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Media Relations Specialist, Strategic Communications
Location: Nashville, TN, United States,
Internal Number: 10001611
The Media Relations Specialist is part of the Strategic Communications team within Communications and Marketing at Vanderbilt University and is responsible for developing and implementing media relations plans and tactics to enhance Vanderbilt University's reputation, and to advance the university's mission as a premier academic research institution. This position will handle proactive and reactive media relations for Vanderbilt, including monitoring news developments, developing messaging, and building productive relationships with local, national, and international news media. Reporting to the Associate Director of Media Relations, the Media Relations Specialist will interact with faculty, staff, students, and internal/external stakeholders.
This position works closely with university leadership, professors and staff, as well as other members Communications and Marketing. In addition, the position will require understanding of tools and processes used by the media relations team to perform daily responsibilities and report results to university leadership.
Reporting directly to the Associate Director of Media Relations, this position does not have supervisory responsibility. This role requires a positive attitude, deep understanding of and passion for media relations, strong instincts around what it takes to pitch and place a story with top-tier media, and the ability to work in close collaboration with a team. This role also does require the ability to report to work in-person on the Vanderbilt University campus as directed, according to the needs of the team.
The Strategic Communications team designs and executes integrated communications strategies to protect and enhance Vanderbilt's local, national and international reputation, and positions the university as one of the world's leading academic research institutions through the distribution of compelling content across a variety of digital and traditional channels. The Media Relations team engages members of the media to share institutional and research news, as well as expertise from university leaders and faculty experts.
The Communications and Marketing team is a dynamic and collaborative group that develops and executes strategies that inform, engage and inspire others to participate in Vanderbilt University's global academic and research mission.
Duties and Responsibilities
Pitches stories to news media, prioritizing national, high priority and international media outlets. Coordinates news interviews.
Facilitates media relations at key events.
Monitors, measures and reports out on media coverage; stays current on news developments.
Writes and edits media pitches and advisories, rapid response statements, messaging, talking points, fact sheets, and other media relations materials.
Maintains media lists.
Develops and executes media relations plans and tactics that reflect and support the university's overall communications goals.
Develops and maintains relationships with local, regional, national, and international media outlets.
Demonstrates passion for news, media relations and storytelling.
Demonstrates excellence in news judgment, written communications skills, and a sense of what is appropriate for the brand.
Demonstrates understanding of the university's mission, values, goals and priorities and an ability to ensure that all are considered in developing communications strategies.
Operates in a highly organized fashion with attention to detail on all projects.
Works outside regular business hours as needed in order to perform job responsibilities, including being officially on-call.
Follows industry-related news and generates ideas around trending topics.
Works closely with partners across the Communications and Marketing team to coordinate communications efforts and ensure consistent cross-channel messaging.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Other duties as assigned
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary .
At least 3 years of experience in communications, journalism or related field, and a track record of success in media relations is necessary .
An ability to demonstrate excellent news judgment, excellent written communications skills and an excellent sense of what is appropriate for the brand is preferred .
Proven experience in media relations and a full understanding of how to navigate social media tools and audiences is preferred .
Demonstrated understanding of the evolving media landscape is necessary .
An ability to demonstrate and communicate about the role media relations plays in the broader communications plan for a department, school, university or brand is preferred .
Demonstrated understanding of the university's mission, values, goals and priorities and an ability to ensure that all are considered in developing communications strategies is preferred .
Self-starter with ability to independently execute communications priorities is preferred .
An ability to collaborate with Communication and Marketing colleagues and communicate comfortably with various internal audiences outside of the group such as faculty and staff is necessary .
Experience and comfort working in a deadline-driven environment of multiple projects and quick turn-around requirements is necessary .
Utmost adherence to confidentiality and business ethics; demonstrated outstanding judgment and discretion is necessary .
Willingness to work irregular hours, as needed, is necessary .
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
At Vanderbilt University, we are intentional about and assume accountability for fostering advancement and respect for equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, faculty, and staff. Our commitment to diversity makes us who we are. We have created a community that celebrates differences and lets individuality thrive. As part of this commitment, we actively value diversity in our workplace and learning environments as we seek to take advantage of the rich backgrounds and abilities of everyone. The diverse voices of Vanderbilt represent an invaluable resource for the University in its efforts to fulfill its mission and strive to be an example of excellence in higher education.
Vanderbilt University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply.
Please note, all candidates selected for an offer of employment are subject to pre-employment background checks, which may include but are not limited to, based on the role for which they have been selected: criminal history, education verification, social media review, motor vehicle records, credit history, and professional license verification.
Vanderbilt University is a center for scholarly research, informed and creative teaching, and service to the community and society at large. Vanderbilt will uphold the highest standards and be a leader in the quest for new knowledge through scholarship, the dissemination of knowledge through teaching and outreach, and the creative experimentation of ideas and concepts. In pursuit of these goals, Vanderbilt values most highly intellectual freedom that supports open inquiry, equality, compassion, and excellence in all endeavors.
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