Director, Media Relations

Job description

General Summary

The Director of Media Relations will enhance the University’s reputation and image through public relations functions, including formulating strategies, crafting messages, and building relationships. The overall objective of these efforts is to support the University’s student recruitment efforts.

The Director will have a passion for emerging news media and social media trends, and will lead the conception, development, creation, and dissemination of news, research, strategic communications and public relations/reputation management initiatives, which are then communicated to a diverse audience, including news media, internal and external stakeholders, key industry and government constituents, and the community-at-large.

The Director will create and oversee innovative media relations and social media strategies and initiatives to build our global and regional brand, enhance our academic reputation, and promote Eastern Michigan University’s strong focus on serving diverse populations.

The Director is expected to be available 24/7 as needed for urgent, priority matters and must be able to adapt their work in response to rapidly changing circumstances, breaking news and crises. The Director will act as a spokesperson for the University at the direction of the Vice President for Communications.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Develop news releases, media statements, speeches, key messages, letters, reports, fact sheets, and other documents as necessary, and coordinate/edit such materials when developed by staff.

Act as primary contact and respondent for news media inquiries. Develop and foster deepening relationships with media outlets on behalf of the University. Act as a spokesperson at the direction of the Vice President for Communications.

Work closely with the EMU Department of Public Safety, Facilities, and other University partners to issue emergency alerts and timely warnings to the campus community, 24/7 as needed, via the RAVE alert system, email, and other campus communications.

Work collaboratively with the University’s five colleges, the Graduate School, the Honors College, and key departments/divisions to identify internal news and accomplishments, source photo/video elements, develop content as needed, and maximize distribution and coverage via news media, wire service outlets, and social media channels.

Develop strategies to broaden awareness of the University through the use of established media channels and social media; adapt to changing industry opportunities and trends.

Provide leadership, strategic direction, and oversight for the media relations function and social media function, including the development of media relations and social media components of an integrated communications plan.

Provide counsel, at the direction of the Vice President for Communications, to senior administrators about media relations issues.

Write presidential messages and remarks, prepare key points for University leadership on announcements and issues, and review internal communications from other departments to ensure they are well written and effective.

Communicate consistently and effectively with other Division of Communications team members to facilitate collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and support for all divisional activities and projects.

Perform related duties as assigned.


A Bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related field is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

At least six years of progressively more responsible experience in public relations, media relations, or related disciplines for a medium to large-sized organization are necessary.

Exceptional verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills, and a collegial, collaborative management style are required.

Ability to work in a fast-paced, highly-matrixed environment with changing priorities, while demonstrating a calm and confident demeanor and excellent time management and multitasking abilities is required.

Knowledge of higher education and experience in a highly-complex organization is preferred.

Extensive knowledge of journalistic style and grammar, with strong editing and proofreading skills is required.

Strong relationships with media and influencers, and proven ability to successfully pitch and generate positive stories is required.

Proven digital and social media skills, knowledge of current trends and best practices, and ability to drive positive results and engagement is required.

Strong experience supervising, inspiring, and leading a multi-focused team and ability to motivate personal and professional growth within the team is required.

Impeccable personal integrity and sound professional and personal ethics is necessary.

Supplemental Information





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Job No:
Posted: 4/24/2021
Application Due: 6/23/2021
Work Type: Full Time