1723 Public Relations Specialist


TITLE Public Relations Specialist




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Director, University Communications

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Vice President for Marketing and Communications


The Public Relations Specialist helps gather and disseminate University news to the news media and develops and implements public relations activities to promote the University’s public affairs mission, faculty research, and academic theme areas while focusing on developing expert sources and topics of immediate interest to media. The Public Relations Specialist assists in the supervision of the staff of the Office of University Communications and contributes to the production of various print and online materials.


Education: A bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or a related area is required.

Experience: Either one year of work experience in a professional position in public relations, media, and/or media relations or a minimum of three semesters experience in a part-time position in a similar professional setting is required. Work experience in higher education is preferred. Experience with web page maintenance, audio and video recording and editing, and writing for the web are preferred.

Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required, including an ability to write for external publications. Strong proofreading and editing skills are required. Organizational and planning skills are required. Knowledge of word processing is required. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required. Knowledge of database and/or spreadsheet software is preferred.

Other: The scope of the job requires some evening and weekend work and occasional traveling.


1. Facilitates the achievement of specific goals and objectives of the University’s colleges and administrative departments by developing and implementing public relations activities that are designed to meet those specific goals and objectives.

2. Promotes a positive image of the University and facilitates coverage of the University by the news media by gathering and placing University news stories in targeted news media at the local, state, and national level, identifying expert contacts on news events, arranging interviews between faculty and appropriate news media, and overseeing and maintaining a media database and an online database of campus expert sources.

3. Helps promote the University to alumni, donor, and internal audiences by preparing feature stories for University publications including alumni and employee publications and assisting in the gathering and editing of material for those publications.

4. Cultivates expert sources within the University to help promote the faculty, staff, and programs on campus, providing visibility to the University locally, regionally, and nationally.

5. Promotes academic accomplishments and expertise by producing weekly radio programs for dissemination to regional radio stations.

6. Facilitates the operation of the Office of University Communications by helping to train and supervise student employees and editing and approving the work of graduate assistants and student staff.

7. Supports academic instruction by working with interns in the Office of University Communications.

8. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

9. Remains competent and current through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses as directed by the Director of University Communications.

10. Contributes to the overall success of the University Communications by performing all other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


The Public Relations Specialist is supervised by the Director and Assistant Director and assists in supervising an office staff of graduate assistants and student employees.




Factor 1: Professional Knowledge, Skill, and Technical Mastery

Level 2 - 900 Points: Entry-level professional knowledge of the principles, concepts, practices, and methods of non-technical administrative and managerial functions. Knowledge permits the employee to carry out basic recurring tasks and routine portions of assignments or to carry out less demanding professional elements of assignments in areas including communications, social sciences, art and design, education, and related functions while gaining in familiarity with the University's policies and goals, business practices and/or accounting systems. This level of knowledge permits the employee to schedule and carry out the steps of a limited operation or project to complete stages of a multi-phase project. Knowledge at this level is typically acquired through a combination of formal education and/or training and experience that includes a requirement for a college degree in an unspecified field or a specific background in a non-technical area. Knowledge requirements may also include a limited amount of related work experience.

Factor 2: Supervisory Responsibility

Level 2 - 130 Points: Regular, but limited, supervision, training, or directing the work assignments of (a) small numbers of student, part-time or temporary workers, or (b) one or more permanent, full-time employees. The nature of supervision is largely confined to scheduling work and assigning tasks. Supervision at this level typically does not include a full range of supervisory responsibilities, and supervisory duties typically do not consume a large portion of the work day.

Factor 3: Interactions with Others

Level 3 - 250 Points: The purpose of interactions is to advise or counsel others to solve recurring and structured problems, and/or to plan or coordinate work efforts with other employees who are working toward common goals in situations where relationships are generally cooperative. Interactions are moderately structured and routine and may involve employees in different functions, students, and/or the general public. These types of interactions require normal interpersonal skills.

Factor 4: Job Controls and Guidelines

Level 2 - 250 Points: The employee carries out a group of procedures using the general methods and desired results indicated by the supervisor. Typically, standard operating procedures, handbooks, and/or reference manuals exist for most procedures, but the employee must select from the most appropriate of several guidelines and make minor adjustments to methods. Unforeseen situations are normally referred to others for resolution. Assignments are related in function and objective, but processes, procedures, or software varies from one assignment to another. Based on the assignment, the employee uses diverse, but conventional, methods, techniques, or approaches. Employees in jobs at this level may perform work that is moderately complex, but normally performed within a fairly narrow and specific functional area.

Factor 5: Managerial Responsibility

Level 3 - 850 Points: Work involves providing significant support services to others both within and outside of the department that substantially influences decision-making processes. Work activities are complex and others rely on the accuracy and reliability of the information, analysis, or advice to make decisions. Work activities have a direct, but shared, impact on further processes or services, affect the overall efficiency and image of the department, and may have material impact on costs or service quality within the cost center. Incumbents may be responsible for identifying areas of need and for developing proposals that request funding to fulfill those needs.