Media Relations Strategist

Walla Walla, Washington State
Sep 28, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution


Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Communications, the Media Relations Strategist engages with members of the media and other influencers to enhance the national reputation of Whitman College. Must have proven experience in developing media relations strategy and cultivating relationships with journalists, bloggers and opinion leaders in media. Regularly develops and distributes clear and compelling newsworthy content and that leads to positive media coverage and/or advances the Whitman College reputation. Researches current events, trends, and editorial calendars of target publications, and recommends topics for pitches, news releases, and social media outreach. Works closely with faculty and administrators to position them as media experts.


·         Act as primary liaison between the campus and media in non-crisis situations.

·         Build and maintain positive relationships with national media representatives and continually identify new media influencers to cultivate.

·         Respond quickly and accurately to media inquiries by email or phone.

·         Prioritize media request and recognize when a sensitive request should be passed on to Senior Director of Communications.

·         Coordinate all reporter visits to campus, including preparing faculty and college leadership and coordinating logistics.

·         Collaborate with Digital and Social Media Specialist to leverage news coverage to reach wider audiences.

·         With the Senior Director of Communications, develop media and public relations strategy.

·         Research current events and trends and recommend topics for news releases and web posts.

·         Write and pitch clear, concise and compelling news stories, distribute to media, and post to the college website.

·         Maintain and update media list

·         Monitor daily news coverage including social media mentions.

·         Use industry tools for news release distribution and research such as Profnet, Meltwater and Agility and manage vendor relationships for those tools.

·         Identify faculty and administrators capable and willing to give media interviews and serve as academic experts on news-of-the-day topics.

·         Provide necessary guidance and training to make faculty and staff credible resources for reporters.

·         Provide counsel and writing assistance for OpEd submissions.

·         Produce annual student journalism awards ceremony and lecture featuring an esteemed journalist as a guest.

·         Other duties as assigned.


Must be able to explain and/or demonstrate that they possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the essential functions of the job, with or without reasonable accommodation, including:

·         Demonstrated experience in media relations.

·         Knowledge of AP style

·         Proven excellence in writing and communicating

·         Strong organizational skills.

·         Ability to work on a team and contribute to multiple projects

·         Independence and critical thinking skills.

·         Ability to take on the perspective of prospective Whitman students and families.

·         Ability to understand Whitman’s goals and strategies.

·         The ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff, prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

·         Understanding of liberal arts education in a small residential setting.

·         Excellent interpersonal communication skills and an awareness of the sensitivities of others.

·         Being a self-starter, able to function comfortably in a fluid context.

·         Willingness and ability to work independently and as part of a team.

·         Skills and experiences that contribute to the diversity of the college.


Bachelor's degree in Journalism or Public Relations and three years’ experience in public and media relations or a related field.


The applicant must be capable of intensive keyboarding and use of handheld devices for extended periods of time. Must be able to lift and set up video equipment of up to 50 lbs