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The Office of News and Information has a small, highly skilled staff that works in a collegial environment. We frequently discuss story ideas and approaches among ourselves, and work hard to develop and maintain relationships with faculty, staff and students around campus. We are members of a community that believes in the value of higher education and we work collaboratively to promote that value.
Public information representatives are responsible for spreading the university's reputation among a variety of constituencies and audiences. As a public institution, this university is dependent to a great degree on the understanding and support of a variety of individuals.
We have an outstanding opportunity for a Public Information Officer (PIO) for the social sciences and related areas. This beat includes some of the most quoted and publicly visible faculty at the University of Washington.
The purpose of this position is to raise awareness of new research and disseminate these findings and other news to regional, national and international media outlets through written news releases, which become stories on the UW News website, and direct media pitches. The position covers the following departments at the UW: Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Law, Anthropology, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Early Entrance/Gifted Program, Geography, Women's Studies, American Ethnic Studies, American Indian studies, Education. Recent stories include: A new law course exploring the limits of presidential power; race and gender identity among children; new methods of combating alcohol abuse among soldiers; representation of women in STEM fields; efforts to identify autism risk factors and diagnoses; new approaches to education for Native Americans; and early brain development in babies learning to talk.
This position requires a high level of knowledge, training and skill in translating complex concepts and research results into the language of the general public. It also requires a well-developed set of skills in targeting stories for and in dealing with members of the news media. A thorough understanding of the research and teaching environment of a major public university and ability to tell its many, varied stories to the general public is necessary. A willingness to be flexible, to experiment, and to adapt to a rapidly changing media environment is essential.
The position requires a high degree of initiative in identifying and developing stories to attract coverage by the news media and for use on the UW website. The employee should be able to develop creative approaches to complex problems, demonstrate a collegial approach with team members, and function with a high degree of autonomy in decision-making.
While there is a significant amount of traditional reporting and writing in this position, it also requires a high degree of internal and external communication when working with researchers and administrators on campus and reporters and editors at other news outlets, respectively. This position is also called upon to help edit and place op-ed pieces by researchers from the subject areas it covers.
The employee should have experience editing written pieces for grammar, AP style, flow and readability, and will join a team of writers that regularly peer-edits releases and stories before publication.
The PIO will identify stories on research and education that have the best potential for attracting state, regional, or national/international news coverage, as well as stories that are most likely to be of interest to UW friends and constituents. The PIO will then decide on the best ways to make the story available to a variety of audiences, including the news media.
Duties and responsibilities include: Researching and writing stories/releases (40%), responding to media requests, pitching UW experts to media (40%), social media outreach (10%), other duties (10%).
Appointment to this position is contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results from a criminal background check.
As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website, click here.
The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Criminal Conviction History, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select Apply to this position. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your My Jobs page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.