Senior Communications Strategist (5885)

University of California Office of the President, Oakland, California

Date PostedJune 04, 2019
Job StatusFull-time

Senior Communications Strategist (5885)

University of California Office of the President


Requisition Number: 20190184

Appointment Type: Staff - Career

Personnel Program: PSS-Uncovered

Work Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm

Percentage of Time: 100

Organizational Area: External Relations - Communications

Location: Oakland, CA

Posting Salary: $90,000 - $110,000 Salary commensurate with experience.

Position Summary:
The Senior Communications Strategist for the UC Office of the President, the university's system-wide headquarters, is responsible for fielding media inquiries and pitching positive systemwide stories, in addition to developing materials for UC and for senior leaders, including press releases, statements, op-eds, and talking points. The person in this role will also help manage important issues and support strategy on messaging (such as developing media plans and rollouts), while serving as on on-the -record spokesperson for the university. Real-time media monitoring, compiling round-ups of news articles, and building dedicated media lists are also components of the job, with varying frequency.

We are seeking dynamic applicants who thrive on working on high-profile communications and issues, and have demonstrated:
-solid media instincts and a proven track record of working with reporters, including on handling media inquiries and proactive placement of stories

- a high level of proficiency in writing, especially for a complex organization and on behalf of senior leaders, with minimal editing and feedback necessary

- extensive experience with external strategy and messaging, while building consensus across stakeholders and departments

- the ability to juggle quick deadlines with long-term projects, combining speed and excellence in their everyday performance

- experience with digital platforms and outlets, and creatively leveraging their reach to achieve external messaging goals

- ideally, a passion for mission-driven, meaningful work and a familiarity with issues in higher education


Special Conditions of Employment:

Other Special Conditions of Employment:
Successful completion of a background check is required for this critical position.

Job Close Date:


Duty 1: Develops, executes and manages media strategies and plans, both to support the University's overall activities and to address potentially critical news coverage.

Conceives and develops proactive, positive story ideas.

Secure strong story placements to enhance the public's understanding and appreciation of the University and its contributions.

Provides support in communicating the University's brand through researching, writing and editing, press releases, fact sheets, online communications, and other similar products.

Coordinates closely with colleagues throughout the unit regarding communications strategy and materials to support messaging for high-priority projects.

Reviews existing communications strategies, establishes new ones as warranted, works collaboratively with senior leadership to improve issue-related communications.
Function:Media Strategy and Proactive Pitching
Percent: 50

Duty 2: Serves as a University spokesperson in a variety of media, responding to daily news media inquiries, promoting stories reflecting the university's public contributions, and cultivating positive, long term relationships with journalists.

Works closely with the Director in the development and execution of tactical media strategies and plans, both to support the University's overall activities and to address potentially critical news coverage.

Ensures that proactive media pitching is consistent with strategic messaging goals.

Works with staff in planning and execution of press conferences, press tours, conference calls and other interactions between University representatives and news media.

Monitors and compiles media coverage during major stories as they are breaking, and general news clips when necessary, for distribution to key staff throughout the University.
Function:Spokesperson Duties and Media Monitoring
Percent: 30

Duty 30: Works with subject-matter experts in the Office of the President and on the campuses to identify compelling UC stories for the news media and obtain accurate answers to reporter questions.

Communicates internally with key stakeholders regarding media activities, inquiries, and needs. Assesses risks and options inherent in various communications approaches and makes recommendations to senior leadership.
Function:Responding to Reporter Inquiries
Percent: 20

Job Requirements
Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.

Advanced knowledge of principles, practices, concepts, and technical requirements in news, media communications and media relations.

Five or more years of experience in deadline-driven journalism (preferred) or communications (media relations, public relations, public affairs, marketing, etc.) in a large, complex institution.

Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision to accomplish high-profile tasks and to meet multiple concurrent deadlines.

Advanced knowledge of the fundamentals of writing, grammar, syntax, style and advanced skills to write clear, engaging, compelling and effective copy appropriate to target audiences.

Excellent interpersonal and client relationship skills to develop collaborative and productive

Proven in-depth understanding of the roles, processes, protocols and opportunities of print, broadcast
and online media.

Advanced judgment, analytical and decision-making skills and advanced political acumen.

Advance knowledge of the University of California; its achievements, mission, vision, goals, objectives, programs, policies and infrastructure; and knowledge of issues in higher education as well as current Office of the President concerns and issues.

How to Apply
For complete job description and application instructions, visit:

About us
The University of California, one of the largest and most acclaimed institutions of higher learning in the world, is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. The University of California Office of the President is the corporate headquarters to the ten campuses, five medical centers and three Department of Energy National Labs and enrolls premier students from California, the nation and the world.

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, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status.

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