The Director of Media Relations and Communications will be responsible for developing and executing integrated public and media relations programs designed to advance the mission and vision of Harvard University in traditional and new media. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Communications, the Director of Media Relations and Communications serves as a senior member of the Harvard Public Affairs & Communications (HPAC) team, leading a team of media and communications professionals and serving as a key media and communications strategist for colleagues across the university. Responsibilities include issues management and crisis communications, media relations, serving as a spokesperson for Harvard University, development and implementation of proactive communications strategies and tactics in support of the University and its leadership, and management of media relations staff.
The Director of Media Relations and Communications also serves as media/communications lead on a range of university initiatives. S/he coordinates with School- and unit-level public information officers and colleagues in HPAC on media inquiries, and regularly collaborates with internal client communications teams.
Duties and Responsibilities:
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 critical member of the emergency and crisis communications teams, responding proactively and creatively in a fast-paced media environment for a brand with high visibility.
In collaboration with the Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications and the Assistant Vice President for Communications, works to coordinate and implement communications and media relations efforts in support of the President, the Provost and other leaders in Harvard University's central administration.
Develops communications and media relations plans and key messages in support of university projects and initiatives.
Prepares news releases, media statements, talking points, briefing materials, Q&As, news articles, and other materials for internal/external audiences.
Builds and maintains productive relationships with international, national, regional, and local news media.
Manages HPAC media relations staff, providing effective direction, 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 Harvard more broadly to develop and implement integrated approaches informed by expertise from throughout the department and the University. The director will work in partnership with department colleagues in government and community relations to align public and media messages with university advocacy and engagement efforts at the local, state, and national levels.
Strong understanding of digital and social media and its use in promoting content with journalists and other audiences.
As a member of HPAC's senior staff, will contribute to agendas, discussions, and information sharing among the department's leadership, will also work across teams and functions in HPAC to manage and integrate expertise, activities, and tools in service to broader departmental and university priorities.
Other duties as assigned.
Harvard University Benefits Package Vacation/Sick/Personal/Holidays: Harvard offers 3 (union roles) - 4 (exempt) weeks paid vacation, a paid holiday break between Christmas and New Year's Day, 12 paid sick days, 11.5 paid holidays, and 3 paid personal days each year. Medical/Dental/Vision Benefit: Harvard offers a variety of excellent medical, dental, and vision plans which all begin on the first day of employment. Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with full vesting after 3 years of service. Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive tuition assistance program, $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and discounted study options through participating Harvard Graduate Schools. Transportation: Harvard offers a 50% discounted MBTA pass as well as parking options to assist employees in their daily commute to campus. Wellness Options: Harvard offers programs and classes at little or no cost, including stress management, massages, nutrition, meditation, and complimentary health services. There are also fee-based athletic facility memberships available at various locations around the university for employees.
Salary Grade: 060
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 and communications 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. Background in fast-paced media and public relations, government, journalism, or leadership environments beneficial.
Successful track record as a leader 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. Must have excellent analytical, verbal, and written communication skills along with an extremely high level of professionalism, diplomacy, discretion, sound judgment, collegiality and problem solving ability. The selected candidate also 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.
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.
Internal Number: 46597BR
About Harvard University
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. The 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.