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Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years experience in media relations, public relations and/or journalism. Experience working with broadcast, print or online media. Experience in or knowledge of higher education and public policy is preferred. The ability to demonstrate good judgment and the ability to respond quickly and deal successfully under pressure and in a very open and public environment. Excellent writing, editing and speaking skills, supervisory experience and the ability to effectively work as a member of a team, and experience in issues and crisis management is also important.
About the Job
The Director of Public Relations is responsible for managing the central public relations office for the University of Minnesota and the team that is the initial point of access for local, national and international media. The director is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for effective external communications of the teaching, research and outreach missions of the University, as well as campus and system strategic initiatives. The director will:
• Work with the University community from all campuses and statewide programs to identify and publicize news, accomplishments and achievements that advance the reputation of the institution;
• Serve as University spokesperson as needed, coordinating institutional messages and responses with various departments, offices, colleges, and campuses;
• Manage emergency communications and issues/crisis management for the University, in collaboration with campuses, colleges and other units, to advance the reputation of the institution and minimize risk;
• Advise the Chief Public Relations Officer and other leaders of the University on media perceptions, public relations issues and communications strategies and activities to advance the reputation of the institution and minimize risk;
• Provide media relations support for all areas of the University. Support may include media training, advice on presentations to internal and external audiences, effective strategies, consultative services and planning;
• Work with the Marketing and Government and Community Relations teams in University Relations and others to ensure external messages and communications support the University’s public policy objectives;
• Supervise the Public Relations team in University Relations setting accountabilities and measures for the team aligned with the objectives of University Relations and the University. Conduct performance reviews, promote coaching and professional development opportunities, create a positive team atmosphere, and identify and recommend resources that will help ensure team-wide success;
• Work closely with the Office of the General Counsel to manage response to media requests under the Minnesota Data Practices Act; collaborate with communicators, departments and colleges to manage media questions related to such data requests;
• Actively monitor emerging trends in media and public relations, including social media and other innovations, and advance ideas that will keep the University and Public Relations team in a leadership role in communications;
• Participate as a member of the University Relations management team and help coordinate activities with Government and Community Relations, Marketing and Internal Communications colleagues.
Relationships: Reports to Chief Public Relations Officer.