Employment opportunities

Position description

Position title: Media Relations Manager

Reports to: Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Position summary:

The media relations manager is responsible for developing and maintaining a dynamic and proactive media relations program, dispensing newsworthy information to the media, to the public and to the Saint Martin’s community. The manager works with faculty, staff, alumni, students, external media and other contacts to advance the visibility, goals and mission of the university, and disseminates pertinent news regarding the University’s history, stories, programs, special events and general information. The media relations manager scouts and researches story ideas, develops relationships with journalists and members of the Saint Martin’s community, and places stories and commentary to ensure that the university’s key messages reach target audiences. Directing systems to assure organized, consistent and reliable media relations, the media relations manager is critical to the success of the University’s marketing and communication efforts.

Mission and strategic plan

By providing leadership on communication efforts, the media relations manager ensures that the “story” of Saint Martin’s University is shared with campus, local, regional, national and global communities in a compelling way, so as to build awareness and support of the University. The manager serves as a resource and support to the Saint Martin’s community. As a conduit to both internal and external audiences, this position is instrumental in building broad awareness of Saint Martin’s mission of supporting students’ growth in faith, reason, service and community. The manager translates that mission, as well as the Benedictine values, into written communication pieces, and ensures that the University upholds standards of excellence in conveying its mission and values to broad audiences. Through the development of the University’s official communications, the media relations manager supports efforts throughout the campus community to meet the goals and objectives of the strategic plan.

Level of supervision and supervisory responsibility

General Supervision: The employee carries out recurring assignments without specific instruction. The supervisor intercedes and provides direction for only new or unusual problems which involve deviations from normal policies, procedures and work methods. The employee’s work is reviewed upon completion and only periodically to verify compliance with policies and procedures.

Responsibilities and essential functions

  • Builds a strong media relations program by: working extensively with other campus departments to garner newsworthy public relations stories, cultivating relationships with faculty, staff and students as sources for news and feature stories; working closely with the vice president for marketing and communications to develop story concepts and write compelling press releases, public service announcements and media advisories to place in local, regional and national news media; pitching news and features to print, electronic and online media through personal and telephone contact and distribution of news releases; developing media kits; disseminating news and updates, and maintaining media contacts, through social media; collecting, compiling and maintaining media contacts list/database; compiling and maintaining media clip archive, monitoring all press clippings and information sources for Saint Martin’s-related stories; communicating promptly and effectively to requests for response, research, quotes, photos, interviews and information from media contacts, gathering answers through communication with colleagues, usage of historical/archival material, student contact or outside sources; planning and implementing a hometown publicity program; developing and maintaining a faculty expert list, publishing to the website and promoting to the media; updating and maintaining media page(s) on website; serving as University spokesperson as needed.
  • Serves as lead writer for the Office of Marketing and Communications by: writing news, profiles and features for Insights, Saint Martin’s alumni magazine; writing copy for official University publications; coordinating with contract writers and photographers as needed; updating and maintaining house style guide and media guide; serving as a consultant on writing, editing and house style standards as needed.
  • Works with the director of event services to disseminate the master University calendar of events to external audiences.
  • In collaboration with the vice president of marketing and communications and the creative director, supports a marketing/advertising plan by identifying advertising opportunities and developing/maintaining positive working relationships with representatives for media, including newspapers, magazines, radio and television.
  • Remains current on trends, opportunities and challenges within higher education.
  • Performs related duties as assigned to support the mission of Saint Martin’s University.


  • Exemplary writing skills, adaptable for a range of purposes, including but not limited to media, internal communication, magazine, web, marketing and fundraising.
  • Exemplary proofing and copyediting skills; ability to communicate effectively and creatively, both verbally and in writing; thorough knowledge of English language, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage.
  • Mastery of Word and AP Style; ability to learn and apply the Saint Martin’s style guide to writing.
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact with diverse individuals and groups.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with media (reporters, photographers, editors, etc.), staff, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, supporters and the general public, in part to conduct effective interviews for stories.
  • Ability to work quickly, accurately and thoroughly, with attention to detail, in an environment of frequent interruptions and extremely tight timelines, while maintaining a calm and professional demeanor.
  • Ability to prioritize projects, to establish and meet deadlines, and to work effectively both in a team environment and in an independent manner with little supervision at times.
  • Ability to speak on behalf of the University under stressful conditions.
  • Ability to serve as a mentor-supervisor for student interns.
  • Exceptional organizational and project management skills with the ability to exercise a high degree of diplomacy, discretion, collaboration and problem solving.
  • Ability to listen to and respond to critique.
  • Working knowledge of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, Tumblr and YouTube.
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Willingness to support a Catholic, Benedictine philosophy of education.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, communications or related field.
  • Six years’ experience in the field of journalism, public relations, community relations or professional writing.
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills, and superior interpersonal communication skills.
  • Mastery of rules of grammar.
  • Experience in higher education preferred.
  • One year of project management experience preferred.
  • Successfully pass a criminal background check.

Physical demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Moves objects (less than 20 pounds) long distances (more than 20 feet)
  • Ability to be mobile traveling on and off campus for appropriate business needs
  • Operates a variety of standard office equipment requiring continuous or repetitive arm-hand movements
  • Reading, writing, speaking, hearing, standing, bending, sitting
  • Learning and comprehending
  • Requires visual concentration on detail
  • Manual dexterity and precision required for keyboarding
  • Must be able to sit for long periods at a time at a computer
  • May occasionally be required to deal with distraught people
  • Must be able to concentrate on details and process complex information while experiencing frequent interruptions
  • Must be able to communicate effectively with people at all levels under stressful conditions
  • Must maintain strict confidentiality relating to all issues in the department and the University.

The principles of the Catholic Benedictine tradition, equal employment opportunity, and nondiscrimination are fundamental to the mission, goals, and objectives of Saint Martin’s University. The University does not discriminate in employment or in the delivery or administration of its educational programs, policies, scholarship and loan programs, athletic or other University programs on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, race, color, religion (except as a bona fide occupational qualification for certain select positions), marital status, national or ethnic origin, military or veteran status, age, or disability.

Students or employees with concerns or complaints about discrimination on the basis of sex in employment or an education program or activity, or any other inquiries related to the University's non-discrimination policy, may contact the following individual:

Cynthia Johnson
Director of Human Resources/Title IX Coordinator
5000 Abbey Way SE, Lacey WA 98503

Consistent with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the regulations adopted under that law, the University has designated the above individual as the University's Title IX Officer, responsible for coordinating the University's Title IX compliance. Individuals may also contact the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 915 2nd Avenue, Room 3310 Seattle, WA 98174-1099, Telephone: (206) 220-7900, TDD: (206) 220-7907.