Job Description: The Director of News and Media Strategy will be the leader in defining and implementing Furman's strategy for engaging the news media and capitalizing on campus news and editorial content for maximum national impact. Reporting to the Vice President for University Communications, the Director will be a consummate communications professional, have the insight and skill to engage effectively with media at every level, and possess the qualities of drive and vision to take Furman's media relations to unprecedented success. The Director will shape and deliver stories that stand out in the imagination of the media and Furman public; work with the President, Vice President and other senior leaders on developing editorials and outreach of high news potential; and collaborate with colleagues in the office and across the campus to amplify the reach of media coverage through the Furman website, social media and other university platforms.
Specific responsibilities include the following: Work with the Vice President to develop and execute a creative, comprehensive and effective media relations and news strategy that can significantly advance the reputation and reach of Furman's brand, programs and people on a national scale. Work closely with the President, Vice President, senior leadership and faculty to identify, write, edit and successfully place in influential media outlets news stories and op-eds that bring positive attention to Furman. Cultivate strong working relationships with key journalists at top-tier national and regional news outlets and regularly identify and pitch to them Furman stories, interviews and expert sources. Provide strategic media relations counsel, talking points and coaching to help the President, senior leaders and faculty make the most of media engagements. Serve as a university spokesperson and as the primary liaison and manager of engagements with all media. Support effective crisis communications, including working closely with the President, Vice President, other leadership and stakeholders across the Furman community. As a senior member of the University Communications team, provide insight and counsel to strengthen and propel the department's value to Furman's reputation and critical goals in admissions, development and other areas. Work closely as an effective and valuable colleague with the University Communications team to amplify the powerful story of Furman's faculty, students, programs and progress across all platforms (e.g., website, social media, magazine); and particularly in partnership with the Assistant Vice President for Strategic Communications. Maintain and oversee the continual improvement of the Furman news site as a timely and impactful tool for disseminating and tracking appropriate news and information. As a senior member of University Communications' editorial staff, develop, research and write timely stories and other content for the website, magazine and other platforms. Research and analyze the latest media trends, developments and conversations affecting higher education to ensure that Furman capitalizes on opportunities for communicating its mission and work. Find opportunities to connect media with expert sources at Furman on timely news topics. Oversee and supervise the work of freelance and student writers. Perform other related duties as required.
A bachelor's degree and eight years of progressively advancing professional experience in public relations, journalism or a related field.
Established record of collaboration, commitment to collegiality, and demonstrated good interpersonal and communication skills in working with diverse stakeholders.
Demonstrated record working and maintaining productive relationships with members of national media outlets.
Superb writing skills, including command of grammar and AP style.
Ability to speak and present clearly and persuasively in all contextsduring personal meetings, group meetings, discussions with senior leaders, media interviews and more.
Proven insightful thinker with exceptional storytelling ability and judgment.
Strong work ethic with proven ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously and attend to numerous details well.
Demonstrated project-management, time-management and analytical skills.
Proficiency with website editing or sufficient related experience to master it quickly.
Understanding of the liberal arts mission and culture and familiarity with issues, trends and complexities in higher education.
Excellent knowledge of and interest in emerging higher education trends and issues.
Experience working closely with journalists and related vendors to secure, manage, record and broadcast interviews.
Experience in crisis communication management; working with national and/or state news media in a media relations capacity preferred.
Application Requirements Resume Cover letter At least two references Published writing samples
An award-winning city of innovation and development, Greenville and the surrounding community are the third-largest urban area in South Carolina and the fastest growing. Nationally recognized for our urban development, sustainability, beauty, food and campus, Greenville continues to top lists of destinations to visit. Our city has the highest foreign manufacturing investment per capita in America, with Fortune 500 companies like BMW, General Electric and Michelin leading the way. With several hundred restaurants, music, theater and arts venues, Greenville has gained recognition in various national publications such as CNN Money, which ranked Greenville as one of the Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S. Bloomberg named Greenville the 3rd Strongest Job Market, and Forbes named Greenville the 13th Best City for Young Professionals. With its convenient Southeast location, Greenville's bustling downtown is a short drive from the Blue Ridge Mountains, beaches, other small towns and major cities.
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Furman is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty and staff. The University aspires to create a community of people representing a multiplicity of identities including gender, race, religion, spiritual belief, sexual orientation, geographic origin, socioeconomic background, ideology, world view, and varied abilities. Domestic partners of employees are eligible for comprehensive benefits.
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Furman University is a selective private liberal arts and sciences college committed to helping students develop intellectually, personally, and interpersonally and providing the practical skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly-changing world. Furman professors are exceptional teacher-scholars who mentor undergraduate students within a campus community that values and encourages diverse ideas and perspectives.