Senior Director of Issues Management and Media Relations
Location: Stanford, California
Internal Number: 101405
Senior Director of Issues Management and Media Relations
Main Work Location: Stanford Historic campus Schedule: Hybrid (2-3 days per week on site)
Stanford University seeks a Senior Director, Issues Management and Media Relations to manage media issues, crises, and issues supporting the institution's reputation. The position reports to the Assistant Vice President for External Communications within University Communications and collaborates closely with News, Strategy, and Digital communication teams. The Senior Director will serve as one of the top university spokespeople, working closely with unit and school communicators across campus and the external communications team on media response strategies. Stanford University is one of the world's premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As demonstrated by the IDEAL initiative (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Access in a Learning Environment), we believe that diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand, and we hire individuals committed to working effectively with colleagues and donors from diverse backgrounds. A major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. The university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives.
University Communications supports campus leadership in planning, coordinating, and implementing strategic communications programs that support the institution. University Communications (UComm) manages brand positioning and strategy, issues and reputation management, crisis communications; oversight of digital content and top-level web and social media platforms; media relations and news services; executive communications with all constituencies; major publications; and a campus video productions studio and video production group. University Communications coordinates with communications professionals across the University provides leadership to the Communications Working Group, and advises on communications policy with senior executive staff.
Position Summary: The Senior Director will be responsible for high-volume inbound media inquiries and crisis management for one of the world's most recognizable research universities. Stanford manages inbound issues through sophisticated media response strategies, data-informed decisions, and excellent relationships with reporters. This role will develop messages and talking points, working closely with campus communicators and administrative departments to understand Stanford's priorities. The position requires a deep understanding of the current media landscape, news judgment, and ability to quickly analyze and prioritize rapidly emerging issues.
As a public face for the university with members of the media, campus constituents, and the public, the Senior Director will serve as a spokesperson and ambassador for Stanford University. Enthusiasm and understanding of Stanford's education and research mission, history, and ethos are essential. This position works collaboratively in a tight-knit External Communications team and close coordination with colleagues in UComm. The position requires agility and influence to work with various constituencies across the institution, from the unit and school communicators to senior administration.
In this role, you will:
Develop rapid response strategies for media inquiries, write statements/or interview talking points in coordination with campus units and subject-matter experts, conduct media training, staff interviews or media briefings.
Serve as a university spokesperson on institutional and administrative issues.
Participate in the development of strategic communication plans, including long- and short-term goals, with methods of measuring the plan's impact on and contribution to the institution.
Detect public relations issues as they emerge and consult with appropriate campus officials to address them quickly and directly.
Provide strategic media counsel to campus communicators on issues that could impact the university's negative reputation, especially concerning national issues.
Develop, execute, edit, and oversee complex written communications, including key content for thought leadership platforms.
Exemplary written communication skills, outstanding research and analytical skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with local and top media organizations and individual journalists.
Develop a deep understanding of the issues that affect higher education.
Prepare experts/other spokespersons and staff media interviews (e.g., background material, key messages, media prep/coaching).
Write press releases and statements on institutional and campus issues.
Monitor staff and/or resources to determine if they are appropriately aligned to deliver the objectives of the organization.
TO APPLY: Please include a cover letter with your application explaining why you would like this job and how your experience qualifies you.
To be successful in this role you will bring:
Bachelor's degree and eight years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience.
At least 10 years of experience in media relations and a similar spokesperson role in a highly complex, decentralized environment is preferred.
Strong strategic communications background, including experience in executive communications, issues management, and media strategy.
Must possess superior news judgment, persuasive communication skills, and the ability to take initiative.
Demonstrated ability to earn credibility and influence opinion leaders.
Understanding of brand management principles.
Proven experience working collaboratively with communications groups across campus, colleagues, and key stakeholders.
Demonstrated ability to work in deadline, fast-paced and high-pressure situations.
Experience working with databases like Salesforce or Muck Rack.
A commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.
Higher education experience is preferred.
Journalism background or agency experience is desirable.
The expected pay range for this position is $168,000 - $200,000 per annum. Stanford University provides pay ranges representing its good faith estimate of what the university reasonably expects to pay for a position. The pay offered to a selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal equity, geographic location and external market pay for comparable jobs.
Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, speaking.
Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
Rarely sort/file paperwork.
* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.
Occasional work on evenings and weekends.
Why Stanford is for you: Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:
* Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak. * A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources. * A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits. * Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums. * Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more
The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned. Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job. Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Why work at Stanford?Stanford University has changed the world, over and over again.We are one of Silicon Valley's largest employers - and also one of the most unique. Our mission is to educate future leaders and promote interdisciplinary, world-class research and teaching. This passion makes Stanford an intensely creative, rewarding, and challenging place to work. At the same time, our traditions of respect and collaboration sustain a humane, supportive environment in which to pursue your life and your career.At Stanford you'll work with bright, diverse, dedicated people. You'll find encouragement to learn and grow. You'll enjoy excellent benefits and an outstanding environment. How will it change you?