Position Purpose and Summary
The Director of Public Relations will provide leadership, advice, first responder responsibility, and proactive relationship development with media, influencers, academia, community, churches, and other key stakeholders in shaping and managing public opinion about Trinity Western University (TWU) and collaboratively represent the university consistent with the mission and vision.
Duties & Responsibilities
Develop Public Relations Plan:
Working collaboratively with the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Senior Vice President – External Relations, and the Executive Director of Marketing, work with faculties, schools, departments and external stakeholders to design and implement a coordinated public relations and media plan to build and enhance the university brand, and open new doors to influencers and media for telling the TWU story.
Prepare and Distribute Press Releases:
Write and execute campus press releases utilizing best practices for the various campus constituencies including academics, development, admissions, alumni, parents and others.
Coordinate Press Release campaigns with the Office of Research: Collaborate and partner with the Office of Research to highlight the research activities and accomplishments of faculty and students.
Coordinate Press Release campaigns with athletics:
Collaborate and partner with Spartan athletics when appropriate to extend distribution of press releases, or for development and placement of joint press releases.
Create stories and pitches that tell the TWU story:
Work collaboratively with Marketing & Communications, the Social Media team, academics, the Research Office, Spartan athletics, Student Life, TWUSA, the TWU Alumni Association, the TWU Richmond campus, the Laurentian Leadership Centre, and other influencers and stakeholders to source and develop TWU news and feature stories, media pitches, and other communications content that attracts traditional and non-traditional media coverage for the university. With this content, responsibility includes actively pitching stories and features to a broad group of media, influencers and digital media influencers, who reach the targeted core constituency of the university as well as the general media in the local, regional, national and global community.
Leverage student stories in local press:
Work with the office of the Provost, Spartan athletics, Student Life, individual faculties, TWUSA, and the Alumni Association to leverage student stories with local media from their hometown.
When it is not appropriate for the University President to serve as spokesperson to the media, the Director of Public Relations will serve this function.
Build relationships with media:
Build targeted media and influencer relationships, both mainstream, academic, and Christian, in the Fraser Valley and TWU student hometowns to build and advance the TWU brand through positive media exposure. In addition, build and maintain relationships with high-profile Vancouver and national Canadian mainstream media. This may include media research, monitoring and engaging with key journalists and outlets on social media, pitching via email and phone, and meeting in person with key journalists and/or independent writers to discuss stories.
Manage faculty expert database:
Manage a faculty/staff expert database to increase the reputation and influence of TWU in the media. This includes building and maintaining relationships and regular contact with faculty/staff experts in order to update staff and faculty profiles, ensuring biographies and areas of expertise are current, and highlighting regular featured issues and experts. It also includes monitoring of current key issues in mainstream media and recommending experts for comment.
Facilitate high-quality communication throughout the PR department. Knowledgeable of, and integrating best practices, act as public relations consultant for other university staff when requested. Ensure media and communications policies remain up to date and consistent.
Prepare for and Manage Crisis Communication Plan:
Work collaboratively with the Offices of the President and the Provost, the Senior Vice President – External Relations and other appropriate departments to manage crisis communications. Developing, maintaining and updating the campus crisis communication plan and implementing it when necessary. In a crisis situation, be responsible for managing external news, public statements, and press releases.
Collaborate external public relations with campus social media: In collaboration with marketing and social media team members, recommend and create PR-related content for TWU’s social media platforms.
Organize public relations events:
Working with the university events staff, marketing & communications staff, and other stakeholders, organize public relations events and press conferences when appropriate.
Prepare and submit public relations reports incorporating activity and productivity metrics.
Exhibit a servant-leader way of life:
Act in a manner that exemplifies Jesus Christ in all on and off campus contacts, thereby living out the servant leadership mission of the university and contributing effectively towards achieving TWU’s institutional and kingdom goals.
Job Standards and Requirements
BA in communications, Public Relations, journalism or related field, or equivalent combination of education and experience. Professional media training is a plus.
3-5 years of experience required in a Public Relations, journalism, or media relations role. Experience writing for publication and is a strong asset. Knowledge and understanding of Public Relations and media industry and the higher education industry.
Skills and Abilities
- Outstanding media writing and media interviewing skills.
- Excellent proofreading and editing skills.
- Acute eye for a story.
- Creativity, including the ability to connect TWU events, stories and professors to media trends.
- Highly developed interpersonal skills, including the ability to build positive relationships with faculty, university staff and stakeholders, media professionals, and other external contacts as required.
- Ability to think and work strategically, independently and confidently in a busy and challenging environment with diligence, timeliness, and strong attention to detail.
- Knowledge of collegiate athletics.
- Ability to handle sensitive information with trustworthiness, wisdom and discretion.
- Motivated, efficient self-starter who can build and manage administrative systems and adjust easily to change.
- Ability to solve problems, manage multiple projects simultaneously, meet tight deadlines, and prioritize accordingly.
- Ability to work under high-stress conditions.
- Social media savvy.
- Photography skills preferred.
Warm-hearted, dedicated, committed and mature Christian with a keen desire to serve in family, church, work and community. A firm commitment to TWU’s mission, values, Statement of Faith and Community Covenant. Impeccable character and reputation, and a pleasant personality with a positive and friendly attitude in the midst of a very busy and challenging university atmosphere.
Duties and responsibilities that do not constitute a major change may be added, deleted or changed at any time at the discretion of the supervisor either orally or in writing.
Senior Vice President – External Relations
Agreed to by:
SVP External Relations and ED Human Resources