Public Relations Specialist
Enterprise Marketing and Communications
As a member of VCU Public Relations, part of Enterprise Marketing
and Communications, the public relations specialist assists in
managing the reputation of and elevating national awareness for
Virginia Commonwealth University and its affiliated health system.
The public relations specialist is located on the Monroe Park
Campus and specifically works with VCU’s College of Humanities and
Sciences, School of Social Work, School of Education, and the L.
Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.
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The PR specialist identifies and tells stories with strategic
relevance to the VCU enterprise on owned channels and through media
outreach; develops strategic communications plans; assists in
issues/crisis management; and serves as a rotating member of the
emergency communications on-call team.
The position is responsible for supporting the priorities
identified by VCU and VCU Health’s strategic plan Quest 2028: One
VCU Together We Transform, helping the university achieve its goals
related to raising local, regional, and national awareness of VCU’s
academic excellence, research and innovation, and student
Strategic public relations development and execution
Provides public relations management, guidance, and counsel to VCU
academic units for specific projects and long-term communications
priorities. Offers expertise in the development of communications
research, planning, execution, and evaluation. Provides counsel and
contributes related expertise in other areas of Enterprise
Marketing and Communications, including marketing, web development,
events planning, photography, and video. As an on-call staff
person, helps manage emergency communications for both campuses and
VCU Health. Responsible for creating and distributing appropriate
emergency and operational communications to more than 50,000
faculty, staff, and students through a variety of channels. Manages
emergency and operational communications to external media
channels. Manages media inquiries, and determines appropriate
response in accordance with university and health system strategic
goals and priorities. Manages media relationships and notifies
appropriate personnel about media presence.
Requires developing relationships with faculty, unit leaders, and
unit communications professionals to be informed about the latest
research and expertise. Requires building relationships with
journalists who cover assigned areas. Requires using Meltwater and
Google to research appropriate reporters and media and build media
lists for executing pitches. Contribute to the development and
updating of appropriate media lists. Review and respond to media
inquiries, as well as ProfNet, HARO, and Qwoted expert searches.
Requires reading or viewing news from a variety of local, regional,
and national sources and actively participating in the morning
pitch/story meetings with appropriate ideas from your client areas
and elsewhere. Requires an understanding of how pitching and media
relations can help achieve VCU’s strategic goals.
News Reporting and Production Duties
Uses professional journalism standards to research, write, and edit
news releases, media advisories, or feature stories for external
media, social media, and the VCU News Center. Develops sources
within assigned unit areas to be aware of new research, events, or
faculty expertise. Proofreads and edits for spelling, grammar,
consistent formatting, and style, making sure the text follows AP
style and university nomenclature. Must have strong news judgment,
and the ability to juggle multiple assignments under tight
deadlines, producing as-needed breaking news stories, news
releases, Q&As, profiles, and in-depth feature articles.
Proven, comparable experience in developing and executing strategic
public relations programs for local, regional, and national
Proven ability and creativity in organizing, planning, and
implementing public relations programs and analyzing problems to
propose effective public relations solutions. Strong initiative.
Strong oral and written communication skills. Strong interpersonal
skills. Ability to work independently at a consistently high level
Proven public relations experience, particularly in strategic
planning, media relations, and event management, and evidence of
professional writing techniques and skills.
Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty,
staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a staff
member at VCU.
Preferred candidate will possess an undergraduate degree in
journalism, public relations, advertising, or marketing.
Salary Range: 60,000 - 65,000
Department: EMC - Public Affairs
Employment Type: UF - University Employee FT
Restricted Status: No
Exemption Status: Exempt