External Relations Manager Vacancy
Communication Specialist III – Band F
CALS Office of Marketing and Communications
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)
Ithaca, New York
With more than 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 350 faculty and 1,200 staff, and upwards of 45,000 living alumni, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is the second-largest undergraduate college at Cornell University and the third largest college of its kind in the United States. In national surveys, CALS ranks as the best college of agriculture and related sciences in the country. Our teaching and research facilities are among the finest available. The College's educational programs are carefully designed to ensure that every student's education is geared to contemporary, real-world issues. Faculty, staff, and students at CALS are at the cutting edge of research in the life sciences, environmental sustainability, agricultural science, economic development, communication and information science. The land-grant mission of the College, which encompasses research, education, and extension programs, allows for the creation and dissemination of knowledge that makes a difference for students, the citizens of New York, the nation, and people around the globe.
The CALS Office of Marketing and Communications is responsible for the internal and external relations efforts for the college. From covering college news to publishing our alumni magazine, CALS Marketing and Communications promotes the groundbreaking scientific discoveries and internationally renowned expertise of our faculty and staff. Other areas of responsibility for the office include the marketing of CALS programs and initiatives, overseeing the college's social media and web presence, producing events, and performing crisis and strategic communications leadership. In addition, through effective media strategies and in partnership with the Cornell University Media Relations office, CALS Marketing and Communications places breaking news and expert commentary from CALS personnel in regional, national, and international publications.
To assist in providing strategic direction for these services, the Office of Marketing and Communications seeks an accomplished communications professional with a demonstrated record of success in media relations planning, implementation and placement to serve as its External Relations Manager. We are looking for a highly-motivated and creative communicator – ideally with a background in science, health, agriculture or food-related communications – to help translate complex research findings in the social and life sciences to diverse audiences and gain authority for the college within our areas of expertise.
As a key member of the team, the Manager will be responsible for proactively developing and executing strategies that enhance CALS' reputation with thought leaders, industry influencers and media while driving positive publicity and exposure for the college's students, alumni, and faculty/staff. The Manager will also be required to understand, steward, and improve the presence of CALS in the broader Cornell context. The successful candidate will have a minimum of 5-7 years of substantial full-time professional media relations, communications or public affairs experience. Solid professional judgment, exceptional interpersonal skills, and relevant media contacts are key criteria sought in candidates. Also of interest are those with experience as a spokesperson for a high-profile institution and demonstrated knowledge of news media operations and protocols, especially in the news-gathering process. This position reports to the Assistant Dean, Office of Marketing and Communications.
Specific duties include:
- Establish and maintain effective and collaborative relationships with college personnel, and staff in Cornell's University Communications division and other University offices, to co-create, share and disseminate research findings and other content. Research, list build, pitch, and maintain ongoing relationships with broadcast, print, and online media outlets, professional organizations, and bloggers/social influencers (the latter working with the Social Media Officer).
- Propose, write and disseminate, including via email, the website and social media, news releases and other promotional content describing scientific events and discoveries, publications, lectures, and related activities to local and national media groups, and monitor and report on media pickup.
- Work closely with Office of Marketing and Communications colleagues to develop and implement print, TV, and social media communications strategy plans, and to create, disseminate, and promote research and other content.
- Manage all unsolicited incoming media queries to the Marketing and Communications office and work with college leadership/faculty/staff and University Communications to fulfill those requests in a timely fashion.
- Development of story angles, pitch strategies, messages, interview briefs, and propose and write thought leadership pieces related to strategic messaging priorities on behalf of college leadership and faculty.
- Organize and/or serve as primary media contact at various special and media events, to include attending and managing media, including travel outside of the Ithaca, NY, area.
- Assist in preparing articles for placement in college publications that reach alumni, friends and supporters of the College.
- In concert with University Communications, offer media, social media, and op-ed training for interested CALS faculty and administrators.
- Identifies and develops resources (i.e. faculty expert list) that facilitate timely responses and tools that demonstrate ROI.
- Other duties as assigned.
Bachelor's degree in communications or related field, 5-7 years related experience.
Ability to write and develop a variety of technical information materials such as science-related press releases, articles, background summaries, fact sheets, and feature stories. Skill in evaluating newsworthiness, messages, target audiences and dissemination strategies. Ability to understand image, select appropriate messages, author and execute PR campaigns and interpret results. Ability to remain current with PR and media trends and changes in technology is essential. Ability to present ideas clearly and concisely and create enthusiasm among stakeholders. Experience with project management and the ability to manage multiple projects and competing priorities simultaneously. Positive outlook and attitude-someone who naturally builds good rapport with team members. Outgoing self-starter who meets deadlines and makes timely decisions on final products. Utility player who can step into multiple situations as needed and can effectively cope with stressful situations. Experience collaborating with cross-functional team members to ensure information is shared, projects are completed on time, and goals are reached. Must have solid understanding of social media space as it relates to public relations.
Demonstrable proficiency in Microsoft Office products. Effectively communicate, both up and down the management chain. Strong mental acuity, creativity and curiosity. Experience with market research and data analysis. Ability to customize communications to audiences having different levels of comprehension, professional audiences or points of view. Adheres to journalistic standards for fact-finding, research, verification, and style. A passion for education, and a positive "can-do," spirit. Some travel may be required for face-to-face meetings or industry events, estimated to be 5% of time or less. Possession of a valid US passport without travel restrictions and a valid U.S. driver's license is required. Must have the flexibility to work more than 40 hours per week when business needs warrant.
Experience interpreting complex scientific research results for diverse audiences of varying levels of scientific understanding; Experience managing, maintaining, and updating a public-facing website; Experience developing social media outreach campaigns using a variety of platforms such as Twitter, Facebook; Video production/editing, graphic design skills, and/or event organizing experience is a plus; Understanding how to implement integrated issue campaigns across channels including digital and print; Experience managing budgets and contractors; Experience advising and supporting C- level executives.
Driver and background check may be required
No visa sponsorship is available for this position.
No relocation assistance is available for this position.
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Knowledge with Public Purpose.
Applications without a cover letter will not be considered—therefore, when applying through our system, please remember to attach your application materials (Resume/Cover Letter/CV) in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. In the Experience section of your application, use the Paperclip icon to search for file(s) or use the 'Drop Files Here' box to manually drag document(s) into your application. For a more detailed description and instructions on how to apply online please click here as an external candidate or click here if you are an internal candidate.
Please note: Cornell Employees must apply through the Internal Cornell Career site.
University Job Title:Communication Spec III
Pay Rate Type:Salary
Contact Name:Shan Varma
Number of Openings:1
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