Director of Public Relations

University of St. Thomas


The University of St. Thomas invites qualified candidates to apply for the role of Director of Public Relations within the department of Marketing, Insights, and Communications.

The University of St. Thomas embraces diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all. Our convictions of dignity, diversity and personal attention call us to embody and champion a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. We welcome applicants of diverse races, ethnicities, geographic origins, gender identities, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, work experience, physical and intellectual abilities, and financial means. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. This commitment is consistent with our mission: Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, work skillfully, and act wisely to advance the common good. A successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission.


The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes:

  • Up to 100% tuition remission for employees, spouses, and dependents upon eligibility 
  • A generous Employer retirement contribution of 9.4% of annual salary upon eligibility 
  • Medical, dental, and vision options 
  • Employer-paid disability, life, and AD&D benefits

Position Details

Director of Public Relations
Twin Cities Metro
Saint Paul, MN


This is a role for a seasoned public relations professional who loves seeking out and telling stories to build the reputation of a mission-driven organization.

The Director of Public Relations is an important leader on St. Thomas’ PR & Communications team, which sits within the university’s larger Marketing, Insights & Communications (MIC) department. This person is the university’s primary leader of external communications activities designed to reach and engage target audiences in support of St. Thomas’ institutional objectives. This includes all earned media activities such as media relations planning, pitching and measurement, as well as thought leadership platform development. This person will also oversee the university’s institutional social media activities, including managing social media support staff and developing/executing its social media strategy. These activities should complement direct efforts from other university units, (e.g., admissions, specific schools and colleges, athletics, administrative offices, etc.), by promoting stories that reinforce key messages, proof points and examples.

Other duties include collaborating with leaders on media statements, preparing news announcements, FAQ documents, talking points and other communications as needed. This position will also help identify potential issues that require university response and assist in crisis response when necessary.

This role reports to the AVP of PR & Communications. In addition to working with the PR & Communications team, this individual will have strong working relationships with other MIC leaders and teammates in order to contribute to integrated communications projects that maximize visibility for critical university initiatives, (example: campaigns and projects that involve earned and owned media alongside paid advertising, web and creative elements). This individual is expected to maintain strong relationships with other MIC teammates, as well as key stakeholders across the university (faculty, staff and students) to help identify the right stories in support of strategic university objectives.


1. Earned Media Planning and Strategy – Based on guidance from team leadership, the PR Director is responsible for identifying strategic storylines within the university and creating plans to offer those stories to media outlets (at the local, regional and national levels). These outreach plans will detail how media placements will help support objectives laid out in the larger university’s communication plan, as well as relevant unit business objectives. Using resources such as media databases, this person will be responsible for identifying strategic media outlets and contacts that can maximize visibility. Finally, these plans should have measurable objectives that will allow the team to continuously refine its operations.

2. Media Relations Activities – The PR Director oversees all pitching activities to secure stories in media outlets and arranges media interviews for appropriate university subject matter experts. This role fields and coordinates responses to multiple media requests on a daily basis, and proactively pitches stories based on breaking news and long-term plans. As such, it is critical for this individual to maintain important relationships with media members (local, regional and national). Additionally, this person will be responsible for helping to prepare university spokespeople for media interviews, including the development of talking points and conducting of interview training as needed. The PR Director will also produce coverage reports for high priority projects and serve as a university spokesperson as needed.

3. Maintaining always-on thought-leadership program for university leaders – This position will be responsible for developing and maintaining a roster of subject matter experts across the university to provide insightful perspectives on current news cycles. The PR Director will then devise plans to share these perspectives through media outreach and social media amplification and collaborate with other PR teammates responsible for creating owned media content. This role partners with marketing colleagues to stay updated on key stories developing within individual units, schools and colleges.

4. Developing Materials in Support of Media Relations – The PR Director will take a leading role in developing materials used in support of media relations activities. This includes drafting announcements (both press releases and Newsroom copy when needed), and FAQ documents. In some cases, this will also involve suggesting and developing creative assets (e.g., videos, social media graphics, etc.) to be used in earned media outreach and social media engagement.

5. Overseeing Institutional Social Media – This position will be responsible for developing/refining institutional social media strategies, plans and associated goals in support of key communications objectives. This includes reviewing and approving plans created by the team’s social media specialist or partner agency. As part of this responsibility, the PR Director will provide direction to the social media specialist or agency to develop activity plans, as well as ideas for developing engaging content to support strategic storylines. This role will also help lead social media skill development across the university, which includes collaborating with university-wide social media account managers on a regular basis, ensuring a consistent tone and voice across various channels.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing, journalism and mass communications, or a relevant field 
  • Seven years of professional communications experience to include the following: creating media relations plans, pitching media and coordinating responses to inbound inquiries, researching media outlets and managing media lists, working with spokespeople, creating briefing documents, developing storylines and talking points, creating and managing social media content 
  • Fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or eligible for legally required exemption such as a medical or religious reason

An equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and skills have been acquired may be substituted.

Special Skills/Knowledge/Abilities Skills:

  • Advanced story mining and development skills 
  • Media relations plan development (including list research and building) 
  • Media pitching and interview coordination 
  • Basic newswriting (e.g. press release writing) 
  • Talking points and messaging development 
  • Social media content ideation and creation 
  • Excellent reporting skills (coverage recaps, social media reporting, etc.) 
  • Strong interpersonal skills 
  • Excellent verbal communication skills

Knowledge of:

  • Media relations best practices and trends 
  • Journalism practices and media insights 
  • Earned and social media measurement best practices and trends 
  • Trends in variety of areas that could potential impact university communications, such as higher education trends, social justice initiatives, DEI, college athletics, and others. 
  • Emerging communications vehicles, and the design of integrated communications campaigns. 
  • Social media best practices and trends. 
  • Computer applications related to the work, including Microsoft Office


  • Highly responsive 
  • Storytelling 
  • Creativity 
  • Creating effective presentations 
  • Using or learning media monitoring/media database tools (e.g. Meltwater, Cision, Lexis-Nexis, etc.) 
  • Working well with a variety of individuals 
  • Managing and directing people

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