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UW News, a division within University Marketing & Communications (UMAC), builds awareness, increases support and collaborates across campus to connect the university with the public, primarily through media relations and securing coverage of university research and major initiatives.
This Public Information Officer in the UW News office covers several areas of university research, programs and initiatives in the areas of economics, business, communication, arts, humanities, history, international studies and more.
This individual will serve as a press officer to identify stories on research and related educational projects that have the best potential for attracting state, regional or national/international news coverage. They will then decide on the best way to pitch these stories to the appropriate news media. Much of the subject matter will be of an academic nature, so the ability to translate the language of research and academia, in some cases, into meaningful language for the average reader is essential. The position requires initiative in identifying and developing stories that can stand on their own or be used as raw material for reporters, broadcasters, or other news and information sources. The individual should be able to use creative approaches and to function with substantial autonomy in decision-making.
While there is a significant amount of traditional reporting and writing in this position, it also requires a high degree of internal and external communication when working with researchers and administrators on campus, and reporters and editors at news outlets, respectively. This position will also have the flexibility to work on additional projects, such as media/interview training for faculty and other researchers, as well as editing and placing op-ed and analysis pieces by university researchers. The successful candidate may also help the UW News office expand into new projects and initiatives, such as coordinating community events featuring UW experts, and overseeing the production of content that connects the UW with the wider community.
The employee should have experience editing written pieces for grammar, AP style, flow and readability, and will join a team that regularly peer-edits releases and stories before publication.
•Identify stories on research and education that have the best potential for attracting state, regional or national/international news coverage, as well as stories that are most likely to be of interest to the campus and broader community. •Decide on the best ways to make the story available to a variety of audiences, including the news media. •Demonstrate excellent writing and editing skills. •Edit and write news releases, arrange interviews, develop and provide media training, assist faculty with writing for a mainstream audience, and otherwise facilitate contact between students and faculty and reporters in the international/national, local and student media.
•Handle incoming calls from members of the media seeking experts on various topics. •Keep an eye on developing news and identify which UW experts can speak on various topics. •Pitch story ideas to regional, state and national/international news outlets. •Provide expert public affairs advice and training, as needed, to faculty and administrators. •Develop collaborative relationships with academic and administrative units across the university.
This role reports to the Assistant Director of UW News, and works closely with communications managers in the departments and colleges it covers — for example, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Jackson School of International Studies and the Foster School of Business, among others.
Other duties as assigned.
KEY COMPETENCIES Core
Effective Communications: Expresses oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others in all forms of communication, i.e., verbal and written, one-on-one and group, etc. Interpersonal Awareness: Builds and maintains positive relationships and actively contributes as a member of working teams to achieve results. Professional Credibility: Takes responsibility for meeting goals, objectives, obligations and solving problems while representing the mission, vision and values of the organization. Critical Thinking: Obtains, analyzes and evaluates information effectively in the face of ambiguity. Makes appropriate decisions based on relevant information and experience. Ethics and Trust: Models and upholds the values of candor, openness, inclusiveness and honesty despite internal and external pressures. Acts consistently with Washington State ethical guidelines and organizational core values and beliefs. Valuing Diversity & Inclusiveness: Respects, values and contributes to the UW’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
Organizational Acumen: Able to size up a situation, balance reason and the interest of others, and act in a decisive, timely and appropriate manner that is consistent with the organization's values, goals and mission to achieve success. Innovation Management: Able to anticipate market trends and be effective in facilitating and managing creative processes to achieve results in self and others. Planning & Implementing: Ability to develop strategies, measures for success and feasible timelines for successful project implementation and execution. Managing Conflict: Recognizes and addresses conflicts and disagreements in a safe and respectful environment, manages conflicts collaboratively, and builds consensus.
This position requires a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field and 3-4 years' experience in writing and communications for nonprofit, government or higher education institutions, news media and/or public relations.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
•The position requires an individual who is willing to experiment, enjoys working in a collaborative environment and has the necessary skills to manage expectations of diverse groups of faculty and administrators. •Experience working with diverse groups of people and contributing to a multicultural, equitable workplace. •Excellent communication skills and demonstrated familiarity with the rapidly changing technology and media environment, and various platforms of news dissemination are essential. Experience in developing multimedia products is desirable. Knowledge of how to work with digital media, including social media, and willingness to experiment are required. •Must be an excellent writer/editor, with the proven ability to craft strategic content and messages from multiple voices, for a variety of audiences. •Experience in using a variety of media – including audio, video and social media – is highly desirable. •Demonstrated strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for correspondence, special reports, spreadsheets, databases, forms, etc.
•Cubicle/Open workspace environment, which may result in additional or higher levels of noise and visual distractions.
•A hybrid remote and in-person work schedule may be an option for this position, with the supervisor’s approval.
Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.