The Director of Media Relations is responsible for working closely with the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations to manage the Media Relations group in the Department of Global Marketing and Communications. In addition to helping manage story and multimedia content selection and editing, this position provides media relations support of University strategic, news and marketing goals, op-ed creation and editing, and various subject areas, including law and the social sciences. The person in this position is a key point of contact for external media, oversees pro-active efforts to pitch stories to outside media and serves as a key writer and the main editor for content produced by the Media Relations team. The role also includes responsibility for contributing to crisis communications and emergency communications efforts by the department to support the University’s mission.
Please Note: Candidates for this position should be prepared to work after hours and on weekends as necessary to attend events and complete assignments satisfactorily.
Working closely with the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations, manage on a daily basis all of Northwestern’s media relations activities.
Serve as a key point of contact for external media and oversee efforts to pitch stories to media and bring strategic experience in media to bear.
Help the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations supervise the media relations staff in the Department of Global Marketing and Communications.
Help the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations in directing Northwestern’s internal communications, including all news content on Northwestern’s home page and Northwestern Now web page, as well as in the Northwestern Now e-newsletter to campus. In addition, assist colleagues in Global Marketing and Communications in collaborating on Idea Lab stories, strategic content and amplification of stories, and content across all channels and social media. This role is the main content editor.
Work closely with the Vice President for University Relations and the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations, along with senior leadership and strategic marketing leaders, to craft strategic and crisis communications messaging as needed to protect the reputation and reflect the values of the institution.
Work closely with the Vice President for University Relations, the Vice President of Media Relations and the Internal Communications Manager to craft emergency messaging in the event of a University emergency. Participate in frequent practice drills to prepare for such eventualities.
Work Vice President for University Relations, the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations and other senior marketing leaders—as well as leaders across the 12 schools--to conceive content for stories that elevate the reputation of the University, including content ideas for the Big Ten Network that will also be produced for television commercials used during athletic events and on the Big Ten Network.
Work with reporters/editors/producers from local and national media.
Match faculty with breaking news stories to place faculty as expert commentators in the media, including editing and pitching op-eds.
Help manage story and multimedia content selection, creation of content packages and editing of stories and multimedia. In addition, provide media relations support of University strategic, communications and marketing goals, and of news across various subject areas, including law and the social sciences. Help direct strategies on media outreach and pitching.
Manage the Media Relations staff in the absence of the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations.
Other duties as assigned by the Vice President for University Relations and the Assistant Vice President of Media Relations.
Candidates for this position must have a minimum of 10 years of experience in journalism, communications and/or media relations with a demonstrated record of success working in/with local, national and global media;
Extensive knowledge of print, broadcast, digital and social media.
Excellent news judgment.
Strong writing/editing skills.
Experience in strategic communications.
Undergraduate degree in English, journalism, public relations or a related field or equivalent experience.
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
This position demands strong management and organizational skills;
Excellent news judgment;
Excellent writing and editing skills.
Excellent interpersonal communication skills;
The ability to make sound judgments and creativity.
Candidates for this position should be prepared to work after hours and on weekends as necessary to attend events and complete assignments satisfactorily.
Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)
A solid background in journalism, media, communications, marketing or equivalent experience.
Master’s degree in journalism, integrated marketing communications or related field, or equivalent experience.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Storytelling, management, writing, reporting, editing and communications skills.
Familiarity and experience in working with broadcast media and with social media.
As per Northwestern University policy, this position requires a criminal background check. Successful applicants will need to submit to a criminal background check prior to employment.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highl...y collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.