Rush University Medical Center  Director Media Relations in Chicago, Illinois

Job Title: Director Media Relations

Department: Marketing & Communications

Shift: 1st

Full/Part: Active Regular FT (72 to 80 hours per pay period)


Job Number: 2018-3820

Job Description:

Director of Media Relations

Position Highlights:

The Director of Media Relations is responsible for managing and growing a comprehensive communications program that achieves substantial national, regional and local news and feature placements (visibility) in print, electronic (TV, Radio), and internet (online, social media). Media placements will focus on Rush strategic programs of emphasis with content for news/feature stories and media pitches drawn from research activities, clinical and educational innovation, organizational strategic plans and topical subjects and issues that are in the news. This individual will work closely with the AVP in setting strategic direction and organization of the program. He/she will exemplify the Rush mission, vision and values and acts in accordance with Rush policies and procedures.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Develops, organizes and directs a comprehensive, proactive, multi-year media relations program that supports the annual and long-term goals of Rush and the Strategic Planning, Marketing and Communications Department and other Rush system entities. Organizes and directs media relations work to assure that Rush maintains a leadership role in terms of media placements in the Chicago area vs. other academic medical centers and health systems. The program will increasingly include national as well as regional media relations. Directs story/content generation/prospecting process to continuously identify emerging and news- worthy research, clinical innovations and other developments with news with external placement potential, while acquainting faculty and staff with the capabilities and services of the media relations and communications team. Develops external media strategies for specific programs, projects or events (major new appointments, new buildings, programs, partnerships/collaborations). Responsible for managing the 24/7 media relations on call duties shared among media relations staff to ensure prompt and appropriate responses. Serve as institutional spokesperson as required.

  • Monitors and manages the content and ongoing improvements required for the News Room on, working closely with marketing and communication colleagues to ensure site is up to date and represents best practices for news rooms of leading academic medical centers.

  • Participates with marketing and communications team and leaders across the system and others in meetings and activities to support the crisis and issues management process and program to protect Rush’s reputation. This involves meeting/talking with staff/faculty/administration to gain a detailed understanding of emerging issues with the potential to impact Rush’s reputation; developing communications strategies, proactively develop potential statements, media responses and other recommendations regarding each issue as part of this ongoing effort; counsels staff/administration on the reputational and public relations implications of various actions. With other communications staff, participates in Rush emergency preparedness plans and activities including the Hospital Incident Command System and structure.

  • Manages three media relations professionals to achieve goals, results and foster career development and growth. Media relations work is highly collaborative and draws upon the special talents and skills of each individual who carries his/her own portfolio of media and public relations responsibilities and experiences. Manages the annual media relations budget.

  • Manages system to evaluate, measure and track progress of media relations efforts on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Manages weekly, bi-weekly and quarterly informative summaries of key media placements in a consistent and effective manner and format. Scans environment to determine new and better ways to monitor effectiveness taking advantage of new technology and services.

  • Works collaboratively with colleagues in physician communications, internal communications, web and social media, the production group and all areas of marketing and communications professionals to achieve efficiencies across the departments. Shares ideas, content/stories, images and strategies and contributes to marketing and communications plans and projects.

Position Qualifications Include:

  • Bachelor degree in journalism, communications or a related field.

  • 10 years of media relations experience with a track record of results.

  • Experience managing a team of media relations specialists.

  • Knowledge of trends in health, medical and sciences news and reporting, and mass media news dissemination and consumption trends (internet and legacy media).

  • Experience working with top echelon news reporters to obtain coverage in leading national and regional news media outlets.

  • Experience successfully managing complicated issues with reputational impact.

  • Experience with management, leadership and development of employees and teams.

  • Excellent writing and editing skills.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills required to positively interact with a wide range of individuals at every level of the institution, and with reporters locally and nationally.

  • A poised, confident disposition along with excellent verbal and written communication skills.

  • Organizational skills to manage multiple projects simultaneously without problems.

  • Positive management skills and experience to coach, motivate and direct the work of staff members.

  • Computer skills and knowledge of software associated with an advanced communications program.

  • Master degree preferred.

  • Experience working at an academic medical center or large teaching hospital preferred.

Company Highlights:

  • Ranked among the top academic medical centers in the country, Rush University Medical Center is an outstanding place to enhance your career. Everything we do centers on one goal: improving patient care.

  • Rush is an academic health system comprising Rush University Medical Center, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital.

  • Leading academic medical center, acute care hospital w/ 664 licensed beds.

  • Ranked among the top 20 best places to work in healthcare by Indeed.

Rush is an equal opportunity employer. We evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, veteran status, and other legally protected characteristics.