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Media Relations Manager

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
New Jersey, United States
$115,000.00 - $120,000.00
Closing date
Sep 10, 2022

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Position Type
Programs, Other Programs, Administrative, Public Relations and Communications
Community Development, Community Foundations, Environment, Health
Employment Type
Full Time
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About this Opportunity

Reporting to the director, Media Relations, the Media Relations manager is responsible for developing and managing key aspects of the media relations effort, which focuses on elevating research, data, and thought leadership of the Foundation to health and mainstream media outlets nationwide. Working closely with staff across the Foundation, the Media Relations manager will oversee daily earned media activities and contribute to the team’s strategic planning to ensure a consistent flow of earned media placement in support of the Foundation’s mission, Theory of Change, and health equity vision.

While the media relations manager can be primarily based at one of the Foundation’s three offices (our headquarters in Princeton, N.J., New York City, or Washington, D.C.), this is not a remote position. The media relations manager will be required to visit the Princeton office as defined by the Foundation’s return-to-work policies, still to be determined.

Essential Job Responsibilities
  • Manage the daily activities of the Media Relations team, including supervising the Media Relations associate, coordinating media efforts with other Foundation channels, and working with Communications colleagues to ensure Foundation products (reports, data, opinions) are appropriately promoted and distributed.
  • Conduct proactive and reactive media relations and ensure those efforts are aligned with the Foundation’s teams, themes, and strategic priorities, as well as aligned with the wider efforts of the Communications department.
  • Build on an existing understanding of public health, public health media, and mainstream media to serve and grow our network of partners, media grantees, and health reporters who rely upon the Foundation for bipartisan, equity-focused health information.
  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research that builds on and informs current media relations efforts including:

o    Seeking new and specialty media organizations and reporters in the health equity, social determinant, and social justice spaces.

o    Analyzing and measuring the efforts of the team and external firms to provide tactical and strategic guidance to improve the Foundation’s reach, particularly into priority audiences.

o    Maintaining an understanding of the ever-evolving media landscape and anticipating news cycles that provide opportunity for Foundation messaging.

  • Serve as a thought partner with staff and leadership across the Foundation to identify newsworthy efforts to amplify, as well as identify and prepare for areas of potential risk for the Foundation. 
  • Consult with the Executive Communications staff to align messaging and by supervising the creation of media lists and exploring new media opportunities.
  • Work closely with the Media Relations team, providing guidance, mentoring, and supervision on strategy, audience selection, support to leadership, management of media partners, and background research. 
  • In conjunction with the Communications leadership team, be responsible for building and maintaining relationships across the Foundation including colleagues in Executive Communications, Research-Evaluation-Learning, Program, Grants Management, and IT to drive awareness, support, engagement, and adoption of media strategies. 
Minimum Requirements
  • Commitment to racial and health equity and the Foundation’s vision, values, and Guiding Principles.
  • Experience working effectively in, and fostering an inclusive environment as part of a multidisciplinary team with persons from diverse cultural, social, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Five (5) to ten (10) years of communications experience with priority given to candidates with a media relations/public relations background and demonstrated success in earned media placement.
  • Experience providing strategic direction on media outreach, digital content, audience engagement, and collaboration across communications channels.
  • Demonstrated judgment in understanding the value and risk associated with media outreach and the ability to quickly assess both.
  • Preferred experience in public health and a demonstrated ability to independently read, review, and understand peer-reviewed science and interpret for a lay audience.
  • Prior experience with media relations analytics and database tools preferred.
  • Enthusiasm for the media landscape is required and interest in social media, especially Twitter, is a bonus.
  • Demonstrated ability to write and edit content for the web; writing samples required.
  • Excellent communications skills; proven written and oral presentation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; collegial, energetic; able to develop productive relationships with colleagues. Ability to work in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Ability to multitask, to work on tight deadlines, and to adapt to frequently changing priorities.
  • Strong organizational skills with an attention to detail. Experience handling multiple priorities effectively.
  • People management skills, including experience in employee development, performance management, supervising, mentoring, and team-building; able to coalesce a team around a strategic vision and bring a sense of humor and fun to the workplace.
  • Ability to manage, mentor, and guide staff to develop strengths of individual team members and to build an effective, values-based team.
  • Strong problem-solving skills. Identify and resolve problems in a timely manner, and gather and analyze information skillfully. Develop alternative solutions and work well in group problem-solving situations. Able to demonstrate innovative and analytical approaches to resolutions.
  • Dedicated team player with a can-do mindset who considers others’ opinions; understands impact on other groups; and adapts to change effectively.
  • Education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field including but not limited to English, communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, or digital media.
Physical Requirements/Working Conditions

The Media Relations manager will perform job duties in a typical business office environment. Specific physical abilities required by this job include operating basic office equipment. Will be required to attend meetings, potentially both on-site and off-site, via phone or videoconference.


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