Director of Media Relations

Washtenaw Community College

Position Summary:

The Director of Media Relations develops and executes external communications and garners positive earned media coverage to support the college’s brand awareness and strategic initiatives. This includes developing and maintaining relationships with local, regional and national media.  The Director works collaboratively with the CCO and Chief of Staff to develop a comprehensive media outreach strategy to position the college as a leader in workforce and economic development, student initiatives and academic programs. The Director writes and assists in developing content that can be used across marketing platforms/channels/presentations to support brand health and reputation.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Ensure communication strategy is consistent and reflects the College’s strategic plan. Develop and frame messages that convey the College’s mission, philosophy and academic agenda to its internal/external publics.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, dynamic and strategic media relations and public relations strategy for the college and pertinent audiences.
  • Initiate and cultivate relationships with media sources to ensure targeted media placements promoting WCC news and events. Develop relationships with national and regional press contacts to ensure the College’s reputation is promoted.
  • Develop news worthy media stories working with faculty, administration, staff and students. Ensure comprehensive, accurate and positive media reporting across all communications channels and vehicles.
  • Serve as the primary liaison and manage the flow of news about the organization to the media and the pertinent college spokespersons. 24 hours a day – 7 days a week if needed.
  • Detect public relations issues as they emerge and address them in partnership with the CCO and other members of the communications and administrative team as appropriate.
  • Work collaboratively with the communications and marketing team to prepare spokespeople to interact with media, by developing key messages, write press releases, FAQs, and when appropriate, provide media training in advance of interviews to ensure the development and placement of timely, relevant and effective content across the College’s social media channels and external earned media channels.
  • Work with the Chief of Staff and the CCO to maximize communication opportunities with external publics by actively seeking speaking opportunities for College executives.
  • Work collaboratively with the communications director to write content for major community facing publications including On the Record, Strategic Plan and Annual Report and web content where needed.
  • Manage effective media monitoring, working corroboratively with team members and consultants to monitor potential threats, important articles and College mentions and develop a process for distributing the same as appropriate to College staff.
  • Provide public and media relations support and manage and/or assist in the project management of important College events such as the Mackinac Policy Conference, Free College Day/Open House and North American International Auto Show, etc, working collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders.
  • Work with the CCO, communications and public safety teams to develop and maintain effective crisis communications and a response plan for WCC.
  • Write articles, columns, letters, briefing materials and remarks to support press releases, social media, executive and college communications.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Hours/Schedule: Will include evenings and weekends.

Work Environment: Combination of remote, off campus events, and on campus—the successful candidate must have internet access, appropriate technologies and reliable transportation needed to successfully perform all duties of the position and meet expectations and deadlines.  This is subject to change based on college operations.

Minimum Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent education and experience in Public Relations, Marketing, Communication or related field, as determined by the College.
  • At least five (5) years’ experience in marketing, public relations or related setting.
  • Exceptional writing skills and verbal presentation/communication skills with the ability to take on complex topics/issues and customize communications for multiple audiences.
  • Experience developing and directing crisis communication strategies and messages and excellent problem-solving skills to deal with conflict and crisis.
  • Ability to multitask effectively under competing deadlines and priorities.
  • Demonstrated ability to work discretely with sensitive information.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to deal effectively with internal and external publics.
  • Established relationships with local, regional, state and national media a plus.

DISCLAIMER: This is not necessarily an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, efforts, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of the current job, the college reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned.

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