Job Opportunities

Senior Media Relations Officer (Public Affairs/Communications Specialist III)

Apply Now Job no: 532011
Work type: Staff
Location: San Diego
Categories: Unit 9 - CSUEU - Technical Support Services, Probationary, Full Time, Marketing/Communications, Telecommute eligible (work onsite as scheduled and/or as requested and telecommute as scheduled)



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Position Summary

Strategic Communications and Public Affairs (StratComm) is seeking an exceptional individual to join our team as the Senior Media Relations Officer.  

Under the supervision of the Senior Director of Media Relations and in teamwork with other members of StratComm, the Senior Media Relations Officer provides assistance in carrying out the initiatives and activities of the department. As a priority, candidates should have experience:

  • Identifying and facilitating earned media pitching opportunities in the greater San Diego region, as well as national markets. 

  • Monitoring media for trends and tracking media coverage through analytics.

  • Covering a diverse range of higher education topics, not limited to research, student experiences and campus initiatives, to include demonstrated experience reporting, researching, writing and editing. 

  • Facilitating multi-media projects through the utilization of photography and videography.

The position supports communication needs for StratComm and other SDSU divisions, departments and programs. This position, in reporting to the Senior Director of Media Relations, will perform a variety of tasks which include the following:

Media Management

  • Serve as the first point of contact for reporters searching for faculty/staff experts and other basic information on the campus; manage daily media inquiries. 

  • Cultivate, enhance and maintain relationships with key reporter contacts locally and nationally; build knowledge of targeted media outlets and media markets; identify opportunities for external, proactive media pitching, presentations and other public affairs activities that promote awareness and elevate the university’s subject-matter experts. Maintain the university’s Expert Directory website and regularly review for updates and necessary changes. 

  • Prepare daily media summaries and assessment of local, national and international media coverage, and prepare coverage reports. 

Communications Plan Development

  • As StratComm is the semi-centralized communications hub for university marketing, communications and community affairs, develop short- and long-term communications plans on a diverse range of university projects and initiatives through collaborative work with different departments and/or divisions; also, provide consultation through coaching and media preparation. 

  • Under the direction of the Associate Vice President and Chief Communications Officer and the Senior Director of Media Relations, serve a key role in crisis communications and emergency management.

Storytelling and Collaboration 

  • Research, interview, write and edit articles and produce multimedia content for SDSU NewsCenter, the SDSU Magazine, newsletters, fact sheets and develop messaging and scripts. 

  • As a representative of StratComm, attend meetings and events, and also serve as a member of university committees, as assigned.

  • As needed, periodically perform work and attend events outside standard business hours.

Competitive candidates have at least five years of experience, including experience within higher education or covering higher education; demonstrate flexibility, integrity and also a collaborative and compassion-driven leadership and partnership style; and are committed to diversity and inclusion. 

This is a full-time (1.0 time-base), benefits-eligible, permanent/probationary position. This position is designated exempt under FLSA and is not eligible for overtime compensation. Standard SDSU work hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but may vary based on operational needs. 

The position is approved for partial telecommuting with onsite work at the San Diego Campus on Monday and Wednesday. Please note that the incumbent may be called to campus on telecommuting days to support campus activities as needed.

Department Summary

StratComm serves as the official voice of San Diego State University and shares the President’s vision, values and priorities while articulating a unified message about the university’s unique story. Core service areas include crisis and issues management, marketing, news and media relations, social media, web and interactive communications, executive communications and visual communications, and government and community relations. We work together and with our partners across the institution and auxiliaries to promote the transformational diversity and impact of SDSU programs and achievements. StratComm develops and oversees content for SDSU’s main web pages and also for SDSU NewsCenter, flagship social media channels, video productions, photography and the SDSU Magazine. The department also manages presidential communication; projects related to issues management and crisis communications; internal communication to faculty, students and staff; and external communications to the greater campus community, media representatives and the general public.

Another important arm of StratComm is government and community relations, an area responsible for building and maintaining relationships with constituent groups. The area also has responsibility for advising SDSU faculty and administrators on projects, initiatives and strategies designed to support collaborative engagement and dialogue with agencies and community members. StratComm is also responsible for protecting and managing the SDSU brand through web and brand style guidelines along with graphic design services. StratComm leads the planning, coordination, and implementation of integrated marketing and communication strategies that support the mission of SDSU.

Education and Experience

Knowledge of the fundamentals of public affairs and/or media relations, and/or some exposure to marketing and marketing research. This background normally is obtained through a college degree, which includes relevant coursework in the field, and up to two years of related professional or technical experience. In addition, strong written and verbal communication skills with a solid foundation in grammar, spelling, and the composition of various communication vehicles are essential to initial entry to this classification.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and five years of related experience 

  • Experience in a higher education environment working in marketing, communications or public affairs

  • Established media contacts, including national and international media

  • Familiarity with the news media and the shifting media environment in the San Diego region, statewide and nationally

  • Familiarity with SDSU, its strategic plan, priorities and major initiatives and its multiple locations 

  • Experience producing basic multimedia assets for use in internal and external promotions; to include targeted media pitching. 

  • Experience writing for the web, social media and magazine features

  • Experience with a web-based content management systems and Photoshop

  • Basic Web posting and editing skills

  • Demonstrated understanding of AP style

  • Team-oriented, highly professional, and appreciation for diverse perspectives and experiences

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary upon appointment is not expected to exceed $6,834 per month.

Salary placement is determined by the education, experience, and qualifications the candidate brings to the position, internal equity, and the hiring department’s fiscal resources. 

San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. For more information regarding SDSU benefits, please click here.

CSU Classification Salary Range: $4,391 - $7,945 per month. 

Diversity and Community at SDSU

At SDSU, our diversity gives us power and benefits every single member of our community. 

Through our commitment to equity and inclusion, we encourage all members of our community to purposefully learn from one another through open and respectful dialogue and responsible engagement.

Principles of Community

For more information, click here.

Supplemental Information

Initial review of the required application materials, including cover letters and resumes, will begin on September 27, 2023.  To receive full consideration, apply by September 26, 2023. The position will remain open until filled.

The person holding this position is considered a ‘mandated reporter’ under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

San Diego State University is not a sponsoring agency for staff or management positions (e.g., H-1B visa). Applicants must currently be authorized to work in the United States on a full-time basis. Offers of employment are contingent upon the presentation of documents that demonstrate a person's identity and authorization to work in the United States, which are consistent with the provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. 

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.

SDSU is a smoke-free campus. For more information, please click here.

SDSU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

CSU welcomes candidates of all physical abilities to apply for positions. We provide reasonable accommodations to all applicants and invite applicants with questions, concerns, or needs during any part of the application or hiring process to contact Casie Martinez at 619/594-7901 or by email at Inquiries will be treated as confidential to the extent permitted by law.

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