Utah State University

News Director, Strategic Communications (Public Relations Specialist Senior)

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 6 months ago(8/29/2023 4:47 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Marketing & PR
Position Type
Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification
Percent of Time or Hours per Week
Marketing & Communications
Public Relations & Marketing
Advertised Salary
$75,000 to $95,000 commensurate with experience plus excellent benefits
Telework Eligible


University Marketing and Communications seeks an experienced and proactive News Director to develop, coordinate, and administer a comprehensive news and media relations plan for the University, as well as manage the University’s relationships with media members. This position oversees the day-to-day operations of USU’s central news team, collaborates with communicators in Colleges and programs throughout the University System, and inspires the creation of new strategies to highlight USU expertise and accomplishments in research, education, and outreach. This position reports to the Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications in UMAC. USU provides a generous benefit and retirement package, and extensive professional development opportunities are provided through the University and UMAC.


  • Amplifies UMAC’s inclusive and respectful work environment, which values human dignity and ensures exceptional customer service.
  • Provides effective leadership for the USU central news team, which includes a news writer, editor for Utah State Today, and a digital journalist.
  • Collaborates with others in UMAC and across the USU system to develop and maintain a proactive news and media relations plan that includes earned, shared, owned, and paid media.
  • Supervises the editorial, media relations work, and internal communications work of the news team to align with the university's strategic priorities.
  • Works with the associate vice president for strategic communications to quickly and effectively coordinate responses to media inquiries and manage media-related issues.
  • Prepares university employees for media interviews and collaborates on effective talking points.
  • Builds and maintains effective working relationships with media executives, reporters and producers, and with community partners locally, statewide, and nationally.
  • Pitches stories to media and proactively seeks opportunities for earned media, promotes stories presenting the university's in-house experts, and coordinates pitches relevant to breaking news.
  • Assists the associate vice president and the vice president of UMAC with preparing reports, monitoring, and analyzing media activity.
  • Serves as part of the crisis communications team, plays a critical role in emergency communications, and serves as a backup spokesperson as needed.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, or related field, plus at least six years of experience with increasing responsibility, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience in a supervisory or leadership role.
  • Demonstrable editing and writing skills with a strong professional portfolio.
  • Demonstrated experience working closely with media organizations.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in the higher education environment.
  • Master's degree in a related field.
  • Experience working in the media.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and ability to concisely and compellingly present content
  • Experience developing and providing presentations/trainings.
  • Working knowledge of using content management systems, project management systems, and media monitoring tools.
  • Experience developing and implementing internal and external communications through all media vehicles, including video, print, electronic, online, and social media.
  • Ability to manage and supervise a team of professionals to produce targeted, effective, outcomes that align with the university's strategic priorities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team environment a respectfully resolve conflicts.
  • Ability to work independently and prioritize workflow to meet critical deadlines while paying attention to important details.
  • An applied understanding of inclusive communications.

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:

  1. Resume/CV to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Resume/CV”
  2. Writing Samples - Three samples of your work, which could include a campaign plan, news story, or photography/videography series to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Documents 1-10”.
  3. Cover Letter to be typed/pasted at the end of your application

**Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

Advertised Salary

$75,000 to $95,000 commensurate with experience plus excellent benefits


Employees work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes.  The employee is regularly required to sit and often uses repetitive hand motions.

College/Department Highlights

University Marketing and Communications (UMAC) defines, strengthens, amplifies, and protects the Utah State University brand experience while leading a systemwide culture of collaboration to articulate our university’s strengths and accomplishments. The strategic communications team produces Utah State Magazine, news content in Utah State Today, and content for institutional communications. The team works closely with the digital strategy and strategic marketing teams and collaborates with communicators across the USU system to tell the USU story, ensuring the university's mission and values are collectively shared in ways that elevate its reputation and highlight its impact through a unified voice.


Position based in Logan, Utah. May be eligible for hybrid telework schedule after first 6 months.

University Highlights

Founded in 1888, Utah State University is Utah’s premier land-grant and space-grant university, with a strong commitment to excellence, access, and inclusion. USU serves approximately 27,500 students throughout the state at three residential campuses, eight statewide campuses, and 23 education centers. USU Online has served students from all 50 states and 55 countries for over 25 years, and USU Extension provides outreach and service to all counties in Utah.  


As a land-grant university, USU engages communities and empowers people to lead successful lives of involvement, innovation, and impact. As an R1 research institution, USU provides a high-quality undergraduate and graduate education at an affordable price. Washington Monthly has consistently ranked USU in the top 10 among public universities for contribution to social mobility, research, and public service.  


Utah State is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where different perspectives, values, cultures, and identities are acknowledged, welcomed, and valued. We seek to recruit, hire, and retain people from all walks of life who will champion excellence in education, research, discovery, outreach, and service. We believe that promoting a strong sense of community and belonging empowers and engages all members of USU to thrive and be successful. Learn more about USU. 


The university provides a Dual Career Assistance Program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment. Additionally, USU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability, contact the university’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources at (435) 797-0122 or hr@usu.edu. 


About the Region

U.S. News and World Report ranked Utah first for its strong economy, fiscal stability, education, and health care. Outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities abound throughout the state, including five national parks, 43 state parks and recreation areas, and 15 alpine ski resorts. The home of USU’s main campus, Logan, is a city of 54,000-plus people in a picturesque mountain valley 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. The Logan metro area claimed the top spot in the Milken Institute’s 2022 ranking for best-performing small cities in the nation. 


*updated 7/2023

Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:


Executive Director of the Office of Equity Matthew Pinner, discrimination@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 401, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Cody Carmichael, titleix@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 404, 435-797-1266

Mailing address: 5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit https://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481, OCR@ed.gov


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