The Senior Media Relations Specialist is part of the Strategic Communications office at Vanderbilt University and is responsible for developing and implementing media relations plans and tactics to enhance Vanderbilt University’s reputation, and to advance the university’s mission as a premier academic research institution. 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 support the Division of Communications’ executive communications strategy and will be responsible for sourcing speaking engagements and contributed content opportunities on behalf of university leadership, including the Chancellor. 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 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 for the Chancellor and others, as necessary.
Provide overall support as needed and assigned for department 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.
Other 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.
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.
About Us Vanderbilt is a community of talented and diverse staff & faculty!
At Vanderbilt University, our work - regardless of title or role - is in service to an important and noble mission in which every member of our community serves in advancing knowledge and transforming lives on a daily basis. Located in Nashville, Tennessee, on a 330+ acre campus and arboretum dating back to 1873, Vanderbilt is proud to have been named as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” as well as a top employer in Tennessee and the Nashville metropolitan area by Forbes for several years running. We welcome those who are interested in learning and growing professionally with an employer that strives to create, foster and sustain opportunities as an employer of choice through:
Working and growing together as a community of communities... we are One Vanderbilt.
Providing a work environment where every staff and faculty member can be their authentic and bestself, while providing the resources and opportunities to learn and grow.
Encouraging development, collaboration, and partnership both internally and externally while fostering the value that every member of the Vanderbilt community can lead and grow regardless of title or position.
We understand you have a choice when choosing where to work and pursue a career. We understand you are unique and have a story. We want to hear it. We encourage you to apply today so that you might become a part of our story.