Publicist - Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

10016, New York City
Commensurate upon experience
Nov 15, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time


The Media Relations Department strategically promotes the services, staff, and initiatives of The New York Public Library via earned media outlets. These mentions are critical to raising overall awareness of the Library, which impacts key metrics such as attendance, library card sign ups, donations, and government support. Media Relations—a team of six—serves the entire organization. The new Publicist position would work with earned media outlets to proactively, creatively, and aggressively promote a suite of Library offerings (with an expectation to deliver hundreds of placements). While the Publicist’s list of projects may vary, the most significant responsibility will be The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, an NYPL research library and one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. The publicist will promote the collections, exhibitions, programs, priorities, and staff of the Schomburg, and spend 1-2 days a week at the institution in Harlem.

Principal Responsibilities

  • Develop relationships with reporters and earned media outlets
  • Work with staff at the Schomburg Center and across the organization to develop story ideas that support the strategic priorities of the library
  • Coordinate public outreach with the Schomburg’s Communications Manager
  • Counsel the Schomburg on outreach and PR matters 
  • Work with Schomburg Director on interviews, talking points, thought leadership, etc. 
  • Aggressively and proactively pitch stories to media, securing hundreds of placements (specific goals will be developed with the Publicist)
  • Act as the lead project manager on behalf of Communications and handle all media around the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, including press for exhibitions, acquisitions, and programs
  • Attend library events (galas, evening programs)
  • Develop strategies and plans for unveiling major news (which outlets, what is the timing, coordinating with other departments, is it exclusive, etc.)
  • Prioritizes a multitude of projects to assure maximum efficiency and maximum positive press coverage for the Library

Required Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 6+ years in public relations, journalism, or a related field

Minimum Qualifications

  • Knowledge of and relationships with NYC media outlets / reporters
  • Proven success promoting initiatives, events, institutions, or other clients
  • Strong writing skills
  • Ability to multi-task and perform under pressure
  • Creative thinker
  • Proactive and aggressive in terms of pitching press

Preferred Qualifications

  • Strong interest in African-American history and culture preferred

All team members are expected and encouraged to embody the NYPL Core Values:

  • Be Helpful to patrons and colleagues
  • Be Resourceful in solving problems 
  • Be Curious in all aspects of your work

Work Environment

  • Regular travel to the Schomburg Center and other branches


35 hours per week 
Additional hours as needed to manage programs and events

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