A cover letter and resume are required. The cover letter must be PAGE 1 of your resume and should specifically outline the reasons for your interest in the position, and outline your particular skills and experience that directly relate to this position.
NOTE: If you are selected as part of an initial candidate pool for this position, you will be asked to submit published writing samples at a later date.
The School of Information (UMSI) is a progressive, interdisciplinary professional school offering a Bachelor of Science in Information, a Master of Science in Information, a Master of Health Informatics, and a Ph.D. Our mission is to create and share knowledge so that people will use information – with technology – to build a better world.
The Public Relations Specialist is a senior member of our communications team at the School of Information. Not only does this position take the lead in writing high-level factual features and stories about the research and work our students and faculty do, but this person also works with the rest of our team to identify and inspire multimedia components to accompany and amplify these stories, and creates and enacts outreach plans for on-campus and off-campus publicity of this work.
This position reports to the Associate Director of Communications, and will create and execute key facets of UMSI’s public relations strategy and plans as set by the UMSI Director of Marketing and Communications and Associate Director of Communications (ADC) and provide the reports, metrics and information necessary to the ADC to evaluate and refine those plans moving forward.
About half your time will be spent writing accurate, factual, readable stories; the other half will be spent coordinating materials for those stories, publicizing them on campus, and doing media relations outreach. Your goal is to educate the world about the groundbreaking research and work being done here, and trust us: It’s truly fascinating stuff.
You’ll be working on-site with a tight-knit team of savvy communicators with a strong journalistic background. We like each other, and we try to make the workplace fun. Surprise us! We’re open to new ideas. We welcome people from a wide variety of working backgrounds and interests.
For more information about UMSI, please visit our website.
The Public Relations Specialist will:
- Conduct interviews with faculty and students about their work;
- Write engaging and painstakingly accurate stories about those projects, translating technical work into understandable concepts for diverse audiences;
- Work with the editors of on-campus magazines, newsletters and sites to feature those stories;
- Work with our team for graphic design, photo, video and social support of stories, helping to identify media that might assist in telling the story being written;
- Create and enact plans to reach out to appropriate local, national and subject-area media for promotion of these stories in mass media, journals, blogs, radio, television, streaming media, and other appropriate venues;
- Create bi-annual reports on the success of these efforts, mapping both writing/production and locations/frequency of related placements, with strategic recommendations to the ADC for improvement;
- Provide media training for faculty as requested.
- A bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, English, information, technology or a related field;
- Demonstrated commitment to accuracy in communications (including spelling, grammar and fact checking abilities) or experience in editing copy with precision;
- Minimum of 4 years of experience in writing or media relations in a professional setting;
- Demonstrated ability to explain complex topics both understandably and accurately;
- Demonstrated ability to write engaging, interesting stories;
- Excellent judgment regarding ethics and standards of communications;
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with diverse personalities and organizational units as part of day-to-day responsibilities.
- Ability to work in open, collaborative space; ability to work in a fast-paced environment; ability to manage a position that changes from day to day.
- An advanced degree in journalism, communications, English, information, computer science, technology or a related field;
- Experience in a position focused specifically on writing accessibly about technical topics while maintaining extremely high standards for accuracy;
- A previous history in journalism or other reporting fields;
- Experience working in an academic environment;
- Experience working as part of a larger marketing and communications or journalistic team.
Punctual, regular, and consistent attendance is required. This position may occasionally require work during non-business hours and weekends.
The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.