Montana State University Communications Associate in Bozeman, Montana

Position Details

Position Information

Announcement Number STAFF - VA - 19247

For questions regarding this position, please contact:

Connie Lange 406-994-4571

Classification Title Media/Info Spec

Working Title Communications Associate

Brief Position Overview

The communications associate holds a key position within University Communications in promoting public awareness of MSU’s accomplishments and endeavors. Strong writing and editing skills as well as managing and publishing to the Web are essential skills.

Position Number TBD

Department University Communications

Division University Communications

Appointment Type Classified

Contract Term Fiscal Year


If other, specify From date

If other, specify End date

FLSA Exempt

Union Affiliation MFPE

FTE 1.0

Benefits Eligible Eligible

Salary $16.54 to $22.60 hourly, commensurate with experience, education, and qualifications

Contract Type Classified Salary

If other, please specify

Recruitment Type Open

Position Details

General Statement

University Communications’ mission is to enhance Montana State University’s public image, increase the public’s awareness of the university’s accomplishments and develop consistent communications that build MSU’s reputation. University Communications provides a wide range of services through its operational units: MontanaPBS, MSU News Service, MSU Creative Services, MSU Web and Digital Communications, University Marketing and University Printing. Its staff includes writers, editors, graphic designers, photographers, video producers, publications specialists, marketing and licensing specialists, social media strategists, Web programmers and printers.

Under the supervision of the director of the MSU News Service, this position will function as a writer, editor, Web manager and general communications specialist responsible for creating content to be used for media releases, marketing materials, online and other purposes, as well as providing general communications support in their areas of responsibility.

Working with the news director, the person in this position will also supervise freelance writers by assigning stories, managing deadlines, editing copy and processing payments. The position will assist with other projects and duties as delegated and help with emergency communications as needed.

The person in this position will be assigned to chiefly cover the MSU College of Agriculture and Montana Agricultural Experiment Station, though assignments and duties may vary.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Function as a writer and editor responsible for researching, interviewing, writing, coordinating and editing copy on a range of topics for use as media releases, publications, briefing and marketing materials, the Web and other purposes.

  • Update university webpages through MSU’s content management system.

  • Coordinate and work with all the University Communications units to achieve communications goals.

  • Work with the MSU news director to supervise freelance writers by assigning stories, managing deadlines, editing copy and processing payments.

  • Assist University Communications directors with other projects and duties as assigned, potentially including but not limited to photography, event support, newsletters, annual reports and oversight of branded materials.

  • Attend regular campus-wide meetings for communications associates.

  • Manage social media accounts.

  • Manage and oversee annual print publications.

  • Assist with emergency communications as needed.

Required Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Demonstrated successful experience that includes writing, editing and proofreading on tight publication deadlines.

  • Experience writing in multiple styles, such as for the Web, marketing materials, news releases, feature stories and technical writing.

Preferred Qualifications – Experience, Education, Knowledge & Skills

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree in journalism, communications, English or marketing, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Experience translating scientific information into copy for a lay audience.

  • Successful experience as a daily news journalist.

  • Experience working with Web content management systems.

  • A basic understanding of Web, social media and traditional print media.

The Successful Candidate Will

  • Have a passion for higher education.

  • Work well with video and photography editors to supplement and enhance written content.

  • Be able to think creatively to increase a story’s media potential.

  • Maintain attention to detail, meet deadlines and prioritize competing demands.

  • Have the ability to work independently on a wide variety of tasks.

  • Exercise good judgment and self-motivate.

  • Work well in a team environment.

  • Be flexible and adaptable and accommodate interruptions, sudden assignments and changes to plans.

  • Create and maintain contacts and working relationships with administrators, faculty, staff and coworkers.

Position Special Requirements/Additional Information

Three writing samples of published work are required. Samples can include, but are not limited to, copy that appeared in marketing materials, on a website, as a press release or as a newspaper or magazine article. At least one of the samples must be 400 words or longer. Applicants are encouraged to submit a variety of work demonstrating their ability to write in different formats, such as press releases, Web content, news stories and marketing copy. Do not submit theses, scholarly publications, position papers, communications/marketing plans or personal blog posts.

This job description should not be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements, but a general description of the job. Nothing contained herein restricts Montana State University’s rights to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Physical Demands

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily with or without reasonable accommodations. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.

This position has supervisory duties? Yes

Posting Detail Information

Number of Vacancies 1

Desired Start Date At the conclusion of a successful search.

Position End Date (if temporary)

Open Date

Close Date

Applications will be:

Screening of applications will begin on March 1, 2019 ; however, applications will continue to be accepted until an adequate applicant pool has been established.

Special Instructions

Diversity Statement

Montana State University values diverse perspectives and is committed to continually supporting, promoting and building an inclusive and culturally diverse campus environment. MSU recognizes the importance of work-life integration and strives to be responsive to the needs of dual career couples.

Montana State University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from discrimination. As such, the University does not discriminate in the admission, access to or conduct of its educational programs and activities nor in its employment policies and practices on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, national origin, creed, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), veteran’s status, sex, age, political ideas, marital or family status, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation. In support of the University’s mission to be inclusive and diverse, applications from qualified minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are highly encouraged.

Montana State University makes accommodation for any known disability that may interfere with an applicant’s ability to compete in the hiring process or an employee’s ability to perform the duties of the job. To request an accommodation, contact the Human Resources Office, PO Box 172520, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717-2520; 406-994-3651; .

In compliance with the Montana Veteran’s Employment Preference Act, MSU provides preference in employment to veterans, disabled veterans, and certain eligible relatives of veterans. To claim veteran’s preference please complete the veteran’s preference information located in the Demographics section of your profile.

MSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and Discrimination Grievance Procedures can be located on the MSU Website: .