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Director, University Public Relations, University Communications
Location: Stanford, California
Internal Number: 96822
Director of University Public Relations
Stanford University seeks a Director of University Public Relations to develop and implement media strategies to advance the institution's reputation, emphasizing developing proactive media stories. The position reports to the Assistant Vice President for External Communications and collaborates closely with News, Strategy, and Digital teams. The Director of University Public Relations will serve as one of the primary university spokespeople and will work closely with the rest of the external communications team.
Stanford University is one of the world's premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As demonstrated by the IDEAL initiative (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access in a Learning Environment), we believe that diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand, and we hire individuals with a commitment to work effectively with colleagues and donors from diverse backgrounds. A major Silicon Valley 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.
University Communications supports campus leadership in planning, coordinating, and implementing strategic communications programs that support the institution. University Communications (UComm) manages 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, provides leadership to the Communications Working Group, and advises on communications policy with senior executive staff.
Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of External Communications, the Director of University Public Relations will be a communication strategist, cultivating relationships across the institution and with media to amplify impactful stories that advance Stanford's educational and research mission and values.
The Director of University Public Relations manages reactive and proactive media strategies, gleans insights from data, and fosters relationships with reporters. This role will amplify breakthrough research and impactful programs that exemplify Stanford's values with local, regional, national, and international news media. The position will be instrumental in press releases, storytelling, and other message development related to institutional priorities.
As a public face for the university with members of the media, campus constituents, and the public, the Director of University Public Relations, will serve as a spokesperson and ambassador for Stanford University. Enthusiasm and understanding Stanford's education and research mission, history, and ethos are essential. This position works collaboratively in a tight-knit External Communications team and close coordination with colleagues in UComm. The position requires agility and influence to work with various constituencies across a highly decentralized institution, from the unit and school communicators to senior administration.
In this role, you will
Work closely with teams within UComm and with campus partners to develop and identify positive stories for the University.
Develop written communications to support proactive and reactive strategies, including media statements, spokesperson briefing materials, and proactive pitches.
Establish robust media relationships with local and national reporters.
Rapidly respond to incoming media issues and inquiries to mitigate potential negative impacts.
Participate in strategic planning, special projects, and other assignments about the mission of university communications and PR functions. Develop strategic, comprehensive media plans to meet the needs of key audiences.
Develop a deep understanding of the issues that affect higher education.
Leverage digital insights on coverage and social channels to develop positive framing narratives.
Integrate data with the Digital Team based on the Salesforce database and pitch efficacy on platforms like Muck Rack.
Provide strategic media counsel to campus communicators on issues that could impact the University's negative reputation.
Coordinate with campus units and subject matter experts to develop responses, briefs, talking points, and provide media training.
Other duties as assigned.
TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN THIS POSITION YOU WILL BRING:
Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience or a combination of education and relevant experience.
A commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.
Strong strategic thinking and ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
Superior news judgment and outstanding communication skills.
Outstanding written communication, research, and analytical skills.
Strong influencing and relationship management skills to work with other teams.
Ability to work collaboratively with internal communications groups across campus.
Comfortable working with top leaders and providing productive feedback for media strategy.
Experience analyzing situations and sound professional judgment on news value, strategic communications, public opinion, and media relations.
Ability to develop close relationships with journalists and communications colleagues.
Mastery of skills in journalism and public relations.
Ability to execute public relations best practices across various communication skills and competencies.
IN ADDITION, OUR PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS INCLUDE
Degree in journalism, communications, or related field preferred. Work experience in media relations, agency, public affairs, and corporate communications is preferred.
Experience in working in a highly decentralized environment is desirable.
Opinion and leadership writing is desired.
Certifications and Licenses:
Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, speaking.
Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
Rarely sort/file paperwork.
* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform essential functions of the job.
Occasional work on evenings and weekends.
On-call and ability to respond 24/7.
Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates working well with Stanford colleagues, clients, and external organizations.
Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University's Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.
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 enriched 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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