This position is responsible for setting up and implementing a rapid response function within University Communications. The director will be responsible for real-time monitoring, messaging, response and analysis of news, issues, emergencies and crisis situations and will plan proactively and respond promptly on behalf of the university. This position manages and updates emergency communications processes, protocols and response, and will be capable of serving as university spokesperson for university-wide statements during a crisis, as needed.
The position manages issues and crisis-related media relations and social media monitoring and measurement, and prepares situational, weekly, monthly and yearly reports on announcements, issues and crises. This position contributes content to the media relations web site and other university web sites related to issues and announcements. This position engages with and responds to university administrators, the news media, and social media outside of regular office hours on a regular basis.
This position requires frequent early morning, evening and weekend work to respond to breaking news, issues and crises.
Hiring offers for this position are contingent on the successful completion of a background check.
American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.
Bachelor’s degree in related field required. Completion of crisis or reputation management training, certificate or advanced coursework desired.
At least 10 years of full time issues management and crisis communications experience
Senior consultative abilities
A proactive, client relations focus and attitude
Strong, effective writing, verbal, and interpersonal skills
Mastery of social media best practices and monitoring tools, media relations software and news distribution tools, web publishing/content management systems, and common office computer software programs (Outlook, Powerpoint, Excel, Word)
Experience and ability to work well and meet deadlines under pressure while handling multiple projects and issues
Excellent organizational and record keeping skills
Ability to research and understand the legal and political aspects of issues
Must work with urgency, accuracy and attention to detail, and demonstrate mature judgment and professionalism with a variety of internal and external stakeholders in a knowledgeable, persuasive, and timely manner
Must be able to communicate with tact and diplomacy
Solid working knowledge of public relations and social media best practices, strategies, systems and techniques for obtaining positive news coverage, and minimizing negative news coverage and social media activity
Ability to develop strong relationships with key media outlets, and respond appropriately to issues on social media
Must demonstrate tangible success in developing and executing issues and crisis communications plans and campaigns
Demonstrated experience as both a strategic and hands-on team player
Additional Salary Information: Commensurate with experience
A global outlook, practical idealism, and a passion for public service define American University. American University is a private doctoral institution situated in a residential neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C. Our academic strengths are grounded in social responsibility and a commitment to cultural and intellectual diversity.