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Wednesday, January 02, 2019

University- Minnesofa - Communications Specialist


Minimum Qualifications:
● Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, marketing or related field and two years of professional experience in communications or related field, or 6 years of combined equivalent education and experience
● Five years of experience in web, writing and editing, communications or related positions
● Demonstrated experience with production agriculture or related industry
● Demonstrated ability to translate scientific/academic information to non-technical audiences
● Experience with proofreading and copy/editing
● Experience with Microsoft Office programs
● Evidence of being self-directed and a self-starter while also working in a collaborative environment
● Project management experience

Preferred Qualifications:
● Demonstrated proficiency with blogs, social media, WebEx (or similar conferencing program), HTML e-mails (e.g., Constant Contact or Salesforce Marketing Cloud), web content management systems, video editing
● Experience with web authoring software (preferably Dreamweaver) and HTML, Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
● Knowledge of content strategy, user experience, information architecture, accessibility and search engine optimization strategies
● Knowledge of data visualization techniques
● Experience working in an academic environment with individuals from a broad spectrum of academic and cultural backgrounds
● Experience working on a communications team
● Demonstrated ability to provide quality control, detail oriented
● Knowledge of current communications industry trends

About the Job

Position overview:

The communication specialist will be part of the Extension Center for Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (AFNR), working specifically with the nutrient management team. The U of M Extension nutrient management team conducts research related to the nutrients commodity crops need to thrive and shares this information with farmers and the agricultural industry.

The goal of this position is to quickly and effectively communicate research results to crop producers and other agricultural professionals across Minnesota. The communications specialist will work with faculty to translate research so it is clear, concise and actionable, while adhering to U of M Extension editorial guidelines and brand standards. Deliverables include web content, fact sheets, videos, blog posts, articles, etc. The communications specialist will strategically distribute this information to reach target audiences through media, social media, email marketing, Extension’s website and so on.

The annual salary range is $45,000 to $55,000, commensurate with experience.

Major areas of responsibility:

1. Support nutrient management team with content creation 70%

● Work with nutrient management team to translate research results into a variety of educational formats that are beneficial to the target audience, including issue based
● Oversee the nutrient management and manure management sections for Extension’s  website,, with special attention to content strategy, user experience, information architecture, accessibility and search engine optimization
● Use data visualization techniques in content creation
● Write, review, edit, and proofread materials to ensure clarity
● Ensure print, in person and online materials conform to Extension and University editorial guidelines and brand standards while correctly acknowledging and highlighting the research funder Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC)

2. Support nutrient management team with content distribution 20%

● Develop and implement strategic communications plan for nutrient management team
● Pitch stories to relevant media outlets via University and Extension communications channels
● Maintain nutrient management communications channels such as Facebook and twitter accounts and Crop ENews blog posts
● Explore options for communicating research results via video and develop as appropriate
● Serve as a liaison between researchers and vendors

About the Department

About Extension:
University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the University of Minnesota, a land-grant institution with a mission to serve the public through applied research and education. The mission of Extension is to make a difference by connecting community needs and University resources to address critical issues in Minnesota. Learn more at

How To Apply

Applicants must apply on-line and submit a resume, cover letter indicating how they meet each of the minimum and preferred qualifications and the names and contact information for three professional references. Incomplete applications will not be considered. References will only be contacted for finalists
To request an accommodation during the application process, please e-mail or call (612) 624-UOHR (8647).


The University recognizes and values the importance of diversity and inclusion in enriching the employment experience of its employees and in supporting the academic mission.  The University is committed to attracting and retaining employees with varying identities and backgrounds.
The University of Minnesota provides equal access to and opportunity in its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, disability, public assistance status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  To learn more about diversity at the U:

Background Check Information

Any offer of employment is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check. Our presumption is that prospective employees are eligible to work here. Criminal convictions do not automatically disqualify finalists from employment.

About the U of M

Apply now.