Asst Dir External Communications/Public Relations - Ann Arbor , Michigan, United States, 48103


Job Summary

The purpose of the External Communications and Public Relations Team is to positively influence the external dialogue about Michigan Athletics through expertise in communication methods, informational flow, media relations and brand management. The Assistant Director of External Communications and Public Relations is responsible for all communications initiatives for assigned sports and/or department initiatives among a wide variety of external media and stakeholders. Other assignments will be based on applicant's experience, skillsets, interests and department needs - potentially encompassing other sport assignments, digital and social media responsibilities and/or support in other creative design areas. This individual has a range of responsibilities which include: customer service, writing, editing, graphic design, social media, archiving, event management, proactive media pitching and the facilitation of interview requests. The Assistant Director will also be directly responsible for advising and executing the department's university messaging and partnerships initiatives, while assisting in other original content and coverage needs. The Assistant Director advances the team through execution of goal development, collaboration and adherence to protocol as well as exemplary service and attention to detail in order to ensure that the office is proactively servicing all audiences. The Assistant Director may represent U-M during key internal and external meetings when needed and will serve as a decision-maker for assigned administrative areas.


  • Proactively communicate and solicit national media coverage for events and feature stories on Michigan athletes, teams, and other department milestones/accomplishments of interest.
  • Direct game coverage for assigned sports, and assist in game and other coverage for additional sports. Supervise and coordinate game day communications operations and supervision of game day staff in press areas for selected sports.
  • Communicate proactively and effectively with athletes, coaches, administrators, other athletic department constituencies and University constituents to inform and educate on effective methods of media interaction.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with local, regional and national media covering U-M Athletics.
  • Directly responsible for maintenance of current and historical team information (rosters, statistics, records, photos, videos) in assigned sports, including proper naming and meta data assignments.
  • Write and edit various department communication materials, record books, student-athlete bios; postseason publications, press releases (previews, recaps, advisories), feature stories, game notes and daily sport specific content for the department's website.
  • Write, edit, and design professional online and printed information guides for several sports as well as printed game programs, special event publications and press releases. Assistant editor of department publications.
  • Contribute to a dynamic department website, which is an important source of information regarding University of Michigan Athletics. ( ).
  • Team travel with selected sports as directed.
  • Promote student-athletes for various national and conference awards.

Cross-Functional Utilization of Multimedia, Digital, New and Social Media Strategies
  • Assist in department's social media communication efforts while directing certain executions for assigned sports; collaborate with sport programs and external relations partners on strategy, objectives, goals, maintenance and posting of content.
  • Promote the events, ticketing and development-related initiatives of the Athletic Department.
  • Become an early adopter of initiatives led by other administrative areas in order to provide excellent customer service.
  • Maintain statistics, facilitate player interviews, and initiate proactive social and emerging media coverage and coordinating multimedia initiatives in coordination with the creative team.
  • Actively refines and evolves with emergent technologies (hardware and software) in the promotion of department programs.
  • Collaborate with Big Ten Conference and Big Ten Networks to ensure mutually beneficial relationships.

  • Direct and advise assigned staff in one or more administrative operational areas as game day staffing, internship programs, special events and projects in support of 29 teams.
  • Champion department initiatives and drive enthusiasm and professionalism among a large and diverse staff with complimentary skillsets and experiences.
  • Provide exemplary customer service to internal and external constituencies.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications
  • 3-7 years of relevant work experience in collegiate athletic communications or equivalent experience in non-athletic communications with a demonstrated capability to perform all job functions.
  • Proven success in operating within large, complex organizations and to relate with and understand constituents outside the immediate department.
  • Outstanding organizational, communication, writing and interpersonal skills in a fast-paced environment.
  • In-depth knowledge of the digital and social landscapes; must be active in social media.
  • Confidence and familiarity working with graphic design technologies (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop).
  • Confidence and familiarity working with web technologies, including basic HTML and CMS tools.
  • Advanced and demonstrated knowledge of in-game statistical programs (Stat Crew/ Genius) is essential. Candidate must demonstrate in-game inputting capability for selected sports and thorough knowledge of sport rule books.
  • Bachelor's degree in sport management, communications, sport marketing, journalism or related field.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously along difficult timelines.
  • Proven ability to learn quickly, work efficiently in a fast paced environment and to skillfully distill/synthesize emerging information to senior level staff.
  • High level of personal integrity and ethics.
  • Ability to work as a member of a high performing team.
  • Ability to work independently and to exercise judgment and discretion.
  • Ability to work extended stretches, both within a day and over several consecutive days.
  • Ability to manage time and balance consistent regular office hours with special schedules is imperative.

Desired Qualifications
  • Master's degree.
  • Graphic design and/or multimedia storytelling and editing experience (Premier, Photoshop, mobile solutions).
  • Passion for intercollegiate athletics and an intuitive sense of trends in marketplace.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills with a high level of energy, charisma, enthusiasm, creativity and to be professional, yet able to have fun in the work place.
  • Experience leading staff as a direct supervisor.

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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