Media Relations Manager (Science and Technology)

Southern Methodist University
Salary commensurate experience and requirements
December 11 2018
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The media relations manager is a lively communicator who supports the marketing plan for the University in alignment with Development and External Affairs goals and SMU's strategic plan. Is an engaged member of a high-performing team dedicated to increasing national recognition of SMU as a leading teaching & research university. 

The position remains current on breaking news & news trends on a variety of topics and will “pitch” SMU stories to the news media, as well as respond promptly to media inquiries for sources & experts to meet demands of the daily news cycle. Promoting SMU messages at a national level is key to this position.

Has a demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with national & international journalists through regular interactions & knowledge of their interests & preferences. Builds strong relationships with faculty researchers to promote their significant work. Is a science & technology enthusiast with a flair for writing/explaining complicated subject matter in a lively, readable style with a commitment to accuracy. 

Essential Functions:

  • Story development: Identifies compelling science, technology & research stories by networking with faculty, learning their research specialties. Provides media training for and interviews faculty and student researchers. Writes, edits and updates news releases through a detailed vetting process. Remains current on breaking science & technology news to seize opportunities for pitching SMU experts 

  • Media relations and pitching - Engages targeted journalists on a regular basis, cultivating relationships & capturing key areas of interest and preference into a central database for effective pitching. Uses multiple platforms to pitch stories, seeks new markets/platforms for SMU research. Responds quickly to media queries and assists media on campus with location approvals and interviews.

  • Social media/Web - uses own situationally appropriate social media platforms to introduce, support and amplify SMU science, research & technology. May "cover" university events on social media and/or draft social content for flagship SMU accounts to amplify stories that have been successfully pitched. Provides web support as needed, posting stories & photos to and related SMU blogs.

  • Media Relations/Media Metrics - Supports campus emergency communications - a responsibility shared by all team members. Uses software and media monitoring tools to research, review and catalogue media placements and provide reports for stakeholders. Collaborates with colleagues to develop and maintain targeted media lists through Meltwater News or other software for e-mail distribution of stories.

  • Events / Studio- Serve as a department liaison, assisting senior video manager as needed, with studio vendor for SMU’s Live Broadcast Studio – an integral part of the department’s national media efforts. Books studio time on behalf of requesting media, staffs the automated studio during interviews. Works with team to staff a variety of University events and celebrations, including weekend events such as Homecoming and SMU Community events. 

  • Other duties as assigned.

  • Some evening and weekend work is required for event coverage or in emergency situations.


Education and Experience:

Bachelor's degree is required. Degree in journalism, communications, public relations or science/technology preferred.

A minimum of three years of work experience in media relations and/or journalism (print, broadcast or online) and/or communications is required. Science or technical writing preferred.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Candidate must demonstrate strong verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as well as the ability to build strong relationships with administrators, faculty members & other University experts, tapping them for compelling stories, pitches, op-eds & expertise. Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with journalists through regular interactions & knowledge of their interests & preferences is essential.

Strong writing skills with the ability to produce error-free communications and other materials are required. Strong grammar, spelling, editing and proofreading skills are essential. 

Candidate must possess strong organizational, planning and time-management skills with the ability to proactively manage multiple priorities. Must also demonstrate a strong attention to detail. A strong customer service orientation is essential.

Candidate must possess strong problem solving skills with the ability to be resourceful, proactive and seek assistance as needed. The ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team is essential. 

Candidate must have news judgment and knowledge of AP style.
Candidates must also have a strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word and Outlook. Proficiency in Word Press and SiteCore preferred.

Applicants with news media reporting and/or producing experience will be strongly considered and finalists will be required to compose a sample news release and sample Tweets.
Physical/Environmental Demands:

  • Bend, carry/lift 25 lbs.
  • Sit for long periods of time
  • Handle objects (dexterity)
  • Stand
  • Walk for long distances
  • Push/pull
  • Drives motorized equipment

Deadline to Apply: January 11, 2019

SMU will not discriminate in any program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression. The Executive Director for Access and Equity/Title IX Coordinator is designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies and may be reached at the Perkins Administration Building, Room 204, 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, TX 75205, 214-768-3601,  

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