Media Relations Manager, UChicago Sciences

University of Chicago

About Us:

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

Position Details

Media Relations Manager, UChicago Sciences
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

About the Unit:

The University of Chicago Office of Communications focuses on building the brand, enhancing the reputation and growing public understanding of the University of Chicago, where rigorous inquiry shapes fields, creates a transformative education and experience, and confronts the most important problems of our time. The communications team, in collaboration with UChicago Creative, the University’s in-house creative agency, specializes in content creation, media relations, public affairs, brand strategy, and video and audio production for the University, while serving as a communication partner and center of excellence across UChicago.

Job Summary:

The Media Relations Manager, UChicago Sciences drives media coverage to increase public understanding of scientific discovery, innovation, and impact across the University and in collaboration with our national laboratories. Reporting to the Director of Media Relations, the Manager works with faculty and staff members from across the University and proactively pitches international, national, local and trade media. This role utilizes the skills of a media professional who is passionate about UChicago’s cutting-edge science and innovation and is eager to find new ways to share the huge volume of interesting stories. The work will focus on priorities and core messages including UChicago’s research eminence, legacy of scientific leadership, distinct approach to science and solutions-focused approach to innovation.

Unit-Specific Responsibilities:

  1. Develop a media relations plan to measurably drive awareness and positive perception of UChicago Sciences priorities and initiatives among target audiences. 
  2. Maintain and enhance relationships with key members of the mainstream, trade, and higher education media, including but not limited to reporters, editors, producers, bloggers, and other influencers; identify key journalists and foster relationships with them in order to successfully pitch stories and connect them with science experts. 
  3. Using knowledge of emerging media outlets, develop a targeted approach to increase engagement with science blogs and fast-growing news outlets. 
  4. Develop creative story ideas. 
  5. Build a calendar of media opportunities and outreach. 
  6. Collaborate closely with the content team to identify experts who can address emerging issues in the news and generate profiles that reinforce the distinctly UChicago approach. 
  7. In partnership with the Associate Vice President for Media and Public Affairs, develop issues/crisis media statements if needed. 
  8. Stay current with trends and relevant issues in science and within higher education and industry. 
  9. Coordinate with the University digital and social media team to produce integrated outreach plans across multiple channels, including earned media, owned media, social media and paid media. 
  10. Collaborate in strategic planning to create focused and effective media campaigns. 
  11. Media training for faculty, students, and staff. 
  12. Track, distribute and assess results of media coverage utilizing media research and monitoring services.

Unit-Preferred Competencies:

  1. Demonstrated ability to pitch stories and build media relationships.
  2. Excellent news judgment.
  3. Excellent interpersonal communication skills.
  4. Proven ability to explain technical ideas in a way that captures their depth and complexity, while also making them understandable to the general public.

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.
  • Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

Preferred Qualifications:


  1. Bachelor’s degree.


  1. Five years of experience in media relations and/or journalism.

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