Job TitleGlobal Agricultural Productivity Initiative (GAP Initiative) Communications Manager
Position TypeFull Time
Job Category Faculty
Salary Range $ 55,000 - 66,000
Location Blacksburg, VA, USA
Application Deadline -
Contact Name Tom Thompson
Department CALS Global
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The GAP Initiative at Virginia Tech educates, advocates, and collaborates to accelerate agricultural productivity (total factor productivity) growth at all scales of production to create returns to farmers, society, the economy, and the environment. The GAP Initiative brings together expertise from Virginia Tech and other universities, the private and public sectors, civil society organizations, and global research institutions to align efforts to accelerate agricultural productivity growth around the world. The GAP Initiative is financially supported by Virginia Tech and private and public sector partners and technically supported by our financial partners and organizations from the non-profit and public sectors that provide important contextualization to productivity-enhancing solutions and innovation through their work.
The annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report) is the heart of the GAP Initiative – a core pillar of CALS Global in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Virginia Tech. Founded in 2010, the GAP Report uses publicly available data to monitor global trends in agricultural total factor productivity – a measure of how efficiently agricultural resources and inputs are used to produce output.
The GAP Initiative Communications manager will be responsible for producing the annual GAP Report, which has a global readership and informs policy and decision-makers on the critical issues related to sustainable agricultural productivity growth. The communications manager will also be responsible for strategic communications products to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Report and other GAP Initiative activities. The role may also involve speaking responsibilities at GAP Initiative events.
Key responsibilities include:
- Create and execute a comprehensive communications strategy to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Initiative and Report to audiences worldwide by using media, social media, website, videos, leveraging partner communications channels, etc.
- Collaborate with more than 20 partner organizations worldwide to develop content to grow the reach and influence of the GAP Report and GAP Initiative
- Using content generated by partners and colleagues, produce the annual GAP Report, including developing the layout and graphics. Work with the editors to ensure that deadlines are established and met.
- Develop, deploy, and promote other online and written communication products in support of the GAP Initiative, including presentations, written reports, the globalagriculturalproductivity.org website, social media accounts, and other means. Manage social media (Twitter, Linkedin, others TBD) accounts to disseminate messaging. Create “social cards” and other visual elements to attract readers.
- Collaborate with partners to organize and execute the annual GAP Report launch in October of each year. Make appropriate arrangements for presentation(s), travel, venue, audio/visual services and online streaming.
- Produce and distribute event guides with logistical information for GAP-related events
- Collaborate with CALS Communications and Marketing to identify opportunities for earned media coverage.
- Create communications tools for GAP Initiative and Report® partners for internal and external communications, including a social media toolkit, presentation, and press releases.
- Support efforts to deepen relationships with partners and attract new partners.
- Other duties as directed
*The base location for this position is Blacksburg, VA. Travel to Blacksburg on a routine basis will be required. The position is opened to hybrid or remote; however, the remote location must be within a reasonable commuting distance (e.g., Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C. area).
- Bachelor’s degree with substantial and relevant professional experience
- Experience developing and executing communications strategy
- Outstanding interpersonal skills
- Impeccable English writing and editing skills
- Website and graphic design experience (especially InDesign)
- Project management experience
- Media relations experience
- Experience translating scientific information into products for general readership
- Agricultural sector exposure and experience
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