Director, Marketing and Communications
Connecting innovation and education to dramatically transform the way students learn, LEAP Innovations® leads the nation in developing and scaling personalized learning practices, technology and innovations in classrooms throughout the U.S. Located at 1871, Chicago’s premier incubator for technology and entrepreneurship, LEAP is quickly positioning Chicago as the national hub for education innovation. LEAP has also launched the country's most comprehensive personalized learning framework, as well as the first survey tools to measure practice in the classroom.
Sponsored by major foundations and donors, LEAP currently works with over 90 schools across the Chicagoland area, improving the lives of thousands of students. Winner of the 2016 Chicago Innovation Award for social innovation, LEAP Innovations is poised to increase reach and impact by deploying thought leadership, services and tools across the country.
The mission of LEAP Innovations is to create access to equitable, high-quality personalized learning experiences for all learners, ultimately helping each one to reach their full potential. LEAP operates at the intersection of educators and edtech innovators—researching and implementing personalized practices and tools.
LEAP is defining and articulating the teacher practices that best meet individual student needs; determining the school- and classroom-level models that best personalize learning; and constructing the research methods and tools to best evaluate the impact of personalized learning and edtech programs on student achievement. Similarly, from the edtech side, LEAP aims to help edtech companies utilize LEAP’s research and educator feedback to create tools that are more aligned with teacher and student needs.
LEAP has built a scaffolded trajectory of programming to accomplish these goals, including the LEAP Pilot Network, in which school teams select, pilot and evaluate personalized learning technologies and practices within individual classrooms, as well as whole-school redesign programs, in which school teams design transformative, school-wide personalized learning models.
- Every person deserves the chance to reach his or her potential.
- Quality education should be available to everyone: anytime, anywhere.
- Innovation can transform teaching and learning.
- The private and public sectors must collaborate to advance education and keep our country competitive.
- The time is now.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The team at LEAP envisions a future in which there are no boundaries to learning – a future in which each and every student’s learning experiences in and out of school create a seamless, accredited, unique pathway that is tailored to that student’s needs, strengths, interests and limitless ambitions.
Over the next five years, LEAP will work toward this vision in two key ways:
Regional Expansion: LEAP will strengthen its impact by expanding its local work, serving an additional 165,000 students at 325 schools and developing additional focus areas such as early childhood, after school and juvenile justice.
National Impact: Through its work in Chicago, home to the third largest school district in the country, LEAP will build the foundation of tools, resources and knowledge to scale its personalized learning work across the country. These tools and resources include the LEAP Learning Framework, which defines and provides strategies for the implementation of personalized learning, and the LEAP Personalized Learning Surveys, which measure the degree of personalization in a learning environment and are now being used across 11 states. Additionally, LEAP will conduct rigorous research to aggregate and analyze data on teacher practice, student outcomes and product efficacy.
AREAS OF RESPONSIBLITY
The LEAP Director of Marketing & Communications will serve as the steward for LEAP’s brand reputation among all stakeholders both externally and internally. He/she will be responsible for the planning, execution, distribution and measurement of all marketing, communications, public affairs, social media and digital activities in alignment with LEAP Innovations marketing and communications goals:
- Establish LEAP Innovations as the national center of excellence on personalized learning and education innovation.
- Drive adoption of LEAP Innovations’ Framework, surveys, Pilot Network, and research among district leaders, educators, policymakers, and influencers.
- Establish Chicago as the national standard for classroom-level piloting and evaluation of personalized learning.
- Raise visibility of LEAP Innovations and its senior leaders as go-to thought leaders, building LEAP’s national reputation.
Brand Strategy, Insight and Measurement
- Create and execute marketing and communications tactics associated with a comprehensive and integrated brand strategy reaching key stakeholder audiences across targeted channels with measurable results.
- Create a set of metrics or dashboard tracking the strength of LEAP’s brand as reflected via media coverage, social media conversation, sharing of and engagement with LEAP content, website traffic, and overall demand for LEAP products and services.
- Ensure unified messaging and voice in LEAP internal and external communications. Guide visual identity of the LEAP brand across all channels and collateral ensuring consistent representation among stakeholders through the creation and use of LEAP Innovations brand standards.
- Monitor the marketplace to regularly provide management with insight into the education ecosystem, competitive landscape, relevant trends, emerging issues and developments in innovation.
Integrated Marketing and Communications Strategy and Execution
- Collaborate cross-functionally across LEAP to ensure that the communication needs of all teams/functional areas are being adequately met and that the organization is speaking with one consistent voice.
- Ongoing management of LEAP Innovations website and website content.
- Drive creation and execution of LEAP Innovations social media strategy.
- Establish and communicate social media guidelines for LEAP Innovations’ team members.
- Create, operationalize and execute LEAP Innovations content development and deployment.
- Write, design and produce research reports, marketing materials, and conference presentations of the highest clarity and quality.
- Serve as a passionate and articulate spokesperson for LEAP to funders, influencers, and the media.
- Manage procurement of and relationships with all marketing and communications agencies.
- Effectively manage a network of other external vendors including graphic design, writers, web developers, etc. to support LEAP Innovations marketing and communications goals and objectives.
- Provide guidance, coaching, and leadership to the other members of the Marketing and Communications team.
The ideal candidate will be a proven contributor with 12+ years of marketing and communications experience, preferably as part of an in-house communications team. In addition, she/he will have:
- A bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, or a related field
- Functional expertise in all aspects of marketing and communication including multi-threaded campaigns and omni-channel Marketing methods
- Familiarity and comfort with public affairs and the functioning of governmental agencies.
- Excellent writing skills and ability to translate conceptual ideas into clear and compelling communications.
- Knowledge of SEO and Google analytics a plus.
- Experience in an entrepreneurial environment and the willingness to dive in without perfect clarity.
- Experience successfully coaching, developing and managing teams
- Ability to quickly establish strong working relationships with cross-functional, internal, and external groups to deliver meaningful results.
- A passion for education as demonstrated through academic study, volunteerism, or work in public sector roles, and a commitment to LEAP’s mission.
- A positive outlook and appreciation for working in a dynamic, results-oriented environment in which expectations are high for both the quality and speed of work.