Primary Purpose of Organizational Unit The Office of University Communications is responsible for the strategic management of the University’s overall public relations and reputation management activities. The department provides leadership, counsel and services to over 200 communicators across campus and works with those communicators to ensure a unified campus-wide communications strategy. Areas within University Communications include: Executive Communications, Media Relations, Internal Communications, Content Development, Social Media, Marketing Communications, Strategic Resources, Issues Management, Community Relations, Public Records, the UNC-Chapel Hill Visitor’s Center, and UNCCreative.
Position Summary UNC-Chapel Hill’s University Communications department is seeking a Media Relations Manager for its best-in-class Media Relations team. This is a perfect position for a communications professional who wants to be a part of the communications strategy and response for the nation’s first and best public university. An understanding of news cycles and how to craft strategies and messages are a must. This person plays a pivotal role in developing the messages and strategies for the University’s communications on a wide range of topics and issues in higher education and provides direct responses and pitches to local, regional and national media outlets.
Reporting to the Director of Media Relations, the Media Relations Manager is responsible for successfully planning, executing and evaluating a strategic media relations plan for a portfolio of University areas and promoting Carolina’s mission and work as a leading global research university.
The Media Relations Manager will own a portfolio that covers the University’s emergency management, public safety, risk management and institutional integrity. As part of that, s/he will develop strategies to leverage the University’s work to position the University as a world-class research institution and will have the ability to communicate about these subjects in plain language across content platforms. S/he will serve as the University Public Information Officer in the Emergency Operations Center, in coordination with the Associate Vice Chancellor and will work with town and county partners as appropriate.
The Media Relations Manager will have a detailed working knowledge of issues and trends in the areas of public safety and emergency operations as well as a general knowledge of University policy and operations. The Media Relations Manager maintains strong working relationships with subject matter experts across the campus, including, senior university leaders, public safety officials and communicators for both long-term risk management issues tracking and short-term incidents. The Media Relations Manager develops and maintains relationships with journalists at media outlets to help ensure smooth communication of often complex issues to ensure the ability to engage the journalists with story ideas and expert recommendations.In addition to initiatives related to these areas, s/he is expected to provide support for other activities in the office of University Communications as needed.
The Manager will work closely with communications professionals across the campus to provide strategic consultation and direction on media relations initiatives. Under the leadership of the director, the media relations team creates the messages, content and pitches that promote the University, its people and programs. Someone who has a fresh approach to media relations and creative content is welcome.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements Bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to the area of assignment; or equivalent combination of training and experience. All degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions.
Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience Five or more years of experience working in or with large, complex, high-profile organizations. Excellent understanding of media trends and news cycles, as well as developing media strategy on promoting stories on a wide array of topics. Demonstrated ability to give strategic communications counsel to unit-level communicators. Ability to effectively manage multiple projects and work in a fast-paced environment. Strong project management and organization skills. Superior writing, editing and public presentation skills. General knowledge of current issues in higher education, especially for public universities.
Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience Higher education experience is a plus but not required.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.