GENERAL SUMMARY: The Associate Director of Media Relations and External Communications is responsible for leading, developing, and implementing comprehensive public relations programs and content strategies to generate media coverage for the Polsky Center in order to raise the external brand awareness of Polsky—locally, nationally, and globally. This position engages daily with Polsky Center leadership, staff, campus partners, media outlets, and external organizations in the entrepreneurial, technology, science, and business community.
Important components of this position include developing innovative media relations plans, securing speaking engagements and conference participation for Polsky thought leaders, managing award submissions, supporting annual rankings submissions, connecting with influencers, managing relationships with external partners, and developing creative and engaging content about Polsky startups and founders, press releases, and featured stories about the Polsky Center. In addition, this role supports new thought leadership strategies, partnerships and ecosystem participation, and overall marketing communications.
PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Lead all media relations activities for the Polsky Center by developing and executing successful communication plans and media strategies to garner coverage of the Polsky Center and its leadership in entrepreneurship education, venture creation, science innovation, technology commercialization, partnership development, and supporting South Side small businesses.
- Develop strong relationships with media relations and communications colleagues at the University and in the greater ecosystem to align on goals, processes, and best practices for securing media placements. Serve as Polsky Center’s representative for various media relations and external partnership working groups.
- Identify and develop strong relationships with media contacts at local, regional, national, and global media outlets, and serve as the primary contact for connecting reporters with Polsky subject-matter experts.
- Actively monitor all media coverage and mentions of the Polsky Center and provide summaries and key metrics of performance.
- Manage a pipeline of strategic content related to Polsky Center’s role in supporting the student experience at Booth and the rest of the University, businesses on Chicago’s South Side, and its successful track record in venture creation. Work with other marketing colleagues, campus partners, freelancers, and interns to increase the amount of high impact Polsky Center’s storytelling and brand-building efforts.
- Secure, coordinate, and support logistics for external speaking engagements (i.e., panels, keynotes, conferences, etc.) for Polsky Center leadership and team members.Prepare, train, and mentor senior leadership, startup founders, and researchers for media interviews and public speaking opportunities. Develop briefing documents and maintain a master list of all ecosystem opportunities and participation.
- Proactively seek out opportunities for the Polsky Center and affiliated startups/innovators/entrepreneurs to win awards, present at conferences, and receive other recognition. Recommend events where Polsky Center team members should attend in the ecosystem. Support annual rankings submissions.
- Develop a variety of communications on a frequent basis, including: press releases, profiles, featured stories, partnership announcements, cohort announcements, startup milestones, awards and rankings submissions, speaker proposals, speaker presentations, blog posts, and thought leadership projects, etc.
- Manage, collect, curate, and compile content for Polsky Center ongoing reporting including quarterly and annual reports as well as cross-departmental reporting for other departments and divisions.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCE:
- Bachelor's degree required, Master’s Degree preferred.
- A minimum eight years of media relations, public relations, marketing, sales, journalism, or partnership relations/development experience required.
- Experience pitching ideas and news stories required.
- Experience writing about startups, entrepreneurship, business, and/or innovation topics required.
- Proficiency in Microsoft office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) required.
- Excellent written and verbal communications skills required.
- Resourcefulness, creativity, detail-orientation, and ability to work independently required.
- Ability to effectively multi-task under deadlines, ask questions as necessary required.
- Ability to work effectively and collaboratively across all levels of the organization required.
- Demonstrated excellent customer service skills required.
- Willingness to take on additional duties, as assigned, required.
- Understanding of the Polsky Center’s programs, resources, mission and goals preferred.
- Experience managing large-scale or high-profile events preferred.
- Ability to travel between Hyde Park, downtown Chicago, and 53rd Street required, and flexibility to occasionally work late or start early for Polsky Center events required. This position will spend the majority of time in Hyde Park.
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information, please see the University’s Notice of Nondiscrimination. Academic job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5671 or email ACOppAdministrator@uchicago.edu with their request. Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-834-1841 or email email@example.com with their request.