Assistant Director for Media Relations

Gonzaga University
Spokane, WA

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Who We Are:

At Gonzaga we don’t just state our mission. We live it every day as a Catholic, Jesuit, and humanistic University. It is the reason we exist and the foundation for our purpose: educating students for lives of leadership and service. From students to faculty and staff members, everyone here knows what we stand for – and they know how valuable our mission is to the success of our institution.

Our competitive benefit packages are part of Gonzaga’s commitment to care for the whole person. Packages include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, retirement, tuition benefits, and other University-provided benefits.

We also provide numerous resources which help bring balance to the complexities of work and personal life through our work/life and wellness programs.

Position Title:

Assistant Director for Media Relations

Posting Number:



Community and Public Relations

Work Schedule:

Standard office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00AM-5:00PM. Incumbent may work non-standard hours as needed.

Employment Status:


Hours per Week:


Months per Year:


Job Purpose:

The Assistant Director of Media Relations leads Gonzaga’s news and media relations functions from within the University’s centralized Marketing and Communications department. This highly skilled writer and communicator supports the University’s overall content strategy, working with other team members to uncover, determine, and develop the best stories to advance academic excellence, enrollment, fundraising, and brand/image. An experienced professional, this person builds strong relationships with reporters, responds to inquiries, shares stories and information with the Gonzaga community as well as worldwide media, and serves as the University’s official spokesperson. This resourceful individual has a broad knowledge of print, broadcast and digital media, and a strong understanding of best practices for content distribution across multiple channels, along with experience using software for media distribution, strategic monitoring, and analysis.

Essential Function Category Title:

Media Relations

% of time for section:


Function Details:

Media Relations

  • Build strong, professional relationships with local, regional, and national members of the media and media outlets.
  • Manage all aspects of Gonzaga’s news and media relations functions, including content selection and development, planning/calendaring, story development, distribution, publication, monitoring, and tracking. This position is supported in its responsibilities by other members of the communications and content strategy team, as well as student employees.
  • Serve as the official media spokesperson on behalf of the University.
  • Design and implement media relations strategies to achieve media placements and mentions in local, regional and national media in support of key initiatives related to Gonzaga’s mission, strategic plan, enrollment, fundraising, and brand.
  • Manage, interpret, and effectively communicate highly confidential and complex information to a wide variety of target audiences.
  • Serve as the primary contact for the campus for all media, and facilitate contact between students, faculty, staff, and reporters.
  • Development and writing of institutional press releases and responses to media inquiries.
  • Pitch stories to members of the media through personal calls, meetings, social media connections, and other methods of engagement.
  • Design and implement media relations strategies to share and showcase the expertise and thought leadership of Gonzaga leaders, faculty, alumni and friends.
  • Create and/or oversee communications and materials in support of media relations efforts, including but not limited to: media advisories, tip sheets, calendar notices, backgrounders, fact sheets, feature stories, and guest editorials.
  • Oversee production of video content, including Q/As, b-roll, video news stories and social media posts, in support of the University’s news distribution goals.
  • Manage the GU News web page, including posting stories to the site.
  • Plan, write, edit, and produce Gonzaga News E-Newsletter throughout the year.
  • Track and measure media coverage, reach, share of voice and other metrics demonstrating impact.
  • Monitor and assess media trends and news coverage about Gonzaga and report on those to University stakeholders on a daily and monthly basis.
  • Develop and manage news conferences and media events as necessary.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Director for Strategic Communications, facilitate media training for campus members as needed.
  • Manage the Gonzaga (@gonzagaunews) Twitter account in order to disseminate news, information, and stories as well as build connections and relationships with members of the media.
  • Build relationships with staff, faculty, students, families, alumni, and friends in order to seek and research stories, source information, gather story ideas, conduct interviews, and more.
  • Research best practices and stay abreast of emerging media trends.

Essential Function Category Title:

Management & Collaboration

% of time for section:


Function Details:

Management and Collaboration

  • Hire, supervise and evaluate student writers and assistants.
  • Contract for professional writing support as necessary.
  • Research and, with others, select and manage contracted vendor services for media distribution, monitoring and other services to help accomplish media relations goals.
  • Participate in the “story core team” meetings to respond to story submissions from across campus and collaborate in making decisions about story priorities and use.
  • Provide writing and editing assistance for publications and other marketing or communications projects as capacity allows.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Director of Strategic Communications and the Senior Director of Community Relations in communications execution related to issues management, reputational crisis communications, public relations, and community relations, particularly as actions involve responding to or providing information to the media.
  • Participate on the University’s Emergency Management Team, together with other communications team members, in times of emergency to lead media relations activities and serve as the Public Information Officer on occasions when the Emergency Operations Center is activated.

University Work Values:

Promoting Excellence in Academic Endeavors and Professional Practice

• Fostering intellectual depth, competence, reflection, and creativity in pursuing exemplary, rather than satisfactory, outcomes

Sharing Responsibility for Mission Identity and Leadership

• Making a personal commitment to learn about Gonzaga’s mission, discovering ways to contribute individually and collaboratively to our distinctive learning and research community

Affirming a Commitment to Human Dignity

• Engaging one another with profound respect, professionalism, and cura personalis while supporting one another’s continued learning, development, and maximizing of potential

Advancing a Culture of Inclusiveness

• Developing cultural fluencies and global awarenesses, and practicing habits that enable us to value, recruit, and support community members from historically underrepresented backgrounds

Caring for Our Common Home and Integral Ecology

• Growing ecological awareness of and respect for the interconnectedness of human and non-human life, and the need to develop and practice habits that are mutually beneficial to all life

Cultivating Individual and Community Accountability

• Demonstrating mutual commitment to our shared project by holding ourselves and others responsible for actions, expecting appropriate behavior, and aligning activities with ethical and professional standards

Degree Required:

Bachelor's Degree

Certifications and/or Licensures required:


Knowledge Required:

Specialist Knowledge in field

Years Experience Required:

5-7.99 years

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and editing
  • Demonstrated experience writing for news media
  • Experience as an organizational spokesperson, or in broadcast news/journalism
  • Excellent command of Microsoft Office software
  • Ability to work within a web content management system to post stories and information
  • Experience and highly skilled at managing social media and creating social media content
  • Ability to learn and utilize software and digital tools for news distribution and monitoring

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience working in a higher education setting

Physical / Environmental Qualifications :

  • Remain in stationary position up to 80% of day
  • Wrist and hand movement related to computer work
  • Bend, stand, stoop, kneel, stretch and reach

Open Date:


Open Until Filled:


Application Review Begins On:


EEO Statement :

Gonzaga University is a Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic institution, and is therefore interested in candidates who will contribute to its distinctive mission. Gonzaga University is a committed EEO/AA employer and diversity candidates are encouraged to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their disability status and/or protected veteran status.

Clery Statement:

Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics

The safety of all members of the campus community is of vital concern to Gonzaga University. Information regarding crime prevention advice, the law enforcement authority of Campus Security, policies concerning the reporting of any crimes which occurred on the campus (and other specified locations), other security and safety-related policies, as well as the crime statistics for the most recent 3-year period may be found in the Campus Safety and Security Guide and Annual Fire Safety Report. The Gonzaga-In-Florence Safety & Security Guide is also available.

A copy of the report can be found online at A paper copy of the Campus Safety & Security Guide and Annual Fire Safety Report or the Gonzaga-In-Florence Safety & Security Guide may be obtained by contacting the Student Development Office on main campus, College Hall 120. The Florence Guide may also be obtained on the Florence campus in room 105.

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