Director, Media and Public Relations

Madison, Wisconsin
We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience and an excellent benefit program.
May 19, 2017
Metro Area
Full Time

When submitting application materials, a cover letter, resume and 2-3 writing samples must be combined into a single attachment.

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association (WFAA)* is recruiting for a Director, Media and Public Relations to join our Marketing and Communications team. This position will be responsible for developing and executing media relations campaigns to support WFAA events and programming; implementing strategic communications for select projects; providing writing, editing, and editorial consultation for communications that advance WFAA and UW-Madison; providing assistance on select constituent and geographic-based advancement activities; and assisting with proofreading and editing of WFAA materials.

*The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is the “doing business as” name of the merged organization comprising the University of Wisconsin Foundation ( and the Wisconsin Alumni Association ( Its legal corporate name is registered as the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Essential Functions

Assist in the development and execution of strategic communications to drive and support select WFAA priorities and initiatives

  • Develop, write, and edit strategic messaging and supporting materials.
  • Collaborate and consult with colleagues to promote organizational and university priorities and other strategic initiatives.

Develop and execute media-relations campaigns to support WFAA events and programming

  • Media relations for local, regional, and national outlets.
  • Communication planning and project management for editorial planning and pitching
  • Creation of stories, fact sheets, and pitches.
  • Developing and driving a steady volume of effective PR to keep media engaged throughout the year.
  • Building and maintaining close relationships with key influencers, including editors, producers, writers, and bloggers within local, regional, and national media.

Serve as special editor for select strategic communications

  • Edit, create, and/or coordinate content and messaging for platforms including, but not limited to, editorial projects, background materials, news and features, select alumni-relations correspondence, print and digital marketing, and publications.
  • Write, research, conduct interviews, request data and supporting materials, and participate in editorial development as needed.
  • Proofread WFAA materials.

Consult on constituent communications and issues management as needed

  • Upon request, provide counsel and insight as to best practices in internal and external messaging, editorial strategy, mass communications, public relations, media relations, and key constituent strategies.
  • Maintain and update WFAA’s issues-management resource.
  • Develop a media-management system to monitor mentions of WFAA.
  • Monitor media coverage daily and stay abreast of issues, trends, and news about the university, alumni, and other stakeholders.

Assist with select constituent and advancement activities as needed

  • Coordinate, assist, and motivate volunteers to engage potential alumni, donors, and friends most effectively.
  • Understand fully the mission, needs, and highest priorities of the university and articulate them effectively to alumni, potential donors, volunteers, and friends.
  • Provide select, geographic-based support for comprehensive campaign activities.

Support a service-oriented atmosphere in accordance with WFAA mission, values and philosophy

  • Strategic beliefs 
    • The University of Wisconsin-Madison has a transforming impact on students, alumni, and society;
    • Authentic, lifelong relationships and engagement with alumni, donors and friends are fundamental to sustaining the reputation and continued success of the University;
    • Philanthropy has an essential and growing importance on the future progress of UW-Madison;
    • The highest level of stewardship and fiduciary responsibility in financial, investment, data and gift administration is vital to maintaining trust with our stakeholders;
    • Diverse views, experiences and perspectives strengthen WFAA and the university community.
  • Organizational values
    • We are serious about delivering results;
    • We work together and with our campus partners as a team;
    • We are committed to alumni, donors, volunteers and others;
    • We are open-minded;
    • We create a positive work environment.



  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or strategic communications. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in journalism, publications, corporate communications or editing; experience in higher education advancement and demonstrated ability to work independently preferred.
  • Personal computer skills, including word processing, online applications, design software, project management software.
  • Outstanding written and overall communication skills.
  • Demonstrated creativity.
  • Accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Knowledge of both Chicago Style and AP Style.
  • Decision-making and problem-solving abilities.
  • Project management experience.
  • Ability to work independently and make sound judgments about all areas of performance without close day-to-day supervision.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with diverse individuals at all levels across the university and select constituencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion at all times.
  • Ability to conduct research from primary and secondary sources.
  • Strong sense of accountability.
  • Knowledge of and passion for key issues, particularly surrounding UW-Madison and higher education.

This is an exempt, full-time position reporting to the Vice President of Communications. We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience and an excellent benefit program.

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and 2–3 writing samples in one document to:

If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources at  Initial review of applications will begin June 5, 2017.

Mia Kahl

Human Resources


Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer