Director of Public and Media Relations - University of La Verne in La Verne California

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University of La Verne

La Verne, California

United States

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Detailed Job Description

The Director of Public and Media Relations enhances the University’s reputation and national visibility by developing relationships with local, regional and national news media and working to secure media placement. The Director works closely with the Associate Vice President of the Office of Strategic Communications (OSC), as well as fellow team leaders in digital, creative and advertising/recruitment marketing to ensure consistent messages to internal and external audiences. The Director works proactively to improve communications externally/internally for all university stakeholders at all campuses, providing counsel on media relations to the President, her cabinet and faculty.

This Director will lead all Public and Media Relations for the University, which will include:

Ensuring high-profile media placements with top tier outlets through frequent contact with journalists in broadcast, print, digital, and other channels.

Positioning La Verne and its faculty as thought leaders in their respective fields by securing targeted visibility for the University through interviews and features on television outlets, trade journals and similar print, broadcast and online publications.

Leading internal communications using the VOICE Magazine, published quarterly by the University and distributed to more than 60,000 alumni, constituents and community members.

Partnering with the Director of Digital Communications to ensure impactful implementation of social media programs, on various platforms, including, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

Specific Duties

Maintain relationships with top-tier journalists at local, regional and national outlets, as well as high-profile online influencers, in order to generate media coverage to enhance the University’s appeal and prestige.

Identify current trends and topical issues that could potentially elevate the reputation of the University through visible engagement.

Raise the profile of the University’s initiatives statewide and nationally. Introduce the President and other key leaders to regional and national press, and initiate a biannual trip for the President to meet with higher education editors and thought leaders.

Oversee the creation of a university database of subject matter experts and their topics of expertise, for use by the PR/Media team.

Establish goals for the Department by developing a comprehensive University Public and Media Relations Plan that is consistent with the 2020 Vision and the University mission, identifying target audiences, key messages and strategies to achieve these goals. Update this plan, as needed.

Assist University Advancement as needed, with consistent messaging and key media/news stories, specifically with regards to the University’s Comprehensive Capital Campaign.

Write and/or manage communications for the President, including a monthly update newsletter.

Serve as a face to the Public and Media Relations Office.
Meet regularly with the President’s Executive Cabinet (PEC) members, deans, faculty and students to ensure a strong internal communications systems is in place and strategic communications needs are met.

Develop and forge integrated communications campaigns that leverage the power of earned and social media together with marketing and other outreach efforts in ways that strategically advance overall communications goals and priorities.

Represent the University to critical/strategic external and community organizations, as well as develop relationships with national higher education organizations.

Work closely with the Associate Vice President for the Office of Strategic Communications and provide proactive/reactive crisis communications counsel to the President and her cabinet, as well as lead the development of scripts, talking points, letters, background information, etc., as needed.

During times of emergency or crisis, serve as or assign leaders for the role of University Spokesperson and advise the Associate Vice President and executive leadership team on appropriate communications and responses.

Oversee the implementation of a strategic internal communications program to faculty, staff and students that builds awareness, understanding and support for university needs and leadership directions.

Oversee Public and Media Relations budget.

Oversee production of the VOICE Magazine, Annual Report and other publications.

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism, business administration, a liberal arts field, or equivalent combination of relevant education and experience required.

At least seven years of leadership experience in Public and/or Media Relations roles of increasing strategic responsibility. Previous experience at a university is not required.

Strong media relations, executive and internal communications, issues management and crisis communications skills, as well as a deep knowledge base in digital communications, website and social media.

Superior writing skills for various types of communications including news stories, media pitches, internal newsletters, internal communications and crisis communications.

Excellent strategic planning and resource management skills with demonstrated experience administering a complex operation with multiple objectives and points of view with limited resources.

Experience making prudent and strategic decisions and taking appropriate action in situations where there may not be clearly established criteria or standards.

Outstanding managerial skills to comprehensively supervise professional and support staff.

Demonstrated experience establishing, overseeing and evaluating collaborations and developing support among internal campus-wide constituencies.

Success managing through influence in a complex, diverse, team-oriented environment.

Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills, including public speaking and articulating ideas clearly and succinctly.

Strong skills in analyzing information, situations, practices and procedures to define problems, identify relevant concerns and formulate logical and objective conclusions and recognize alternatives.

An understanding and proficiency with social media, blogging and advocacy campaigns and its application to students, alumni, contributors and partners.

Preferred Qualifications

Experience in higher education and a graduate degree in journalism or communications.

Benefits Summary

The hiring range for this position is dependent upon qualifications and departmental equity. Benefits of employment include a comprehensive health and welfare plan, tuition remission program for employee, spouse and dependent children and a generous 10% contribution to the University’s 403B retirement plan.


La Verne Central Campus

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Keyword Phrases

  • Director of Public and Media Relations
  • Employer of Choice
  • Diversity & Inclusivity
  • Hispanic Serving Institution
  • Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
Employment Type:Administrative Staff
Degree Required: Bachelors
Experience: See Job Description
Level of Job: Director
Salary: Not Specified
Type of School:4 - Year / Masters Institution
Application Requirements: CV/Resume
Cover Letter