The Office of Communications and Marketing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Media Relations Coordinator for the Research Communications and Marketing team. This person will work to enhance national peer and industry perception of UT's R1 research portfolio as well as its outstanding faculty, students, and facilities.
This position has a primary focus on national-level media pitching and related responsibilities. The person is a strategic communicator and avid media consumer who can translate their awareness of national trending topics into successful pitches to earn media coverage about the impact of UT research. The position also creates and distributes content that supports the institution’s mission and goals, promotes its successes and achievements, informs and engages its stakeholders, and ensures the integrity of its brand with audience-focused communications based on data, best-practices, and emerging trends. The position collaborates with key partners in UT's Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED), the UT Institute of Agriculture, the UT Space Institute, UT’s 11 academic colleges, select industry partners, and government agencies.
UT is the state’s flagship research university, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates, and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university, the institution fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement.
The Office of Communications and Marketing is dedicated to advancing the university’s reputation. Staff members support the institution’s mission and goals, promote its successes and achievements, inform and engage its stakeholders, and ensure the integrity of its brand. We craft audience-focused communications based on data, best-practices, and emerging trends. The division employs more than 50 full-time professionals across several cross-functional teams—Creative, Digital, Marketing, News, Special Events, Video, and WUOT 91.9FM.
Content Distribution and Media Relations
Actively monitors key media outlets trending themes in media to inform research-related content strategy and timing of pitching.
Researches and becomes familiar with key publications and their reporters to better identify angles and approaches for effective pitches based on marketing goals.
Maintains contact and outlet lists for targeted media needs using Cision and other services.
Uploads and distributes science- and research-related news releases to EurekAlert.
Arranges and facilitates media interviews for researchers, scholars, and experts.
Pitches UT research activity as well as UT researchers, scholars, and experts as leading sources for regional, national, and international media, including niche trade, academic societies/organizations, and industry publications.
Provides input for UT Experts Guide submissions that ladder up to overall content strategy efforts. Pitches these faculty based on trending events.
Assists with identifying faculty leads for The Conversation
Evaluate the success of efforts to obtain earned media coverage and provide input to team on opportunities for improvement.
Distills research leads into pitchable, bullet point summaries to favorably position UT's research strengths and obtain media/event coverage.
Gathers and compiles thorough background information and multimedia on research activity to accompany pitches to support reporter needs.
Writes excerpts and other short-form content as needed for digital. Adjusts verbiage based on audience needs and platform.
Occasionally writes press releases, story tips, and media advisories
Translates/edits scientific jargon into plain language for general audiences as needed
Collaborates with other OCM departments (news and information, creative, marketing, digital, video, and events) to execute integrated marketing and communications plans that advance the university's research-related priorities and goals.
May also provide support for research- and/or industry-related events and uses the team’s project management system to stay current on project work.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Working knowledge of the function and needs of media relations outlets
Working knowledge of communicating with a variety of audiences
Working knowledge of traditional and emerging media
Solid knowledge of branding guidelines
Working knowledge of using digital platforms to compile and distribute content
Ability to pitch compelling story angles to regional and national media outlets
Ability to stay current on national and global topics trending in the media
Ability to work in digital platforms and environments to distribute content
Good writing and editing skills
Ability to assist with multiple issues or requests on rolling deadlines
Ability to meet deadlines
Avid media consumer
Represents the university in a professional manner
Interacts well with campus partners, office staff, and administrators
Provides and is receptive to feedback and constructive criticism
Works independently and in a group setting
Desire to protect and promote the university's reputation
Required: Associate’s degree and at least 4 years of communications experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
Preferred: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree and at least 5 years of experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
The hiring range for this position is MR10. Salary is dependent on qualifications and experience.
The university offers a highly competitive benefits package that includes health insurance and retirement plans through the State of Tennessee, generous annual and sick leave accruals, longevity pay, tuition waivers and discounts, discounted athletics tickets, and more.
A review of all applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled. For full consideration, applicants must apply electronically through Taleo and must submit a cover letter; resume; and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references. Applicants selected for further consideration may be asked to submit a portfolio of work.
The University of Tennessee is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA institution in the provision of its education and employment programs and services. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.