Position Detail

Director of News and Media Relations (#698)

Date Posted:
07/03/2018
Type/Department:
Staff in Communications & Marketing
Search Status:
Search Is Open - Accepting Applications
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About Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke College is an undergraduate liberal arts college for women with 2,200 students and 220 faculty. Located about 90 miles west of Boston in the Connecticut River valley, the College is a member of the Five College Consortium, comprising Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts.

Mount Holyoke is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members. Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse team who will contribute to the college's excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society. In furtherance of institutional excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from under-represented groups, including faculty, staff, and administrators of color, diverse gender identities, first-generation college students and individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college, and individuals with a demonstrated leadership commitment to including diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

Background

The Office of Communications and Marketing serves as the official voice of Mount Holyoke College to regional, state, national, and international media. The office also serves as the marketing and branding arm, elevating the College’s reputation and advancing the brand’s presence in the marketplace.  The Office provides communication support to the entire Mount Holyoke campus while also being responsible for the oversight and management of the College’s digital presence, presidential communications, internal communications to faculty and staff, external communications to alumnae, parents, prospective students, prospective employees, and the media.   The Office provides direction and leadership to various communications professionals across the campus while advising on communications policy with senior officers of the College. 

Position Summary

The Director of News and Media Relations is responsible for developing and executing integrated public and media relations programs designed to advance the mission and vision of Mount Holyoke College in traditional and new media. Reporting to the Vice President for Communications and Marketing, the Director of News and Media Relations is a senior member of the Communications and Marketing team, collaborating with the other three Directors (Web, Creative, Communications and Marketing), leading a group of media and communications professionals while acting as the key media strategist for efforts spanning the entire College. Core responsibilities include serving as a spokesperson for the College, issues management and crisis communications, development and implementation of proactive media strategies and tactics, management of media relations staff, and media relations and strategic communications involving the officers of the College.

The Director of News and Media Relations also serves as media/communications lead on a range of Mount Holyoke initiatives. The Director coordinates with various officers, divisions, and colleagues on media inquiries, and regularly collaborates with internal client communications teams. As one of the Office of Communication and Marketing’s four directors, the Director of News and Media Relations plays a key role in developing and shaping agendas, discussions, and information sharing among the department's leadership, working across teams and functions to manage and integrate expertise, activities, and tools.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Manages and disseminates news releases, fields day-to-day media inquiries, and plays a lead role in the College's crisis communications and issues management efforts, serving as a key member of the emergency response  team. The Media Relations director leads the department efforts in responding proactively and creatively in support of the College's brand and reputation.
  • In collaboration with the Vice President for Communications and Marketing, works to develop and implement communications and media relations efforts in support of the Office of Advancement, the Admission Office, the President, and other leaders of the College.
  • Develops communications and media relations plans and key messages in support of the College’s projects, initiatives, and strategic priorities.
  • Prepares news releases, talking points, briefing materials, Q&As, FAQs, media statements, news articles, and other materials for audiences both internal and external.
  • Works to build and maintain relationships with relevant news media.
  • Manages the Office’s news and media relations staff, providing effective direction, media relations, communications and issues management guidance, and supporting and developing team members.
  • Tracks and monitors the College’s press coverage, and disseminates information to appropriate colleagues as needed.
  • Develops, maintains, and enhances relationships with colleagues across the campus, including the academic and non-academic departments, academic centers, athletics, and across Mount Holyoke more broadly in service of developing and implementing integrated approaches informed by the College’s brand messaging, the Director’s professional expertise, and input from colleagues. The Director will work in partnership with department colleagues to align public and media messages with the College’s advocacy and engagement efforts at the local, state, and national levels.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor's degree required. Minimum 10 years significant experience and proven progressive success at the highest levels of media and communications work.

Strong understanding of digital and social media and its use in promoting content with journalists and other audiences.

Additional Qualifications

Experienced media and communications professional and strategic thinker with a demonstrated capacity for skillful management and multi-tasking, with good political judgment, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, proven crisis management abilities, and a commitment to the mission of education, scholarship, and research. Background in higher education, public relations, government, journalism, or leadership environments beneficial. Ability to articulate the value of a women's liberal arts education to a wide range of audiences.

A proven track record as a leader and strategist in a complex organizational environment. Must have the proven ability to advise senior leaders effectively. Must have the ability to think strategically and conceptually, to innovate, to listen carefully, as well as to influence and persuade others. Must have excellent analytical, verbal, and written communication skills along with a high level of professionalism, diplomacy, discretion, sound judgment, and collegiality.

The successful candidate also will have proven success in developing collaborative relationships across diverse constituencies. Strong project management skills and the ability to manage multiple priorities

Mount Holyoke College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mount Holyoke College is committed to enriching the educational experience it offers through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff members. Mount Holyoke seeks to recruit and support a broadly diverse team who will contribute to the college's excellence, diversity of viewpoints and experiences, and relevance in a global society. In furtherance of institutional excellence, the College encourages applications from individuals from underrepresented groups, including faculty, staff, and administration of color, diverse gender identities, first generation college students and individuals who have followed non-traditional pathways to college, and individuals with a demonstrated leadership commitment to including diverse backgrounds and perspectives.