Director of Public and Media Relations

Job description

University of La Verne

Director of Public and Media Relations

Job Description Summary:
The University of La Verne is a private not-for-profit university founded in 1891 located in La Verne, California. The core values that we live by are Ethical Reasoning, Diversity and Inclusivity, Lifelong Learning and Community and Civic Engagement.

If you're passionate about these values, join us at the University of La Verne!

The Director of Media and Public Relations is responsible for enhancing the university's reputation and regional and national visibility. This includes developing relationships with local, regional, and national news media and working to secure media placements. The director works closely with the Executive Director of the Office of Strategic Communications (OSC) to oversee editorial content in print, electronic, and social media formats, including oversight of a comprehensive organic social media plan. The director also works closely with fellow team leaders in digital, creative, advertising, and enrollment communications to support content marketing efforts and to ensure consistent messages to internal and external audiences. The director works proactively to improve communications externally/internally for all university stakeholders at all campuses, providing counsel on media relations to the president, her cabinet, and faculty.

Specific Duties:

  • Maintain relationships with top-tier journalists at local, regional and national outlets, as well as high-profile online influencers, in order to generate media coverage to enhance the university’s appeal and prestige.
  • Raise the profile of the university’s initiatives statewide and nationally. Introduce the president and other key leaders to regional and national press, and initiate a biannual trip for the president to meet with higher education editors and thought leaders.
  • Oversee the creation of a university database of subject matter experts and their topics of expertise, for use by the Media Relations team.
  • Establish goals for the department by developing comprehensive Content and Media Relations plans that are consistent with the university’s Strategic Vision and mission, identifying target audiences, key messages and strategies to achieve these goals. Update this plan, as needed.
  • Assist University Advancement as needed, with consistent messaging and key media/news stories, specifically with regards to the university’s Comprehensive Capital Campaign.
  • Write and/or manage communications for the President and other executive stakeholders, including a monthly update newsletter and social media posts.
  • Meet regularly with the members of President’s Executive Cabinet (PEC), deans, faculty and students to ensure a strong internal communications systems is in place and strategic communications needs are met.
  • Develop and forge integrated communications campaigns that leverage the
    power of earned and social media together with marketing and other outreach efforts in ways that strategically advance overall enrollment marketing and communications goals and priorities.
  • Represent the university to critical/strategic external and community
    organizations, as well as develop relationships with national higher education organizations.
  • Work closely with the Executive Director for the Office of Strategic
    Communications and provide proactive/reactive crisis communications counsel to the President and her cabinet, as well as lead the development of scripts, talking points, letters, background information, etc., as needed. During times of emergency or crisis, serve as or assign leaders for the role of University Spokesperson and advise the Executive Director and executive leadership team on appropriate communications and responses.
  • Oversee the implementation of a strategic internal communications program to faculty, staff, and students that builds awareness, understanding and support for university needs and leadership directions.
  • Provide quality control and copy editing on departmental and campus communications.
  • Oversee production of the VOICE Magazine.
  • Manage Public Relations and social media team members.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • At least seven years of leadership experience in media relations with increasing responsibility.
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • Sound understanding of content marketing.
  • Experience making prudent and strategic decisions and taking appropriate action in situations where there may not be clearly established criteria or standards.
  • Outstanding managerial skills to comprehensively supervise professional and support staff.
  • Ability to create and execute communications plans
  • An understanding and proficiency with social media, blogging, and advocacy campaigns and their application to students, alumni, contributors and partners.
  • Strong media relations, executive and internal communications, issues management and crisis communications skills, as well as a deep knowledge base in digital communications, website and social media.
  • Superior writing and copy editing skills for various types of communications including news stories, media pitches, admissions marketing, internal newsletters, internal communications, and crisis communications.
  • Excellent strategic planning and resource management skills with demonstrated
    experience administering a complex operation with multiple objectives and points of view with limited resources.
  • Success managing through influence in a complex, diverse, team-oriented environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills, including public speaking and articulating ideas clearly and succinctly.
  • Strong skills in analyzing information, situations, practices and procedures to define problems, identify relevant concerns and formulate logical and objective conclusions and recognize alternatives.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience in higher education.
  • Expertise in content marketing.
  • Graduate degree in journalism or communications.

Location: La Verne Central Campus

Special Instructions:
To be considered for this position please visit our web site and apply on line at the following link:

Institutional Profile
Located in Southern California, the University of La Verne offers a distinctive and relevant educational experience to a diverse population of students, preparing them for successful careers and a commitment to lifelong learning across the liberal arts and professional programs. The academic units of the not-for-profit university include the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Public Management, the LaFetra College of Education, and the College of Law. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, including degree programs tailored for working adults. The university's central campus is located 30 miles east of Los Angeles in the historic Old Town section of La Verne, a city with a population of approximately 35,000 at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. The university also has eight regional campuses throughout California and the College of Law campus in Ontario, California. The university is classified as a Carnegie Doctoral Institution with moderate research activity. Core values are reflected throughout all curricular and co-curricular programs, its emphasis on close professor-student interaction, personal support of its students, and its diversity.

The University of La Verne prides itself in being reflective of the diversity of Southern California. Approximately 80 percent of its nearly 8,500 students come from diverse backgrounds and the U.S. Department of Education has designated the university as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). With 80,000 alumni, the university fulfills a critical community function in educating students from underserved populations, many of whom are the first generation in their family to attend college.

The University of La Verne is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against employment or employees on any basis prohibited by state and federal law. University of La Verne hires and promotes individuals based on their qualifications and is consistent with applicable state and federal laws, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, disability, medical condition a or sexual orientation

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Job No:
Posted: 11/16/2020
Application Due: 11/16/2032
Work Type: