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Public Information Specialist - UW News, Health Sciences - University of Washington

Notice!This listing has expired and should not be applied for.
Full-time position
Closing Date: open until filled
Job #12718
Posted: June 15, 2018

University Advancement, UW News Office,  has an outstanding opportunity for a Public Information Specialist. 

This Public Information Specialist in the UW News office covers the interdisciplinary work being done as part of the UW’s Population Health Initiative and health sciences research in the schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Public Health. This individual will serve as a public information specialist to identify stories on research and related educational projects that have the best potential for attracting state, regional, or national/international news coverage. S/he will then decide on the best way to market these stories to the appropriate news media. Much of the subject matter will be of a scientific or technical nature, so the ability to translate the language of academic and health-related research into language meaningful to the average reader is essential. The Public Information Specialist will identify stories on research, education and related matters that have the best potential for attracting interest from a variety of media outlets and significant readership on UW websites. The position requires initiative in identifying and developing stories that can stand on their own or be used as raw material for reporters, broadcasters, or other news and information sources. The individual should be able to use creative approaches and to function with substantial autonomy in decision-making. 

While there is a significant amount of traditional reporting and writing in this position, it also requires a high degree of internal and external communication when working with researchers and administrators on campus, and reporters and editors at news outlets, respectively. This position will also have the flexibility to work on additional projects, such as media/interview training for faculty and other researchers, as well as editing and placing op-ed and analysis pieces by university researchers. The successful candidate would also help the UW News office expand into new projects and initiatives, such as coordinating community events featuring UW experts, and overseeing the production of content that connects the UW with the wider community and advances the Population Health initiative. 

The employee should have experience editing written pieces for grammar, AP style, flow and readability, and will join a team of writers that regularly peer-edits releases and stories before publication. 


Duties and Responsibilities 


Identify stories on research and education that have the best potential for attracting state, regional, or national/international news coverage, as well as stories that are most likely to be of interest to UW friends and constituents. 

Decide on the best ways to make the story available to a variety of audiences, including the news media. 

Demonstrate excellent writing and editing skills. 

Edit and write news releases, arrange interviews, develop and provide media training, and otherwise facilitate contact between students and faculty and reporters in the national, local and student media. 

Media Relations 

Handle incoming calls from members of the media seeking experts on various topics. 

Keep an eye on developing news and identify which UW experts can speak on various topics. 

Pitch story ideas to regional, state and national/international news outlets. 

Internal Relations 

Provide expert public affairs advice and training, as needed, to faculty and administrators. 

Develop collaborative relationships with academic and administrative units across the university. 

This role reports to the Senior Director for Media Relations in the UW News office, and works closely with communications managers in the schools of Public Health, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry, and with leaders of the Population Health Initiative. 

Rough breakdown of duties: Researching and writing stories/releases (40%), responding to media requests, pitching UW experts to media (40%), social media outreach (10%), and other duties (10%). 


This position requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism or a related field and 3-4 years’ experience in writing and communications for nonprofit, government or higher education institutions, news media and/or public relations. 

The position requires an individual who is willing to experiment, enjoys working in a collaborative environment and has the necessary skills to manage expectations of diverse groups of faculty and administrators. 

Excellent communication skills and demonstrated familiarity with the rapidly changing technology and media environment, and various platforms of news dissemination are essential. Experience in developing multimedia products is desirable. Knowledge of how to work with digital media, including social media, and willingness to experiment are required. 

Must be an excellent writer/editor, with the proven ability to craft strategic content and messages from multiple voices, for a variety of audiences. 

Experience in using a variety of media – including audio, video and social media – is highly desirable. 

Demonstrated strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for correspondence, special reports, spreadsheets, databases, forms, etc. 

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

How to Apply:


Application Process: 
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 Work Authorization, 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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