University of Washington School of Public Health

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Director of Communications and Public Relations - UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences

Notice!This listing has expired and should not be applied for.
Location: Seattle, WA
Full-time position
Closing Date: open until filled
Job #11685
Posted: August 14, 2017

The UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS) has an outstanding opportunity for a Director of Communications and Public Relations. The Director of Communications and Public Relations is responsible for conveying and promoting the research, education, and service accomplishments, events and key individuals and teams. The Director develops and applies various public relations strategies through local, national and international outlets and other key influencers and stakeholders to effectively communicate key information to target audiences. 

The position reports to the Assistant Chair for Stakeholder Engagement and Administrator. The Director works with faculty, staff and students across the department and manages a team of web developers and designers, photographers and writers. The Director also partners with communication teams in the UW School of Public Health and other units on campus. Key audiences for media relations include legislators and staff, regional and national, state, and local government agency representatives, faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, prospective students, affiliated and unaffiliated friends of the department. 

The department’s Communications team provides strategic communications and marketing services across a variety of digital, print and physical platforms. This includes brand and identity management, digital strategies and web services, editorial and content strategies, visual communications, media and public relations, social media and integrated marketing campaigns. 

The Director serves as the department’s primary media and public relations advisor and lead. The position is responsible for positioning and promoting the department through traditional media, new media, public relations campaigns, internal communications and strategic relationships. The Director supervises two full-time and one part-time staff positions. 

This is a highly independent position with regular reporting to the department’s leadership team including the Chair, Associate and Assistant Chairs, and Administrator. The position requires strong and sound judgment in managing news and stakeholder requests, pitches and relationships. 

Primary duties and responsibilities include: 

  • Develop, implement and manage an annual media and public relations plan including overarching strategies and targeted campaigns that align with department, School, and team goals. 
  • Supervise staff and related activities including two web designer/developer and a part-time photographer/social media specialist. May supervise additional staff include writers, contract and salaried. 
  • Prioritize, target and promote the department’s research, academic achievements, service provision, news and activities through written, verbal, event and multimedia communications. 
  • Act as a liaison between the department and the media/public and serve as a primary liaison among media teams across the School and departments, University divisions and the central University team. 
  • Contribute to the writing, editing and targeted distribution of department communications including articles of various lengths, press releases and media advisories, etc. Supervise additional writers in the role of staff and contract contributors. 
  • Manage all media contacts and lists; cultivate relationships with journalists; maintain faculty expertise lists of key environmental and occupational health, public health, research and policy topics. 
  • Counsel faculty, staff, and students on issues related to the media including op-eds, while also heading regular media training for faculty and leadership. Provide guidance, direction, training, media release approvals and best practices to the faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Manage on-site (and possibly off-site) interviews, press conferences, news, video and film crews as required. 
  • Follow current events and trends, recommending topics to pitch with department and School experts, story ideas, op-eds, and PR campaigns. 
  • Manage the news and media section of the department’s website. Oversee, manage and grow the School’s social media channels and content. 
  • Manage and prioritize internal communication functions including key messages, strategies and channels in partnership with the department’s IT team. 
  • Assist in developing and managing short- and long-term relationships with key stakeholders such as APHA, ASPPH, corporations, foundations and philanthropies. 
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with the other School and department communications and marketing directors on integrated marketing and communication strategies, objectives and tactics. 
  • Assist the Chair, Assistant Chair, and Administrator with the University government affairs teams as well as providing communications and coordination with elected officials’ offices and government agency representatives. 
  • Manage tools for media and public relations distribution, research, and monitoring. 
  • Identify and engage external vendors on projects as required. 
  • Develop, manage and implement the media and public relations budgets. 
  • Develop and maintain policies, guidelines and best practice documents. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 



BA in communications, public relations, marketing or related field plus a minimum of five years related work experience combining communications, public information, public relations, and media relations is required. Experience in higher education and familiarity with translating complex scientific and technical concepts into content for a general audience a plus. 

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration. 

How to Apply:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Workforce Authorization, Criminal Conviction History, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

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