President's Office Public Relations Specialist

Position Summary

The President’s Office Public Relations Specialist assists in developing, assembling, and maintaining communications representing the MSU President and Office of the President to a variety of publics and organizes presidential communications into a body of work that represents the president’s administration. Working in collaboration with others, manages president’s website and social media execution related to the president. Provides support for other communications projects related to the president as requested by Communications and Brand Strategy (CABS). Completes additional communications projects for the Office of the President and CABS as assigned.


Social Media

  • Establishes and maintains social media accounts for president; hire and manage students to assist with social media monitoring in coordination with CABS social media team.
  • Works with CABS social media team to develop plans to engage the president in social media in a sustainable, positive way.
  • Identifies social media interactions and issues that require response, develops appropriate communications, and responds to foster continued engagement and/or effectively address issues.
  • Plans, produces, and posts content multiple times a day across social media networks, with messaging tailored to each network, to connect and engage audiences around the world.
Issues and Crisis Management
  • Assists CABS Senior Media Relations Issues and Crisis Specialist with issues and crisis, particularly those that intersect with the president; consults President’s Office staff on president’s email (presmail) responses; assists in emergency planning.
  • Consult with internal communications for campus initiatives connected to issues or that could become issues if communications are not properly planned, sequenced, and coordinated.
  • Consults on inbound correspondence for issues-related topics and coordinates with the Associate VP for Communications and Brand Strategy, Senior Public Relations Strategist and CABS Senior Media Relations Issues and Crisis Specialist to align presidential responses with institutional messaging.
  • Forecasts and monitors emerging issues, heritage issues and crisis communications for the President’s Office.
  • Assists with investigating public information on issues and crisis for the university, in particular for the President’s Office. Makes recommendations regarding who should be designated as the official spokespersons. Assists in preparing official spokespersons for media/public engagement.
  • Assists with creating, monitoring and executing emergency and crisis communications activities and contingency planning.

Public Relations

  • Regularly meets with VP for Communications and Brand Strategy, Associate VP for Media Communications, President’s Chief of Staff and lead presidential communications coordinator to understand larger presidential communications strategy and to align overall tone, messaging and priorities.
  • Attends daily Media Communications Team stand-up meetings to stay abreast of news and issues.
  • Demonstrates strong writing, research and interviewing skills.
  • Reviews, organizes, tracks, assigns and drafts responses to inbound presidential correspondence—both electronic and hard copy—and composes outbound correspondence as needed.
  • Writes and edits high-level communications with an eye toward public relations, ensuring presidential language, style and tone.
  • Plans, creates, produces and edits news and information gathered from campus sources in order to write specific news releases and articles for media, publications and websites to inform the public and university of relevant news related to the President’s Office and administration (i.e. Board of Trustee).
  • Reviews existing body of public presidential communications and develops a strategy to create a collection of works that represents the president’s administration; develops a strategy for capturing presidential communications going forward and adding to the archive.
  • Manages presidential website, developing content strategy and managing addition and removal of material, ensuring all material remains up to date, including the president’s official CV/bio and photos; makes recommendations to make website more dynamic; periodically benchmarks against peers in higher education and CEO websites outside higher education to ensure site evolves appropriately over time.
  • Provides support for other communications projects tied to president as assigned by
    Communications and Brand Strategy.
  • Complete communications projects for the Office of the President as assigned.


Candidates should have:

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in:

  • journalism
  • communications
  • public relations
  • English
  • or related field 


Three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in:

  • Public and media relations.
  • Issues and crisis management.
  • Professional writing such as news media, media relations, or executive speech writing and public communication.
  • Knowledge of Associated Press style.
  • Ability to quickly gather, organize and summarize critical information under deadline pressure.
  • Experience developing and writing content for PR and marketing purposes including news releases, web and social content.
  • Monitoring media and social media on key initiatives and issues.
  • Experience developing and executing integrated strategic communications programs, including strategies to elevate social media presence and increase engagement with a wide range of audiences.
  • Experience in copyediting and proofreading; experience with word processing.
  • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.  

 The desired candidate will have:

  • Minimum of seven years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in journalism, English, public relations, communications, or related field.
  • Experience in writing for advocacy or in a specific voice, project management, and public relations.
  • Experience developing communications for executive management within a large, complex organization.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • A track record of crafting targeted communications that adapt to a speaker's voice.
  • Demonstrated ability to work at both the strategic and tactical levels.
  • Experience evaluating, planning, writing, editing and promoting news stories and PR messaging with issues and crisis management focus.
  • A deep understanding of higher education roles, functions and issues.
  • Experience in packaging and pitching stories to professional news media.
  • Experience in creating and manipulating multimedia content for social media and web properties and using analytics for web and social media management.
  • Must demonstrate initiative, good judgment, and the ability to own projects.
  • Ability to work effectively with team members and contacts. 

How to Apply

To assure full consideration, please apply online at (posting #442264) by July 2, 2017. Applications must include a cover letter and resume.

About MSU/East Lansing

Michigan State University is situated on a beautiful, park-like campus, close to major metropolitan centers, with outlying research facilities and natural areas and a proud land-grant heritage. The campus is located in East Lansing and adjacent to the capital city of Lansing, with a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The campus has nearly 5,500 faculty and academic staff, more than 6,300 support staff, and more than 50,000 students. MSU is an equal-opportunity employer committed to supporting and actively increasing diversity in all areas of campus. MSU is proactive in exploring opportunities for employment of dual-career couples, both inside and outside the university. Information about MSU’s dual-career support can be found at

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. MSU is committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.