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As a PR strategist on MSU’s central channel strategy team, you will develop and execute strategies to connect key audiences to stories that communicate MSU’s purpose, values and distinctiveness. You will play a strategic role in driving media coverage to inform and engage national, international and regional audiences to elevate awareness of and recognition for MSU as a leading research university and build support for its mission. The PR strategist will lead major components of initiatives and projects, including but not limited to pitching international, national and major regional media; drafting messages and media materials, shaping and adapting stories and content for distribution through various channels; and working as part of an integrated multichannel team (e.g., social, inbound email, web content hub). You will develop and foster relationships with producers, reporters, editors and media contributors and influencers; build and manage media lists; and build, maintain and strategize against editorial/pitching calendars. The PR strategist will use data to inform strategy, contributing to coverage reports and reporting insights and learnings to leadership. You will work closely with the content/creative team on creation and production of newsworthy stories, collaborate with the larger integrated marketing communications team on multichannel strategies and collaborate with PR/media relations colleagues in University Communications and across MSU to achieve larger goals, coordinate messages and provide support and counsel.
Duties and Responsibilities
PR Strategy and Outreach
Represent MSU, its people and its purpose well and with integrity in daily interactions with media and others
Develop PR strategies to connect key stories elevating MSU as a leading research university with both broad and niche audiences through earned media placements
Work collaboratively with audience development director, other channel specialists, content strategists and content creators to increase reach of MSU brand narrative to existing and new audiences
Conduct news analysis and media audits to build pitching strategies, provide recommendations to create breakthrough content, evaluate opportunities and provide counsel
Build, maintain and strategize against editorial/pitching calendar to ensure relevant and timely communications
Apply and demonstrate strong news judgment; juggle tasks and act swiftly to leverage news and trends to generate top-tier, national coverage furthering MSU strategic priorities and brand messaging
Build and manage media lists, ensuring they are accurate and up to date
Develop and foster relationships with producers, reporters, editors and media contributors and influencers across a variety of beats and categories (i.e., news, lifestyle, science, health, business, technology, etc.); actively pitch international, national and major regional media and generate coverage
Develop relationships with a wide network of faculty and staff, including communications colleagues across MSU, to serve as sources for proactive pitches and reactive media inquiries
Work daily in Cision media monitoring platform to track and code media placements; develop coverage reports, analyze performance, develop and share insights from data and use key learnings to shape future strategies and tactics
Keep a pulse on the ever-changing media landscape, industry news and topic and content trends; provide recommendations on how to apply learnings to MSU’s content strategy to ensure relevant and breakthrough communications and audience experiences
Understand connection between earned, owned, paid and shared media and how to bring stories to life across multiple channels
Evaluate research and other campus stories for national news value; make recommendations on the best way to bring a story to life, including visual assets to make it successful with media and in MSU shared/owned channels
Draft materials for media including pitches, releases, key messages, Q&A, fact sheets
Collaborate with writers, editors and visual storytellers to shape story content
Collaboration and Leadership
Works collaboratively and flexibly with other PR/media relations colleagues in University Communications and in units across campus, facilitating joint efforts, coordinating messages and providing support and counsel
Collaborates with larger integrated marketing communications team to develop institutional-level, multichannel strategies to drive reach, content consumption and engagement of content across various channels
Coordinates special university and media events, which may include working with various groups to capture assets, coordinate media and generate buzz
Work with content/creative team on planning, creation and production of newsworthy stories gathered through campus sources that position MSU as a leading research university through fresh and engaging content
Work on multiple projects at one time, ensuring seamless execution and quality control
Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a bachelor’s degree program in journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations or related field that prepared individual to communicate effectively with diverse audiences
Three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public and media relations and/or marketing, including developing and executing PR strategies to drive brand awareness, reputation and affinity
or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
Five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public relations; agency/client experience developing integrated content is a bonus
A passion for earned media relations and a solid understanding of how PR falls within and interacts with the larger integrated communication network (paid, owned, shared)
A proven track record of pitching news stories to media and securing top-tier, national coverage in print, broadcast and online media, including social media; demonstrated ability to secure coverage in alignment with organizational and brand strategies
Demonstrated ability to both develop and flawlessly execute integrated public relations strategies (including writing, pitching, creating content, collaborating with colleagues, creative problem solving, etc.)
Excellent verbal and oral presentation skills; demonstrated ability to build a presentation from scratch and deliver content in a compelling, confident, professional and poised manner
Proven ability to translate a variety of complex topics into consumer-friendly stories and media pitches
Excellent writing, research and editing skills; strong creative writing skills and the ability to develop unique news and story angles; proficient knowledge of Associated Press style
Strong verbal communications skills
Experience with visual storytelling through use of photo, video, animations, graphics, charts, etc.
Experience working in a fast-paced, daily-deadline environment; ability to work well under pressure
Strong leadership and accountability; ability to work with minimal supervision, highly productive and can manage multiple simultaneous projects
Proficiency in word processing/presentation software and media database platforms
A proven "team player" mentality ready for today’s fast-paced communications environment; flexible, collaborative, positive
Experience managing content for social media channels
Experience working with influencers
Proficiency in Microsoft Office and media database software (like Cision, AP Planner, etc.)
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.
Required Application Materials
3 Professional References
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
Spartans work every day to advance the common good in uncommon ways.Together, we tackle some of the world?s toughest problems to find solutions that make life better?from alternative energy to better food safety to breakthrough medical and environmental applications achieved through rare isotope research.We teach. We explore and we discover. We collaborate and lead. We innovate, inspire, and empower. We achieve our potential and create circumstances that help our students and others achieve theirs.We're good at it, and we've been at it for more than 150 years.The nation?s pioneer land-grant university, MSU began as a bold experiment that democratized higher education and helped bring science and innovation into everyday life. The revolutionary concept became a model for the nation.Today, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world?on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation. Home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs, we?re a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists and leaders.In ways both practical and profound, we work to create a stronger, more sustainable, and more hopeful future for all.
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