Job Requisition Number: 24843. Berkeley Law is one of the nation’s premier law schools, located at one of the world’s great universities, in one of the most vibrant places on the planet.
Berkeley Law is one of 14 schools and colleges at the University of California, Berkeley. It is consistently ranked as one of the top law schools in the nation.
Reporting to the Executive Director of Communications, the Director of Media Relations develops and implements strategic media relations and editorial activities to help maintain and enhance the school’s reputation as a top-tier law school. This involves promoting law school experts, scholarship and innovations, managing the tone of media coverage, expanding the reach of the law school’s presence among media outlets and other audiences, and serving as the law school’s spokesperson when necessary. This person may also organize press conferences, and arrange for photography, video, or graphics to accompany news releases. Additionally, a key function of the job is to work with researchers to help them polish research reports so the findings are easily understood by media and others.
The Director of Media Relations is part of the law school communications team and will partner with colleagues on projects and day-to-day functions. That may include writing and editing stories for the web site, writing stories for the law school magazine, and helping with video or audio projects.
The Director of Media Relations also crafts messaging and assists with strategic marketing, communications, and public relations efforts by researching, analyzing, monitoring, and evaluating marketing efforts for effectiveness and suggesting or advocating new strategies.
The Director of Media Relations may be required to respond quickly to emerging issues, work with different constituencies in the law school, juggle multiple projects, and quickly digest and understand complex legal research and scholarship so that it can be described to a broader legal and nonlegal audience.
Under minimal supervision, handle all incoming inquiries from the media, pitch stories to the media, and serve as the on-call spokesperson for the law school •Writes and places stories with key media, including those involving complex or sensitive issues. Devotes special attention to timely stories that enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the law school. •Handles a large volume of wide-ranging, deadline driven requests from reporters for information about Berkeley Law’s activities, research, and experts in the news. Gives priority to top national media outlets. Determines the most appropriate internal expert per request, briefs reporter, and briefs the expert on the journalist and news outlet. Helps arrange interviews. •Responds rapidly and effectively in high-profile, high pressure situations. Maintains strict confidentiality.
Write press releases and media advisories and assist researchers with media rollouts. •Positions the law school faculty and its research centers, institutes, clinics, and major programs to advance strategic goals and objectives. •Uses expert interviews, independent research, and other means to assess the potential news value of papers, reports, and programs. Determines purpose, positioning, key audiences, and messaging of programs, projects, and events to formulate a communications strategy.
Write articles for the web site and magazine, and edit stories for the same. •Writes, edits, and manages production. •Generates story ideas and oversees web content and artwork
Work with internal clients as a media consultant, helping them write op-eds, blog posts, etc. and providing media training (in partnership with the campus) when appropriate. •Provides specialized media training for faculty, researchers, administrators, student leaders, and staff, enabling them to communicate in ways that might influence public opinion or public policy and/or enhance the reputation of the school. •Develops and refines media training protocols and materials.
Investigate and implement new processes to improve the media relations at the law school, as well as partnerships with the campus public relations team. •Identifies key media contacts, outlets, and markets to maximize coverage of news and support strategic communications goals. •Develops and strengthens ties with local, national, and international reporters, editors, and producers to assure optimal visibility for the law school and its affiliates.
Assist the Executive Director of Communications, and other members of the team, with broader strategic communications goals and efforts.•Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations. •Thorough skills in understanding and effectively utilizing all news/media mediums including broadcast news, the Internet, social media, and other emerging technologies. •Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, including a strong sense of a good story. •Strong analytical and decision-making skills, and keen political acumen •Strong skill in problem recognition, avoidance or mitigation, and resolution •Ability to write quickly under deadline pressure. •Good judgment, political acumen, and thorough organizational skills. •Ability to work effectively within an academic environment. Ability to work effectively with senior organizational leaders as well as other communications staff across campus. •Ability to collaborate as a member of a team •Ability to take initiative and work independently, as needed •Video and/or audio experience a plus. •Ability to maintain confidentiality. •Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, work under tight deadlines, and develop positive relationships with faculty members, journalists, editors, producers, and writers. •Ability to understand complex concepts and communicate them simply and clearly. •Ability to comprehend the news value of the school’s various activities and achievements and to shape stories for specific audiences and outlets.
Education/Training: •Bachelor’s degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training. •At least five years of experience working in journalism, and/or media relations, public relations (especially at academic institutions). •Experience in and/or confidence working with various technologies related to the Internet, such as web site content management systems, social media, and other tools.
The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus - envisioned as a "City of Learning" - was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Today the world's premier public university and a wellspring of innovation, UC Berkeley occupies a 1,232 acre campus with a sylvan 178-acre central core. From this home its academic community makes key contributions to the economic and social well-being of the Bay Area, California, and the nation.