COMM Media Relations
About the Department
University Communications aims to increase the understanding, recognition, and advocacy of UChicago's impact as one of the world's leading research universities. Our teams focus on building the University brand, enhancing and protecting its reputation, and engaging our University community.
University Communications focuses on building the brand, enhancing the reputation and growing public understanding of the University of Chicago, where rigorous inquiry shapes fields, creates a transformative education and experience, and confronts the most important problems of our time. The Communications team, in collaboration with UChicago Creative, the University's in-house creative agency, specializes in content creation, media relations, public affairs, brand strategy, and video and audio production for the University, while serving as a communication partner and center of excellence across UChicago.
This position is based within University Communications and supports the work of the following two schools:
The Harris School of Public Policy offers a full range of degree and executive education programs to empower a new generation of data-driven leaders to create a positive social impact in the world. Harris has more than 1,000 students enrolled in degree programs this academic year, and is home to more than a dozen research centers, institutes, and labs with 50+ full-time faculty who advance solutions in policy areas such as: economic inequality, healthcare, conflict, public safety, energy and environment, education, and politics and democracy.
The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice is focused on identifying solutions to complex problems affecting society's most vulnerable individuals through the integration of research, training and direct community engagement. Guided by an interdisciplinary tradition, its scholars conduct innovative research to address interconnected social challenges such as educational inequality, health disparities, crime and violence, poverty, and child and family welfare-working at multiple scales, from individual to policy-level interventions.
The Media Relations Manager works to generate news coverage that raises the profile of faculty expertise, research and key public facing initiatives from the Harris School of Public Policy and the Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice.
The Manager will work closely with the communications teams at the two schools and with faculty who are leading thinkers and ground-breaking researchers/practitioners in their fields. This role will develop relationships with key reporters and editors in the US and abroad.
The Manager will monitor the news closely and identify opportunities for faculty and other leaders to speak as experts on breaking news and developing stories. This position will pitch new research and projects that generate headlines and increase awareness among targeted influential audiences.
This role calls for someone who enjoys following policy issues and can find creative ways to drive media coverage on a range of areas. The Media Relations Manager must be able to juggle multiple assignments at once, communicate clearly about complicated subject matter, work with faculty and staff across the university, pay close attention to detail, perform well under pressure, and work well with others. The Media Relations Manager will report to the Director of Media Relations in the central office of University Communications and will work in close partnership with teams at the Harris and Crown schools.
- Coordinates with the communications team and faculty at the Harris School of Public Policy and Crown Family School to keep abreast of upcoming, newsworthy research, programs, and events.
- Identifies key journalists and field-specific influencers and fosters relationships with them.
- Uses monitoring services such as Meltwater and other platforms to build lists and pitch reporters, track coverage and compile quarterly metric reports, with the goal of measurably increasing media coverage.
- Collaborates in strategic planning to create focused and effective media campaigns.
- When news breaks, quickly identifies experts and pitches them to reporters.
- Builds editorial calendar of anticipated news events (e.g. - elections, legislative deadlines, back-to-school).
- Stays current with trends in each relevant discipline.
- Assists in the media training of faculty, students, and staff.
- Plans, develops and disseminates information designed to keep the public informed of the organization's programs, accomplishments, or point of view, with moderate levels of guidance and direction.
- Solves a range of straightforward problems, as work assignments are difficult and broad in nature, usually requiring originality and ingenuity.
- Performs other related work as needed.
Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.---
Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.---
- Five years of experience in media relations and/or journalism.
- Familiarity with the local, regional, national, and international policy landscape.
- Extensive experience working with media.
- Demonstrated ability to pitch stories and build media relationships.
- Superior writing skills.
- Work in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment.
- Get along with people and work diplomatically within a diverse team.
- Proven ability to explain dense, technical ideas in a way that captures their complexity, while also making them understandable to the general public.
- Excellent news judgment and skill at keeping abreast of latest news.
- Resume/CV (required)
- Cover Letter (required)
When applying, the document(s) MUST
be uploaded via the My Experience
page, in the section titled Application Documents
of the application.Job Family
Individual ContributorFLSA Status
MonthlyScheduled Weekly Hours
YesRequires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement
YesDrug Test Required
NoHealth Screen Required
NoMotor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
Employees must comply with the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.
Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.
We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.
All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.
The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at:http://securityreport.uchicago.edu.Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.
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