The Ford School is one of the nation’s foremost policy schools, housed at one of the world’s great public universities. We lead research that illuminates public policy challenges and opportunities. We prepare future policy leaders and analysts for dynamic careers in the public and private sectors here in the U.S. and around the world. We work with policymakers to inform and improve local, state, national, and international policies. We foster dialogue and understanding about the most pressing policy challenges and opportunities of today.
The Ford School has earned a reputation for academic rigor and excellence; a strong and growing commitment to diversity; and a collegial, welcoming, and stimulating interdisciplinary community. We are housed in Joan and Sanford Weill Hall, a celebrated facility in the heart of the University of Michigan’s central campus in Ann Arbor. To learn more about the Ford School’s mission and activities—including our academic programs and research — please visit fordschool.umich.edu.
The Communications and Public Relations Strategist will research, write, and promote a wide variety of Ford School stories to maximize the school’s public position and reputation with prospective students, alumni, academic and policy communities, donors, foundations, and other audiences.
The Communication and Outreach team prioritizes curiosity, collaboration, and communication to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness. We pride ourselves in being one of the leading communications and events teams on campus. This position will play a pivotal role in enhancing awareness and shaping positive perceptions of the Ford School. This role reports directly to the Director of Communications and Outreach and supervises work-study students.
Initiate and positively influence the perceptions and narratives about the University of Michigan and the Ford School with local, regional, national, and international audiences.
Write and/or edit profiles, stories, or other content for the full range of Ford School communications vehicles, including the school magazine (State & Hill), other newsletters, brochures, development statements, handbooks, posters, websites, event announcements, social media platforms, and press releases.
Translate academic research findings as well as faculty, student, or alumni policy engagement and impact experiences into accessible stories, briefs, press releases, and op-eds.
Actively seek stories by engaging with members of the Ford School community, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Partner with other storytellers on the Communications and Outreach team to develop content for social media platforms and photography—sharing stories about Ford School priorities and faculty research and policy engagement.
Research and write nomination letters for faculty awards (internal and external).
Act as a liaison to U-M News Service and the U-M Communications office to maximize Ford School presence through university channels.
Develop, research and write stories and news announcements for distribution to the public, social media audiences, and news media.
Consistently pitch and place stories about Ford School priority areas as well as emerging trends in the news--and position faculty experts to a variety of media outlets. Work closely with faculty to identify opportunities for positive public exposure through media placements.
Plan and evaluate media training for Ford School faculty and staff members.
Partner with Director of Communications on crisis communications and public relations issue management. Prepare response statements and recommended answers to anticipated questions (FAQs) on a variety of sensitive issues.
Provide template letters for stewardship and draft or edit individual correspondence for the dean related to donor relations and alumni relations.
Partner with others to develop and oversee metrics and assessment for public relations and external communications activities to provide analysis and recommendations.
Act as a communications liaison to APSIA, APPAM, NASPAA, and other professional organizations.
Propose graphic ideas for digital stories.
The preferred candidate will have a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism or related field with 4 or more years of relevant experience.
Experience and strong interest in public policy and public affairs.
Proven success of enhancing and managing a public position and brand reputation of a program, company or school through effective and innovative media and communication planning and execution.
Experience in creating communications for distribution across multiple platforms.
A deep understanding of public and media relations, branding, and the ability to apply that knowledge within a collaborative team.
Exceptional ability to work collaboratively in a complex academic environment. Proven success in operating within higher education or complex organizations and to relate with and understand constituents outside the immediate department.
Outstanding writing, organizational, communication, and interpersonal skills.
In-depth knowledge of the digital and social landscapes.
Proven ability to learn quickly, work efficiently, and to skillfully to synthesize emerging information to senior level faculty and staff.
High level of personal integrity and ethics, including a demonstrated ability to work with and retain confidential information.
Ability to take projects from start to finish with minimal supervision.
Capability for efficiently managing multiple, diverse projects simultaneously and for creating and directing innovative work under tight deadlines.
Familiarity with University of Michigan structure, resources, and policies.
Graduate Degree preferred
Experience editing and producing substantive alumni magazine work
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.
Internal Number: 158286
About University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
A great university is made so by its faculty and staff, and Michigan is recognized as one of the best universities to work for in the country. The Michigan culture is known for engaging faculty and staff in all facets of the university to create a workplace that is vibrant and stimulating.For two consecutive years, the Chronicle of Higher Education has placed U-M in its "Great Colleges to Work For" survey. In particular, the university earns high marks for strong relations between faculty and administrators, a collaborative system of governance, strong pay and benefits, and a healthy work/life balance.