Sr Communications Spec

Rochester, NY


Reporting to the Assistant Director, IT & Clinical Operations Communications, the Senior Communications Specialist serves as a strategist, high-level subject-matter expert, lead writer and content creator. With limited supervision from the Assistant Director and Lead Communications Specialists within the IT and Clinical Communications team, this position supports development of effective communication plans and delivers high-quality, timely, engaging content that measurably helps to achieve goals of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s strategic plan, with specific focus on projects that support technology and workflow adoption in our clinical operations enterprise.

With limited supervision, the Senior Communications Specialist identifies and implements communications programs to support the successful adoption of technology, systems and services by URMC and UR Medicine faculty and staff, as well as non-employed individuals utilizing URMC network-based services. Majority of work focuses on supporting the communications needs of the IT and Clinical Operations programs. The position provides communications guidance and planning for internal and external relations, and developing materials for a range of channels, including intranet, e-mail, public webpages, presentations, and digital displays. Knowledge and experience in change management strategy, especially applying the ADKAR framework to communications planning, is essential.


Communications Strategy and Service-line Support

  • Serves as a subject-matter expert for assigned service lines and programs. Maintains relationship with department leaders, attends important meetings, and takes other steps to stay current with what is happening within the department/service line, and industry overall.

  • Assists the Assistant Director, IT & Clinical Operations in developing and implementing communications plans to support IT and Clinical Operations programs and projects; develops and leads execution of programs that support the annual plan with measurable outcomes.

  • Generally, serves as lead writer, content creator and media liaison for the assigned area, drawing support from other members of the Communications team and creative group as needed. Receives work requests directly from assigned service lines or programs, or through collaboration with URMC Communications.

  • Gathers information to develop content for assigned service line or programs by interviewing subject matter experts and other background materials. Judges newsworthiness and usefulness for external and internal channels, and routes ideas and/or work through supervisor for editing and clearance, assuring deadlines are met.

Change Management Communications Strategy

  • Assists the Assistant Director, IT and URMC Communications team in developing and executing communications plans that align with the ADKAR Change Management communications framework to help drive successful user adoption of technology systems and/or other operational changes through URMC and UR Medicine, including regional affiliates.

  • Alerts allied work groups and represents their interests to operational leaders to mitigate potential issues, ensuring coordinated and successful implementation and adoption of new processes or other organizational changes.

Communications Planning and Consulting

  • Serves as a communications “consultant” and creative contributor for assigned projects including but not limited to EHR upgrades and/or new modules, deployment of new technology applications, and general awareness of IT security best practices. Occasionally will provide communications support for leadership changes, major achievements / awards, and facility openings; role is dependent on complexity of project. Consultative elements include, but are not limited to: developing communication plans, identifying target audiences and matching to appropriate channels, outlining and/or implementing strategies and tactics such as pamphlets, brochures, bulletins, flyers and other content, and developing a timeline to assure communications activities occur at appropriate time.

Content Creation and Execution

  • Serves as contributor, as needed, to print or online newsletters, assuring content is well-targeted to leadership, well-written and engaging, and delivered at the appropriate time.

  • For assigned service line areas and other projects or programs as needed, develops and writes content aimed at internal and external audiences. This includes but is not limited to intranet sites, online stories, newsletter articles, website copy, video scripts, email memos, infographics, and standard PowerPoint presentations. The Senior Communications Specialist is a content generator -- while some assignments are received from a supervisor, most are uncovered and all are implemented with a high degree of independent creativity. Work is occasionally subject to review by a supervisor.

  • Serves as a lead writer for departmental and (on occasion) URMC senior leadership materials, including talking points, PowerPoint presentations, video scripts, Q&A documents and related materials for strategically important and/or high-profile communications. Work is reviewed by assigning manager and Assistant Director, and coordinated with other Communications senior leaders as appropriate.

  • As needed, assists with writing/editing for other projects (e.g., award nominations).

Administration and Management

  • Works with team members and supervisor to understand daily, weekly and monthly priorities, and directs work to align with these priorities.

  • Participates in department meetings as assigned.

Publicity Support

  • As needed, assists the Assistant Director, IT Communications and/or other Communications leaders in drafting materials to manage communications response to issues that could negatively impact URMC’s reputation or reduce support from external or internal audiences.

  • Provides incident command center support for emergencies and drills.

Other duties as assigned


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or related field that includes some writing experience

  • 5 years of relevant experience required;

  • 7 years of relevant experience preferred;

  • or equivalent combination of education and experience required.

  • Experience in creating and implementing strategic communications plans preferred.

  • Proven knowledge of Change Management theories, particularly the ADKAR communications framework, is essential preferred.

  • Must understand and ensure compliance with HIPAA requirements and URMC policies for protecting patient privacy and other confidential information preferred.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in writing and editing content based on target audience, with ability to provide context and/or reshape material as needed in a fast-paced, high-demand environment preferred.

  • Strong organization and project management skills preferred.

  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communications skills; comfortable communicating with all levels of faculty/staff, and in front of groups.

  • Ability to work independently and within a collaborative team preferred.

  • Experience with HTML programming, content management systems, data analysis, metrics presentations, photo and video capture/editing, PowerPoint presentations and/or graphic design a plus preferred.

  • Position is expected to be available on-call for responding to overnight or weekend media requests on a rotating basis.

  • PROSCI certification

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $63,815 - $95,723 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: Health Sciences
Full/Part Time: Full-Time