Director, University Communications

The University of Vermont

Location: Burlington, Vermont

Type: Full Time

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Experience: Greater than 10 years

The University of Vermont is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the institution. Applicants are required to include in their cover letter information about how they will further this goal.

Posting Summary    

The Director of University Communications plans and executes national and global media relations activities in traditional and social media to build the reputation of UVM as a premier public research university. Responsibilities include timely identification, refinement, and execution of pitches to news outlets; story placements; writing of news stories and press materials; editing the work of others; monitoring and reporting on earned media coverage; organizing media events; and promoting faculty experts, research milestones, leadership initiatives, and other news that builds the University’s reputation. The Director supervises a staff of four, including two writers/editors, internal communications manager, and social media manager.

University Communications is the hub for media outreach, timely news, and information at UVM. In addition to media relations, the office is responsible for internal communications and university-wide coordination of social media. With the support of UVM Studios, University Communications is responsible for daily news and information for students, faculty, staff, and families; UVM’s flagship accounts on Twitter, facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn; and other news-related responsibilities.

The Director is responsible for closely monitoring the news cycle and anticipating topics that can be illuminated in national and global news by the voices and thought leadership of UVM faculty experts. The Director will establish and maintain productive relationships with communications staff embedded in the colleges, schools, institutes, and administrative divisions. Additionally, the Director will back-up the university spokesperson by serving in that capacity when required.

Reporting directly to the Chief Communications Officer and working in coordination with Strategic Communications leads, the Director will set and lead media strategy, play a key role in establishing and guiding processes for vetting story ideas and topic experts across the whole institution; and ensure consistent messaging across platforms.

Minimum Qualifications (or equivalent combination of education and experience) 

Bachelor’s degree.

At least 10 years professional experience in communications, public relations, media relations, journalism, or related field.

2 years supervisory experience.

A deep understanding of the traditional media (broadcast, print, digital) and social media landscape

Superb written and verbal communication skills.

Familiarity with national news outlets.

Understanding of media tracking and analytics packages such as Muck Rack, Cision, Google Analytics

Desirable Qualifications      

Experience placing stories in prominent outlets.

Experience providing editorial oversight.

Experience working in higher education or another large, complex organization.

Experience writing and editing science / technology / innovation stories.

Ability to navigate the expectations of multiple stakeholder groups.

Familiarity with UVM and the State of Vermont.

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