Director, Public Relations

  • Adler University
  • Chicago, IL 60602, USA
  • Aug 01, 2022
Full time Deans & Directors External Relations, PR, Marketing

Job Description



Under the guidance of the Associate Vice President of Communications, the Director, Public Relations will work with internal and external stakeholders to identify opportunities to elevate the University's public reputation through proactive PR initiatives and earned media. This position will be responsible for telling Adler's story to drive interest in academic programs and philanthropic efforts by engaging with American and Canadian local, regional, and national media, and other influencers. They will collaborate with members of the Communications & Marketing team to define and execute media distribution strategies and leverage content from Adler's owned channels.

The Director will also be responsible for providing strategic thinking and performance analysis while leveraging industry knowledge and best practices to promote the mission and vision of the University in alignment with Adler's overarching enrollment, fundraising, and awareness goals. 



  • Bachelor's degree in English, journalism, communications, marketing, or a related discipline from an accredited institution of higher learning is required.
  • Minimum fifteen (15) years of experience in media relations and content development is required.
  • Minimum ten (10) years of Public Relations experience in higher education, at a non-profit or marketing and communications agency, is required.
  • Demonstrated success developing and implementing media relations strategies with secured placements.
  • Established contacts and ability to cultivate new media relationships.
  • Worked cross-functionally within an organization to develop and implement high-impact public relations strategies.



  • Strong demonstration of alignment with Adler's social justice mission and vision.
  • Extensive writing and editing experience for media, generating ideas, managing processes, stakeholder input, and content calendars.
  • Experience working with content creators to adapt stories for owned channels.
  • Experience interviewing, brainstorming, and collaborating, putting quality over quantity and expedience.
  • Solutions-oriented with strong project management skills to effectively manage resources and execute multiple projects on time and within budget.
  • Proficient and functional knowledge of M.S. Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook).
  • Ability to consistently identify opportunities for improvement and make recommendations based on analytics and observations.
  • Strong critical thinking, problem-solving and visioning acumen.
  • Ability to proactively identify challenges and barriers to stated objective and employ assistance in addressing these.
  • Strong collaboration acumen and abilities.
  • Demonstration of Emotional Intelligence and professional maturity.
  • Strong research acumen and abilities.
  • Strong communication acumen including written, oral, and listening.


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Media Relations Strategy Development & Implementation:

  • Collaborates with the Associate Vice President of Communications to elevate and enhance the University's public reputation through strategic earned media, thought leadership, and other public relations initiatives, including secured speaking engagements and award submissions, with measurable KPIs aligned with larger communication efforts.
  • Develops measurable objectives and processes to manage the implementation of best-in-class media outreach programs.
  • Understands media relations cycles and trends to inform external storytelling opportunities.
  • Engages with journalists to shape University news coverage, proactively and reactively.
  • Liaise with senior leadership and faculty on schedules to proactively identify media opportunities coinciding with travel.
  • Partners with faculty, staff, students, and campus leadership to develop opinion pieces and bylined articles for dissemination.
  • Prepares written press materials and collaborates with others across Adler's three campuses to develop additional collateral pieces as needed, inclusive of design or videography.

 Content Development & Analytics: 

  • Works with the enrollment marketing team, faculty, staff, and students to identify, vet, develop, and disseminate impactful stories externally that articulate the University's value proposition.
  • Collaborates with Communications & Marketing team members to execute against an editorial calendar, ideate ideas, and provide additional relevant opportunities for content initiatives.
  • Provides regular reporting on media relations placements and other channels as needed to determine the success of initiatives, identify gaps in content, and present solutions.


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 University's vision, mission, values, and key strategies through 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 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 and accepts 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 University's values of social interest, compassion, justice, respect for the individual, honors diversity and difference, intellectual rigor, optimism, and collaboration.
  • Articulates the University's vision, mission, and key strategies to educate others.
  • Demonstrates active commitment to advancing the University's vision, mission, and key strategies.
  • Exhibits personal integrity, honesty, zeal, and compassion.
  • Aligns work processes to advance the University'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.


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