The Director of Media Relations plays a critical role in the Office of Communications and Marketing and is responsible for managing media relations to the administrative units of the university which includes the Office of the Chancellor and the Offices of the Vice Chancellors with the overall goal of enhancing the university’s viability and reputation among key audiences. Responsible for developing media relations strategies, identifying potential news stories, packaging and pitching stories to national, state and regional media; following trends and connecting university sources with external media; developing strategies and responses for issues management, writing and publishing news releases that promote the university, faculty, students, and alumni; and producing relevant content for the university’s electronic and print publications.
- Working closely with the Vice Chancellor for Communications and Marketing, develop and implement media relations strategies and activities for assigned areas of the university that promote and advance the institution’s visibility and reputation in external media.
- Develop a well-rounded and heavily saturated media presence that keeps the university, its programs, and its activities top of mind among key external audiences and influencer's. This includes prospective students and their families, elected officials, business and industry leaders, civic leaders, alumni, donors, and others.
- Cultivate mutually beneficial and trusting relationships with members of the local, regional, and national media. Maintain and nurture relationships with reporters, editors, assignment editors, producers, executive producers, etc.
- Manage complex media issues that affect the reputation, operations, resources, and advancement of the university. Work closely with administrators to develop appropriate responses and statements, develop internal FAQs and talking points, and expertly manage interactions with external media.
- Coordinate closely with the university’s administrative units to set media priorities, develop media opportunities, identify and develop story ideas, cultivate subject matter experts, respond to media inquiries, ensure consistency and continuity of overall messaging, and avoid duplication of effort and resources. Manage expectations both internally and externally.
- Serve on the university’s Crisis Management Team. Work in concert with Emergency Management Director and Chief of Police to quickly respond, assess, and react to emerging crises. Inform, brief, and advise Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing and other leadership. Develop responses, talking points, and statements. Serve as official university spokesperson and manage external media interactions throughout the duration of a crisis.
- Develop media relations strategies that support the university’s development activities; that enhance the university’s development campaigns, activities, and programs; and that create a public environment conducive to philanthropic success.
- Cultivate productive relationships with senior university executives, staff, faculty, students, and alumni. Develop and maintain reliable stable of go-to sources within the administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- Work collaboratively with other members of the Media Relations team and other members of the Office of Communications and Marketing team and extended staff to ensure clear and consistent communications. Share strategies and pitch news and feature articles for university print and electronic communications. Write copy/articles as needed.
- Assist in the development and dissemination of official internal messaging that includes Message from the Chancellor, messages from other key university leaders, and university announcements. Package and distribute messages.
- Serve as key contact for external media monitoring partners. Maintain archive of media releases, media coverage, and other documents for internal distribution and external use in promoting the mission of the University. Track relevant metrics and media reach.
- Represent the Office of Communications and Marketing on the university’s Crisis Management Committee and serve as key member of the crisis communications team.
- Employ exceptional journalism skills to identify, prepare, produce, and publicize news content that supports and advances the university’s mission. Respond to media requests in a timely manner, often under intense deadline pressure. Manage multiple, concurrent projects.
- Arrange interviews with faculty, staff, and administrators as appropriate. Manage a range of logistics for media to ensure successful outcomes.
- Maintain content for assigned web sites, including the News Center, Office of the Chancellor site, and Emergency Information site.
- Package, produce, and pitch stories that advance the universities strategic priorities.
- Serve as an official university spokesperson and first point of contact for external media.
- Stay abreast of current issues in higher education and in the general media; compile and maintain experts list to help reporters localize breaking news stories.
- Serve as integral member of the university’s communications and marketing team during times of emergency or crisis. Adapt to rapidly changing scenarios and priorities. Work demanding schedules, as necessary, throughout the arc of a story, issue, or incident.
- Plan and stage news conferences, as well as media coverage for signature events. Work closely with senior university leaders and others to ensure key objectives are met.
- Other duties as assigned. This job description is not intended as, and should not be construed as, an exhaustive list of responsibilities, skills, efforts or working conditions associated with the job described. Duties may be revised as needed.
- Bachelor’s degree, preferably in journalism, communication, liberal arts, business, or a related field
- Six to seven years experience
- Relevant communications/media experience (supported by portfolio)
- Previous experience in higher education communications and marketing environment
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Must possess exceptional oral and written communications talent and skill
- Proven ability to conceive, pitch, and place stories in local, regional, and national media
- Requires presence and commitment before 8 a.m., after 5 p.m., and on weekends, both on- and off-campus
- Some local and regional travelrequired for meetings, events, and conferences
- Required to be in communication with other Office of Communications and Marketing staff and senior administrators, and/or perform key work tasks, in off-hours or off-location conditions as required to execute special projects or critical communications as conditions may demand
Requisition ID: 3275