University of Washington
Seattle, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
MEDIA RELATIONS SPECIALIST Req #:203350Department:UW MEDICINE STRATEGIC MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONSJob Location: Seattle - South Lake Union Posting Date:04/18/2022 Closing Info:Open Until Filled Salary:Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Shift:First Shift Notes:As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here. As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem-solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

UW Medicine Strategic Marketing & Communications is looking for a media relations specialist to work within a team of professionals to interface with traditional and online media with a focus on placing stories and writing news releases about the work conducted at UW Medicine and its entities. This position reports to the director of UW Medicine Media Relations.

The media relations specialist must be an excellent communicator and able to write a standard news release, able to synthesize complex messages and themes and present the information to reporters to interest them in pursuing a story. The position requires an individual who can work within a team to strategize the best method for successful pitches. The media relations specialist will use a variety of techniques to accomplish that goal including face to face pitches, telephone calls, emails and other methods depending upon the situation and the preference of particular media representatives. Working closely with the media, the media relations specialist will be responsible for developing and fostering relationships with members of the media particular to the beats they are assigned to cover.

The specialist is a self-starter with a high degree of professionalism and diplomacy who understands the political landscape and is able to function independently while exercising critical thinking and good judgement. The specialist will focus on specific beats and key clients and ensure that the clients have an understanding of the work of the media relations team and how to access team members before journal papers are published, when direct media inquiries are made and when they might be a source for trending news topics, including opinion pieces. The specialist will develop and foster relationships throughout UW Medicine and selected schools within the Health Sciences.

The media relations specialist will adhere to media guidelines and processes within the department including obtaining document review prior to posting and distribution, escorting media, gathering patient consents as applicable and ensuring that individuals in the Health Sciences and all UW Medicine areas are fully apprised of filming and interviews prior to entering these clinical and non-clinical areas. The position may also interface with department marketing, digital, social media, internal communications and advancement to extend the reach of media stories.

Duties include:
•Handling reactive and proactive media requests
•Writing media statements and plans
•Taking photos
•Working with the media relations video team to interview beat clients to accompany video soundbites with a news release
•Tweeting stories on the Newsroom channel
•Gathering media metrics
•Publishing news items on the Newsroom.

On a rotating basis, the specialist will take media on call during non-business hours to provide 24-hour evening and weekend coverage for media requests. This includes answering inquiries about hospitalized patients and handling any crisis with the consent of the Director of Media Relations and/or the Senior Director of Communications/Media Relations. It is the media specialist’s responsibility to execute on the request within a reasonable time period while on call.

•Bachelor's degree in Journalism, English, Science, Political Science, or similar. Equivalent experience may substitute for degree requirement.
•4 years prior experience.
•Must be able to use an iPhone or digital camera to supplement stories for social media and other postings.
•Must have an ability to post to the media Newsroom website.
•Must be an excellent writer with excellent communications skills who possesses a great deal of customer service and judgement. Must be able to present coherently and interface with physicians, scientists, administrators and other employees throughout UW Medicine.

Equivalent education and/or experience may substitute for minimum requirements.

•Having a background in areas such as public relations, journalism, health care and science writing is preferred. The media relations specialist is an ambassador for the UW Medicine Strategic Marketing & Communications team.

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral. The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or [email protected].


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

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