University of Massachusetts Amherst Associate Director of News & Media Relation in Amherst, Massachusetts

Associate Director of News & Media Relation

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Job no: 496317

Work type: Staff Full Time

Location: UMass Amherst

Department: News and Media Relations

Union: Non-Unit Exempt

Categories: Public Relations, Marketing, Communications

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.

Job Summary

The Associate Director implements news media and public information strategies for both external and internal audiences. Manages day-to-day staff activities in newsgathering, writing and media relations; acts as a spokesperson for the University, and serves as a member of the emergency communications team. The job requires being available outside normal business hours, including evenings and weekends.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Assists the Executive Director in establishing external and internal communication and media strategies. Implements a media and internal communications plan that promotes the achievements and distinctions of the campus community, including faculty, students, staff and alumni.

  • Directs staff, makes assignments, including newsgathering, writing, media relations (including social media outreach to the press), calendar listings and website postings. Copy-edits and supervises distribution of news releases, media advisories, broadcast e-mail and other communications distributed regionally, nationally and internationally.

  • Oversees production and distribution of the Inside UMass website and newsletter as well as the Daily News Summary. Provides guidance on video, photography and social media as needed.

  • Responds to inquiries from media outlets. Speaks regularly with the press, serving as a University spokesperson as designated by the Executive Director.

  • Serves on the emergency communications team and serves as a principal back-up for emergency communications. Works as a public information officer during an emergency and its aftermath.

  • Collaborates with University Relations colleagues as well as faculty and staff across the institution.


  • Education Level: Bachelor’s degree

  • Major/ Area of Study: Journalism, Public Relations, Communication or a related field.

  • Years of Experience: 5

  • Details: Experience in communications, journalism, public relations or a related field, including a background in news and media relations and social media.

Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including the ability to accurately translate technical or scholarly information into common language.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills to work collaboratively with people in University Relations, all levels of the University community, the public and members of the press.

  • Excellent organizational and detail-oriented skills.

  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • Good judgment, discretion and the ability to think quickly and work under pressure.

  • Strong time-management abilities.

Salary Information

Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications (Level 29)

Special Instructions for Applicants

Applicants should apply by the priority deadline of November 13, 2018 in order to ensure consideration. Please apply on line: APPLY NOW and submit a letter of interest, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references.

On-Campus applicants are defined as Amherst Campus non-student employees.

UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University. To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Advertised: Oct 26 2018 Eastern Daylight Time

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