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Assistant Director, Media Relations

Apply now Posting #: 3976
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Administrator, University Advancement

Position Title & Department:

 Assistant Director, Media Relations; University Advancement
Posting #


Department Description:

The Media Relations team is dedicated to connecting the University of San Diego with the wider community through the media.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:

The assistant director of Media Relations serves as a direct liaison to academic divisions and key university departments working with campus-wide marketing and communications teams to develop and implement proactive media pitches promoting faculty research, student success, special achievements, and select events. This position assists these units in the development of editorial calendars and strategies to enhance their reputations regionally, nationally, and internationally. The assistant director interacts with media outlets developing and producing news and feature coverage about members of the university community, initiatives, and events. This position works to establish and maintain excellent relationships with reporters, editors, and key news personnel at print and broadcast media, as well as to develop campus-wide news sources. This position responds to media requests for information or expert commentary in accordance with the messaging and strategies developed by the senior director and associate vice president for University Marketing and Communications. The assistant director produces multi-media stories for multiple platforms including print, electronic, social media, and broadcast. Through media relations, the assistant director works to increase awareness of USD’s mission, faculty thought leadership, and illustrate the case for philanthropic support of the institution and its programs, initiatives, and priorities. This position tracks analytics to show effectiveness of media relations outreach.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Media Relations

  • Write and distribute news and video releases, public service announcements, and media alerts for print, broadcast, and electronic media.
  • Conceptualize, shoot, and edit video packages for news outlets and other distribution channels to support academic divisions, athletics, and other key departments.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with campus colleagues to increase the generation of unique story pitches to Media Relations.
    Proactively pitch news and feature story ideas to the media and develop long-term projects to promote key people, programs, and initiatives within areas of responsibility.
  • Produce a consistent flow of features and news stories that effectively position USD, emphasize strategically important programs or developments, and differentiate the university from competitors.
  • Develop strong working relationships with local, regional, national, and international media, providing timely information and interviews to further strengthen USD’s position as a preferred news source.
  • Organize and orchestrate press conferences and other media events when appropriate.
  • Work to increase the visibility of the president, faculty, and key administrators as spokespersons in their respective areas of expertise.
  • Create a streamlined process to develop, write, and place OpEds from university thought leaders.
  • Work with the senior director to respond to negative, sensitive, or particularly impactful media issues.
  • Develop and maintain Media Relations website and social media channels to keep up with the demands and needs of local, national, and international news media.
  • Assist the senior director with creating new internal/external channels of communications like podcasts, newsletters, and other production channels.
  • Transport distinguished guests and USD personnel to media opportunities as needed.

Media and Digital Communications Support                                                                         

  • Work with the senior director and the director of Digital Communications to establish strategies for consistent communication and targeted messaging across the university.
  • In collaboration with the Digital Communications team, write contributing articles for the USD News Center and assist with USD social media strategy.
  •  Produce video press releases and increase storytelling across the university.
  • Help develop/guide video projects across campus to increase brand awareness with outside media sources and audiences.
  • Advance the Office of Media Relations’ digital footprint online and through social media.
  • Keep track of editorial calendars as well as measurement and analytics to show effectiveness of media relations outreach.
  • Assist the senior director with media training for select university thought leaders.
  • Liaise with internal web services team on website-related projects, such as website redesigns and feature enhancements.
  • Serve on planning committees for key university events, programs, and initiatives.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Special Conditions of Employment:

The University of San Diego is requiring all employees to follow our Covid-19 vaccine requirement process. https://www.sandiego.edu/onward/ 

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 


Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ability to think creatively and analytically, manage multiple tasks, and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent news judgment; strong conceptual and story development skills.
  • Bachelor’s degree required; in Journalism, English, or Communications preferred.
  • Minimum of three years’ experience in marketing, multi-media video editing or production; combination of media and university experience preferred.  
  • Fluency with shooting video, video development/editing programs. Experience working in Adobe Premiere Pro and with mobile editing software like iMovie and similar editing programs is preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills required as well as exceptional critical listening and thinking skills. Command of the English language, including AP writing style, and standard grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, and proofreading skill.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience managing social media accounts, and knowledge of standards and practices for different social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.).  
  • Ability to use reporting tools to synthesize and interpret data related to tracking media appearances.
  •  Solid word processing, web, database management, and social networking skills.
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends for events and during crisis situations, as needed.  Strong knowledge of the USD Catholic identity.
  • Commitment to the mission and values of USD.
  • Must be friendly and personable.
Performance Expectations: Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Strong sense of integrity and ethical conduct; able to deal effectively and diplomatically with diverse personalities; maintain tact and discretion in all interactions.
  • Cultural competency and sensitivity a must; ability to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints, demonstrate respect
    for others, adapt to different cultural settings; and accept cultural differences.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills. Ability to work well independently and with others in a team environment and under deadline pressure.
  • Ability to assume responsibility, problem solve, and exercise independent judgment when making decisions.
  • Understand the organizational structure and news process in print and broadcast media.
  • Ability to plan and execute media events.
  • Ability to write effectively for the web.
  • Strong knowledge of social media platforms.
    Proficient with website content management (CMS) tools; working knowledge of HTML, SEO, UI/UX design and web standards
    a plus.
  • Knowledge of cameras and comfortable learning to use a variety of camera styles (DSLR, video camera, cell phone).
  • Familiarity with photo editing software for image cropping, resizing and basic designing (Photoshop preferred).
  • Knowledge of USD’s policies and procedures.
Posting Salary:


$5,200 - $5,253.42 per month; Excellent Benefits. 

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package, to include medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University (with three year vesting period), and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits


Special Application Instructions:

Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click Apply Now to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at 619-260-6806, or email us at jobs@sandiego.edu

Additional Details:

Hours: 40 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled.

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Clery Act, the University of San Diego publishes a combined Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for review. This report includes institutional policies concerning: campus security; procedures for reporting crime, fire, and other emergencies; emergency response and evacuation procedures; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response standards and protocols; alcohol and drug policies; and statistics for the previous three years concerning reported crimes that occurred within the institutions Clery reportable geography. Individuals may request a print copy of the report at the University of San Diego Department of Public Safety, located in the Hughes Administration Center, Room 150.