Senior Public Information Officer

Senior Public Information Officer
University of California, Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With a little more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design, and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus by 2020, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. UC Merced is also building the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building in the heart of Merced.

A dynamic, rapidly growing place like UC Merced needs creative, ambitious and talented public relations professionals to convey its unique story to its most important audiences. The ideal person to join our team will be a media relations master, an engaging storyteller, an elegant writer, a measured strategist and a restless innovator.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Public Relations, the Senior Public Information Officer serves as the PR team's crisis communications lead; works with media at the local, state and national levels; writes compelling news and feature stories; assists with executive communications and reputation management; and serves as a spokesperson for the university. Productive, positive collaboration with colleagues across campus and particularly within External Relations – including development, alumni relations, government relations, marketing and special events – will be expected.

Key Responsibilities:
- Media Outreach: Cultivates relationships with key journalists, develops story ideas and pitches, and writes news releases and advisories for various media outlets.
- Media Coordination: Develops and proposes strategies for responses from a variety of media outlets.
- Writing and editing: Writes, proofreads and edits articles, talking points, print and web materials, and other items as assigned.
- Crisis Communications: Serves as crisis communications lead within the Public Relations team.
- Reputation Management: Proactively works to identify potential reputational issues and helps to develop strategies to address them.

Note: Applicants must submit a portfolio of media placements, writing samples, and anything else that shows us you at your best.

Qualifications: - Bachelor's degree plus three years of experience in communications, journalism or a related field required and/or equivalent experience/training.

- Exceptional written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, including a strong sense of a good story and understanding of the topics that may be of interest to various publics and will incorporate key messages. Familiarity and demonstrated skill with Associated Press style. Proven experience in editing and proofreading.

- Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations.

- Thorough skills in understanding of print, radio and broadcast news, the internet, social media and other emerging technologies.

- Thorough knowledge of UC Merced's location, achievements, mission, vision, goals, objectives, programs and infrastructure.

- Exceptional judgment, political acumen and organizational skills.

- Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.

- Substantive experience in successfully producing effective promotional materials, including news releases and publications; have a solid understanding of the techniques of public relations; and experience in successfully employing them.

- Strong office and computer skills including proficiency in word processing and web-based communications.

- Demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate several projects simultaneously. Detail-oriented and able to work rapidly and accurately under deadline pressure and in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others and adapt quickly to shifting priorities.

- Availability for evening and weekend activities as needed. Travel to locations on and off campus, and occasionally stay overnight.

To Apply: Click on the link below to use our new on-line application system.

If you do not have internet access you may mail your application, resume, and cover letter to: University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced CA 95343. Please list the job number on the subject line.

To apply:

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:
As of January 1, 2014 the University of California, Merced will be a smoke and tobacco free workplace. Information and the Smoke and Tobacco Free policy is available at