Primary Purpose: Leads public relations, media relations, and issues/crisis management strategy for the university. Serves as an advisor to both the AVP and executive director of Marketing and Communications on media relations strategy that elevates the university and its three campuses with local, regional and national media. Has expertise in issues management and crisis communications. Has excellent relationships with print, broadcast and digital media locally, regionally and nationally. Develops a media relations strategy that is integrated with the university's marketing, internal communications and web/digital strategies. Serves as a senior member of the Pacific Alert Team (emergency management) and as a public information officer and university spokesperson. Supervises and mentors media relations staff and has extensive relationships throughout the university and on its three campuses with faculty, staff, students and administrators.
Essential Functions: 1. Operates with high level of autonomous decision making to facilitate rapid media interviews and deploy subject matter experts for breaking stories; exercising sound judgment at all times is paramount to this position.
2. Serves as the universitys principal communications spokesperson as determined in partnership with the AVP of Marketing and Communications.
3. Serves as trusted advisor to senior-level administrators (presidents, regents, vice presidents, deans) on media pitches, interviews, media training and strategic story development.
4. Develops and executes a strategic plan for campus media relations, including identification of key performance indicators. As appropriate, identifies, develops and produces news releases, editorials, opinion pieces, advisories, experts lists, video stories, podcasts, social media campaigns and other rich news content that advances university priorities.
5. Oversees and manages university interactions with traditional and emerging media to advance the universitys strategic priorities, including ghostwriting and placing op-eds, essays and letters to the editor, providing FAQs, talking points and other materials for faculty, staff and students, and planning and organizing press conferences and other media events.
6. Leads earned print/broadcast/digital media outreach strategy, with responsibility for the quality and effectiveness of news placements, experts lists, media advisories, pitches and other tactics in universitys three markets (San Joaquin, Sacramento, San Francisco regions). Regularly measures and reports results of effectiveness of earned media outreach to university leadership and others.
7. Manages crisis communications and proactively manages reputational issues, under direction of the AVP with other senior leaders. Keeps abreast of social media conversations to monitor emerging reputational issues. Serves as public information officer (PIO) on the Pacific Alert Team and in accordance with FEMA emergency management procedures, and serves on the Pacific Alert Team policy group in the AVPs absence.
8. Serves as a member of the crisis communications team; duties can range from giving guidance and advice, to writing statements and managing messages during reputational and other crises.
9. Collaborates with marketing colleagues and other campus partners to integrate strategic message points across audiences and channels. Modernizes Pacifics media relations program by advancing the universitys digital strategy, elevating its storytelling, and leveraging new and multimedia to create and package stories.
10. Helps guide and coordinate the media efforts of professionals in schools, departments and programs. Develops media training curriculum.
11. Delivers media training and general publicity and media advice to other university units.
12. Develops and cultivates relationships with contacts for traditional and new media across all channels in the universitys three important markets; maintains regular contact with media sources and conducts at least two on-campus media events annually to pitch universitys strategic initiatives.
13. Leads strategy for the Media Sources Database, ensuring the universitys best subject matter experts are promoted, their information is current, and reporters are seeking out university specialists; provides regular reports on database usage and effectiveness.
14. Responds to media requests in ways that comply with FERPA and other laws and policies, and that best showcase the universitys strengths and strategic priorities.
15. Stays up to date on new PR systems, best practices, applications and technologies.
16. Develops and oversees strategy for universitys online newsroom including content curation.
17. Supervises and mentors media relations staff, student assistants and interns, assigning or directing work, evaluating performance and recommending professional development plans.
18. Oversees the universitys mass messaging system in emergency and crisis situations deploying communications and notifications to all students, faculty and staff.
19. Serves on event planning committees and/or is assigned media-related responsibilities for universitys signature events that could attract media interest or involvement, offering public relations advice and guidance. Works in partnership with Special Events Coordinator, Police and Security personnel and others on planning and logistics for on-site media.
20. Serves as key member of integrated communications team and knows how to effectively collaborate with senior leaders to seamlessly advance university with important constituencies.
21. Performs other duties as assigned or requested.
A bachelors degree in communications, public relations, new media, broadcast or traditional journalism.
At least 12 years experience in media relations, reporting or public relations in an institutional (education, government or nonprofit) setting.
Masters degree preferred.
Skills/Knowledge and Expertise:
Advanced skills/experience in planning, executing and measuring strategic communications such as brand messaging, media campaigns, reputation management and crisis/issue management.
Advanced knowledge and proven expertise in media relations outreach and cultivation.
Comprehensive knowledge and proven expertise in developing robust, measurable media campaigns.
Demonstrated experience in leading and managing media relations, issues and crisis communications.
Effective relationship builder who can create expansive networks throughout the university with experts at all levels of the organization.
Experience cultivating good relationships with reporters at traditional and new media outlets and at pitching and promoting stories and experts.
Excellent project management skills; able to manage several high-priority projects simultaneously in a heavy volume environment meeting budgets and deadlines.
Experience managing staff through excellent coaching, training and professional development, including creating defined annual work plan with a set of measurable goals and objectives.
Deep experience and understanding of social media and how to effectively use channels.
Expert ability to produce and measure the effectiveness of high-quality content across a wide range of platforms, including social media, digital media, and websites.
Demonstrated interviewing skills and an understanding of how to effectively use videography and photography on mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) for reporting.
Experience, expertise and sound judgment serving as a media spokesperson for an organization in all types of settings and high-pressure situations.
Impeccable writing, editing and presentation skills including ability to persuade and negotiate.
Experience working with colleagues on identifying good content, packaging stories for media, developing and designing effective communications plans, and analyzing results.
Experience exercising discretion, judgment and expertise to advise senior leadership, faculty, staff and students on sensitive issues to manage the universitys reputation; knows how to maintain calm and provide advice and counsel to help university leaders, faculty and staff manage high-pressure situations.
Ability and willingness to travel (mostly within Stockton, San Franciso and Stockton) and to work non-traditional office hours, evenings and weekends, as needed.
Positive attitude, proven ability to work successfully with diverse populations and demonstrated commitment to promote and enhance diversity and inclusion.
Ability to perform duties using highest level of confidentiality and discretion in sensitive issues.
Physical Requirements: The physical demands described here are representative but not definitive of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Requires extended periods of sitting and repetitive hand/wrist motion while using computer keyboard and phone. Frequent walking or standing, occasional climbing stairs, bending, stooping and reaching. Occasional lifting up to 25 pounds.
Work Environment/Work Week/Travel: Work is primarily performed in a standard office environment with use of computer and phone. Work performed during standard and non-standard business hours. Must be available (on-call) evenings, weekends, and after hours for emerging, high-risk and emergency situations (24/7) to respond to media as appropriate. Some travel required, primarily within state.
Valid drivers license required. Incumbent must also be able to meet the Universitys fleet rules and be eligible to drive for University business. The University and its insurance carrier reserves the right to exclude applicants based on their driving record.
Hiring Range: Commensurate with experience, exempt
Background Check Statement: Applicants who are selected as final possible candidates must pass a criminal background check.
Drawing on its rich legacy as the oldest chartered university in California, Pacific is a student-focused, comprehensive educational institution that produces outstanding graduates prepared for personal and professional success. Our student body thrives in Pacific's small classes and dynamic cultural environment, while our distinguished alumni are transforming their communities every day.
University of the Pacific is a nationally ranked university with a long tradition of dedicated teaching, small class sizes, practical experience and vibrant residential life. The breathtaking main campus in Stockton, California is home to seven schools and colleges, with more than 80 majors and programs of study. Pacific also has the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. Total university enrollment is nearly 7,000, with 3,757 undergraduates in an average class size of 19 and a student/faculty ratio of 14:1. Eighty-seven percent of students come from California, with 35 other states and 25 foreign countries also represented.