Director of Media Relations (7462U), Berkeley Law - 36870
University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA USA
Work at University of California, Berkeley
Level: Executive (Director, VP, Department Head)
Director of Media Relations (7462U), Berkeley Law - #36870
University of California, Berkeley
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We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community. When you join the team at Berkeley, you can expect to be part of an inclusive, innovative and equity-focused community that approaches higher education as a matter of social justice that requires broad collaboration among faculty, staff, students and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position at Berkeley, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our Guiding Values and Principles, our Principles of Community, and our Strategic Plan.
UC Berkeley’s School of Law is one of the nation’s great centers for legal education, ever exploring and pushing new intellectual boundaries while tackling urgent, real-world issues. The law school is also known for its vibrant and engaged community of students and scholars who are committed to providing leadership and making a difference on problems of local, national and global import. Currently ranked among the top law schools in the country, the School of Law has ambitious development goals as it looks to continue producing leaders in law, government, and society.
Reporting to the Assistant Dean of Communications, the Director of Media Relations develops and implements strategic media relations and editorial activities to help maintain and enhance the school’s reputation as a top-tier law school. This involves promoting law school experts, scholarship and innovations, managing the tone of media coverage, expanding the reach of the law school’s presence among media outlets and other audiences, and serving as the law school’s spokesperson when necessary. The incumbent may also organize press conferences, and arrange for photography, video, or graphics to accompany news releases. Additionally, a key function of the job is to work with researchers to help them polish research reports so the findings are easily understood by media and others.
The Director of Media Relations is part of the law school communications team and will partner with colleagues on projects and day-to-day functions. That may include writing and editing stories for the web site, writing stories for the law school magazine, and helping with video or audio projects.
The Director of Media Relations also crafts messaging and assists with strategic marketing, communications, and public relations efforts by researching, analyzing, monitoring, and evaluating marketing efforts for effectiveness and suggesting or advocating new strategies.
This role may be required to respond quickly to emerging issues, work with different constituencies in the law school, juggle multiple projects, and quickly digest and understand complex legal research and scholarship so that it can be described to a broader legal and non-legal audience.
Application Review Date
The First Review Date for this job is: June 15, 2022
• Under minimal supervision, handle all incoming inquiries from the media, pitch stories to the media, and serve as the on-call spokesperson for the law school.
- Writes and places stories with key media, including those involving complex or sensitive issues.
- Devotes special attention to timely stories that enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of the law school.
- Handles a large volume of wide-ranging, deadline driven requests from reporters for information about -Berkeley Law’s activities, research, and experts in the news.
- Gives priority to top national media outlets.
- Determines the most appropriate internal expert per request, briefs reporter, and briefs the expert on the journalist and news outlet.
- Helps arrange interviews.
- Responds rapidly and effectively in high-profile, high pressure situations.
- Maintains strict confidentiality.
• Write press releases and media advisories and assist researchers with media rollouts.
- Positions the law school faculty and its research centers, institutes, clinics, and major programs to advance strategic goals and objectives.
- Uses expert interviews, independent research, and other means to assess the potential news value of papers, reports, and programs.
- Determines purpose, positioning, key audiences, and messaging of programs, projects, and events to formulate a communications strategy.
• Work with internal clients as a media consultant, helping them write op-eds, blog posts, etc., and providing media training, including campus Public Affairs when appropriate.
- Provides specialized media training for faculty, researchers, administrators, student leaders, and staff, enabling them to communicate in ways that might influence public opinion or public policy and/or enhance the reputation of the school.
- Develops and refines media training protocols and materials.
• Investigate and implement new processes to improve the media relations at the law school, as well as partnerships with the campus public relations team.
- Identifies key media contacts, outlets, and markets to maximize coverage of news and support strategic communications goals.
- Develops and strengthens ties with local, national, and international reporters, editors, and producers to assure optimal visibility for the law school and its affiliates.
• Add media highlights to website and circulate via email monthly.
• Assist the Assistant Dean of Communications, and other members of the team, with broader strategic communications goals and efforts.
Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations.
Thorough skills in understanding and effectively utilizing all news/media mediums including broadcast news, the Internet, social media, and other emerging technologies.
Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, including a strong sense of a good story.
Strong analytical and decision-making skills, and keen political acumen
Strong skill in problem recognition, avoidance or mitigation, and resolution
Ability to write quickly under deadline pressure.
Good judgment, political acumen, and thorough organizational skills.
Ability to work effectively within an academic environment.
Ability to work effectively with senior organizational leaders as well as other communications staff across campus.
Ability to collaborate as a member of a team
Ability to take initiative and work independently, as needed
Video and/or audio experience a plus.
Ability to maintain confidentiality.
Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, work under tight deadlines, and develop positive relationships with faculty members, journalists, editors, producers, and writers.
Ability to understand complex concepts and communicate them simply and clearly.
Ability to comprehend the news value of the school’s various activities and achievements and to shape stories for specific audiences and outlets.
Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB), and ability to apply and integrate core concepts of DEIB into everyday practice.
Must be committed to creating a community that fosters equity of experience and opportunity, and ensures that students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds feel safe, welcome and included.
Must demonstrate a sensitivity to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present in our community.
Bachelor’s degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.
At least five years of experience working in journalism, and/or media relations, public relations (preferably at academic institutions).
Experience in and/or confidence working with various technologies related to the Internet, such as web site content management systems, social media, and other tools.
Salary & Benefits
This is an exempt, monthly paid position. Annual salary is commensurate with experience within the range of $82,500.00 - $92,500.00.
This is a full-time (40 hours/week) Career position.
This position is eligible for full UC benefits.
For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:
How to Apply
Please submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment when applying. Please upload the document in the Resume section, then skip the (optional) Cover Letter upload section.
Conviction History Background
This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.
Equal Employment Opportunity
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/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, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:
For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:
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