Communications Manager, Media Relations

Job description

Hyde Park Campus

71681 News

About the Unit
About UChicago Sciences for 127 years, UChicago's pioneering scientific research has been responsible for milestones considered foundational science today. In a way that no other university can claim, UChicago brings together researchers from across disciplines and institutions to pursue solutions to today's significant challenges. Through rigorous inquiry, UChicago scientists and scholars challenge ideas and push boundaries, defining fields of study and deepening knowledge for societal impact. UChicago's scientific advancements and discoveries often span fields of study, enabling researchers to examine problems and explore ideas from a multitude of perspectives.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The Assistant Director of Media Relations, UChicago Sciences drives media coverage to increase public understanding of scientific discovery, innovation, and impact across the University and in collaboration with our national laboratories.

The Assistant Director reports to the Director of Media Relations, works with faculty and staff members from across the University and proactively pitches international, national, local and trade media.

This individual will be a media professional who is passionate about UChicago's cutting-edge science and innovation and eager to find new ways to tell the huge volume of interesting stories. The work will focus on priorities and core messages including UChicago's research eminence, legacy of scientific leadership, distinct approach to science and solutions-focused approach to innovation.


  • Develop a media relations plan to measurably drive awareness and positive perception of UChicago Sciences priorities and initiatives among target audiences
  • Maintain and enhance relationships with key members of the mainstream, trade, and higher education media, including but not limited to reporters, editors, producers, bloggers, and other influencers. Identify key journalists and foster relationships with them in order to successfully pitch stories and connect them with science experts
  • Using knowledge of emerging media outlets, develop a targeted approach to increase engagement with science blogs and fast-growing news outlets
  • Develop creative story ideas
  • Build a calendar of media opportunities and outreach
  • Collaborate closely with the content team to identify experts who can address emerging issues in the news and generate profiles that reinforce the distinctly UChicago approach
  • In partnership with the Associate Vice President for Media and Public Affairs, develop issues/crisis media statements if needed
  • Stay current with trends and relevant issues in science and within higher education and industry
  • Coordinate with the University digital and social media team to produce integrated outreach plans across multiple channels, including earned media, owned media, social media and paid media
  • Collaborate in strategic planning to create focused and effective media campaigns
  • Media train faculty, students, and staff
  • Track, distribute and assess results of media coverage utilizing media research and monitoring services

  • Demonstrated ability to pitch stories and build media relationships
  • Excellent news judgment
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Proven ability to explain dense, technical ideas in a way that captures their depth and complexity, while also making them understandable to the general public

Additional Requirements

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • Bachelor's degree required.

  • At least five years of experience in media relations and/or journalism are required
  • Extensive experience working with media in print, broadcast, etc.; experience working nimbly with blogs and online news outlets
  • Familiarity with issues in higher education and/or sciences preferred

Required Documents:

All required documents must be submitted to be considered for this position
  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Reference list

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

Benefit Eligibility

Pay Frequency

Pay Range
Depends on Qualification

Scheduled Weekly Hours


Job is Exempt?

Drug Test Required?

Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?

Health Screen Required?

Posting Date

Remove from Posting On or Before

Posting Statement:

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

Full time

About Us
The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

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Job No:
Posted: 7/6/2018
Application Due: 8/23/2018
Work Type: