Director Media Relations, Lehigh University

The Director, Media Relations will lead the institutional media relations, internal communications, crisis communications and reputation management areas. This role includes identifying opportunities and threats in the marketplace and implementing plans to support university objectives. The successful applicant will manage the public reputation of Lehigh as it relates to media and key stakeholders.
1. Advance the university’s reputation through media relations and gaining national and international visibility for Lehigh; direct institutional media relations efforts; serve as primary university spokesperson for media inquiries
o Directs institutional media relations efforts; establish key relationships with internal and external media to enhance Lehigh’s reputation in top tier national, international and emerging digital media channels
o Serves as primary spokesperson for media inquiries at institutional level
o Lead media relations team; select, train and manage staff including planning, organizing, prioritizing and reviewing work
o Working with senior officers and leaders, provide counsel and messaging as it relates to media and reputation situations
o Generate relevant content to support media relations activities
o Manage the tracking and effectiveness of media relations efforts, placements
o Provide communications counsel to senior leadership as it relates to Lehigh reputation management with regards to the media and Lehigh community
o Adoption of digital outreach tools to maximize Lehigh reputation building content efforts in social media and media outreach
o Strategic planning of media relation team goals to maximize exposure of institutional goals, initiatives, faculty research and faculty expertise
2. Direct crisis communications and issues management; determine strategy and customized communication plans; lead on-call response team
o Manages crisis process, drills, training
o Prepares talking points, Q&A, key messages, and media statements
o Monitors media perceptions to issues
o Manage maturity and sensitivity in handling issues that arise during crisis communications
3. Communications Management
o Provide communications counsel and support to various university departments and faculty; advise and consult to the President and senior leadership on communications management
o Develop and manage best in class University Media Relations and Crisis Team
o Provide written content to drive media communications agenda such as opinion, editorial pieces in addition to core talking points
o Coordinate with other Communications and Public Affairs groups to manage communication and media programs
o Provide training for generating media content as well as monitoring trends to create high level opportunities for media exposure
1. Bachelor’s Degree in Communications or related field is required
2. Ten to fifteen years related work experience
3. Experience in Higher Education or public relations is preferred
4. Accredited in Public Relations is preferred
5. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
6. Excellent writing ability and organizational skills
7. Proven ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously
8. Solid analytical, decision making and problem solving skills
9. Solid presentation skills
10. Solid computer skills with experience using word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software
11. Successful completion of standard background checks including but not limited to: social security verification, education verification, national criminal background checks, motor vehicle checks, PATCH, FBI fingerprinting, Child Abuse Clearance and credit history based upon the requirements of the position.

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