Media Relations & Communications Specialist

JOB TITLE: Media Relations and Communications Specialist

DEPARTMENT:  Marketing

REPORTS TO:  AVP for Marketing


This innovative, creative and forward-thinking Media Relations and Communications Specialist is responsible for leading and enhancing a long-term and national communications strategy to increase brand reach, enhance perception and advance University of the Arts’ institutional priorities. This individual will advance the University’s efforts to broadcast our mission, and to effectively tell stories of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and programs. The specialist will work tirelessly to ensure these are visible and consistent across external marketing channels, as well as internally within the UArts community.


The specialist will navigate, collaborate and successfully manage organizational relationships to develop and implement a proactive external communications and media relations strategy. In addition, the specialist may advise, collaborate and draft internal and executive communications.                         


The specialist reports to the AVP for Marketing and is part of a high-functioning collaborative team. The specialist is expected to collaborate effectively with both academic and administrative leaders, cultivating particularly strong partnerships with key colleagues in Admissions, Advancement, external-facing galleries and spaces, the President’s Office, and schools and programs. The success of this role is contingent upon the individual’s ability to work closely and cohesively with these teams and to develop communications and strategy with the strengths and needs of these teams at the forefront.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

                    Develops a proactive public relations strategy and plan using all available communication tools and channels

                    Develops and nurtures strong press and community relations; responds to media inquiries and serves as spokesperson for the University

                    Reviews, edits, writes and directs key newsletters

                    Identifies and writes the stories that best elevate and support University priorities and recruitment

                    Act in a confidential capacity to the senior leadership, utilizing privileged and/or highly sensitive information to prepare communications plans and statements in high-leverage contexts and as needed, to relay comments to the press

                    Serves as a resource across the University to ensure the alignment of key messages across schools, programs, departments and functions

                    Working with the AVP for Marketing, ensures that all institutional communications effectively reflect and advance the culture, values and beliefs of the University

                    Works closely with the Chief of Staff to prepare presidential talking points, letters and remarks as needed

                    Creates and maintains strong relationships with all University stakeholder groups, including students, alumni, staff and faculty

                    Regularly attends and assists with communications for key University events, both on and off campus

                    Writes and disseminates university-wide announcements, including University alerts for local media

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by the incumbent; they do not purport to describe all functions.  Incumbent may be assigned other duties, and the essential functions may change from time to time as necessary.


                    Bachelor’s degree required. 


                    More than five years of proven experience in producing and managing complex communications projects

                    Proven experience as an excellent storyteller, writer, copywriter and editor with a strong grasp of developing strategic messaging, maintaining tone and voice, and grammar

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

                    Ability to work as an effective team player and collaborator

                    Exceptional communications skills; demonstrated mastery of nuances in both oral and written communications and presentations

                    Exceptional critical thinking skills

                    Demonstrated ability to build strong, sustainable relationships across diverse groups of stakeholders, and to understand and address specific needs and priorities of each audience in communications

                    Ambitious and proactive; independent work ethic; ability to produce polished material quickly

                    Familiarity with the local press; significant relationships and understanding of local context preferred

                    Familiarity with niche media channels in the arts is helpful, but not essential

                    Driven by curiosity, with a rapid learning curve of new subjects / topics

                    Values diverse perspectives, ideas and people; is able to address delicate topics deftly and sensitively

                    Ability to work collaboratively and establish trust and rapport among colleagues

                    Ability to work in confidence and keep sensitive information private

                    Ability to connect disparate content and concepts in service of institutional mission

                    Ability to work on campus regularly, attend and assist with key events, and work evenings and weekends as needed

Supervisory Responsibility:


About The University:

The mission of the University of the Arts is to advance human creativity. With a history stretching back to 1876, UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success in today’s society, and has educated generations of innovative artists, performers, designers, and creative leaders for nearly 150 years. After being granted university status in 1987, University of the Arts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater, and writing. It now features 28 undergraduate arts majors, 12 graduate programs, and the nation’s first PhD program in Creativity. UArts is also home to innovative centers across disciplines, including the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, and the Center for Immersive Media. Learn more about UArts.


TO APPLY: Interested, qualified applicants should submit letters of application and resumes to the Human Resources Department via email to Please ensure job title is in the Subject line.

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