Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Communications, the Director of Media Relations serves as a key member of the Harvard Public Affairs & Communications (HPAC) team. Responsibilities include serving as a spokesperson for Harvard University, issues management and crisis communications, development and implementation of proactive media strategies and tactics, management of media relations staff, and assisting with media relations and strategic communications involving the University's leadership.
The Director of Media Relations also serves as media/communications lead on ongoing university projects, in coordination with the Assistant Vice President for Communications. S/he coordinates with School- and unit-level public information officers on media inquiries and with colleagues in HPAC. As needed, works on media relations and crisis communications issues with colleagues on the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Central Administration client teams.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Working in tandem with the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications and the Assistant Vice President for Communications, assists with coordinating and implementing communications/media relations efforts in support of the Offices of the President and Provost, the Office of General Counsel, and the Harvard University Police Department, among others.
Manages and releases news, fields day-to-day media inquiries, and plays a lead role in the University's issues management and crisis communications efforts. Serves as a key member of the emergency and crisis communications teams.
Prepares news releases, media statements, talking points, briefing materials, Q&As, news articles, and other materials for internal/external audiences.
Develops communications and media relations plans and key messages in support of university projects and initiatives.
Builds and maintains productive relationships with international, national, regional, and local news media.
Manages HPAC media relations staff, providing effective media relations, communications and issues management guidance, and supporting and developing team members.
Tracks and monitors University press coverage, and disseminates information to appropriate colleagues as needed.
Requires a strong office presence and an ability to collaborate with colleagues from across HPAC, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and others to develop and implement integrated approaches informed by expertise from throughout the department and the University.
Strong understanding of digital and social media and its use in promoting content with journalists and other audiences.
Other duties as assigned.
Salary Grade: 059
Union: 00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary
Bachelor's degree required. Minimum 10 years significant experience and proven success at the highest levels of media and communications work.
Experienced media professional and strategic thinker with a demonstrated capacity for skillful management and multi-tasking, with good political judgment, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, proven crisis management abilities, and a commitment to the mission of education, scholarship, and research. Experience in higher education, non-profit, or a decentralized organization desired. Successful track record as a leader, manager, and strategist in a large, complex organizational environment. Must have the proven ability to advise senior leaders effectively.
Must have the ability to innovate, think strategically and conceptually, listen carefully, as well as to influence and persuade others. The position requires an extremely high level of professionalism, sound and mature judgment, collegiality, and thoughtful organization.
Must have excellent analytical, verbal, and written communication skills along with a high level of diplomacy, discretion, and problem solving ability. The selected candidate will have proven success in developing collaborative relationships across diverse constituencies. Strong project management skills and the ability to manage multiple prioritiessimultaneously, often under tight deadlines, are needed. An advanced degree is a plus.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. T...he University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.