The Director of Media Relations & News serves as the university's chief storyteller to advance the institution's mission, brand and reputation by increased and improved awareness of the institution by maximizing positive earned media exposure. Sharing the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and alumni with a larger, media-driven audience. This position reports directly to the Senior Director of Communications and Media Relations. The Director of Media Relations and News serves as the initial, and generally the primary, point of contact for the university with the news media. In this role, the director will perform on both "offense and defense," proactively pitching positive story ideas to local, regional, national and international media outlets, as well as responding to media inquiries, issues and incidents as they arise. The Director of Media Relations and News supervises a team of communications managers and a student employee.
The Director of Media Relations & News is responsible for positioning and promoting Towson University’s mission, research, accomplishments, and activities through traditional media, new media, social media, internal communications and strategic media relationships and engagement.
PLAN & TRAIN: - Develop and implement an annual media relations plan for local, regional, national targets that support the university's mission, brand and strategic priorities. - Provide strategic media relations advice and guidance to faculty, staff, and students, including media and interview preparation, talking points, backgrounders and key messages. - Train and deploy TU faculty and staff as subject matter experts (SME’s). - Coordinate and plan institutional (University-led) press events & press conferences.
MONITOR, MEASURE, ANALYZE: - Identify and research trending media stories and industry topics to leverage opportunities to pitch and place Towson University stories and experts in the media. - Day-to-day use of PR management platforms such as CisionPoint, social media, news subscriptions, and - Social Studio to monitor, measure, track and report positive media placements. - Share and report TU earned media placements with key stakeholders.
PITCH/PROMOTE/RESPOND: As the primary contact for all media inquiries and all media pitching, the Director will increase and improve awareness of the institution by maximizing positive earned media exposure. - Be available on a 24/7 basis for emergency situations and to provide media with time-sensitive information. - Possess analytical and issue management skills to anticipate and mitigate potential negative issues. - Work closely with other Marketing and Communications staff to identify positive stories from across the campus and work to secure ongoing, positive story placement on a local, regional, and national level, as well as in specialized publications and media outlets.
CULTIVATE RELATIONSHIPS: - Identify university faculty, staff, students whose expertise (SME's) and specific stories will be offered to media and develop strong ongoing relationships. - Maintain the online faculty and staff expert database accessible to media. - Cultivate long-term reporter and media outlet relationships. - Forge partnerships through outreach as TU's media ambassador and liaison. - Provide frequent media relations, points of pride, informational update to University System of Maryland and represent TU on the USM Communications Council.
NEWS DIRECTOR/NEWSROOM MANAGING EDITOR: Prioritize and promote TU's research, news and activities through written, verbal, event and multimedia communications. The Director will develop and execute a strategy for sharing compelling university stories in the TU newsroom, web homepage, and across the university's multi-media platforms. - Closely monitor trending media stories and "news of the day" across all media outlets and strategically plan an editorial calendar for news content - Work with university-wide colleagues to identify what is news worth and work with your team to develop informative, creative, visual and multimedia materials. - Write and supervise writers, contributors from division and across the institution.
SUPERVISE AND LEAD: - Supervise a staff of three communications managers who serve as the staff writers and content contributors to the universities owned multi-media platforms. - Supervise/mentor the student employee as it relates to media relations functions.
CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS and BACK-UP UNIVERSITY SPOKESPERSON: - In the event of university closures (weather-related), notify all media and activate appropriate platforms and channels to distribute communications and messages. - Support the Senior Director and VP in executing the role of back-up media spokesperson on sensitive, emergency, and crisis communications. - In the event of emergency incident structure activation, serve as a public information officer (PIO) for formal emergency announcements. - Coordinate, update and improve the university's crisis communications plan. - Coordinate and update of the departments Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP). - Support the Senior Director and represent the division at regular Emergency Preparedness meetings.
Bachelor's Degree in communications or related field. A minimum of five years of experience in Media Relations. Ability to communicate articulately; demonstrated external media spokesperson experience required; supervisory experience of two or more individuals required; must possess an ability to write engagingly, persuasively, and accurately; must have a solid a demonstrated understanding of both new and traditional media; ability to work productively with media representatives as well as with senior administration, faculty, staff and students; knowledge of media, public relations industry preferred; ability to coordinate complex projects; ability to prioritize multiple projects and adjust to changes quickly. The Director will be a collaborative and creative strategist, an effective media outreach program leader, and a people influencer with an inclusive, positive, and collaborative style. Discretion, excellent judgement and trustworthiness are crucial. The Director is capable, comfortable, and willing to serve as a strong strategic and operational deputy to the Senior Director. The Director must also be able to effectively interact with culturally and ethnically diverse individuals.
A Criminal Background Investigation is required for the hired candidate and the results may impact employment.
Competitive salary and full university benefits that include 22 days of annual leave, up to 14 holidays, personal and sick days; excellent health, life, and retirement plans; and tuition remission. To learn more about our benefits, click here.
This position will be open for a minimum of 14 days. Cover letter and resume are requested, but not required.
The Clery Act specifies the federal right to know about crimes occurring on or near college or university campus. In compliance with the act, Towson University distributes the annual Clery Report, which can be found here.
The largest comprehensive university in the Baltimore area, Towson University is nationally recognized for its excellent programs in the arts and sciences, communications, business, health professions, education, fine arts and computer information systems. Located in suburban Towson, eight miles north of Baltimore, our beautifully landscaped, 328-acre setting offers a pleasant environment for stu...dy and a diverse campus life, as well as easy access to a wealth of university and community resources. Towson University's educational experience branches out to off-campus locations throughout Maryland, including a number of online options. Our many interdisciplinary partnerships with public and private organizations throughout Maryland provide opportunities for research, internships and jobs. Towson University is a founding member of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU).