Public Relations Specialist III, News and Information – Office of Communications and Marketing | Knoxville

Regular Full-time, Pay Grade 41, Salary DOE&Q
The Office of Communications and Marketing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Public Relations Specialist III.
UT is the state’s flagship research university, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates, and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university, the institution fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement.
The Office of Communications and Marketing is dedicated to advancing the university’s reputation. Staff members support the institution’s mission and goals, promote its successes and achievements, inform and engage its stakeholders, and ensure the integrity of its brand. We craft audience-focused communications based on data, best-practices, and emerging trends. The division employs more than 50 full-time professionals across several cross-functional teams–Creative, Digital, Marketing, News, Special Events, Video, and WUOT 91.9FM.
The Public Relations Specialist III is a member of News and Information team within the Office of Communications and Marketing. The News and Information team works to promote and protect the brand of the university in a two-fold approach: critical communications and issues management, and strategic storytelling and content planning and execution.
The Public Relations Specialist III supports the assistant director of news and information with crisis communications and issues management planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The individual also closely collaborates with the Division of Diversity and Engagement for content planning, development, execution, and evaluation. The Division of Diversity and Engagement collaborates with campus and external communities to create inclusive learning and work environments.
The PR Specialist III is a strategic communicator who works to enhance the university’s image and manage its reputation. The position coordinates communications regarding multiple issues both internally and externally and functions as a key contributor responsible for producing written communications to support the university’ mission and communicate its values. The specialist values diversity, inclusion, teamwork, and a spirit of collaboration.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Working knowledge of communicating with a variety of audiences
  • Working knowledge of traditional and emerging media
  • Working knowledge of issues management and crisis communication
  • Solid knowledge of branding guidelines
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to assist with multiple issues
  • Meets deadlines
  • Strong research skills and ability to synthesize and organize data
  • Represents the university in a professional manner
  • Interacts well with campus partners, office staff, and UT administrators
  • Provides and is receptive to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Works independently and in a group setting
  • Desires to protect and promote the university’s reputation
Job Functions and Responsibilities
  • Supports assistant director of news and information with media inquiries and corresponding coverage; issues research; and collaborating with campus partners to assist in timely responses to inquiries related to crises, issues or reputational concerns.
  • Assists with planning efforts for known, foreseeable, and potential media issues
  • Drafts first copies of public-facing materials and messages
  • Generates content to reinforce university values
  • Monitors social media and other channels to anticipate and respond to issues in consultation with social team
  • Gathers and maintains data on higher education issues around the country and finds visual ways to share that data and how it applies to the university.
  • Maintains website content
  • Actively monitors and produces content for social media accounts
  • Writes, edits, and proofreads Divisional communications and other assignments
  • Coordinates, creates and distributes newsletters, annual reports, impact summaries and other digital and print collateral
  • Assists the assistant director with internal-focused materials
  • Drafts first copies of internal materials and messages
  • Collaborates and coordinates with key campus partners as needed for issues regarding media relations and issues management
  • Generates content ideas to enhance thought leadership
  • Assists with developing curriculum and organizing regular crisis communication and media relations training.
  • Monitors accuracy of facts, statistics, and claims about the university
  • Researches key topics and trends in higher education, especially with regards to difficult, complex, or politically charged issues
  • Provides on-call support
  • Other duties as assigned


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