunteer advocates of the Carolina Action network.
  • Review and determine communications themes and targeted messages to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.
  • Works closely with the Development and Alumni Relations staff regarding strategic communications with alumni, donors, prospective donors and other constituencies.


Minimum Qualifications:  Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, news media (emphasis on writing) or related field. Ten plus years’ experience leading a comprehensive media relations strategy, at least three of which must have included in-depth implementation of social and emerging media strategies. At least 3 years of management experience.

Preferred Qualifications:  Master’s preferred.

It is desired that the Chief Communications Officer possesses the following:

  • Demonstrated management skills including leading diverse teams to using new technologies and nontraditional approaches to media relations and internal communications.
  • Demonstrated understanding of creating excellent internal communications strategies designed to build community and create pride and informed dialogue within a university or like setting.
  • Excellent writing skills; practiced understanding of Associated Press writing style.
  • Experience using social and online media best practices to help advance an institution’s reputation.
  • Experience using online video, audio and engagement technologies to further build relationships with various audiences and enhance a story’s value.
  • A demonstrable commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.

Application and Nomination Process

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.