Public Relations Specialist III, News and Information – Office of Communications and Marketing

26 Aug, 2020


Public Relations Specialist III, News and Information – Office of Communications and Marketing

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN
Regular Full-time, Pay Grade 41, Salary DOE&Q
The Office of Communications and Marketing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, seeks applications and nominations for the position of Public Relations Specialist III.
UT is the state’s flagship research university, a campus of choice for outstanding undergraduates, and a premier graduate institution. As a land-grant university, the institution fulfills its access mission through a commitment to excellence in learning, scholarship, and engagement.
The Office of Communications and Marketing is dedicated to advancing the university’s reputation. Staff members support the institution’s mission and goals, promote its successes and achievements, inform and engage its stakeholders, and ensure the integrity of its brand. We craft audience-focused communications based on data, best-practices, and emerging trends. The division employs more than 50 full-time professionals across several cross-functional teams—Creative, Digital, Marketing, News, Special Events, Video, and WUOT 91.9FM.
The Public Relations Specialist III is a member of News and Information team within the Office of Communications and Marketing. The News and Information team works to promote and protect the brand of the university in a two-fold approach: critical communications and issues management, and strategic storytelling and content planning and execution.
The Public Relations Specialist III supports the assistant director of news and information with crisis communications and issues management planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The individual also closely collaborates with the Division of Diversity and Engagement for content planning, development, execution, and evaluation. The Division of Diversity and Engagement collaborates with campus and external communities to create inclusive learning and work environments.
The PR Specialist III is a strategic communicator who works to enhance the university’s image and manage its reputation. The position coordinates communications regarding multiple issues both internally and externally and functions as a key contributor responsible for producing written communications to support the university’ mission and communicate its values.  The specialist values diversity, inclusion, teamwork, and a spirit of collaboration.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Working knowledge of communicating with a variety of audiences
Working knowledge of traditional and emerging media
Working knowledge of issues management and crisis communication
Solid knowledge of branding guidelines
Good writing skills
Ability to assist with multiple issues
Meets deadlines
Strong research skills and ability to synthesize and organize data
Represents the university in a professional manner
Interacts well with campus partners, office staff, and UT administrators
Provides and is receptive to feedback and constructive criticism
Works independently and in a group setting
Desires to protect and promote the university’s reputation
Job Functions and Responsibilities
Supports assistant director of news and information with media inquiries and corresponding coverage; issues research; and collaborating with campus partners to assist in timely responses to inquiries related to crises, issues or reputational concerns.
Assists with planning efforts for known, foreseeable, and potential media issues
Drafts first copies of public-facing materials and messages
Generates content to reinforce university values
Monitors social media and other channels to anticipate and respond to issues in consultation with social team
Gathers and maintains data on higher education issues around the country and finds visual ways to share that data and how it applies to the university.
Maintains website content
Actively monitors and produces content for social media accounts
Writes, edits, and proofreads Divisional communications and other assignments
Coordinates, creates and distributes newsletters, annual reports, impact summaries and other digital and print collateral
Assists the assistant director with internal-focused materials
Drafts first copies of internal materials and messages
Collaborates and coordinates with key campus partners as needed for issues regarding media relations and issues management
Generates content ideas to enhance thought leadership
Assists with developing curriculum and organizing regular crisis communication and media relations training.
Monitors accuracy of facts, statistics, and claims about the university
Researches key topics and trends in higher education, especially with regards to difficult, complex, or politically charged issues
Provides on-call support
Other duties as assigned


Required: a bachelor’s degree in communications; public relations; advertising; the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
At least four years of public relations or related communications experience directly related to the duties and responsibilities specified.
Salary is dependent on qualifications and experience.
The university offers a highly competitive benefits package that includes health insurance and retirement plans through the State of Tennessee, generous annual and sick leave accruals, longevity pay, tuition waivers and discounts, discounted athletics tickets, and more.
To Apply
A review of all applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For full consideration, applicants must apply electronically through Taleo and submit a cover letter, resume, and the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references.
About the Office
The Office of Communications and Marketing is the centralized office responsible for promoting, protecting, and managing the reputation of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We advocate for the university’s interests by sharing its accomplishments and being stewards of the brand. We are a group of individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests who share a sense of creativity and a commitment to the university.
Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-08-26