Public Communications Manager I – (Los Angeles, California, United States)

Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine of USC is one of the nation’s leading medical institutions, known for innovative patient care, scientific discovery, education, and community service.

The school is seeking a Media Relations Manager to be part of the exciting growth at the Keck School of Medicine, working with its leaders to support tomorrow’s scientific and medical breakthroughs.

A dedicated, dynamic and seasoned Media Relations Manager will be an integral part of the school’s overall strategy and a key player in addressing the needs of our many audiences. This is a multi-faceted position where understanding various audiences is key, and innovative ways to advance the school’s message are needed. Organization and communication skills at a very high level are key to success.


Working closely with the Head of Media Relations the manager is an integral part of the Keck School’s media relations strategy and execution as well as overall strategic communications planning.

Develops media strategy, press releases and other materials for the promotion of Keck School of Medicine of USC research, clinical care, community outreach, student-related news and other key Keck School stories. Develops and maintains relationships with journalists in key influential publications and anticipates opportunities for promoting  Keck School expertise. Evaluates media requests for  Keck School expertise and responds promptly to inquiries. Assists in preparing Keck School experts for news interviews, sharing best practices and offering media training. Identifies and writes feature stories focusing on school’s areas of strength stories, student life, unique collaborations among health sciences schools or greater USC, etc. for  Keck School’s website.


Content Creation and Management

  • Develop and manage content creation. Reviews incoming notifications of research publication, grants, and other Keck School-related news and determines how best to promote them based on the news environment and the overall strategic communication goals. Assesses media interest and public potential of news.
  • Cultivates and maintains relationships with influential reporters based on the school’s strategic goals. Cultivates and maintains effective working relationships with reporters, writers, editors and producers in the print and electronic media – on national, regional and local levels and in key health, medical, biotech, pharma and science trade publications. Understands needs of reporters in different mediums, their special interests in the health care sphere. Stays on top of the shifting media landscape and important trends in the news. Maintains current media lists.
  • Produces weekly Keck News and Notes newsletter for Keck School community. Works with KSOM marketing team and communications teams at USC to find stories, important calendar events, awards and media stories for the newsletter.
  • Manage Keck School website newsroom in collaboration with supervisor. Assists in entering content, content management, making sure most current, high-profile stories and press releases are featured. Updates top media stories. Works with rest of team to pull in additional content where appropriate from social media, other schools, particularly the Health Sciences Schools, and Keck Medicine.

Media Pitching & Strategic Planning

  • Evaluates media opportunities. Outreach opportunities: For news that has potential for media interest, works with supervisor to create promotional strategy, drafts press release and/or other promotional materials and supporting visuals and gets approval from key stakeholder(s), creates media list, drafts pitch and pitches to reporters to key media outlets. Monitors media results and provides media reports to stakeholders.
  • Incoming media request: Evaluates incoming media requests for Keck School expertise and responds promptly to inquiries. Identifies appropriate experts and arranges interviews. Works with interviewees on media best practices and media training, monitors interviews when appropriate and provides feedback. Staffs on-campus media interviews.
  • Strategic Media Planning.
    Participates in development of public relations goals, plans and strategies. Takes initiative on identifying and developing stories about Keck School for potential pitching to media and for school’s website that serve the overall communications strategy. Develops, reports and writes creative, imaginative and complex feature stories focusing on school’s areas of strength, student stories, community outreach work, unique collaborations among health sciences schools or greater USC, etc. Identifies and interviews key sources for stories and gathers interesting visuals for use with the story and social promotion.

Relationship Building

  • Contributes to an inclusive environment, building and maintaining strong cross functional relationships and a deep understanding of organizational and university cultures. Promotes an environment that fosters inclusive relationships and creates unbiased opportunities for contributions through ideas, words, and actions that uphold principles of the USC Code of Ethics.

A successful applicant will be/have:

Minimum Education:

Bachelor’s Degree 

Minimum Field of Expertise:

Journalism experience. Media or Public Relations experience a plus. Demonstrated excellent written and oral communication skills, proven ability of making complex science or technical stories approachable to a lay audience. Skilled in narrative and explanatory reporting and able to undertake complex projects, including multimedia components. Adept at storytelling, particular in communicating the significance of complex topics to a lay audience.

Preferred Experience:

5 – 7 Years

Preferred Field of Expertise:

Journalism and Media or Public Relations experience. Experience working in medical, scientific or academic environment a plus. Previous experience writing about health care-related research for a lay audience a big plus.  Knowledgeable about California, its diverse population and its news media.

Skills: Other:

Communication — written and oral skills Conceptualization and design
News gathering and reporting

Knowledge of applicable laws/policies/principles/etc.

Multimedia dissemination of news reports

Problem identification and resolution
Project management a plus
Public speaking/presentations

Skills: Machine/Equipment:

Computer network (department or school)

Computer network (university)
Computer peripheral equipment

Personal computer

Word processor

Salary Range

The annual base salary range for this position is $94,968.56 – $125,000.04. When extending an offer of employment, the University of Southern California considers factors such as (but not limited to) the scope and responsibilities of the position, the candidate’s work experience, education/training, key skills, internal peer equity, federal, state, and local laws, contractual stipulations, grant funding, as well as external market and organizational considerations.

Minimum Education: Bachelor’s degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education
Minimum Experience: 3 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience
Minimum Field of Expertise: Public relations, communications, journalism or related field.

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