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Senior Director of University Media Relations and Communications
Location: Stanford, California
Internal Number: 95260
Stanford University is one of the world's leading academic and research institutions, devoting intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As a major Bay Area employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives. We believe Stanford's future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.
University Communications (UComm), part of the Office of External Relations, provides support and campus leadership in the planning, coordination and implementation of strategic communications programs that support Stanford University and its mission. University Communications is responsible for brand positioning and strategy; issues and reputation management; crisis communications; oversight of digital content and top-level web and social media platforms; media relations and news services; executive communications with all constituencies; major publications; and a campus video productions studio and video production group. University Communications coordinates with communications professionals across the university and advises on communications policy with senior executive staff.
Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of External Communications, the Senior Director of University Media Relations and Communications will be a central communication strategist, manage incoming and proactive media relations for Stanford University, with an emphasis in written communications.
The Senior Director of University Media Relations and Communications is responsible for managing high-level communication across the institution and with external media organizations to obtain optimum media coverage to advance the institutions' missions, goals and strategic agenda. This role will develop strategic messages and talking points to coordinate the response to inquiries from local, regional, national and international news media. The position will also write proactive pitches, releases, and opinion pieces to communicate the university's priorities.
As a public face for the university with members of the media, campus constituents and the public, the Senior Director of University Media Relations and Communications will serve as a spokesperson and ambassador for Stanford University. An enthusiasm and understanding about the education and research mission, history and ethos of Stanford is a must. This position works very closely with a tight knit External Communications team and UComm colleagues. The position requires agility and flexibility to work with a wide range of constituencies across the institution, from unit and school communicators to senior administration.
In this role you will:
Work closely with teams within UComm, and communicators in the Schools and Institute to amplify institutional stories that support the educational and research mission of the university.
Serve as a university spokesperson on institutional and administrative issues.
Develop rapid response strategies for media inquiries, including research, write statements/or interview talking points in coordination with campus units and subject-matter experts.
Support thought leadership platforms, write and place opinion pieces.
Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with local, regional, national and international media organizations and individual journalists.
Develop and oversee an editorial calendar for proactive institutional and SME media opportunities (e.g., awards, expert interviews, op-eds).
Detect public relations issues as they emerge and consult with appropriate campus officials to address them directly.
Provide strategic media counsel to campus communicators on issues that could impact the university's negative reputation, especially as they relate to national issues.
Prepare experts/other spokespersons and staff media interviews (e.g., background material, key messages, media prep/coaching).
Write press releases and statements on institutional and campus issues.
Other duties as assigned.
TO APPLY: Please include a cover letter with your application explaining why you would like this job and how your experience qualifies you.
To be successful in this role you will bring:
Education & Experience:
Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
8+ years experience in media relations and a similar spokesperson role in a highly complex, decentralized environment preferred.
Strong strategic communications background including experience in executive communications, proactive and reactive media strategies, and issue management.
Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
Must possess superior news judgment, persuasive communication skills and ability to take initiative.
Experience analyzing situations and giving sound professional judgment on news value, strategic communications, public opinion, and media relations.
Ability to develop and maintain close relationships with journalists, subject matter experts and university communicators.
Exemplary written communication skills, outstanding research and analytical skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
Comfortable working with top leaders and providing productive feedback for media strategy.
Proven experience working collaboratively with communications groups across campus, colleagues, and key stakeholders.
Demonstrated ability to work in deadline, fast-paced and high-pressure situations.
A commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.
Higher education experience is preferred.
Journalism background is desirable.
Why Stanford is for you:
Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:
Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more
The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.
Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Why work at Stanford?Stanford University has changed the world, over and over again.We are one of Silicon Valley's largest employers - and also one of the most unique. Our mission is to educate future leaders and promote interdisciplinary, world-class research and teaching. This passion makes Stanford an intensely creative, rewarding, and challenging place to work. At the same time, our traditions of respect and collaboration sustain a humane, supportive environment in which to pursue your life and your career.At Stanford you'll work with bright, diverse, dedicated people. You'll find encouragement to learn and grow. You'll enjoy excellent benefits and an outstanding environment. How will it change you?
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