Director, Public Relations

  • Adler University
  • Chicago, IL 60602, USA
  • Oct 25, 2021
Full time Deans & Directors External Relations, PR, Marketing

Job Description



Reporting to the Vice President of Communications, the Director of Public Relations is a key member of Adler University's communications team and plays a lead role in advancing the University's strategic goals, visibility, and national reputation. In addition to telling the University's story externally through PR and media relations initiatives, this position is responsible for developing and executing the University's communications strategy, including public relations, media relations, crisis communications (issues management), internal communications, reputation management, and social media. Instrumental to this role is directing the university's issues management program, drawing on polished leadership and exceptional communications skills to implement best practices, forecast and triage potential issues, and execute appropriate internal and external communication strategies.

The Director of Public Relations provides thought-leadership to the University while leveraging industry knowledge and best practices to promote the mission and vision of the institution. Supports culture development and management efforts.


  • Bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related discipline required. Master's degree in similar/same disciplines preferred.
  • Minimum of seven (7) years experience in PR/media relations required with preference in an agency setting, non-profit institution, and/or higher education. Of the minimum seven (7) years, at least four (4) years required to oversee human capital.


  • N/A



  • Strong demonstration of alignment with Adler's social justice mission and vision
  • Documented experience developing effective communications and public relations plans
  • Strong writing background and broad communications experience in a variety of disciplines including public relations, media relations, crisis communications, internal communications, editorial content development, reputation management, and social media
  • Excellent communication skills and extensive writing, editing, and copy-editing experience across various audience groups and channels
  • Demonstrated success working with and writing for senior leadership of an organization
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a positive and professional attitude; leadership and teamwork skills
  • Documented experience managing agencies and staff in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong budget and project management skills to effectively manage resources and the execution of multiple projects on time and within budget
  • Experience working within dynamic environments with internal and external stakeholders as well as the ability to leverage influence to drive change and influence stakeholders
  • Ability to consistently identify opportunities for improvement and make recommendations based on observations
  • Strong critical thinking, problem-solving and visioning acumen
  • Ability to proactively identify challenges and barriers to objectives and assist in addressing them
  • Strong collaboration acumen and abilities
  • Demonstration of emotional intelligence and professional maturity
  • Proficient and functional knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Outlook)
  • Strong research acumen and abilities


Supervision (if applicable): Content Marketing Manager; Creative Manager


Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Public Relations

  • Leads and advances the strategy and voice for executive communications, including speaking engagements, media interviews, media preparation, and internal communications
  • Establishes a robust media relations function, focusing on delivering exceptional results that effectively position the University with appropriate media and key external stakeholders
  • Develops and maintains excellent relationships with external PR partners (agencies), journalists, and other key influencers
  • Establishes and leads an effective thought leadership program, including training and media prep for various spokespersons
  • Supports the execution of executive media engagement programs and speaking engagements; review/draft/approve supporting materials such as talking points and Q&A
  • Leads a regular cadence of outreach and education to media and key external stakeholders


  • Clearly articulates the University's value proposition, developing narratives/messaging pillars and activate them throughout communications initiatives
  • Aligns communications strategy with the University's goals
  • Collaborates cross-functionally across the organization to deliver on communications strategy
  • Builds relationships and serve as a trusted advisor to key leaders in the organization
  • Provides communications counsel and support (writing/editing) to key leaders in the organization
  • Leads long term planning for media engagement strategies to get ahead of issues and take advantage of opportunities as they arise
  • Leads crisis communications efforts, including integrated communications response to crisis and issues management situations
  • Develops data reporting and analysis to determine the success of communications initiatives and determine actionable insights
  • Owns and manages communication agency partner relationships
  • Builds, trains, and retains an exceptional team of communications professionals
  • Other duties as assigned and/or required


Work Environment (Physical Demands): The usual and customary methods of performing the job's functions require the following physical demands: some lifting, carrying, pushing, and/or pulling and significant fine finger dexterity. Generally, the job requires 80% sitting, 10% walking, and 10% standing. This job is performed in a generally clean and healthy environment.

Universal Core Behaviors:


  • Effectively expresses oneself in all oral and written communications.
  • Exhibits good listening and comprehension skills.
  • Keeps others informed, as well as responds in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrates match between words and actions.
  • Responds with tact, diplomacy, respect, and composure when dealing with others.
  • Promotes the spirit and essence of the School's Vision, Mission, Values, and Key Strategies through both verbal and written communication.

Teamwork and Collaboration

  • Cooperates with others toward the achievement of common goals.
  • Seeks consensus and win-win solutions to problems and conflicts.
  • Contributes actively and participates fully in team initiatives.
  • Puts the success of the team above own interests.
  • Builds and maintains constructive work relationships.

Responsive to Change

  • Supports changes in the work environment.
  • Displays a proactive, problem-solving approach toward work.
  • Committed to life-long learning by continuously increasing skills, knowledge, and effectiveness.
  • Actively seeks and initiates creative and innovative solutions.
  • Exercises sound, accurate, and informed independent judgment when needed.

Quality-Driven and Accountable

  • Results-oriented and committed to quality through continuous process improvement.
  • Eliminates ineffective activities and closes performance gaps.
  • Anticipates and responds to customer needs.
  • Monitors own performance, accept responsibility for actions, and actively seeks feedback.
  • Meets deadlines and completes projects and activities in a professional, timely manner.
  • Seeks opportunities to increase productivity and/or reduce costs while maintaining the highest quality standards (fiscally responsible).

Support of Vision, Mission, Values, Key Strategies

  • Supports and models the School's Values of social interest, compassion, justice, respect for the individual, honors diversity and difference, intellectual rigor, optimism, and collaboration.
  • Articulates the School's Vision, Mission, and Key Strategies in a way to educate others.
  • Demonstrates active commitment in advancing the School's Vision, Mission, and Key Strategies.
  • Exhibits personal integrity, honesty, zeal, and compassion.
  • Aligns work processes to advance the School's strategic plan and key strategies.


Equal Opportunity Employer

It is the policy of Adler University that all persons are entitled to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) protection. The University does not discriminate against any individual for employment because of age, religion, race, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status (including unfavorable discharge from the military), or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

As part of Adler's equal employment opportunity policy, Adler will also take affirmative action to ensure that minority group individuals, females, disabled veterans, recently separated veterans, other protected veterans, Armed Forces service medal veterans, and qualified disabled persons are introduced into our workforce and considered for promotional opportunities.


Application Details

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