Website Alexandria City Public Schools
The media relations specialist is responsible for identifying, researching, and pitching stories that reflect the mission of the division to targeted news outlets, writing media advisories and news releases, copy for the external and internal newsletters, op-eds, speeches, and marketing content for brochures and other publications. This role requires meeting tight deadlines, high-quality writing and pitching skills, and a can-do attitude. This role involves relationship building and proactive coordination with the news media, experience in public relations or journalism, and/or experience in working with the media. Public Relations and/or Journalism/media experience is essential. It also requires the ability to plan and manage media events.
Assignments are received through the executive director of communications, meetings, and written requests, affording latitude for independent judgment and action in the performance of duties.
Work is performed under general supervision and involves considerable knowledge of the school division’s organization, policies, regulations, and an ability to exercise tact and sound judgment.
This position reports to the executive director of communications.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism/English/public relations/mass communications or a related field.
Experience: Two years of training and experience in public relations, media relations work, or journalism preferred. Journalism/media relations experience is essential.
- Knowledge and experience with public education, the news media, local government, and current events
- Excellent analytical and critical thinking and judgment skills
- Superb verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong ability to identify news opportunities for ACPS stories, establish relationships with reporters, and pitch story ideas that are timely and interesting to the media and reflect the mission of ACPS
- Considerable research skills and ability to produce creative, innovative stories for use in media pitching, publications, and other materials
- Ability to organize and manage small events to share positive news from school divisions or individual schools for local news outlets
- Possesses an equity mindset, with the ability to pitch news stories about and for diverse audiences
- Proven track record in producing positive earned news and social media
- Develop media strategy as part of broader school division communication campaigns and goals, research news opportunities, and potential ACPS story ideas for media pitches.
- Work with the communications team and division leaders on media strategy and planning.
- Draft responses for all media inquiries and liaise with subject matter experts to approve and contribute to responses in a timely manner to meet deadlines posed by media outlets.
- Support the division’s social media assets with posts, storytelling, and two-way engagement.
- Maintain and update media lists to ensure news contacts are current and targeted.
- Write messaging and content for op-eds, editorials, speeches, newsletters, and news releases.
- Help prepare school division spokespeople for media interviews and track the news stories that result.
- Coordinate logistics and serve as staff liaison for reporter visits, interviews, and school division media briefings, in coordination with the chief of school and community relations and executive director of communications.
- Disseminate information to the public and school division staff.
- Collaborate with administrators and other staff members, as appropriate, in publicizing and promoting performances, exhibitions, displays, dedications, or special programs sponsored by the schools and open to the public.
- Serve as a writer/editor for content for the division’s website, newsletters, brochures, and other needs.
- Generate newsletter stories that are interesting and attention-grabbing, and serve as back-up for newsletter production.
- Serve as a communications liaison between departments and schools.
- Working with communications team colleagues, help determine appropriate communications for target audiences.
- Conduct research and solicit feedback through formal and informal means on activities, products, and purposes of the public relations program and the school division in general.
- Provide communications support for community meetings and events, and those of the division and School Board meetings as required.
- Assist with emergency/crisis communications as needed.
- Some evening and weekend work is required.
May perform other additional duties or tasks as designated by the supervisor.
- Criminal Justice Fingerprint/Background Clearance.
- Tuberculosis Skin Test.
Public Health Compliance
- Proof of COVID vaccination.
- For religious/medical will be reviewed.
- Must follow safety and health protocols.
Please apply via the link below. https://www.acps.k12.va.us/site/Default.aspx?PageID=515