Media Relations Officer

Date Posted: 11/18/2020
Req ID: 1804
Faculty/Division: University of Toronto Communications
Department: University of Toronto Communications
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)



About us:

University of Toronto Communications is focused on promoting, enhancing and protecting the U of T’s reputation through broader stakeholder engagement with the University’s mission, both internally and externally. Our award-winning team consists of best-in-class experts in media relations, news and magazine writing, video production, social media, digital design and development, communications planning and brand marketing.

Your opportunity:

The Media Relations Officer connects daily with leading experts from across the university and journalists across the country to conceive, pitch, deliver and track top-tier earned-media hits.

Some of these will exceed earned-media goals as part of challenging paid, earned, social and owned communication campaigns that advance university priorities. Some will contribute to exceeding annual earned-media goals through enterprising efforts to uncover media-friendly stories, pitch them and land top-tier coverage that advances key narratives about the university.

In this role, you will get a head start on the daily news cycle by developing a list U of T experts of the day to send to news desks and targetedreporters. Some days, you’ll be asked to curate and circulate to senior administration an early-morning roundup of key media clippings.

You will also spread media-relations best practices across the university. This includes helping communication colleagues deliver stronger earned-media results and training members of the university community to be more media savvy in areas such as media interviews and crafting op-eds.

Your responsibilities will include:


  • Developing a media relations plan that supports marketing/communications strategy
  • Overseeing the production of media messaging, pitches and announcements
  • Advising on best practices and strategies to maximize media coverage and outreach
  • Researching and recommending responses to media enquiries. Liaising with departmental staff to support effective content/story development.
  • Acting as an authorized spokesperson on behalf of the Division, Faculty or unit to members of the media. Building and strengthening relationships with stakeholders and partners of strategic importance.
  • Advising on media strategies for message and pitch development. Providing detailed information to journalists covering University stories. Producing media releases.
  • Pitching stories of strategic value to others. Advising and coaching designated University spokespeople on interview protocols.
  • Advising on best practices and strategies to maximize media coverage and outreach.


Essential Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field (e.g. journalism, communication, ) or acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum four (4) years’ experience personally pitching top-tier journalists with high-performing results.
  • Experience formulating earned-media ideas within a mandate set by a manager and executing those ideas effectively.
  • Experience exceeding goals and targets set by a manager.
  • Experience building and maintaining close working relationships with key journalists.
  • Experience managing relationships and requests with tact, diplomacy and persuasion.
  • Intellectual versatility and the ability to advance stories that touch on a range of academic disciplines to convey complex ideas to a non-specialist audience.
  • Persuasive writer with consistently perfect spelling and grammar.

Assets (Nonessential):



  • Knowledge of the University of Toronto or other university environments is highly desirable.

To be successful in this role you will be:



  • Diplomatic
  • Deadline-driven
  • Meticulous
  • Multi-tasker
  • Problem solver
  • Resourceful
  • Self-reliant


Closing Date: 11/30/2020, 11:59PM EDT
Employee Group: USW 
Appointment Type: Budget - Term 
Schedule: Full-Time.  This is a Term role ending September 10, 2021. Regular daytime schedule (Monday - Friday). You will be expected to start as early as 6:45 a.m. (to 3:00 p.m.) on occasion to fill in for other team members, and occasionally work overtime after hours and weekends for breaking news and planned media opportunities.
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone:
USW Pay Band 13 -- $74,041 with an annual step progression to a maximum of $94,687. Pay scale and job class assignment is subject to determination pursuant to the Job Evaluation/Pay Equity Maintenance Protocol. 
Job Category: Communication/Media/Public Relations
Recruiter: Anita Chooraman

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Diversity Statement
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see http://uoft.me/UP.

Accessibility Statement
The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.

The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact uoft.careers@utoronto.ca.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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