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Director of Media Relations

Middlebury College
Vermont, United States
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Apr 20, 2023

The Director of Media Relations reports to the Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and is responsible for promoting Middlebury and its entities to local, regional, national, and international media, working to enhance Middlebury's reputation among various audiences, including the general public, faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and other supporters. The Director of Media Relations works closely with colleagues in the Office of Communications and Marketing and with constituents to identify and pitch stories of interest to the media and develop communications strategy in support of Middlebury's mission and strategic initiatives. The Director of Media Relations serves as editor, writer, and project lead on various communications initiatives across channels-including news, internal and external communications, and digital media-and supports the goals of partners across the Middlebury enterprise—the College, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Bread Loaf Writers' Conferences, Bread Loaf School of English, Language Schools, and Schools Abroad. The Director of Media Relations is a key member of the Crisis Communications Team, a spokesperson for Middlebury, and backup for the AVP for Public Affairs as crisis communications lead. Applicants should note that this is a locally based hybrid position with some in-office time and presence on campus expected weekly.

Middlebury's Office of Communications and Marketing

The Public Affairs team comprises media relations, social media, internal and external communications, and crisis management in the Office of Communications and Marketing. Our talented team is involved in nearly every aspect of Middlebury-anticipating issues, helping to manage change, telling the stories of our community, and serving as trusted advisors.

The Office of Communications and Marketing is a resource for all Middlebury entities that have something to communicate to their community members, stakeholders, and audiences. We work as partners across the institution—in the schools, institutes, centers, programs, and departments—in everything from strategy to finished product.

We're well versed in the power of compelling content across all platforms and are equipped to work with institutional partners on a range of projects. We also publish Middlebury Magazine, are involved in internal and crisis communications efforts, think (a lot) about how Middlebury is perceived in the world and how we can influence that, and maintain Middlebury's graphic identity standards. We are experts in helping tell stories and getting messages across, whether to reach prospective students, current students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff, or any other audience. Our experienced staff works with offices and departments across the institution to develop communication and marketing strategies and create compelling print and digital products.

Middlebury is an equal-opportunity employer where diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values. To this end, we recruit talented and diverse faculty, staff, and students from across the United States and around the world. Middlebury encourages applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, and members of other protected classes and historically underrepresented communities. The College also invites applications from individuals who demonstrate an ongoing commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

Core Responsibilities:
  • Develop timely and newsworthy content for proactive pitching and distribution to the media.
  • Respond to and leverage incoming media inquiries to support Middlebury's strategic initiatives and reputation and serve as a spokesperson for Middlebury.
  • Monitor daily news coverage of Middlebury and create a weekly report of highlights, sharing content with senior leadership and the Crisis Communications Team.
  • Draft official statements, announcements, reports, plans, and other written items with the AVP for Public Affairs, the VP for Communications, and other members of the administration.
  • Develop and write announcements and news stories about institutional news, major events, students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
  • Identify and connect Middlebury experts with reporters for real-time news stories.
  • Serve on the Crisis Communications Team and Emergency Management Team to inform the Middlebury constituencies and media about timely and unfolding developments.
  • Organize press conferences and special events for major institutional initiatives.
  • Advise faculty, staff, and students about media relations and communications strategies.
  • Assist faculty and staff in development and pitching of opinion pieces.
  • Manage the relationship with Middlebury's news distribution vendor; maintain and leverage media contacts database and news distribution tool, e.g. Cision.
  • Bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or related field and 10 years of experience in a strategic communications role, preferably in higher education.
  • Deep understanding of the evolving media landscape, journalism, and public affairs environments with an "enterprise view" of Middlebury and how its various entities connect.
  • Proven ability to build and maintain relationships with local and national media.
  • Experience serving as a spokesperson in a complex organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and execute communications plans.
  • Attuned to news about higher education and Middlebury, with an understanding of local, state, and national government structures and their impact on higher education. Stays abreast of world and local events.
  • Ability to anticipate and prepare for potential issues that affect Middlebury and influence its reputation.
  • Superior writing and editing skills with strong news judgment and ability to translate complex topics.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and diplomacy.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and shift priorities as needed to respond to emerging issues and crises.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality and handle sensitive information in a discreet fashion.
  • Knowledge of and experience with media and digital tracking tools, e.g. Cision, Muckrack, and Google analytics.
  • Previous management experience in a communications environment preferred.

This is a benefits-eligible, exempt (salaried) position with a hiring range of $67,800 - $84,700 annually.

As an employee of Middlebury College, you will enjoy being part of a vibrant supportive community.

Middlebury Colleges offers its employees excellent compensation and competitive health, dental, life, disability, generous retirement matching, and vision benefits. Middlebury offers a generous time-away program - up to 34 days per year during the first two years of service, increasing as the term of service lengthens. Middlebury employees are eligible for robust educational assistance programs as well as free or reduced rates for cultural events and use of sporting facilities (including the College's golf course and Nordic and alpine ski areas). The result is a very high quality-of-life in a gorgeous setting.

Benefits include:

  • Excellent Health Benefits: choose between a Low Deductible PPO or a HDHP with employer HSA contributions up to $2,000 per year, as well as vision and dental insurance options
  • Retirement 403a with generous Employer contribution of 9% - 11% after 2 years of service (3% contribution for first 2 years). Option to start at the higher match level when transferring from an employer who matched at least 3% toward a qualifying retirement plan.
  • Generous Dependent Tuition Benefit to pay for dependents' tuition at accredited colleges and universities
  • Optional Flexible Spending Accounts (Dependent Care and Healthcare)
  • Core Life and AD&D
  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Combined Time Off (CTO): 26 days of paid time off a year for vacation or sick days in the first 2 years. 31 days of CTO after
  • Holidays: Floating Holidays throughout the year as well as Paid Holiday from Christmas through New Year
  • MiddCard Privileges: access to athletic facilities, discounts at the College store, library privileges, and discounts at cultural and sporting events. In addition, the card allows door access to certain campus buildings. Spouses or domestic partners of benefits-eligible employees are eligible to receive a Spouse/Partner card with the same privileges as the employee card (except door access).
  • Discounts on season passes at Middlebury Snowbowl, the Ralph Myhre Golf Course and the Rikert Outdoor Center
  • Professional Development and Continuing Education Funds

To apply visit


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