University of Waterloo

  • Manager, Media Relations

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    Student Services
    5693 - VP University Relations-Commun
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $72,724 - $90,905
  • Overview

    Term: 1 year


    The position is responsible for creating, enhancing and maintaining media relations initiatives in support of a global media relations program with the goal of publicizing Waterloo’s academic and research excellence and positioning the institution as among the world’s best universities. The incumbent will support the university’s media and public relations community and broader outreach agenda, as well as supporting issues/crisis management activities, working both proactively and reactively, to ensure a positive reputation and outcome for the university.


    Planning and budgeting

    • Contributes to the development of the media relations strategy within an overall MSC strategic plan and the associated multi-year action plan and budget for the media relations program
    • Maintains the measures of effectiveness for media relations initiatives and for regular program evaluation


    Program development and execution

    • Develops and manages delivery of tactics to support the media relations strategy to meet established program targets:
      • Executing press outreach, attends media events, initiate media calls, develop collateral/press materials
      • Monitor university events and developments, identifying those with the greatest potential for being picked up by the media ensuring an emphasis on institutional priorities, specifically increasing the university’s research and international profiles
      • Gather information, conduct research, interview sources, and write a variety of materials for the media on a wide variety of subjects (e.g., news releases, social media releases and multi-media content in support of news releases); Strategize and tailor messages appropriately
    • Issues news releases on behalf of campus colleagues and the university; developing and maintaining distribution lists for news releases; increase both quality and quantity of earned media in selected and targeted media
    • Researches and identifies media targets; initiate, develop and steward relationships
    • Provides a superior experience for media contacts – reporters, editors, producers - to ensure Waterloo is the first point of contact for media by ensuring knowledgeable and timely response, immediate referrals to campus experts and appropriate follow-up
    • Contributes to the maintenance of the university’s news pages and the homepage news feed on the university’s website and working collaboratively with the digital initiatives team ensure best-in-class approaches and new technologies are identified and introduced
    • Maintainsan up-to-date and best-in-class experts guide and other materials to support and engage media
    • Provides excellent customer service to senior administration and academic and staff colleagues across campus including but not limited to the timely creation and distribution of the daily NewsWatch
    • Drafts correspondence and media messages to meet outreach needs at the request of senior administration and senior staff members and in consultation with the government relations team
    • Optimizes use of the double-ender studio for advancing media relations goals


    Quality control

    • Ensures excellent quality and consistency in all media materials
    • Focuses on the use of ‘plain language’ and multi-media to bring academic research to life for the media and general public is expected
    • Uses research and insights to develop and enhance media relations initiatives and will understand and apply media relations best practices


    Image and issues/crisis management

    • In conjunction with the Director, Media Relations & Issues Management, enhances the profile, image and reputation of the university in the media and general public in support of the university’s strategic plan
    • Supports the Issues Management team as needed and will have a role in executing the Crisis Communications plan


    Collaboration and outreach

    • Works closely with marketing and communications officers campus wide to identify opportunities for media engagement in alignment with stated goals, the communications calendar and the university’s priorities
    • Develops and builds strong relationships with university faculty and researchers
    • Provides support to campus experts who field media calls by providing training and tips on
    • responding to media inquiries
    • Performs media outreach by initiating, developing and maintaining superior working relationships with media reporters, editors and producers
    • Liaises with the public, media and government public relations offices (in consultation with government relations team) and the university’s internal community


    • Bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, communications, public relations orcommunicationsrelated field
    • At least 7 to 10 years of media relations experience with a proven track record in a complex, fastpaced environment
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; excellent editing skills
    • Critical thinking and excellent analytical skills to enable immediate and appropriate assessment of complex issues of concern to stakeholders including among others, the media, the public, and funders
    • Strong organizational skills and ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines
    • A service mind-set and a team approach to working with colleagues and media partners
    • Video production and photography experience a plus
    • Actively engaged in social media
    • Role may involve working outside of normal operating hours


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