| Position Summary: |
Reporting to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications, the Executive Director of Communications will lead a proactive media strategy that focuses on raising the University's profile locally, nationally and internationally. Leading a team of media relations professionals in the University's central Office of Communications, the Executive Director will guide the team in cultivating creative ideas that reveal the most important and newsworthy happenings at the University of Pittsburgh. This leader will operate as a central pivot point of an integrated communications department that aims to make the most of each opportunity by using multiple communication platforms and strategies to customize the news to varying audiences. Through personal and strategic relationships with journalists and news distributors in a changing media market, the Executive Director of Communications will lead and coach the team in smart pitches that result in increased public attention. A robust system of metrics to track progress and guide strategy is an essential part of building this thoughtful communications approach.
This leader will encourage and train team members to unearth the best stories the university has to offer, specifically focused on topics such as innovation, research and diversity. Excellent language and coaching skills are needed to guide lively writing and set best practices for ensuring accuracy and clarity in all communications.
Duties include assisting team members in balancing several responsibilities, including covering subject areas or beats, serving the communications needs of their assigned academic areas, writing copy for the university's own news service, responding to crisis and addressing the needs of news media.
A tone that encourages team energy and productivity is essential, as is ensuring that the team provides excellent customer service during the collection and development of strategic communications. The team's work will align and demonstrate progress on the strategic goals of the university. The Executive Director guides communication managers on best practices in engaging media attention and designs expectations of news awareness and ability to carry out strategic, direct and relevant media pitches.
Creation and distribution of reports that track and analyze media results to guide strategy and measure penetration are also a function of this role. Team members are expected to provide feedback and media results to their university partners to show return on their communications efforts and to demonstrate the expertise and value provided by the office.
All applicants should submit a professional communications writing sample, such as a press release, journalistic story, web copy or other communications piece for public consumption, as well as a resume and cover letter.
Hiring Range: TBD based on qualifications
Education Required: Baccalaureate
Overall Related Experience Level Required: 6-9 years experience
Additional Education And/or Experience Essential To the Position: Bachelor's/masters degree in journalism, English, creative writing, communications, marketing, public relations or related fields is preferred. Experience with social media operation and strategy is a plus.