University of St. Thomas

Director of Public Relations

St. Paul
Nov 16, 2016
Feb 10, 2017
Job Type
Employment Status
Full Time

The University of St. Thomas invites qualified candidates to apply for a  Director of Public Relations position within the Marketing, Insights and Communications (MIC) Department.

The Director of Public Relations leads the development and execution of media strategies that create and uphold a positive public image for the University. The incumbent will establish strong relationships with various members of the media and the public and will work in partnership with the AVP, Marketing Strategy to develop proactive public relations strategies to enhance visibility for key St. Thomas initiatives. The Director will hire and lead a public relations staff whose job it is to receive media inquiries, prioritize messaging and reinforce strategic communication points. This position reports directly to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and these two will work closely together to determine a strategy to attract national attention for St. Thomas. The Director also serves as a key University spokesperson and as the University’s representative during events and will collaborate on external communications activities. As needed, they will also assist with crisis operations through the University Action and Response Team. Other duties will include consulting with University executives on media training/response, and preparing media releases, speeches or talking points.

1. Development of Public Relations Strategy − Direct public relations department within the University. Lead the development of PR strategies for the University as well as the schools/colleges/functions as required, including setting clear objectives, identifying key media audiences and ensuring consistent PR messaging. Edit and revise content as necessary.

2. Media Management – Work with media outlets to publish timely information, such as press releases, brochures, and other materials.  Manage relationships with media outlets.  Advise on social media community management strategies that support the PR function.

3. Collaboration with University and MIC Leaders – Provide visible leadership and expertise to assist University Leaders in setting strategic objectives & choosing compelling messaging.  Work closely with the MIC Leadership team to create an open, collaborative, results-oriented culture.

4. Team Leadership – Lead and manage media and public relations professionals.  This includes hiring, supervising, training and developing staff and direct report.  Create team-like environment whereby members are working toward similar outcomes and are able to cover for one another in someone’s absence.  Create joint accountability for results with internal client teams.

5. Vendor Management – When necessary or as needed, oversee the process for selecting external PR firms or related vendors.  Manage vendor relationships and contracts to ensure outcomes.

6. Other duties as required.      

This is a full-time, benefits eligible position. The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes medical, dental, vision, life, long-term care, legal, and disability insurance coverages. Offerings also include retirement plans, flexible spending accounts, a health savings account, and an employee assistance program. The University provides tuition remission to its employees, spouses, and dependents. In addition, the University values a healthy work/life balance and has generous provisions for paid time off.


Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related field, and 10 years of progressively responsible experience in a Public Relations or Public Relations lead position. An combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills have been acquired may be substituted.

Preferred qualifications: Master’s degree in Communications, Business Administration, or a related field.

Knowledge of:  Media contacts: A working knowledge of the Twin Cities media outlets and personnel.  Computer applications related to the work such as Microsoft Office Suite; principles and practices of writing effective media releases, speeches, and talking points.  The usage of correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation for written documents.

Skill in:  Strategic thinking/critical reasoning:  Must be a strong strategist with the ability to focus and prioritize.

PR: Ability to understand image, select appropriate messages, execute PR campaigns and interpret results.  Skill in editing and content revision is essential.  Ability to remain current with PR and media trends and changes in technology is also essential. Influence and Communication Skills: Skill in working collaboratively with leadership and clients on a regular basis. Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.  Ability to present ideas clearly and concisely and create enthusiasm among stakeholders. Comfort interacting with clients and internal staff alike. Leadership and Management Skills: Participate actively as a senior leader in the MIC department.  Ability to inspire and motivate team to a common goal.  Strong mentor and coach to direct reports.

Abilities:  Decision-Making Skills: Ability to meet deadlines and make timely decisions on final products.  Must be able to use independent judgment to fulfill the responsibilities of this position.

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.  The successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission statement.

In light of its commitment to create and maintain a safe learning and working environment, employment with the University of St. Thomas requires successful completion of a background screening.

The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota Human Resources Department advertises the official job listing on its website. If you are viewing this posting from a site other than “Jobs at St. Thomas”, the University assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information.

The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Special Instructions to Candidates:

Applicants will be asked to upload a resume to their profile and copy/paste a cover letter into the application.

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