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Director, Media Relations

Apply now Job no: 540412
Work type: Management (MPP)
Location: Pomona
Categories: MPP, At-Will, Full Time, Marketing/Communications

Type of Appointment: Full-time, Management Personnel Plan (MPP II)

Anticipated Salary Range: $111,000 - $116,520 annually; Commensurate with qualifications and experience

Benefits Include: (15) Paid Holidays, (24) Vacation Days, Comprehensive Benefits Package 

Recruitment Closing Date: Open Until Filled

First Application Review: July 1, 2024



The Department of Strategic Communications (StratComm), in the Office of the President, is Cal Poly Pomona’s central communications office responsible for driving clear, consistent and coordinated brand storytelling. StratComm’s team informs, engages and inspires internal and external audiences to join Cal Poly Pomona in transforming lives through student success. StratComm’s portfolio of responsibilities includes media relations, reputation management, crisis communications, branding, marketing, digital and social media, visual and written storytelling across multiple platforms, executive and internal communications, advancement communications, and graphic design and standards.




  • Advance the university’s reputation by promoting university leadership in higher ed, university achievements and newsworthy activities to local, regional, national and higher education media.
  • Manages responses to incoming media queries that involve sensitive issues and PRA requests concerning campus operations, activities and other matters that require counsel from senior leadership.
  • Serves as the team lead for media relations projects that require involvement of multiple departments or senior leadership input.
  • Serve as the primary contact for professional and student media, utilize traditional and non-traditional processes to build and maintain positive, constructive relationships.
  • Monitor and respond to active media inquiries through to completion.
  • Draft and distribute news releases and high-value story pitches.
  • When needed, draft talking points, statements and other media materials and gather qualitative and quantitative data and media assets.
  • Coordinate with reporters and university spokespeople ensuring the reporter is connected with the best campus spokesperson or source.
  • Serve as the primary university spokesperson. When more senior spokespeople are needed, collaborate with the Chief Communications Officer to identify those individuals.
  • Work with leaders and communicators across campus to ensure that the best stories from their areas are promoted by StratComm, and when appropriate, to the media.
  • Develop editorial/promotional calendar to identify and leverage proactive pitching opportunities throughout the year.
  • Collaborate with university leaders, faculty, staff and students to identify experts and other sources for interviews.
  • Collaborate with other campus leaders as needed on proactive messaging and media relations advancing strategic goals and projects
  • Collaborate with StratComm colleagues across all squads to coordinate and optimize media outreach efforts.
  • Coordinate the calendaring, editing, and submission of opinion columns provided to news organizations.
  • Meet/guide reporters and accompanying crews upon arrival on campus.
  • Regularly update leaders in StratComm and across the university on need-to-know media inquiries and the status of inquiries still in process. 



  • Participate in the Crisis Communications group in StratComm to inform, develop and refine the emergency communications plan for the university.
  • Serve as the Assistant Public Information Officer (PIO) for Media Relations, which involves working directly with media, being the university spokesperson and/or going on-scene for media relations.
  • Serve as back-up PIO in the Emergency Operations Center.
  • Receive, fact-find and research sensitive issues emerging from or confronting the institution.
  • Serve as a media and strategic advisor to university leadership and faculty experts on sensitive topics and in circumstances that could potentially put the university in a negative light.
  • Ensure that sensitive and strategic content on such matters is shared only with the appropriate and authorized individuals within the university, the CSU and externally.
  • Draft issue-specific talking points and statements.
  • During major emergency events, report to campus to fulfill appropriate communications related operations in concert with other staff positions in the department.



  • Serve as the lead of the Media Relations squad and HEERA manager of its members, including the Media Relations Specialist (PACS II) including training on department processes and media relations protocols, assigning tasks and projects, and ensuring their successful completion, conducting periodic and annual performance reviews.
  • Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer, work with University Leadership on sensitive issues and crisis communications talking points, media statements and media interviews.
  • Serve as a member of the StratComm leadership team, helping to shape the strategy, operations, culture and effectiveness of the department.
  • Serve as primary department lead to the Strategic Communications and Public Affairs team at the Chancellor's Office. 



  • Maintain online resources for the news media, such as the Experts Guide and fact sheets.
  • Regularly grow and update the Experts Guide website with faculty and staff experts who are trained to be effective sources and spokespeople.
  • Counsel and train experts, university leaders and other interviewees in advance of interviews. In some cases, participate and/or sit in on the media interview to provide assistance and ensure accuracy of information provided.



  • Write news releases and stories for campus publications as needed.
  • Curate and promote university rankings.
  • Advocate for connecting content decisions to the brand storytelling themes adopted by the university as well other strategic institutional interests.
  • Counsel and assist team members on trending issues and content development that will be attractive to the news media.



  • Oversee the monitoring, evaluation, reporting and promotion of media relations results, including regular media reports (at least annually), recaps of coverage for major news events, production of the bi-weekly CPP In the News email, use in other university channels (web, social, magazines, newsletters) and submission to News of the CSU.
  • Maintain local, national and international media lists and update, in partnership with the chosen vendor, all lists on a 6-month rotation.
  • Regularly monitor news coverage sentiment; consult with the Chief Communications Officer on message amplification demands, additional placement opportunities and necessary corrections. 




  • A bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations, communications, English, or related field.
  • California Driver’s License
  • Five ore more years of experience in media relations or as a media specialist.
  • Comprehensive and in-depth knowledge of communication, public affairs, media and media relations, and/or marketing theories and concepts in order to develop and execute communications strategies and plans to promote and position the university.
  • Expert knowledge of university communication objectives and ability to translate them into effective communication and media campaigns.
  • Ability to understand issues from a broad, strategic perspective.
  • Thorough knowledge of applicable copyright and other laws pertaining to publications and the news\ media.
  • Ability to effectively manage media relations and apply effective media strategies and techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to market story concepts to university officials and media outlets.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of marketing and research techniques and methods. Ability to use market research to enhance the impact of communication strategies and campaigns.
  • Working knowledge of appropriate use of statistical techniques.
  • Expert networking and interpersonal skills including strong consultative and persuasive skills to work with internal and external constituents and the media.
  • Expert writing and editorial skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational skills.
  • Experience providing management, direction and/or supervision to full-time staff



  • Ten or more years of experience in media relations or as a media specialist.
  • Master’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited college or university in English, journalism, public relations, communications or a related field.
  • Professional experience in higher education communications, preferably media relations
  • Work experience as a reporter, editor or similar in a media organization
  • Work experience in an agency providing public relations or communications services to clients
  • Three or more years' experience providing management, direction




Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

At Cal Poly Pomona, we are committed to the urgent and ongoing work of creating and sustaining an inclusive campus where all students, faculty, and staff are welcomed, respected and can flourish to achieve their dreams of success.  

We believe diversity strengthens community. Cal Poly Pomona proudly holds designations as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI). In 2022, the campus launched the Black Thriving Initiative recognizing that Cal Poly Pomona’s future as a university must be linked to the success of its Black community.

More information about our campus initiatives can be found on the Office of Inclusive Excellence’s website


Out of State Work

The California State University (CSU) system is a network of twenty-three public universities providing access to a quality education through the support of California taxpayers. Part of CSU’s mission is to prepare educated, responsible individuals to contribute to California’s schools, economy, culture, and future. As an agency of the State of California, the CSU’s business operations almost exclusively reside within California.   The CSU Out-of-State Employment Policy prohibits hiring employees to perform CSU-related work outside California. For more information, go to


Background Check

Cal Poly Pomona will make a conditional offer of employment to final job candidates, pending the satisfactory completion of a background check (including a criminal records check). The conditional offer of employment may be rescinded if the background check reveals disqualifying information, and/or it is discovered that the candidate knowingly withheld or falsified information. In determining the suitability of the candidate for the position, Cal Poly Pomona will give an individualized assessment to any information that the applicant submits for consideration regarding the criminal conviction history such as the nature, gravity and recency of the conviction, the candidate’s conduct, performance or rehabilitation efforts since the conviction and the nature of the job applied for. For more information, go to


Employment Eligibility Verification

Cal Poly Pomona hires only individuals lawfully authorized to work in the United States. In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.  For more information, go to


Conflict of Interest 

This position is a “designated position” in the California State University’s Conflict of Interest Code.  The successful candidate accepting this position is required to file financial interest disclosure forms subject to state regulations.  For more information, go to   


Outside Employment Disclosure 

Executive and Management Plan Personnel employees must disclose all current outside employment at the time of hire as a precondition of hire and at the following times after hire: annually in July, within 30 days of accepting outside employment, and upon their manager’s request.  For more information, go to   


Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) 

The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. See policy at


Security & Fire Safety 

In compliance with state and federal crime awareness and campus security legislation, including The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act, California Education Code section 67380, and the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), Cal Poly Pomona’s Annual Security Report and Annual Fire Safety Report are available for viewing at: and


Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination

As a federal contractor, Cal Poly Pomona will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant.  For more information, see the Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision poster.


Reasonable Accommodation

We provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees with disabilities. Applicants with questions about access or requiring a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or hiring process should contact the ADA Coordinator by email at For more information, go to Employment Notices.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Cal Poly Pomona is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to promoting an inclusive and diverse workforce. The university subscribes to all state and federal regulations that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity/gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, age, disability, genetic information, medical condition, and veteran or military status.  We engage the talents of all qualified workers, regardless of their background. More information is available at Equal Employment Opportunity statement.


Other Notices

For other important employment notices, we invite you to visit Cal Poly Pomona’s Employment Notices web page.

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