Communications Specialist
University Research Co., LLC. - Bethesda, MD

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University Research Co., LLC (URC)
URC is a global company dedicated to improving the quality of health care, social services, and health education worldwide. With a non-profit affiliate, the Center for Human Services (CHS), URC manages projects in over 45 countries, including the United States. ( )

Established in 1965, URC offers a range of technical assistance to strengthen health and social systems and service quality by empowering communities and health workers to identify and scale up locally appropriate solutions to critical problems. Internationally, we expand access to and improve the quality of services addressing maternal, newborn, and child health; infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria; reproductive health and family planning; food and nutrition; and vulnerable children and families. In the US, we focus on improving communication related to issues like substance abuse, with a particular focus on reaching underserved populations.

URC’s mission is to provide innovative, evidence-based solutions to health and social challenges worldwide.

Division & Project Overview
The Communications Department provides URC and CHS staff with strategic services relative to both internal and external communications. Internal communications include collaboration with the URC-CHS Knowledge Management Working Group; communications training, including guidance on writing, presentations, and communication strategy development; and managing the URC-CHS intranet. External communications include developing content about company expertise and experience, raising awareness about the company with external audiences through events and other techniques, branding and standardizing communication materials; drafting and developing articles for URC, CHS, and external websites; developing and disseminating press releases; and providing guidance on communications techniques.

Roles and Responsibilities:
The Communications Specialist plays an essential role as part of the company’s Communications team. He / she will take the lead on conveying results of URC and CHS domestic and international projects through multiple formats. The incumbent will contribute to the company’s communications strategy and employ creative communications techniques including electronic, print, and multi-media to inform external audiences about URC and CHS with the goal of increasing the company profile.

The Communications Specialist reports to the Communications Director and works as part of a five-member communications team. He/she often works with public health and project management professionals to conceptualize and manage communications projects. The Communications Specialist interacts frequently with colleagues at all levels of the company, including senior management staff. Primary responsibilities include:

Online communication:
  • Conceptualize and write stories for the URC and CHS websites in collaboration with staff experts.
  • Manage and improve the process for web story development and scheduling in collaboration with writers, technical experts, copy editors, etc, taking communications strategy priorities into account.
  • Stay current on trends in web writing and keep abreast of compelling examples from the public health and development industry.
  • Recommend ideas, improvements, and best practices to continually improve the URC and CHS websites (in collaboration with other staff such as HR, IT, program staff, etc.).

Promotional materials:
  • Collaborate with technical staff in conceptualizing, writing and adapting multiple types of marketing materials. Undertake writing, fact checking, and version control in collaboration with technical experts and communications colleagues.
  • Take the lead on developing materials to convey key URC and CHS program results and identify appropriate communication channels.

Social Media:
  • Update and lead the company social media strategy in order to improve company’s online outreach.
  • Stay current on trends in social media and most effective ways to use existing platforms.
  • Manage and continually improve the company’s social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • Develop and set goals for the company’s social media presence; develop creative ways to meet those goals; and evaluate and measure progress.

Country project support:
  • Identify ways to communicate domestic and international project results in a strategic fashion.
  • Provide day-to-day management and coordination of project communication activities.
  • Provide technical advice in communications and guide program staff to enhance their communication skills such as developing communications strategies, writing web stories, preparing PowerPoint and Prezi presentations, developing success stories, photography, etc.

Public events:
  • Participate in elevating the company public presence through external events and presentations.
  • Contribute to design of company promotional materials, banners, and booth displays to promote visible role at meetings and events.
  • Advise colleagues on developing networking plans, including identifying opportunities to attend relevant events and learning how to participate effectively in the events with the goal of raising the company’s public presence.
  • Attend select conferences to promote URC-CHS, represent the company, and learn new communications techniques.
Internal communication:
  • Manage the project resources database for URC and CHS’s website, including overseeing a system for capturing and describing new reports and other products for posting on company websites.
  • Participate in the creation of a photo archive for URC photos for use by staff around the world.
  • Assist with special projects and research; select business development projects and other nonrecurring projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
Required Experience & Qualifications
  • Master’s degree required. Degree in public health, science, journalism, communications, marketing or a related discipline preferred.
  • Demonstrated skills in writing compelling, high-quality copy for use online and in print marketing products on topics related to global health and development.
  • Professional judgment demonstrated through a work and education history that supports the ability to multi-task and meet demanding assignments under tight deadlines in a team-oriented environment.
  • Ability to interact with people from many different cultures with a high degree of diplomacy and tact
  • Ability to maintain professional demeanor even while balancing multiple tasks and tight deadlines.
  • Skills in persuading busy colleagues to contribute to communication efforts.
  • International work experience or travel in developing countries preferred.
  • Five to eight years’ work experience in international health, communications, marketing, or public relations.

Desired Experience & Qualifications
  • A demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in communications, public health, the social sciences, or a related field.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and confidence in communicating complex information verbally.
  • Skills in conveying information clearly and persuasively through public presentations and meetings.
  • Skills in conducting research on global health and development topics and ability to stay current on issues relevant to the company.
  • Experience in the public relations industry a plus.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • High comfort level with writing reports; analyzing and summarizing data from diverse sources; conducting and drafting interviews; and delivering products on agreed deadlines.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint; photography; and posting copy using website content management systems.

Please note: Only candidates who are eligible to work in the United States long-term without a need for sponsorship will be considered for this position.

To Apply:

For immediate consideration, please visit URC’s Career Opportunities page at .

Please cut and paste your cover letter and upload your CV where indicated. Also, please complete your application form and attach a completed USAID Form 1420 Contractor Employee Biographical Data Sheet as well.

Due to the large number of inquiries we receive, only candidates who have met the required experience & qualifications for this position will be contacted. No phone calls please. However, since we are active around the world in the field of public health, we may wish to retain your CV in our database for other/future opportunities, unless you direct us otherwise. Thank you very much for your interest.

URC is an E-Verify Employer

URC is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.
We value and seek diversity in our workforce.