The Senior Media Relations Specialist is a three-year term professional position that is part of the Strategic Communications office at Vanderbilt University. The position is a key individual contributor responsible for developing and implementing media relations plans and tactics in support of the university's mission and leading priorities, including the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy , ("the project") a new and high-visibility institutional initiative that aims to advance research and evidence-based reasoning into the national discourse on unity. This position will conduct proactive and reactive media relations, including monitoring news developments, developing messaging, and building productive relationships with local, national, and international news media. In addition, the Senior Media Relations Specialist will be responsible for promoting events and sourcing contributed content opportunities on behalf of the project's co-chairs, executive director and faculty. This includes coordination and placement of bylined articles and op-eds. Reporting to the Media Relations Manager, the Senior Media Relations Specialist will interact with university leadership, faculty, staff, students, and internal/external stakeholders.
The Strategic Communications team within the Division of Communications 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.
Duties and Responsibilities
Develop and execute media relations plans and tactics that reflect and support the university's overall communications goals.
Measurably raise the profile of university and project leadership, including the Chancellor, in key media outlets and with key stakeholders.
Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional, national, and international media outlets.
Pitch stories to news media, prioritizing national, high priority and international media outlets. Coordinate news interviews.
Write and edit news releases, rapid response statements, media advisories, messaging, talking points, fact sheets, op-eds, and other media relations materials.
Follow industry-related news and generates ideas around trending topics.
Facilitate media relations at key events.
Monitor, measure and report out on media coverage; stay current on news developments.
Maintains media lists.
Works closely with partners across the Division of Communications to coordinate communications efforts and ensure consistent cross-channel messaging.
Demonstrate excellent news judgment, excellent written communications skills and an excellent sense of what is appropriate for the Vanderbilt brand.
Demonstrate and communicate about the role media relations plays in the broader communications plan for a department, school, and/or the university as a whole.
Execute independently on communications priorities and demonstrate an understanding of the evolving media landscape.
Assist in media training and interview preparation.
Provide overall support as needed and assigned for Division of Communications priorities.
Demonstrate understanding of the university's mission, values, goals and priorities and an ability to ensure that all are considered in developing communications strategies.
Communicate and collaborate effectively with a wide range of audiences--including faculty, students, leadership, staff, alumni, suppliers and agencies.
Efficiently and effectively manage multiple, complex and results-oriented projects with quick turn-around requirements.
Adhere to confidentiality and business ethics; demonstrate outstanding judgment and discretion.
Work outside regular business hours as needed in order to perform job responsibilities, including being officially on-call.
Perform other relevant duties as assigned.
A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is necessary .
A Master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education is preferred .
At least 5 years of experience in communications, journalism or related field, and a track record of success in media relations is necessary .
Prior experience with media relations on a national level is necessary; experience on an international level is preferred
Experience in media relations and a full understanding of how to navigate social media tools and audiences is preferred .
Experience working on a political campaign, federal policy-driven initiative or foundation, Capitol Hill (U.S. Congress) or within a federal or state administration is preferred
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.
Internal Number: 10000518
About Vanderbilt University
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.