Detailed Job Description
Reporting to the Director of Media Relations, the Publicist is responsible for generating local, national, and world news coverage of Berklee’s leading edge position in contemporary music education, including its innovative curricular and administrative practices, unique student experiences, aspects of the strategic enrollment strategy, and opportunities for the college president and other thought leaders to share their vision. The Publicist maintains relationships with journalists covering music and/or education and related fields and develops media strategies to proactively promote campus news, events, activities, and personalities. The Publicist responds to media inquires and monitors news trends in education and music.
The Publicist also serves on the Social Media Network group and attends monthly meetings with managers of official social media accounts to strategize best practices.
The Publicist is also the point person for four student employees, with the overall media relations team also directing the flow of work and editing their written materials. The position requires meeting weekly with the students, with assistance from the team when necessary, and evaluating and hiring all student employees with the Director.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Identify, develop and follow-up with media targets on story ideas related to institutional news and events, personalities, initiatives, academic departments, and student achievements.
- Draft press releases and pitches, prepare sources, and post media coverage on Berklee.edu, the college’s website.
- Develop and maintain relationships with journalists in education and music.
- Advance the president, administrators and faculty as thought leaders to the press.
- Identify and connect sources to broad and breaking news trends to further elevate the college’s national and international profile.
- Write, edit, and draft press releases, talking points, fact sheets and other briefing documents.
- Submit press releases and published news stories to Berklee.edu.
- Create and contribute to the variety of media lists in the Cision media database.
- Recommend news stories for the department’s Twitter feed, @BerkleeNews.
- Prepare itineraries for visiting media, including securing sites, providing background materials, and engaging faculty and student interview subjects who are experts on the news topic or who support the college’s strategic enrollment goals.
- Escort writers, radio and television crews around campus, and manage production logistics for television and film crews.
- Respond to unsolicited media queries in a timely manner.
- Serve as college spokesperson as required.
- Contribute press hits to the Media Relations News Feed, the record of Berklee’s weekly media profile that is distributed to the president, senior leadership and others at the college.
- Report to project collaborators on the status of news coverage.
- Attend or initiate meetings for background information and strategizing for press campaigns.
- Travel domestically and internationally as media liaison at events in support of the college.
- Supervise student employees on various projects, including press coverage reports for the Board of Trustees, posting event listings on cultural websites, and assisting at events where media are in attendance.
- Perform additional duties and responsibilities, as needed, including additional weekend and evening hours as needed.
The successful candidate will be a skilled media relations professional with at least five years of related experience. Proficiency in all aspects of media relations and a demonstrated familiarity with arts and/or education marketing and communications are required. The candidate must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and experience in project management.
- Understanding deadlines for various media targets.
- Self-starter with strong organizational skills, and the ability to work in a focused, strategic fashion and follow assigned projects through to completion, both independently and in a team.
- Strong news and feature writing, along with grammar, editing and proofreading skills.
- Ability to conduct all communications in an articulate, cordial, and professional manner.
- Positive attitude within the office and for working with students, faculty, and staff throughout the college.
- Bilingual in Spanish, Korean, or Chinese is desirable but not strictly essential.
- Proven ability to work & lead effectively in a highly diverse campus community.
- A bachelor’s degree with related major and five years’ professional experience in media relations.
- Demonstrated success in writing press releases, creating and maintaining relationships with all types of media and generating quality news coverage in all forms of media.
- Experienced in managing regional, domestic, and international publicity efforts.
- Knowledgeable in researching print and electronic media contacts for a variety of projects.
- Familiarity with television and radio broadcast preparation practices.
- Familiarity with contemporary music, and any other aspects of Berklee’s curriculum, or higher education media relations.
- Familiarity with interview methods and practices.
- Office and administrative experience, including a working knowledge of various word processing, desktop publishing (InDesign), database management, content management, and spreadsheet systems.
Berklee College of Music is committed to increasing the diversity of the college community and the curriculum. Candidates who can contribute to that goal are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths in this area.