University of Waterloo

Communications Officer

Requisition ID 2023-11354
Office of Advancement
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$59,127 - $87,623
Job Category
Marketing / Public Relations / Communications
Job Location : Location


Term: 2 years 


The Communications Officer is a key member of the Advancement Marketing & Communications team and will deliver creative and tactical planning, implementation and project management of integrated communications plans, projects and strategies to support the Office of Advancements goals: to increase alumni engagement, raise philanthropic support and build Waterloo champions.


Reporting to the Director, Marketing & Communications, the Communications Officer works as part of a dynamic and integrated team within Advancement and with campus partners, to thoughtfully and effectively engage our community of alumni, donors and prospects, through compelling communications using various channels.


The Communications Officer will have accountability for one-to-two key units within Advancement but will support all Advancement communications as needed. The role will have definitive accountabilities such as editor of the alumni e-newsletter, management of the annual report, or creation of highly customized content for high-level donors etc. Projects may include initiatives to support alumni engagement, donor solicitations, cultivation, stewardship or recognition.


*At the USG 10 level, the job title becomes Senior Communications Officer.


Create, plan and execute creative content for all Advancement audiences

  • Proactively writes, edits, creates content, project coordinates, executes and evaluates Advancement communications which may include: alumni e-newsletter, web content, social media content, print publications, audio content, proposals, letters, video storyboarding and scripting writing, video creation, invitations, media releases, stories, profiles or advertisements
  • Develops and executes project strategies and integrated communication plans across all channels to successfully engage our audiences and inspire action
  • Provides creative support including strategy, content creation and editing for 1-2 key units within Advancement; may also provide support for Advancement-related projects led by University Relations or other campus units, such as Waterloo Magazine
  • Produces compelling stories and profiles that demonstrate impact and inspire alumni engagement and donor support
  • Manages web content and web platforms, using analytics and reporting to inform content strategy
  • Provides writing and editing support for all Advancement, as required, to ensure high-quality and consistent messaging
  • Develops high-level, customized writing for targeted audiences, working with the Office of the President and Vice-President, Advancement to reflect the voices of senior leadership in letters, internal messaging, speaking notes, social media posts and more
  • Liaises with Advancement partners across campus to ensure a consistent strategy when planning creative projects and contacting alumni, donors and volunteers
  • Ensures all strategies and content aligns with the University brand and supports the needs of Advancement

Collaborates, advises and consults

  • Uses communications area expertise to provide advice on strategic and integrated communication plans to develop audience-specific content that will best resonate with audiences and maximize results
  • Works collaboratively as a member of the Advancement Marketing & Communications team in order to strategically support Advancement and University goals
  • Works closely with campus partners, including Faculties, colleges, and units such University Relations on projects, in a highly collaborative and creative environment
  • Liaises with campus partners to share current projects in Advancement and amplify content that may be of interest to alumni, donor and volunteer audiences
  • Provides high level of customer service internally and externally to support relationship cultivation and engagement with Waterloo
  • Provides creative direction to Creative Services or third-party vendors on writing, design, photography and videography
  • Coordinates and art directs photography and video development, as needed, working collaboratively with colleagues who may be lead on these projects
  • Manages or provides coaching to junior team members or co-op students, as needed
  • Participates in Advancement communications committees/working groups, as needed

Manages creative communications projects

  • Conducts research, interviews alumni and donors, gathers testimonials and photos for publications and websites, providing a professional and engaging level of interaction with both internal and external stakeholders
  • Evaluates all communication initiatives, through data analysis and collaborative post-mortem exercises to inform future decision making and return on investment
  • Researches donor and alumni behavior, staying on top of best practices and evolving trends in Advancement
  • Coordinates and art directs photography and video development, working collaboratively with colleagues who may be the project lead
  • Remains current on communications best practices and digital trends for effective communications with alumni and donors
  • Looks for opportunities to integrate communications, reduce duplication and streamline communications process
  • Manages project budgets


  • Assumes roles in special projects or committees, as assigned
  • Provides social media or event support for key Advancement events including Reunion, Convocation and President’s reception, as needed
  • Engages in active learning by seeking opportunities for ongoing training and professional development  (i.e.: industry articles and blogs, webinars, conferences)
  • Hires, coaches and manages a co-op student or junior staff, as needed


  • University degree in communications, writing, journalism or public relations, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • USG 8-9
    • 3-5 years’ experience in communications or marketing role, preferably in education or not-for-profit sector with a proven record of writing, editing and developing creative communications in print, web and digital platforms for multiple audiences
  • USG 10
    • 6-8 years’ experience in communications or marketing role, preferably in education or not-for-profit sector with a proven record of writing, editing and developing creative communications in print, web and digital platforms for multiple audiences, with demonstration of progressive responsibility for complex communications projects
  • Possess exceptional writing and editing skills, with a flair for language
  • Experience in writing effectively, authentically, and in a manner consistent with the quality and standard expected of University-level communications and aligned with brand strategies
  • Experience developing compelling, integrated marketing and communication programs and creating persuasive content for different audiences, including proposals, letters, web content, articles, profiles, video, social media and publications
  • Experience producing content in multi-media formats is preferred, including podcasts, videos, webinars and e-newsletters
  • Experience managing a content or editorial calendar is preferred
  • Experience working with alumni/donor or membership-based audiences preferred; University advancement experience considered a strong asset
  • Ability to understand the goals, strategy and planning of Advancement and the University and translate that into compelling communication strategies and content
  • Strong organization skills, including a disciplined approach to project planning and execution with exceptional attention to detail and accuracy
  • Possess strong interpersonal skills, passionate about marketing and communications and high- quality work, and deliver creative and consistent work in demanding environment with multiple stakeholders, projects and deadlines
  • Ability to build consensus, work collaboratively and foster teamwork with multiple stakeholders and work with integrated project teams
  • Resilient, able to excel in fast-paced environment with shifting priorities, ambiguity and public scrutiny
  • Sound knowledge of design and print production process as asset
  • Willingness to work occasional hours outside of traditional hours
  • Experience with a content management system (Drupal); Advanced Word, Excel and PowerPoint skills; Adobe Creative Suite helpful
  • Understands privacy regulations with respect to the University sector

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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