Faculty/Division: Office of the President
Department: Office of Vice President, Communications
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)
University of Toronto Communications is focused on promoting, enhancing and protecting the U of T’s reputation through broader stakeholder engagement with the University’s mission, both internally and externally. Our award-winning team consists of best-in-class experts in media relations, news and magazine writing, video production, social media, digital design and development, communications planning and brand marketing.
The Media Relations Officer connects daily with leading experts from across the university and journalists across the country to conceive, pitch, deliver and track top-tier earned-media hits.
Some of these will exceed earned-media goals as part of challenging paid, earned, social and owned communication campaigns that advance university priorities. Some will contribute to exceeding annual earned-media goals through enterprising efforts to uncover media-friendly stories, pitch them and land top-tier coverage that advances key narratives about the university.
In this role, you will get a head start on the daily news cycle by developing a list U of T experts of the day to send to news desks and targeted reporters. Some days, you’ll be asked to curate and circulate to senior administration an early-morning roundup of key media clippings.
You will also spread media-relations best practices across the university. This includes helping communication colleagues deliver stronger earned-media results and training members of the university community to be more media savvy in areas such as media interviews and crafting op-eds.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Developing short- and long-term pitching plans in priority areas, in consultation with director, and executing those plans;
- Scanning the University’s three campuses and consulting with faculty members, administrators and communications colleagues to identify and pitch stories that fit with the university’s strategic communications priorities;
- Building close working relationships with targeted journalists in key media outlets; knowing at any time what those journalists are working on, matching those interests to stories and coverage themes that serve the university’s communications strategy, and advancing those stories in a way that garners media coverage of strategic value to the university.
- Coordinating pan-university media strategies, and responses to media enquiries ensuring that divisional counterparts are well served and aware of university-level communications strategy on specific topics; Identifying stories about academic research undertaken at the university with the potential to attract significant positive attention to the university, and advancing those stories to garner maximum impact.
- Assisting journalists wherever necessary in executing their coverage of the university and its faculty. Closely monitoring the daily news cycle and pitching U of T experts of the day to news desks and targeted reporters.
- Writing, editing or reviewing media releases, advisories, backgrounders, op-eds, fact sheets and pitches ensuring theyare aligned with the director’s priorities; must deal with sensitive and confidential information.
- Providing ongoing guidance and support on media relations (e.g., pitching and interview tips, media releases and lists etc.) for faculty experts, communications colleagues and administrators. Equipping those who are representing U of T with the necessary briefing materials and best practices to enhance the university’s profile.
- Ensuring the timely and effective coordination and evaluation of university media activities, including news releases, interviews and announcements.
- Delivering workshops to internal clients (divisions) on media relations, including media interviews, how to craft an op-ed, etc.
- Attending and assisting at media-related announcements, events, programs, seminars, etc. (which may occur outside of business hours) that are directly related to the university’s strategic priorities.
- Managing on-site media and serving as liaison to camera crews.
- Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (e.g. journalism, communication, ) or acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience.
- Minimum four (4) years’ experience personally pitching top-tier journalists with high-performing results.
- Demonstrated ability to formulate earned-media ideas within a mandate set by a manager and execute those ideas effectively.
- Demonstrated ability to exceed goals and targets set by a manager.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain close working relationships with key journalists.
- Demonstrated ability to manage relationships and requests with tact, diplomacy and persuasion.
- Intellectual versatility and the ability to advance stories that touch on a range of academic disciplines to convey complex ideas to a non-specialist audience.
- Persuasive writer with consistently perfect spelling and grammar.
- Knowledge of the University of Toronto or other university environments is highly desirable.
To be successful in this role you will be:
- Problem solver
Closing Date: 06/11/2021, 11:59PM ET
Employee Group: USW
Appointment Type: Budget - Continuing
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: USW Pay Band 13 -- $74,781 with an annual step progression to a maximum of $95,634. Pay scale and job class assignment is subject to determination pursuant to the Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Maintenance Protocol.
Job Category: Communication/Media/Public Relations