Research Communications Specialist and Media Professional

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  • Job Number:523833
  • Classification:Communications Specialist 4
  • Grade:Grade 79
  • Work type:Hybrid, On Campus, Staff Full-time
  • Administrative Unit:University of Alaska Anchorage
  • School/Business unit:UAA Chancellor
  • Location:Anchorage
  • Categories: Communications/Public Relations/Marketing, Research/Science/Grants

Position Summary:

The mission of the Applied Environmental Research Center (AERC) is to collect, analyze, and provide applicable environmental, natural, and cultural resource data to support the optimal management of public lands. AERC was established January 2014 and is one of nine centers of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Business Enterprise Institute (BEI). Though AERC is a young organization, BEI and UAA have an extensive history partnering with federal, state, municipal, and tribal governments as well as with a wide cross section of private sector clients. Since its inception, AERC has received over $2.4M in funds in support of projects and research through the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Alaska District. AERC is currently seeking to hire two qualified candidates as Communications and Media Broadcast Officers. In addition to working with AERC, the successful candidates will also be assisting and have a dotted line reporting to the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) and their communication needs. ADAC's primary client is the US Coast Guard. ADAC is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Center of Excellence. Similar to AERC, ADAC receives federal funding to support projects and research through DHS.


15%Media Relations and Public Relations: • Serve as point of contact for media relations. Manage press inquiries in coordination with UAA Office of Advancement, and provide media training/coaching for employees as needed. • Develop press releases, media advisories, op-eds and other media relations materials regarding the research center news and activities. Disseminate in coordination with Office of Advancement. • Seek opportunities for earned media locally, state-wide and nationally. • Coordinate with and advise Center leadership on public relations issues.Essential
25%Overall Management: • Raise awareness of and engagement with the Centers—including its academic partnerships, research and activities—among key external and internal audiences. • Collaborate with Research Center leadership to develop and implement strategic communications/marketing plans and initiatives that build the reputation as a trusted leader in workforce development and research. • Oversee the research centers' recruitment strategy and activities. • Strengthen and refine the Centers' brands, ensuring that organizational image and voice align with their respective mission, vision and strategic priorities. • Develop and maintain systems, processes and workflows that promote efficient and coordinated mass communications throughout the research network. • Assist in the plan and manage of the communications budget. Assess effectiveness of spending, and make recommendations for expenditures as needed. • Collaborate with key partners at the university (including Office of Research and university offices of advancement, and information technology) and with external stakeholders (including industry leaders, agencies, etc.).Essential
25%Project Management: • Oversee the creation/dissemination of content within the research centers and by external contractors, ensuring consistent quality and voice. • Plan and manage projects that are completed by external contractors, such as advertising campaigns, videography projects, and print/production jobs when an external contractor is selected; otherwise plan and manage projects for advertising and outreach campaigns, videography and print/production jobs. • Promote adoption of and ensure adherence to UAA communications processes, content standards and brand guidelines among all research center employees. • As needed, provide training, guidance and recommendations to employees regarding communications/marketing activities. • Lead, host and participate in live and recorded programs, webinars, and recorded programs, productions, news and events. Operate media editing and digital effects hardware and software.Essential
35%Content Development and Dissemination: • Develop and disseminate high-quality, engaging content for the three (3) research centers (Arctic Domain Awareness Center, Applied Environmental and Research Center, and the Center for Strategic Partnerships and Research) external and internal communications channels, including websites, marketing materials, mass emails, newsletters, social media, advertisements and others. Create written audio and visual material content to include videos. • Draft executive communications for Research Center leadership, including speeches, presentations, internal communications, op-ed submissions, videos, etc. • Maintain newsgathering processes in order to stay up to date with activities across the research enterprise, as well as issues related to the Center's internal and external stakeholders. • Monitor and assess content/campaign performance metrics across channels, using data to inform future activities.Essential
5%Other duties as assigned; may be subcontracted to another unit via time buyout to assist with other projects.Essential
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities: • Exceptional written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated ability to develop compelling content across a variety of media and styles.
• Exceptional organization and time management skills, with a strong orientation to detail and the ability to balance several high-level priorities at once.
• Strong ability to analyze and solve complex problems in a collaborative environment.
• An understanding of the research center programs and their contributions to federal, state and local needs.
• An understanding of organizational image and reputation management.
• Demonstrated ability to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders.
• Demonstrated ability to plan, manage and evaluate communications, marketing/advertising and public relations campaigns.
• A highly developed service orientation.
• Ability to effectively manage a wide range of communications channels, including websites and social media.
•Experience and knowledge with best practices regarding various communication media.
•Experience and knowledge of techniques used in the military, federal government, and private industry (industry standards) relevant to creating a multi-media platform branding campaign. This will include writing, editing, formatting, producing written, web, graphic photographic, and audio-visual materials for public information/outreach, military and federal partners needing documentaries to include videos highlighting federal projects.
•Experience presenting and knowledge of formatting public presentations.
•Knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production methods, practices, and procedures.
•Experience and knowledge working with the following computer operations: graphic, photographic and desktop publishing related to software and communications presentations as it applies to legal/ownership and proper citation.
•Ability to exercise sound judgment, to analyze situations and make decisions.
•Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with individuals and groups to work successfully as a member of the team.
•Ability to generate creative ideas.
Typical Experience:
Three year's of progressive responsibility relevant professional experience as it pertains to the posting.

*Please note that experience and/or education can be substituted for applicable degree and education requirements.

Preferred Experience: Applicant should have prior military experience as military protocol and culture will be necessary when interacting with military duty members and members of the federal community. If no prior military experience, should be able to demonstrate that they have an understanding of the military and federal community protocols.
Required Education or Training:

Applicant should possess a Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, media, public relations, or related field.

*Please note that higher education degree can be substituted for applicable professional training and experience requirements.

Salary Information:

This is a full-time, term-funded, 12-month, exempt staff position complete with both a competitive salary and full employee benefits package. New hires will be placed on the UA staff salary schedule, Grade 79, based on education and experience.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please attach a resume, cover letter, and the names and contact information (email address and phone number) for three (3) professional references with your application. Since this is a media/communications posting, please provide either a link to a website that you created or provide a sample newsletter or written communication that was created solely by you.

Applications will be accepted for review on 02/23/2023, to ensure consideration, please apply by 11:55 PM, Alaska Standard Time on 02/22/2023.

*To be eligible for this position, applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States without restriction.  Applicants who now or may in the future require visa sponsorship to work in the United States are not eligible.

This position is a term-funded position and is reviewed annually for contract renewal at the University's discretion.

The University of Alaska (UA) is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities throughout the applicant screening process. If you need assistance in completing this application or during any phase of the interview process, please contact UA Human Resources by phone at 907-450-8200.

UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual:

The successful applicant is required to complete a background check. Any offer of employment is contingent on the background check.

Your application for employment with the University of Alaska is subject to public disclosure under the Alaska Public Records Act.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Heather Paulsen, at


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