Strategic Communications

Melissa Shaffmaster

Melissa Shaffmaster

Senior Director, Strategic Communications

245 Day Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Strategic Communications engages academic and administrative leadership to articulate Cornell’s mission and vision. We focus on crafting and implementing communications strategies that advance Cornell’s world-renowned reputation for excellence in learning, discovery and engagement.

As stewards of Cornell’s primary communications platforms, including flagship web and social media channels, Strategic Communications directly supports the university’s priorities and initiatives, leadership communications and emergency and crisis communications.

Strategic Communications staff partner with and advise communicators across the university in the following key areas:

  • Strategic Communications works directly with university leadership to develop and implement communications plans to promote research, share critical updates and raise the visibility of Cornell. We’re a resource to leadership teams and communicators across Cornell as we identify and provide support for administrative and academic communication-related challenges and opportunities. Strategic Communications also plans and disseminates university statements and community-wide messages, produces targeted, digital content and supports presidential and other high-profile campus events.
  • Web Communications oversees content and strategy for Cornell’s main university web properties, manages digital assets to ensure high-quality imagery on University Relations platforms and provides leadership and guidance to campus regarding effective and appropriate use of the web for external and internal communications.
  • New Media oversees the university’s main social media strategy, developing an online community where members engage with Cornell’s brand and sustain lifelong relationships. New Media also monitors trends in digital media and shares knowledge and fosters engagement with the university’s online communities, including brand ambassador training for individuals and units who represent Cornell on social media.

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