Communications Project Administrator

  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • La Jolla, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Nov 05, 2020
Full time   External Relations, PR, Marketing Other Administrative Positions

Job Description



Application Instructions:

Employment History Include your last ten (10) years of employment history, or length of your employment history if less, including all position (even those that are not relevant to this position) and periods of unemployment. Incomplete information could disqualify you from further consideration.


Incumbent serves as the central project administrator for the in-house communications function. The Communications Project Administrator manages the coordination of essential, deadline-driven print and electronic media projects. This position is responsible for organizing and managing creative and public relations projects from concept through completion for an integrated communications and marketing office. Duties include (but are not limited to) overseeing all the moving parts of the print production from collecting content, copyediting/proofreading, performing administrative support and setting deadlines and involving multiple stakeholders. This position is responsible for negotiating, purchasing and monitoring advertising in print and digital media.


Communications Project Oversight & Traffic Management (70%)

  • Organizes and manages creative and public relations projects from concept through completion for integrated communications and marketing office.
  • Oversees coordination, implementation, execution, control and completion of various projects, including but not limited to fundraising and event collateral; Inside Salk magazine; newsletter and other publications; and general Institute advertising.
  • Partners with internal clients to gather job requirements, set deadlines for each deliverable and dynamically respond to and manage the review process.
  • Collaborates with cross functional teams to define scope, determine available resources, set milestones and deadlines, identify potential roadblocks in the project plan, map out and successfully manage the project to completion.
  • Creates timelines and maintains master project schedules as well as individual timelines, consulting with relevant project stakeholders as necessary.
  • Maintains and regularly updates project calendar, including mailing dates, in order to efficiently manage resources and set realistic deadlines for new projects.
  • Ensures coordination of efforts across functional team members in consultation with management.
  • Consistently monitors and reports on project progress to provide status updates. Speaks to delivery implications for assigned projects in stakeholder meetings.
  • Interfaces and coordinates with supervisor, project manager and/or internal clients as needed to obtain deadlines and project content.
  • Oversees internal proofing and approval process to ensure project stays on schedule.
  • Helps to maintain Institute branding standards. Ensures consistent messaging and branding across all communication efforts.
  • Effectively communicates the flow of projects to outside vendors, such as printers and mail houses, to ensure deadlines are met.
  • Coordinates with External Relations Administration to make postage deposits to ensure postage is paid and materials arrive to recipients on deadline.
  • Reviews vendor invoices to ensure accuracy before submitting to department approvers for processing.
  • Ensures that professional relationships with both internal contacts and outside vendors (printers and designers) are cultivated and maintained. Serves as the point of contact for vendors associated with each project.

Marketing Campaigns and Advertising (15%)

  • Acquires desirable time slots and media space for advertising Institute events in print/radio/TV.
  • Uses market research information, such as demographics, media usage, ratings and type of content in a given vehicle to choose the best possible venue or medium.
  • Negotiates, purchases and monitors advertising for print and digital media.
  • Monitors buying strategies and purchased media to make sure advertisements appear as planned and are billed correctly.

Copy Editing (15%)

  • Supports the writing, editing and back-checking of promotional material, invitations, save-the-dates, event programs and digital marketing projects/campaigns.
  • Provides copyediting and back-checking for email marketing and print collateral including Inside Salk, special publications (e.g. Science Guide), newsletters and event materials.




  • Minimum of four (4) years of hands-on creative project/traffic management experience in a high-volume communications (or closely related) creative work environment.
  • Minimum of four (4) years of training and experience in project management for publications and printed collateral for a Communications office/outlet.
  • Fully integrated background with experience in print, advertising, digital and direct mail.
  • Demonstrated experience with copy editing and proofreading.


  • Prior experience in a larger (500+) non-profit.
  • Knowledge and experience with Macintosh platform.
  • Experience with project management software such as Asana, Trello, Basecamp or equivalent.
  • Familiarity with The Chicago Manual of Style.




  • Bachelor's Degree in English, Marketing, Communications or related field or commensurate experience.




  • Demonstrated exceptional oral and interpersonal skills to communicate and interact in a confident, positive and effective manner with diverse and demanding clientele, including vendors, media contacts, senior management, faculty and other staff using a high degree of tact, diplomacy and discretion, with emphasis on flexibility and professionalism.
  • Ability to modify communication style to match the appropriate level of the targeted audience.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services including assessing customer needs, meeting quality standards for services, resolving conflicts, evaluating customer satisfaction and managing relationships with partners.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of media production, communication, dissemination techniques and methods.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar.
  • Excellent communicator and creative thinker, with an ability to use both data and intuition to inform decisions.
  • Excellent organizational skills. Ability to prioritize workload, meet deadlines, and work with frequent interruptions under constantly changing priorities in a fast-paced operation while exhibiting extreme attention to detail.
  • Positive, can-do attitude, flexible, attention to detail, strong decision-making ability and works well both independently and as part of a team.
  • Must be exceptionally organized, detail-oriented and deadline-driven and able to prioritize multiple projects while keeping on schedule and within budget.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of creative and production functions to ensure accurate timelines are established and met.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of printing terminology and design.
  • Demonstrated skills and knowledge in using word processing, spreadsheet and design software, including MS Office Suite and Adobe applications.


  • Proficient in cloud based project management services such as Basecamp and Asana.


  • Must be willing to work in an animal-related research environment.
  • Must be able to work evenings and weekends, as needed.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Institute’s background investigation.
  • Must be willing to sign an employee confidentiality agreement.


This position requires constant adjusting focus, grasping, hearing, keying, seeing, sitting, talking, analyzing, calculating, communicating, reading, reasoning, writing and working inside. 


Application Details

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