Senior Public Information Representative

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POST DATE 1/22/2020
END DATE 1/29/2020

University of California - San Francisco San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA
AJE Ref #
Job Classification
Full Time
Job Type
Company Ref #
Mid-Career (2 - 15 years)
Bachelors Degree


University of California, San Francisco is one of the premier health sciences universities in the world. Its schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy are consistently ranked among the top in the nation, as is its Graduate Division. UCSF s biomedical research enterprise and the UCSF Medical Center are also ranked among the top nationwide.

UCSF Public Affairs, a part of the office of Communications, is dedicated to communicating UCSF s excellence in patient care, research and education to the public. Our vision is to lead in inspiring and engaging UCSF s key audiences. The role of the Public Affairs unit is to employ public relations, media relations, strategic communications and crisis communications to reach UCSF s key audiences. This position is for a seasoned communicator, with demonstrated excellence in science writing and pitching to national and local media, serving on our team as a Senior Public Information Representative (SPIR).

SPIRs cover a variety of beats, identifying newsworthy stories across the UCSF enterprise, developing communication materials to tell these stories and then seeking placements in influential local and national media outlets, including newly emerging media outlets and social media forums, with the goal of heightening awareness about and engagement with UCSF.

SPIRs communicate through a variety of means (news releases, web stories, fact sheets, media pitches, talking points, ghostwritten opinion pieces, etc.) that require translating UCSF institutional issues and scientific discoveries and partnerships into language for the media and lay public. Working with our Digital Communications team, the SPIR also collaborates on creating content for social media (video, infographics, as well as tweets and other social media posts).

SPIRs also collaborate on developing and orchestrate events, and publicizing various initiatives on their beats. They prepare UCSF faculty for media interviews, and develop and execute communications plans.

In addition to communicating about clinical research and patient care, this position has a particular focus on UCSF s basic science. In all cases, the emphasis is on achieving substantial media placements at both the national and local level that show how UCSF is driving innovation in curiosity-driven science, and in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, both at UCSF and beyond.


UCSF s Office of Communications is charged with directing strategic communications and public affairs for UCSF campus and its clinical enterprise, UCSF Health. The Communications team is skilled at leading integrated, outcome-driven communications to strengthen awareness of UCSF s excellence in patient care, research and education through brand marketing, media relations, digital communications and internal communications.

The Public Affairs unit within the Office of Communications is a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment involving substantial multitasking. It also is a fun, dynamic place to work, made up of bright, talented, motivated colleagues who bring a range of communications skills to their roles and provide significant support to one another we function as a team. Like others in our profession, we are deeply interested in the changing nature of media and are committed to continuous improvement to ensure we remain leaders in our field. We seek another strong communicator to join our efforts.

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It is the only campus in the 10-campus UC system dedicated exclusively to the health sciences.\\",\\"

Required Qualifications: BA degree and five+ years of relevant experience, and / or equivalent
Experience developing and executing communications strategies
Experience in health, science or biotech communications and in creating and deploying successful regional and national communications
Experience using social media and the web in general as a distribution channel for promotion of news
Advanced knowledge of assigned subject matter areas
High level of proficiency in Microsoft Outlook and Word (comfort with database applications, e.g., Airtable, a plus)
Ability to quickly assess news value of research discoveries and write strong communications about them
Ability to write stories following standard journalism style
Ability to rapidly identify, build and pitch a compelling story from scientific facts or data
Ability to craft a concise news release and pitch that tell a story readers can easily understand
Ability to quickly identify expert sources for journalists in response to requests
Experience working in a fast-paced environment and effectively prioritizing and managing multiple projects at once, while setting and meeting demanding deadline
Strong organizational skill and attention to detail
Advanced analytical, critical thinking, verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills
Self-starter, flexible team player who can easily work with focused direction from management and deal comfortably with changing scope of practice
Ability to deal judiciously with sensitive situations and issues
Ability to work with people at all levels; diplomatic personality
Comfort with proactive pitching to members of the media
Sense of humor and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure

Preferred Qualifications: Master s degree in journalism or science communications and / or advanced degree in the biomedical sciences
Two years experience in communications (news, PR, or development writing), preferably within the academic research community or biotech industry, or advanced education in communications; strong familiarity with health, science or medicine, and understanding of the role of digital channels in communications. Demonstrated skills in writing and pitching
Advanced knowledge of principles, practices, concepts, and technical requirements in news, media communications and media relations
Knowledge in a specialty area such as broadcast news including TV / radio, internet, social media and other emerging technologies
Strong, established network of high-profile local, regional and national and media contacts
Ability to identify sensitive issues and, working collaboratively within Communications and with other UCSF departments, develop strong crisis strategic communications

License/Certification: n/a

Equal Employment Opportunity: The University of California San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.