Senior Communications Officer

Apr 22, 2013
May 22, 2013
Hiring Manager
Full Time
Basic Function: The senior communications officer, in close collaboration with and under the supervision of the Director of Communications and Engagement, is responsible for developing and executing a robust and multi-faceted media relations program to increase the visibility of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and its research and policy agenda, scholars, research products, initiatives and events. Develop and implement new and social media strategies that will ensure MPP is using innovative tools to reach its audiences and support overall goals related to program visibility and impact. Expand and maintain relationships with high profile national, local and regional media representatives. Responsible for regular coordination with the central Brookings communications office to update the institutional events calendar, coordinate media strategy, handling branding issues and approvals, and attend outreach meetings.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

Develop and implement comprehensive traditional, social, and new media relations strategies on key program initiatives, books, national, regional and state reports as well as other MPP research (e.g. quarterly Metro Monitor).

75% Media Relations

- With MPP leadership and the Director of Communications and Engagement, lead and direct media strategy, planning, execution, and outreach. Lead communications team to implement plans.
- Develop and cultivate relationships with targeted media, working closely with the Director of Communications and Engagement, MPP senior team, and scholars.
Pitch story ideas to reporters and producers.
Work with reporters on their story ideas related to MPP priorities.
Manage incoming press calls, ensuring reporters receive prompt and accurate information.
Ensure appropriate infrastructure is in place to support media relations efforts, e.g. updated and accurate media lists, contact information, and materials.
- Write or oversee the writing of press advisories and releases, op-eds, blog posts, fact sheets and other materials used for public dissemination.

- Develop background materials, briefings, Q and As, talking points, media analysis and other collateral material.

15% Tool Development and Infrastructure

- Prepare media reports and assess efficacy of media relations' efforts.
- Serve as resource on the latest in digital technology that could be incorporated into MPP's communications efforts.
- Support and assist with media training for MPP spokespersons as well as partners/ spokespersons outside of Brookings.
- Utilize in-house studio to place radio and television interviews for MPP scholars; prepare questions for interviews with MPP scholars for Brooking in-house videos.
- Work in partnership with MPP communications staff to ensure that media-related materials are posted to the website in a timely manner.
- Coordinate and serve as a contact for media efforts as appropriate with BI media relations team.
- Oversee the development and distribution of news clips.

10% Management

- Assist with managing communications coordinator, assistant, and outside consultants.
- Assist in the management of relationships with key Metro Program partners.
- Serve as back up for Director of Communications and Engagement when needed.

Special Education/Experience Requirements:

Bachelor of Arts degree, preferably in economics, political science, public policy or liberal arts; background in the field of public relations. At least eightseven years experience in communications and/or media relations with extensive media contacts. Non-profit and/or agency experience preferable, but not required. Ability to speak knowledgeably and comfortably about public policy research and research findings to news media, key and high level partners including state, local and federal policy makers and broad general audience.

Special Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Ability to foster creative ideas to help increase media coverage and create new opportunities for outreach and dissemination of MPP reports and research. Strong writing and editing skills; strong multi-tasking skills and ability to meet tight deadlines. Can determine newsworthiness of key research and is able to track and respond to broad trends in media coverage. Ability to understand and accurately summarize public policy research; good organizational and strong interpersonal skills; and comfort working with a small team (5-member staff).

An interest and familiarity with important urban and metropolitan issues and trends preferred.

Only applicants meeting minimum qualifications for the position will be considered. Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment in this position. No phone calls please. Brookings welcomes resumes from all qualified applicants, particularly women and minorities.