The Division of External Relations combines the communications, government relations, marketing and creative services, and events functions of the university. External Relations develops and implements strategy and tactics for showcasing and raising the visibility of the university's experts, initiatives and accomplishments. It manages media inquiries and interviews with senior university leadership and produces print and online publications to showcase the university.
The division coordinates and cultivates the university's relationships with government officials and agencies, businesses, nonprofits, other universities, and the community. The division manages a variety of events at GW including major annual celebrations and academic convocations. External Relations visual designers and project managers support university schools/offices/departments in the creation of visual communications. The division oversees the development and maintenance of the university's main website and provides web-consulting services throughout the university. External Relations also offers editorial, photography and video services to the GW community. External Relations is currently seeking a Writer/Editor for George Washington Today (GW Today).
Reporting to the Senior Managing Editor of GW Today, Writer/Editors for GW Today straddle a line between a traditional news operation and an advocacy journalism operation. The unique nature of the position calls for skills beyond reporting and writing. Writers for GW Today, the university's official online news source, need agility and ability to think strategically to produce news and feature stories that serve both worlds—traditional news and advocacy journalism.
Job Responsibilities: GW Today Writers produce content for a broad audience, including students, their parents, faculty, staff, alumni and prospective students and their parents. Writers produce and plan original content for the GW Today website and email newsletter by collaborating with appropriate members of the Division of External Relations and representatives of divisions, schools, centers, institutes, and other units that are part of assigned beats. Writers also generate content ideas by engaging members of the GW community—including students, faculty, staff, administrators and others outside the stream of university communicators.
Writers develop and maintain relationships on their beats. They need to be sourced. They will develop story ideas not only from External Relations and communications operatives, but also from sources outside of External Relations/communications operatives.
Writers meet regular deadlines and must be flexible when deadlines change unexpectedly, as often happens in a newsroom setting. Writers must be available for evening and weekend work. They must build into their schedules time necessary to immerse themselves in their beats. They must find time to promote their stories on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Writers maintain effective collaborative relationships with the Division of External Relations team, and they must develop and maintain strong, positive working relationships with George Washington University staff, faculty, students, alumni and other target audiences for GW Today. Key to success in the position is working with internal GW constituencies to understand their goals when they request coverage.
Writers coordinate assignments with the editor to determine appropriate illustration for the story, including new photographs, archived photos, video or graphics. They will sometimes shoot still photos themselves. They ensure content that needs to be reviewed before publication is reviewed by appropriate people. They correct errors of fact pointed out by reviewers and discusses with editors when reviewers suggest changes beyond factual errors.
Writers keep editors informed of their daily schedules. They use Trello or other project tracking software as directed to log necessary information on upcoming stories.
Writers are expected to be current on trends in higher education.
Performs other related duties as assigned. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.
- Bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or a related field preferred. - Experience writing and editing news and feature stories, and experience in higher education is a plus. - Excellent writing, editing, and interpersonal communication skills. - Strong copy-editing skills and command of AP style. - Flexibility for night and weekend work. - Ability to critically evaluate information and assess news value. - Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously in a deadline-driven environment. - Ability to work independently and as part of a team. - Experience working with web development tools is a plus, experience with Drupal preferred. - Experience in writing about international affairs, politics, and business issues is a plus. - Experience creating innovative and interactive news and feature content for a digital platform is a plus.
Qualified candidates will hold a Bachelor's degree in an appropriate area of specialization. Degree must be conferred by the start date of the position. Degree requirements may be substituted with an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university has more than 20,000 students from all 50 states, the District and more than 130 countries studying a rich range of disciplines: from forensic science and creative writing to international affairs and computer engineering, as well as medicine, public health, the law and public policy.