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As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.
UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.
For the University of Washington (UW) to be the greatest public university in the world as measured by our impact, the UW and University Advancement (UA) must weave equity and anti-racism into everything we do. Becoming a more equitable organization starts with us, and focusing on groups that have been excluded and under-engaged will lead to better outcomes for our whole community. Ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are natural outcomes of our activities will require us to state our values, live by those values and work toward our vision every day. To sustain our efforts, we have defined a path forward with our values clearly articulated and shared throughout the organization. We invite you, our community, to walk with us, share feedback and engage as we do our part in the University-wide effort to create a more just and equitable world.
UW News, a division within University Marketing & Communications (UMAC), builds awareness, increases support and collaborates across campus to connect the university with the public, primarily through media relations and securing coverage of university research and major initiatives.
This Public Information Specialist in the UW News office covers health sciences research in the schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Public Health, as well as the interdisciplinary work being done as part of the UW’s Population Health Initiative.
This individual will serve as a press officer to identify stories on research and related educational projects that have the best potential for attracting state, regional or national/international news coverage. They will then decide on the best way to pitch these stories to the appropriate news media. Much of the subject matter will be of an academic nature, so the ability to translate the language of research and academia, in some cases, into meaningful language for the average reader is essential. The position requires initiative in identifying and developing stories that can stand on their own or be used as raw material for reporters, broadcasters, or other news and information sources. The individual should be able to use creative approaches and to function with substantial autonomy in decision-making.
While there is a significant amount of traditional reporting and writing in this position, it also requires a high degree of internal and external communication when working with researchers and administrators on campus, and reporters and editors at news outlets, respectively. This position will also have the flexibility to work on additional projects, such as media/interview training for faculty and other researchers, as well as editing and placing op-ed and analysis pieces by university researchers. The successful candidate may also help the UW News office expand into new projects and initiatives, such as coordinating community events featuring UW experts, and overseeing the production of content that connects the UW with the wider community.
The employee should have experience editing written pieces for grammar, AP style, flow and readability, and will join a team that regularly peer-edits releases and stories before publication.
•Identify stories on research and education that have the best potential for attracting state, regional or national/international news coverage, as well as stories that are most likely to be of interest to the campus and broader community. •Decide on the best ways to make the story available to a variety of audiences, including the news media. •Demonstrate excellent writing and editing skills. •Edit and write news releases, arrange interviews, develop and provide media training, assist faculty with writing for a mainstream audience, and otherwise facilitate contact between students and faculty and reporters in the international/national, local and student media.
•Handle incoming calls from members of the media seeking experts on various topics. •Keep an eye on developing news and identify which UW experts can speak on various topics. •Pitch story ideas to regional, state and national/international news outlets.
•Provide expert public affairs advice and training, as needed, to faculty and administrators. •Develop collaborative relationships with academic and administrative units across the university. •This role reports to an Assistant Director in the UW News office, and works closely with communications managers in the schools of Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry, and with leaders of the Population Health Initiative. •Rough breakdown of duties: Researching and writing stories/releases (40%), responding to media requests, pitching UW experts to media (40%), social media outreach (10%), other duties as assigned (10%).
Effective communications: Expresses oneself clearly and empathetically in interactions with others and prioritizes an accessible and transparent style in all forms of communication, i.e., verbal and written, one-on-one and group, etc. Interpersonal Awareness: Builds and maintains positive and productive relationships and actively contributes as a member of working teams to achieve results. Professional Credibility: Takes responsibility for meeting goals, objectives, obligations, and solving problems while representing the mission, vision and values of the organization. Critical Thinking: Obtains, analyzes and evaluates information effectively in the face of ambiguity. Makes appropriate decisions based on relevant information and experience. Ethics and Trust: Models and upholds the values of candor, openness, inclusiveness and honesty despite internal and external pressures. Acts consistently with Washington State ethical guidelines and organizational core values and beliefs. Valuing Diversity & Inclusiveness: Respects, values and contributes to the UW’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
Innovation Management: Able to anticipate market trends and be effective in facilitating and managing creative processes to achieve results in self and others. Organizational Agility: Knowledgeable of the organization, able to balance reason and the interest of various parties, and act in an appropriate manner that is congruent with the organization’s values, goals and mission to achieve success. Technical Agility: Ability to quickly learn and apply new technologies, skills and concepts into existing systems and protocols while continuously seeking improvements.
This position requires a bachelor's degree in journalism or a related field and 3-4 years' experience in writing and communications for nonprofit, government or higher education institutions, news media and/or public relations. Other relevant experience will also be considered.
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
•The position is seeking an individual who is curious, willing to experiment, enjoys working in a collaborative environment and has the necessary skills to manage expectations of diverse groups of faculty and administrators. •Excellent communication skills and demonstrated familiarity with the rapidly changing technology and media environment, and various platforms of news dissemination are essential. Knowledge of how to work with digital media, including social media, are required. •Must be an excellent writer/editor, with the proven ability to craft strategic content and messages from multiple voices, for a variety of audiences. •Demonstrated strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for correspondence, special reports, spreadsheets, databases, forms, etc.
Cubicle/Open workspace environment, which may result in additional or higher levels of noise and visual distractions. A hybrid remote and in-person work schedule may be an option for this position, with the supervisor’s approval. Application Process: The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Founded in 1861, the University of Washington is one of the oldest public institutions in the west coast and one of the preeminent research universities in the world. The University of Washington is a multi-campus university comprised of three different campuses: Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell. The Seattle campus is made up of sixteen schools and colleges that serve students ranging from an undergraduate level to a doctoral level. The university is home to world-class libraries, arts, music, drama, and sports, as well as the highest quality medical care in Washington State and a world-class academic medical center. The teaching and research of the University’s many professional schools provide undergraduate and graduate students the education necessary toward achieving an excellence that will serve the state, the region, and the nation. As part of a large and diverse community, the University of Washington serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest.
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