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St. John's University


Director of Media Relations

Administrative/Professional --> Institutional Advancement

Queens, NY
ID: 218808-951


St. John’s established in 1870, has three New York City campuses; a graduate center in Hauppauge, NY; international locations in Rome, Italy; Limerick, Ireland; and Paris, France; and study abroad locations around the world. The Princeton Review and other top rankings consistently recognize the University’s outstanding academics, diverse student body, dynamic internship and volunteer opportunities, focus on student life, and diverse study abroad offerings. St. John’s University offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in its six colleges and schools, with a growing number of programs offered online. The University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and 12 other major academic and professional associations. 


A dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion is at the heart of our mission.  As a Catholic and Vincentian university, St. John’s is committed to institutionalizing practices of inclusive excellence to ensure that we welcome and celebrate the intrinsic worth of all members of our community.  We will become an even stronger university as we enhance equity at every level of our institution.  As noted in our Vision Statement, our graduates will excel in the competencies and values required for leadership and service in a rapidly evolving world.  



Director of Media Relations 


Job Description:


The Director of Media Relations at St. John’s University is responsible for external communications, works strategically to promote the University’s priorities, core values, and mission, and seeks out ways to further the University’s brand through unpaid media placements.  

Reporting directly to the Executive Director, University Relations —the Director actively works to raise the profile and visibility of the St. John’s through earned media, pitching and placing faculty experts and student success stories, to help St. John’s to attract more students, garner positive publicity, and achieve its strategic priorities. 


  • handles communications between the University and the local, national, international print, television, radio, and internet media outlets, including the preparation and distribution of all press advisories and press releases. In addition, the Office of Media Relations is responsible for the coordination of any press conferences, media interview requests, and the publicity surrounding academic programming initiatives and select University events. 
  • acts as the “on the ground” media person for the four metropolitan campuses, serving as a liaison with the local press. The Director also serves as a key media relations contact person for the six colleges and schools that comprise St. John’s, working closely with internal personnel, staff and faculty of each school to promote their respective programs, publications, new initiatives, research, external events, awards, and accomplishments. 
  • manages the day-to-day operations of the Office of Media Relations and supervises a team (two graduate assistants and one administrative assistant) responsible for seeking out story ideas and opportunities to promote student and faculty success, new and enhanced University programs, initiatives and partnerships, and the University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission. The Director also focuses on connecting University faculty and administrative experts from the University’s more than 100 academic departments, centers, and institutes.   
  • helps faculty and administrators with thought leadership, through the editorial process of publishing opinion pieces and letters to the editor. Works to oversee and update faculty expert contact list and database. 
  • serves as a liaison with various internal departments assisting with the writing of external and internal communications, University-wide. The Director focuses on key messaging to enhance publicity in support of the University. The Director ensures consistent messaging and branding.  
  • coordinates with the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Mission to ensure the suitability of potential speakers and honorees with respect to the University’s mission and Catholic and Vincentian identity.  The Director also serves as the point of contact for all print, television, and film production inquiries, and evaluates the risks and benefits associated with the University’s involvement.    
  • interacts with the University’s Emergency Planning Committee and is responsible for the Office’s role regarding emergency messaging.   
  • manages a partnership with Rubenstein Communications—a consulting agency in contract with the University. Rubenstein lends guidance on crisis communications, conducts media training of executive-level University employees, and assists in promoting faculty expertise in the media.   
  • responsible for regularly crafting statements to the media. These statements are often approved by the legal department, the President, and various high-level executives within the University. When necessary, the Director is authorized to speak on behalf of the University in an official capacity.  
  • supports the development of marketing materials, helps to coordinate photoshoots, videos, and email communications. 
  • serves as an administrative liaison to the University’s student newspaper, The Torch. 
  • advises superiors on all controversial and/or critical inquiries and works to propose timely strategies and responses. 
  • manages the office’s budget, submitting approval of T&E’s and timesheets, and negotiates contracts with media monitoring vendors, making purchasing decisions for the office.  The Director oversees the creation of the Office of Media Relations’ annual report which highlights the media coverage from the previous calendar year and includes the metrics on all media placements and their value. 
  • performs such duties as may be assigned. 


Job Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) in liberal arts, journalism, communications or related field. 
  • At least 7-10 years of professional experience in journalism and/or public relations. 
  • Experience working with NYC media, press, local community groups, and/or government offices is strongly preferred. 
  • Working knowledge of the latest communications techniques, demonstrated writing, editorial, organizational, strategic, problem-solving and interpersonal abilities including experience placing high-profile feature stories and op-eds in national and local news media. 
  • Ability to travel to various locations in and around New York City. 
  • Understanding of current higher education issues in particular Catholic higher education.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
“All persons hired are required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, subject to the reasonable accommodation provisions of applicable law.”

St. John’s offers a competitive compensation program which is commensurate with your qualifications, experience, and contingent upon the departmental budget. We also offer an extremely comprehensive benefits program to meet the diverse needs of our workforce. Along with exceptional benefits such as medical, dental, life insurance, long term disability insurance, tuition remission, generous 403(b) employer contribution, employee assistance program, and liberal paid time off policies, faculty and staff can also enjoy St. John’s performing arts, libraries, bookstores, dining facilities, campus recreation and sporting events. 




Any offer of employment is subject to receipt by St. John’s University of satisfactory references, verification of employment and education. 




St. John’s University is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minorities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. 


This position is located at 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY. View the Google Map in full screen.