The University of California's newest campus is coming into its own and rising in the rankings, and it needs a creative, forward-thinking media relations master to help raise its research profile nationwide.
Reporting to the Executive Director of Public Relations, the Senior Public Information Officer will develop trusting relationships with journalists, craft thoughtful pitches and press releases, position faculty members as experts on current events, research digital and niche media outlets, and land high-impact media placements for UC Merced's areas of distinction in research excellence. The successful candidate will also be responsible for news and feature writing, editing and proofreading, and will serve as a member of our crisis communications team. Productive, positive collaboration with colleagues across campus and particularly within External Relations - including development, alumni relations, government relations, marketing and special events - will be expected.
- Media Outreach: Cultivates relationships with key journalists, develops story ideas and pitches, and writes news releases and advisories for various media outlets. Works with researchers to develop op-ed and analysis pieces and secure media placements. Cultivates relationships with key journalists, develops story ideas and pitches, and writes news releases and advisories for various media outlets. - Media Coordination: Serves as point of contact for journalists. Provides information as requested and coordinates interviews. Develops and proposes strategies for response, drafts media statements, provides messaging points and organizes press conferences. - Growth and Development: Remains knowledgeable of trends in traditional, digital and social media. Seeks internal and external opportunities for professional growth and development. - Writing and Editing: Writes, proofreads and edits articles, talking points, print and web materials, and other items as assigned. - Crisis Communications: Serves as a member of the crisis communications team.
*Applicants must submit a portfolio of media placements, writing samples, and anything else that shows us you at your best.
About the University:
The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With nearly 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.
Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design, and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.
In Fall 2016, UC Merced broke ground on a $1.3 billion public-private partnership that is unprecedented in higher education. The Merced 2020 Project will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus by 2020, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. In 2018, UC Merced opened the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.
- Bachelor's degree plus three years of experience in communications, journalism, or related fields required, and/or equivalent experience/training.
- Exceptional writing and editing skills in the English language, with extensive knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation. Demonstrated ability to write engaging text. Excellent proofreading skills. Familiarity and demonstrated skill with Associated Press and campus style rules.
- Demonstrated experience in effectively and succinctly communicating scientific research to a general audience, particularly within the fields of journalism and/or public relations.
- Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations. Thorough skills in understanding of print, radio and broadcast news, the internet, social media and other emerging technologies. Demonstrated understanding of the concepts and principles of science and research publishing, funding and ethics.
- Outstanding written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, active listening and political acumen. Ability to work frequently, effectively and diplomatically with administrators, faculty, staff and students. Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Outstanding organizational skills. Demonstrated ability to prioritize and coordinate several projects simultaneously. Detail oriented and able to work calmly, rapidly and accurately under deadline pressure and in a high-pressure, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others and adapt quickly to shifting priorities.
- Substantive experience in successfully producing effective promotional materials, including news releases and publications; have a solid understanding of the techniques of public relations, and experience in successfully employing them.
- Demonstrated ability to write and edit copy, including news and feature articles, profiles, websites and brochures. Ability to develop and execute article ideas from concept through completion.
- Strong office and computer skills including proficiency in word processing and web-based communications.
- Availability for evening and weekend activities as needed. Travel to locations on and off campus, and occasionally stay overnight.
To Apply: Click on the link below to use our new on-line application system.
If you do not have internet access you may mail your application, resume, and cover letter to: University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Rd., Merced CA 95343. Please list the job number on the subject line.
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.
E-Verify: Effective September 8, 2009, all employers who receive Federal contracts and grants are required to comply with E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify electronically verifies employment eligibility by comparing information provided on the I-9 form to records in the DHS and SSA databases. Certain positions funded by federal contracts/subcontracts requires UC Merced to notify job applicants that an E-Verify check will be conducted and the successful candidate must pass the E-Verify check.
UC Merced is the first new American research university built in the 21st century, with a mission of research, teaching and service. The campus opened Sept. 5, 2005, in the San Joaquin Valley. The university is about an hour north of Fresno, two hours south of Sacramento, two hours southeast of San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, and 90 minutes west of Yosemite National Park.
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