Director of National Media Communications | PRSA-NCC
Home > Jobline > Director of National Media Communications

Director of National Media Communications

Job Type: 

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), Office of Public Affairs & Communications is currently seeking a Director of National Media Communications to proactively communicate the School’s expanding and exciting portfolio of biomedical and life sciences discoveries and clinical innovations.  Working on day-to-day basis with a full range of print, on-line, and broadcast news media, with a specific focus on national media communications, this position is responsible for developing and implementing the UMSOM's plan for generating local/regional/national and international media coverage of the School's medical and scientific research, programs and activities.  Serving as the primary liaison and point of contact for the news media at the UMSOM, the position creates news releases, announcements, and other critical and complex communications – including translating scientific research articles -- for both internal and external distribution.  The Senior Officer participates in UMSOM information-gathering efforts, cultivating faculty contacts, identifying newsworthy information and working closely with digital, broadcast, print and on-line media, representatives, reporters and health/ medical/ science editors to communicate strategic SOM stories.

Benefits Information:

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) offers a generous benefits package that includes 22 vacation days, 14 floating and holidays, 15 sick days; comprehensive health insurance and retirement options; and tuition remission for employees and their dependents at any of the University System of Maryland schools.

Essential Functions:

  • Develop and implement ongoing media relations strategies and initiatives that align with the mission and strategic priorities of the UMSOM– particularly those that related to the School’s mission of biomedical research, discovery and innovation.
  • Oversee operational effectiveness within the media relations function to maximize news distribution channels, streamline policies and procedures, ensure 24/7 news cycle coverage and a robust beat structure across basic science, clinical, and corporate areas.
  • Oversee production of public informational materials to a target audience, including the use of social-and multi-media. Researches, writes, edits, and summarizes information – often of a scientific or technical nature --to print, broadcast, and on-line media outlets.
  • React to/and interact with media representatives – particularly those who cover medicine, health care and life sciences -- to develop and maintain relationships, pitch School of Medicine academic and research programs and activities, and respond to media inquiries.
  • Proactively meet and work closely with School of Medicine faculty to identify opportunities for developing stories related to published research and other medical/ scientific discovery content.
  • Identify trends in the national and scientific/ health care media to keep abreast of current issues. Provide recommendations to place School of Medicine faculty members as experts and ensure stories are being directed to the most appropriate outlets.
  • Develop specific media relations plans and/or events with other departments and oversee the implementation of these projects as necessary, including the development of distribution procedures and contact lists. Ensure database files on assigned materials are kept up to date.
  • Identify and implement recommendations for improving return on investment for all media relations and corporate communications initiatives. Drive departmental innovation and performance improvement.
  • Contribute in the development and implementation of goals, policies, and fiscal plans for the department. Investigates irregularities and policy violations and implements or assure implementation of corrective action.
  • Supervise and mentor the work of all direct reports to ensure effective and efficient departmental functions. Promote positive employee relations and resolves departmental problems.
  • Serve as front-line spokesperson for schools and/or programs interacting with the public, the media, and others to enhance the university’s image. Develop and maintain strong working relationships.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.



Education:  Bachelors in Communications, Marketing, English, Journalism, or Business or relevant scientific/health care field.

Experience: Seven (7) years of national news media experience required with news writing, media relations or public affairs with a specific emphasis on medical/ science health care preferred.   Prefer experience in health care/ medical/ life sciences environment (e.g., agency, university, non-profit or corporation).

Supervisory Experience: Three (3) years of leadership and management experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Possess a strong understanding of scientific and medical issues and trends impacting the healthcare/academia along with the ability to create and capitalize on news-making opportunities, working closely with high profile faculty scientists and physicians.
  • Direct experience in working daily with national media organizations, including cultivating reporters and editors, proposing stories, and leveraging social communications.
  • Ability to work well in a fast-paced environment with multi-dimensional points of view and to take accountability for deliverables, and results; skill in managing multiple complex tasks and projects concurrently; exceptional organizational skills.
  • Skill in news style writing and verbal communication skills, (experience packaging stories for broadcast and web preferred), including ability to understand and communicate about scientific and medical research topics.
  • Self-motivated, self-directed and highly organized individual who will promote a productive, collegial workplace and serve as an effective, professional brand ambassador for the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
  • Skill as a liaison with clients, vendors, and staff members and effectively communicating their ideas, messages or instincts.
  • Ability to apply strategic and analytical thinking skills with communicating complex information to the public and visualize items for consistency, accuracy, and style and develop innovative information material.
  • Skill in mentoring less experienced staff and effectively distributing work assignments.
  • Skill in continuously seeking to improve the quality of services and processes.
  • Proficiency in utilizing Word and other Microsoft Office programs. Understanding and working knowledge of the Internet, social media, database and Internet applications. Understanding of media monitoring and measurement tools. Working knowledge of HTML and video editing skills preferred.

Hiring Range: Commensurate with education and experience



University of Maryland School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Commensurate with education and experience
How to Apply: 

To apply, please go to: click on “Staff Jobs” and search for Job Number: 1900004T

If accommodations are needed for a disability, please contact Staffing & Career Services at 410-706-2606, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST.  Maryland Relay can be accessed by dialing 711 (in-state) or 1-800-735-2258.

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  Minorities, women, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

University of Maryland School of Medicine