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Senior Communications Manager

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 506974
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 15
Major Administrative Unit / College: Vp Communications And Brand Strategy
Department: Communications And Brand Strategy 10063701
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Administrative Professionals- AP, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Union

Position Summary

The Senior Public Relations Strategist and Editor will serve as a senior team member working with Michigan State University’s central PR team to create greater appreciation for the value of MSU among key audiences. Develops, leads and manages comprehensive strategic PR plans to elevate esteem and drive brand affinity for MSU and promote awareness of ongoing news and happenings at the university related to research, industry news, and faculty/staff/students. Serves as senior content editor for the public relations team. Leads major components of initiatives and projects, including but not limited to: developing/writing/editing stories and content for distribution through various channels, pitching national media, drafting messages and media materials and facilitating integration within the larger Communications and Brand Strategy team (e.g., social media, marketing, etc.).


Team and University Leadership

  • Collaborates with larger MSU communications team to develop institutional-level, integrated PR strategies to drive reach, content consumption and engagement building awareness and esteem.
  • Works with larger CABS public relations team to plan, create, and produce stories gathered from campus sources to inform the public on university-related news through fresh and engaging content.
  • Coordinates special university and media events, which may include working with various groups to capture assets, coordinate media and generate buzz.
  • Mentors and works collaboratively with CABS public relations team and PR colleagues in units across campus.
  • Participates in strategic planning initiatives with leadership in CABS and throughout the university.
  • Works on multiple projects at one time, ensuring seamless execution and quality control.

PR Strategy + Outreach

  • Applies and demonstrates strong news judgment; has the ability to act swiftly to leverage news and trends to generate top-tier, national coverage.
  • Develops and fosters relationships with producers, reporters, editors and other media contributors and influencers across a variety of beats and categories (i.e., news, lifestyle, entertainment, science, health, business, etc.); actively pitches national, regional and local media and generates coverage.
  • Develops coverage reports; incorporates insights and learnings to help shape future tactics and strategies.
  • Keeps a pulse on the ever-changing media landscape, industry news, and topic and content trends; provides recommendations on how to apply learnings to MSU’s content strategy to ensure relevant and breakthrough communications.

 Story Development + Writing + Editing

  • Serves as lead content editor for the media relations team; ensuring expert quality control and strict adherence to AP style.
  • Drafts media materials including press releases, key messages, Q&A, fact sheets, and engages in brand storytelling through feature writing to be shared on university-owned channels.
  • Collaborates with editors, visual storytellers, designers, and developers to take content from concept to final execution
  • Drafts content for social media; takes ownership to adapt stories to be told in a socially-relevant way.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations or related field that prepared individual to communicate effectively with diverse audiences; five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public and media relations and/or marketing, advertising, and creative services, including developing and executing PR strategies to drive brand awareness, reputation and affinity; a proven track record of writing/pitching news stories to media and securing national coverage in print, broadcast and online media (including social media); experience managing content for social media channels; excellent writing, research and editing skills, with proficient knowledge of Associated Press style; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desired Qualifications

Seven to ten years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public relations; agency/client experience developing integrated content is a bonus; a proven “team player” mentality with strong leadership skills with at least six years of supervising and team management experience; the proven ability to drive quality content that grabs attention, stimulates discussion and is relevant and newsworthy; a passion for earned media relations and a solid understanding of how PR falls within and interacts with the larger integrated communication network (paid, owned, shared); experience with visual storytelling through use of photo, video, animations, graphics, charts, etc.; experience working in a fast-paced, daily-deadline environment; excellent verbal and presentation skills; experience working with influencers is a plus; proficiency in Microsoft Office and media database software (like Cision, Critical Mention, etc.); the versatility to develop integrated public relations strategies, but also flawlessly execute them (including writing, pitching, creating content, collaborating with colleagues, problem solving, etc.).; strong verbal communications skills; strong leadership and accountability; ability to work under minimal supervision; ability to translate a variety of complex topics into consumer-friendly stories and media pitches.

Required Application Materials

cover letter, resume

Special Instructions

Position is being handled by search firm, Bloom, Gross & Associates. Candidates must apply through Michigan State University Human Resources Applicant System Careers@MSU.

Work Hours



Bidding eligibility ends on 5/22/18 at 11:55 PM.

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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