Media Relations Specialist

Media Relations Specialist

University of San Francisco

Job Summary:

The Media Relations Specialist serves as the university's day-to-day liaison with the media, and is a key contributor in developing and implementing tactics to advance the overall communications strategy for the university community and its external audiences. The Specialist works closely with the VP, AVP, Senior Strategist, and other OMC staff members to implement strategic communications plans; independently respond to media inquiries, pitch reporters, producers, and editors on covering campus news; facilitate media interviews with faculty members and other experts; develop regional and national press contacts; write and issue press releases; research press lists; and maintain and share records of press coverage. This position may serves as official university spokesperson, as assigned.

Job Responsibilities:

Cultivate positive working relationships with the members of the local, regional, national and higher education media by providing story ideas, academic experts, and news announcements to reporters on a consistent basis.
• Respond quickly and accurately to wide range of media inquiries by phone and email - from confirming campus event details to providing well-researched answers regarding faculty availability to comment on news of the day.
• Prioritize requests from media, and ability to recognize when a sensitive request needs to be escalated to VP or President’s Office.
• Coordinate all reporter visits to campus, including preparing briefing materials for faculty and leadership (i.e., reporter bios, talking points, etc.) as well as logistics (securing parking passes, notifying public safety, escorting reporters, etc.)
• Develop press kits for USF projects and events, including writing fact sheets, biographies, timelines, as well as preparing and organizing documentsx

Ensure that media relations pages on are current with timely information, including reformatting press releases written by Specialist and coordinating with website news team

Collaborate with with social media specialists in OMC and departments across campus to leverage news coverage to reach wider audiences. Strategize in advance with social media to ensure that Specialist’s press releases are distributed in accordance with long-range communications plans; and work in breaking news or emergency situations to ensure that university’s social media channels have current and accurate information to push out simultaneously.

Write and distribute written communications plans for significant events/issues to top university officials as needed.

Mine university news and developments to identify and pitch stories that reinforce USF’s identity and mission, such as its Jesuit Catholic heritage, and its emphasis on service learning and social justice.

Identify new faculty and administrators capable and willing to give media interviews and serve as academic experts on news-of-the-day topics.
• Provide the necessary guidance and training to make USF faculty and staff credible resources for reporters. This could include practice questions, complete background on reporters, caveats and tips to make an interview successful and debriefing/evaluating post-interview.
• Assist Senior Strategist and VP in conducting media training each academic year. With Specialist’s recommendations, new faculty and leadership are scheduled for training sessions, which are usually held over a 1-2 day period and conducted by an outside consultant. Specialist would be involved in session preparation and other needs, including logistics, set up and evaluation
Using established tools in division (i.e., Cision, Google alerts, social monitoring services , etc.) track all media hits. Depending on nature of coverage, this could involve hour-by-hour tracking of emergency/crisis coverage or long-range issues and reputation coverage being carefully monitored by OMC and leadership. Prepare reports for use by the Division and other groups such as the Marketing Communications Steering Committee.
Keep various USF audiences informed of USF’s media presence in a timely manner via - depending on coverage - phone calls, email, round-up reports, and analysis
Collaborate with Athletics to coordinate any news announcement or event that affects the University as a whole
Assist in developing and writing materials for USF News, the USF Magazine, and the USF website, etc., as necessary.
Supervise student interns.
Other duties as assigned.

Note: The responsibilities of this job may include work on nights and weekends, sometimes with little notice.

Minimum Requirements:

• 2-4 years of demonstrated experience in the field of media relations (working at PR agency or managing PR for business or nonprofit entity)
• B.A. in journalism, communications or related field, or equivalent work experience required
• Highly organized with solid project management skills
• Strong goal orientation
• Highly collaborative
• Creative, resourceful and solutions-oriented
• Passion to succeed
• Ability to work autonomously
• Operates effectively in a fast-paced environment
• Excellent spoken and written communications skills
• High level of integrity
• Clear understanding of USF’s Jesuit mission and ability to articulate it clearly

Additional Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

For information on how to apply, please visit the following link:

EEO Policy
The University of San Francisco is an equal opportunity institution of higher education. As a matter of policy, the University does not discriminate in employment, educational services and academic programs on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except minors), sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related and genetic-related) and disability, and the other bases prohibited by law. The University reasonably accommodates qualified individuals with disabilities under the law.


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