Media Relations Representative / Social Science Writer, Public Affairs (5885U) 41152
University of California Berkeley
Location: Berkeley, California
Internal Number: 3478045
Media Relations Representative / Social Science Writer, Public Affairs (5885U) 41152
At the University of California, Berkeley, we are committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included. Our culture of openness, freedom and belonging make it a special place for students, faculty and staff.
The University of California, Berkeley, is one of the world's leading institutions of higher education, distinguished by its combination of internationally recognized academic and research excellence; the transformative opportunity it provides to a large and diverse student body; its public mission and commitment to equity and social justice; and its roots in the California experience, animated by such values as innovation, questioning the status quo, and respect for the environment and nature. Since its founding in 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States and the world.
We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.
UC Berkeley's Office of Communications and Public Affairs leads communications for the most elite public higher education institution in the world, conveying the quality, diversity, vitality, preeminence, and dedication to service of UC Berkeley. We reach diverse audiences and enhance relationships with constituents at all levels, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, parents, visitors, the media, industry, research sponsors, educators, government leaders, and the general public. Our mission is to promote the University's excellence in teaching, research, and public service, and inform stakeholders of our many contributions to the community - locally, nationally, and globally. We provide leadership and services in six integrated functions: News and Media Relations; Executive Communications; Critical Communications; Brand Marketing and Digital Communications; Public Relations and Special Projects, and Visitor and Parent Services.
As the first point of contact for most visitors - online and offline - the Office of Communications and Public Affairs tells the Berkeley story to inspire audiences and elevate the image of the university. We partner closely with various campus audiences - from the chancellor, deans and faculty members, to staff, students and alumni - as well as external media organizations who can amplify Berkeley's important contributions across a wide range of subjects.
Application Review Date
The First Review Date for this job is: 8/30/2022
Under the direction of the executive director of communications and media relations and the senior communications director, the science writer/media relations representative will support the campus's short- and long-term strategic initiatives through integrated communications, with an emphasis on social sciences research. Working with influential regional, national and international legacy and digital media outlets, the science writer/media relations representative will enlist a thorough and in-depth understanding of media relations best practices to strategically promote stories about our premier university and to position its faculty and staff as go-to sources.
The science writer/media relations representative will have a knack for writing engaging and powerful content suited for a variety of audiences, as well as an insistence on adhering to deadlines and accuracy, with a clear focus on the quality, not just the quantity, of deliverables.
Provide well-written, researched, clear and vetted communications on a range of topics that span the social sciences - psychology, sociology and anthropology, for example - and reach, as needed, into campus expertise in related disciplines if, for example, a topic has strong political and cultural threads.
Raise the visibility of the University in its research and programs and people. Develops content that positions the University's as leader on topics ranging from client change to diversity and public service.
Identify, research and write comprehensive articles that translate complex concepts in science into useful and compelling information for the news media, the campus community and the public.
Maintaining and developing a 'beat', building relationships with primary campus sources and responding to incoming requests.
Planning and Client Relations
Build strong relationships with key campus contacts, particularly those within the social sciences, to leverage a broad variety of communications, including stories, story ideas, blog posts, videos and op-eds.
Collaborate with Public Affairs colleagues and other campus communicators and partners for writing and editorial support to produce campus wide announcements, communication from UC Berkeley leadership, and social media posts and other digital content.
Works occasional weekend or night duty as part of a scheduled routine among news team colleagues to facilitate after-hours media relations and other communications needs.
Responds to breaking science and/or other social science news content that is relevant to the social sciences and or the UC Berkeley community and develops story and placed on social media, and other information outlets which is disseminated to media outlets locally, regionally and globally.
At least five years of experience as a journalist or media relations/public affairs specialist and/or as a professional writer/editor with a focus on psychology, sociology, public/mental health or science communications, broadly.
Superior written and verbal communication skills, with a drive for editorial quality control, accuracy and excellence. Ability to write clear, lively and engaging copy in a variety of styles appropriate for target audiences and/or the general public.
Strong interpersonal skills, including tact and diplomacy, to effectively interact with researchers, scientists, professors and others in the campus community, and with members of the media and the general public.
Significant storytelling expertise, including an eye for choosing fascinating individuals and other subjects to profile and the talent to bring them to life through words and images.
Strong news judgment, including the ability to prioritize competing assignments and stories and to diplomatically turn down or table work that cannot compete with what is more pressing.
Adherence to the Associated Press Stylebook, as well as to campus editorial guidelines.
Appreciation for deadlines - those set by Public Affairs leadership and others driven by journal publication dates and important announcements from the campus and/or the scientific community.
Knowledge of working with social media.
Thorough analytical and critical thinking skills.
Exceptional collaboration skills, to partner effectively with colleagues in the department, as well with those in key units and departments across campus.
Bachelor's degree in English, journalism, communications or related field, or an equivalent level of progressive competence gained through a combination of work-related experience, education and training.
Salary & Benefits
This position is exempt, monthly paid position. Annual pay for this role is commensurate with experience within the range of $98,000- $106,000. For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:
Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. Please upload the document in the Resume section, then skip the (optional) Cover Letter upload section.
This is a hybrid position, with 50% remote work eligibility.
Conviction History Background
This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus - envisioned as a "City of Learning" - was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.