88543 Requisition #

Stanford University is one of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, devoting tremendous intellectual and physical resources toward the betterment of humanity. As a major Silicon Valley employer, Stanford seeks people committed to excellence and to improving our world. In turn, the university is committed to supporting its employees as they develop their careers and enrich their lives.  We believe Stanford’s future success will be shaped by the diverse perspectives, unique experiences, and inclusive culture of its community.


University Communications supports and campus leadership in planning, coordinating, and implementing strategic communications programs that support the institution. University Communications (UComm) manages brand positioning and strategy; issues and reputation management, crisis communications; oversight of digital content and top-level web and social media platforms; media relations and news services; executive communications with all constituencies; major publications; and a campus video productions studio and video production group. University Communications coordinates with communications professionals across the university, provides leadership to the Communications Working Group, and advices on communications policy with senior executive staff.


The Director of Strategic Public Relations will develop and implement proactive and reactive media strategies to protect and advance institutional reputation. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President for Media Relations and Communication Operations, this position will integrate across News, Strategy, and Digital teams. The Director of Strategic Public Relations will serve as a spokesperson for the university and will work in close coordination with the Sr. Director of Media Relations. 


This is a permanent full-time position with benefits.



Media Relations

  • Work closely with teams within UComm and External Relations to develop positive stories for the university.
  • Identify proactive media opportunities to drive favorable coverage for the institution.
  • Leverage incoming media opportunities.
  • Develop written communications to support both proactive and reactive strategies including media statements, spokesperson briefing materials, and proactive pitches.
  • Design and implement effective media relations programs with routine outreach to local and national news organizations.
  • Establish and leverage relationships with key reporters and editors, media, community and/or government leaders.
  • Participate in strategic planning, special projects, and other assignments pertaining to the mission of communications and PR functions. Develop strategic comprehensive communication plans to meet the needs of key audiences. Rapidly respond to incoming media issues to mitigate potential negative impact.
  • Work within a channel management structure to develop deep understanding of the specific issues that affect higher education.
  • Develop issues briefs for recurring topics, including existing and potential media statements, and response strategies that will enable faster and more effective response.
  • Work with the senior director of media relations to support day-to-day media inquiries as needed.


Strategic Analytics and Insights

  • Leverage digital insights on coverage and social channels to develop positive framing narratives.
  • Integrate data with the Digital Team.
  • Maintain Salesforce database, leverage inquiries to mine strategic opportunities and develop targeted media lists for outreach, and media contacts.
  • Monitor coverage for message pull through and efficacy of media response.
  • Keep abreast of best practices in media monitoring tools and strategies to increase earned media insights.


Campus Communications

  • Provide strategic media counsel to campus communicators on issues that could impact the university’s negative reputation, especially as they relate to national issues.
  • Coordinate with campus units and subject matter experts as needed to develop responses, briefs, talking points, and other research.
  • Provide public relations / media support for audiences that are both internal and external to the university, including on a national and international scale.
  • Develop, execute, edit, and oversee written communications of complex nature, including key content messages for speeches, presentations, magazine columns, correspondence, social media posts, and opinion pieces.
  • Develop strategies for brand managements, reputation management and issues management of moderate complexity.
  • Design and implement effective constituent communications programs. 
  • Design and implement social media strategies.
  • Liaise with staff responsible for a variety of community outreach activities.


*Other duties as assigned.



Education & Experience:

Bachelor's degree and seven years of relevant experience or combination of education and relevant experience.  Degree in journalism, communications or related field preferred.  Work experience in a media relations role, agency, public affairs, corporate communications preferred.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong strategic thinking and ability to work in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment.
  • Superior news judgement and outstanding communications skills.
  • Excellent written communication skills, outstanding research and analytical skills, and skills in conceptual editing, copy editing, and proof reading.
  • Strong influencing and relationship management skills to work with other teams.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with internal communications groups across campus.
  • Comfortable working with top leaders and providing productive feedback for media strategy.
  • Experience analyzing situations and giving sound professional judgment on news value, strategic communications, public opinion, and media relations.
  • Ability to develop close relationships with journalists and communications colleagues.
  • Opinion and leadership writing is desired.
  • Mastery of skills in journalism and public relations.
  • Ability to executive public relations best practices across with a wide variety of communication skills and competencies.
  • Experience in working in a highly decentralized environment is desirable.
  • A commitment to promoting and supporting an environment of diversity and inclusion.


Certifications and Licenses: None



  • Constantly perform desk-based computer tasks.
  • Frequently stand/walk, sit, use a telephone, grasp lightly/fine manipulation, speaking.
  • Occasionally grasp forcefully, writing by hand.
  • Rarely sort/file paperwork.


* - Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.



  • Occasional work on evenings and weekends.
  • On call and ability to respond 24/7.



  • Interpersonal Skills: Demonstrates the ability to work well with Stanford colleagues and clients and with external organizations.
  • Promote Culture of Safety: Demonstrates commitment to personal responsibility and value for safety; communicates safety concerns; uses and promotes safe behaviors based on training and lessons learned.
  • Subject to and expected to comply with all applicable University policies and procedures, including but not limited to the personnel policies and other policies found in the University’s Administrative Guide, http://adminguide.stanford.edu.


Why Stanford is for You:

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:

  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more


The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classification and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Previous Job Searches

My Submissions

Track your opportunities.

My Submissions

Similar Listings

Office of University Communications, Stanford, California, United States

📁 Communications