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Director of Media & Public Relations, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

General Description

The Director of Media and Public Relations is responsible for promoting and positioning the research, education, practice, accomplishments, events and key individuals or teams of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health through media engagement and public relations strategies with local, national and international outlets and other key influencers and stakeholders.

The position is based within the Communications and Marketing Team, Office of External Affairs (OEA). The director works on projects for OEA, for internal clients across the School and at times on initiatives within the University. Key audiences include faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors, prospective students, affiliated and unaffiliated friends of the School.


The Office of External Affairs encompasses three teams: 1) Communications and Marketing; 2) Development and Constituent Relations and 3) Finance and Administration.

The award-winning Communications and Marketing team provides strategic communications, external and internal communications and marketing services for the School across a variety of digital, print and physical platforms. This includes brand and identity management, digital strategies and web services, editorial and content strategies, visual communications, media and public relations, social media and integrated marketing campaigns.

The School recently completed its Centennial year and is in the final year of a University- wide fundraising campaign, Rising to the Challenge. As the #1 school of public health in the country and the oldest independent, degree-granting school of public health in the world, the Office of External Affairs offers unparalleled opportunities for creative work at the highest levels.

The Director of Media and Public Relations serves as the School's primary media and public relations manager. The position is responsible for positioning and promoting the School through traditional media, new media, public relations campaigns, internal communications and strategic relationships. The position supervises four staff positions.

The position works in both a highly independent and collaborative capacity to advance the School's position and brand awareness, developing and introducing new initiatives to ensure the School's reputation is at the forefront of public health education, leadership and practice. This is a high-profile internal and external position, serving as one of the primary spokespeople for the School.

Primary duties and responsibilities include:

Develop, implement and manage an annual media and public relations plan including overarching strategies and targeted campaigns that align with School, office and team goals.

Supervise four staff and related activities including an associate director of media and public relations, a digital media manager, a social media specialist and an internal communications coordinator.

Prioritize, target and promote the School's research, news and activities through written, verbal, event and multimedia communications.

Act as a liaison between the School and the media/public and a primary liaison among media teams across University divisions and the central University team.

Write and target distribution of press releases and media advisories.

Manage all media contacts including media contacts lists; cultivate relationships with journalists; maintain faculty experts lists of key public health, research and policy topics.

Assist with and at times lead emergency and crisis communications working with School- and University-wide crisis and risk management teams and systems.

Counsel faculty and staff on issues related to the media including op-eds, while also leading regular media training for faculty and leadership.

Manage on-site (and possibly off-site) interviews, press conferences, news, video and film crews as required.

Follow current events and trends, recommending topics to pitch with School experts, story ideas, op-eds, and PR campaigns.

Manage the news and media section of the School's website.

Manage and prioritize internal communication functions including key messages, strategies and channels such as Listservs and digital signage.

Oversee, manage and grow the School's social media channels and content.

Assist in developing or managing short- and long-term relationships with key stakeholders and influencers such as APHA, ASPPH, corporations, foundations and philanthropies.

Work proactively and collaboratively with the communications and marketing directors on integrated marketing and communication strategies, objectives and tactics for team, office and School goals.

Provide guidance, direction, training, media release approvals and best practices to the 70+ School communications associates.

Work with the University and School government affairs teams as well as providing communications and coordination with elected officials' offices.

Manage tools for media and public relations distribution, research, monitoring and ROI including Cision.

Identify and engage external vendors on projects as required.

Develop, manage and implement the media and public relations budgets.

Develop and maintain policies, guidelines and best practice documents.

Other duties as assigned.

Degree of Independent Action Performed on the Job:

This is a highly independent position with regular reporting to the Sr. Director of Communications and Marketing. It requires someone who uses strong and sound judgment in managing news and stakeholder requests, pitches and relationships.

The position works directly and closely with the Dean of the School, associate deans, department chairs, faculty, staff, students, government affairs and media representatives across The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.


Bachelor's degree in related field required.

Minimum eight (8) years related work experience in journalism/public information/public relations/media relations required.

Proven excellence in writing, editing, presentation, copy editing and public speaking with knowledge of AP style.

Skills and Knowledge:

Experience in higher education a plus.

Qualified candidate must have strong organization skills and be able to communicate scientific information precisely, interestingly and objectively in written and verbal form, enticing a reporter to cover the story.

A keen and proven judgment for news and other problem-solving skills are critical.

Experience in creating integrated public relations campaigns with short- and long term impact ideal.

Candidates must be able to move throughout the campus and direct media outlets that come for interviews.

Qualified candidate must be able to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information, must be flexible, professional, and is on call 24/7 with the ability to handle weekend and evening assignments as needed.

A sense of urgency in response, decision-making and service to relationships is important.

The ability to work on a team, contribute to and oversee multiple projects, along with demonstration of critical thinking and working alongside others.

Regular travel may be required across the University campus and to external events and locations locally, nationally or internationally.

Application Requirements:

Writing samples relevant to this position should be submitted along with resume and app

Preferred Qualifications

Master's degree preferred.

Minimum two (2) years of staff management experience preferred.

Social media experience or oversight of social media functions preferred.

Candidates with experience focusing on public health, science communications, and a demonstrated ability to market story ideas with the media and influencers, both regionally and nationally, are preferred.

Candidates with firsthand knowledge of international and national media outlets, both print and electronic, and the understanding of the School's multiple external audiences, donors, potential students, alumni and friends are preferred.

Internal Number: 315072-15684

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