University of Rochester Asst Dir. Content & Public Relations in Rochester, New York


Full Time 40 hours Grade 052 ESM Communications


The Public Relations and Content Specialist is responsible for developing, coordinating, and managing the distribution of news, information, and stories about the Eastman School of Music as well as for executing the communications strategy. Reporting to the Executive Director of Communications and collaborating with the Communications Office team, the Specialist will work to meet objectives in the areas of media relations, digital and social-media content development, video and photography, and print communications. He/she will write and distribute news releases; develop, research and coordinate stories with faculty and various department leaders; pitch media outlets; coordinate media alerts and news conferences/events; produce video and photography and other content for online media.

The Public Relations Specialist will work to build and sustain connections with local, national, and trade media, journalists, and online influencers to broaden the exposure of the school and its various departments, institutes, leadership and faculty, projects, and more. Additionally, he/she will be responsible for the management, maintenance of the online newsroom, targeted social-media channels, and coordination with other technology platforms and databases.

The position is crucial to an integrated communications effort and is essential to fostering Eastman’s values including academic and marketing goals. It requires expertise in classical music and/or jazz and is responsible for writing knowledgably on the subject. Occasional travel and night/weekend work may be required.

Specific Responsibilities:

Media Relations

  • Pursue media coverage creatively and determinedly. Contact local, national, and international editors and reporters to interest them in Eastman School of Music stories.
  • Respond to inquiries from local, national, and international news media, student media and the Eastman and University of Rochester community.
  • Using journalistic judgment and writing skills, research and create story pitches and other press materials as needed for external release or internal publication, including images, infographics, video clips, and interactive maps.Manage newsroom for the School’s website, edit content and update photos for areas including the main home page (maintains editorial schedule for home page items), admissions, faculty and press room.
  • Enhance the overall quality of media relations for key stakeholders by preparing them for media interviews.
  • Follow thought leaders and news trends that relate to Eastman’s focus and curate appropriate content on social media platforms.
  • Coordinate and escort visiting media on campus; coordinate photography and video shoots.
  • Direct maintenance of press distribution lists.
  • May supervise student interns in researching and writing stories.

Content Creation

  • Create compelling stories for both internal and external channels. Identify narratives that showcase leadership initiatives and key Eastman School of Music priorities, performances and events, faculty and student accomplishments, thought leadership pieces, research, and other work that advances Eastman’s reputation as a global leader in music education.
  • Produce content for Eastman’s print and digital channels, including the News Center and Eastman’s website as well as the official social media channels. Understand audiences, channels, and culture of each, and develops appropriate content with a focus on increasing social media engagement, search engine optimization, link building, and overall exposure.
  • Produce multimedia content in collaboration with graphic designer, student interns, video producers and photographers. Understands basic best practices of photography, videography, and visual storytelling.
  • Write copy for news releases, social media posts, and helps to share content through the Eastman social media channels.
  • Maintain the Eastman and University brand and identity standards; supports and maintains standard operating procedures.
  • Support effective response strategies, often in crisis situations requiring 24/7 attention and intense media/public scrutiny.


  • Manage relationships with faculty, department chairs, dean, and campus stakeholders with a high degree of professionalism, judgment, and understanding of their goals.
  • Create mutually respectful working relationships with faculty, staff, and colleagues by providing consistently sound professional counsel and delivering on agreed-upon outcomes.
  • Execute communication plans for departments and administrators by understanding the significance of various initiatives.
  • Analyze communication channels and audiences for internal clients, including websites, social media, and print pieces, and make recommendations for how to coordinate content across channels and implement a consistent messaging framework.
  • Coordinate with other communications professionals across the University to achieve institutional goals.
  • Coordinate with the University’s Digital Media Team to develop digital strategies for key Eastman communications and programs.
  • Manage the communications process within developed standards and protocols.


  • Bachelor’s degree and two years’ relevant experience in online/digital media, publications, or other public relations activity; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent writing skills for print and online media; knowledge of AP and/or Chicago style.
  • Demonstrated journalistic excellence and ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines. Skills to navigate a large organization and the meet the needs of the administration.
  • Demonstrated photo and video skills to capture appropriate content for the school’s social media channels.
  • Strong social media knowledge and skills to maximize visibility for Eastman across the appropriate channels.
  • Excellent verbal and interpersonal skills; ability to provide leadership and counsel.
  • High awareness of current events and trends in the classical, jazz, and commercial media world.
  • Proven ability to evaluate and solve communications needs quickly. Ability to manage multiple projects to deadline amidst competing priorities. High level of strategic thinking, personal initiative and innovation.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in English, Journalism, Communications or related field and 5–7 years of relevant experience in public relations, journalism, television, corporate communications or agency work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Expertise in the music field, specifically classical, jazz, or music industry as a writer, editor, performer or related endeavor.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing communications for a range of media and working with creative professionals in design, photography or video.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Job Title: Asst Dir. Content & Public Relations

Location: Eastman School Music

Job ID: 202172

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time