Job Information

CUNY Director of Media Relations in New York, New York

Director of Media Relations

Job ID



John Jay College

Full/Part Time



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John Jay College of Criminal Justice is a senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY) led by President Karol V. Mason, and an internationally recognized leader in educating for justice. John Jay is a federally designated Hispanic-serving institution, it is ranked third in the nation in Black student success, and it is a top ten institution for promoting student social mobility. John Jay is proud to serve a diverse and dynamic student body of 15,000 students that includes nearly fifty percent students who are first in their family to attend college as well as students who are immigrants, from low-income families, or from other historically underrepresented groups.

The College participates in the doctoral programs of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in traditional criminal justice-related fields of study as well as in a robust portfolio of liberal arts and sciences programs that highlight themes of justice across the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences. John Jay College seeks staff and faculty members who thrive in multicultural academic environments and are committed to access and excellence in higher education.


Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer, the Director of Media Relations is a senior media executive responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive media strategy that positions John Jay as the leading center for research, dialogue, and innovation around cutting edge issues of the day related to criminal justice reform, policing, and social justice in all its dimensions.

The Director serves as the primary spokesperson for the College and oversees all day-to-day media relations efforts, including timely responses to daily media inquiries. This position creates meaningful opportunities for John Jay’s leadership and faculty to participate in interviews, broadcasts, and key media events to showcase John Jay’s expertise and research around justice issues as well as its innovative efforts to promote student success. This position envisions and pitches media and broadcast stories and leverages new media in all its forms to highlight John Jay’s role as a national convener on justice issues and an innovative laboratory for student success programs and initiatives.

Additionally, this position leads and serves as a member of the crisis communications team; duties can range from giving guidance and advice, to writing statements and managing messages during reputational and other crises.

The Director must work effectively and persuasively across many internal offices and be creative and energetic in reaching new audiences. The Director must act in a senior advisory capacity to the President, Vice Presidents, Provost, Deans and other senior staff members as well as members of the John Jay College Foundation Board of Trustees.

The ideal candidate will have established relationships with high level local, regional and national media contacts and the ability to continue to establish and cultivate such relationships.

In addition, the candidate will have experience working with diverse audiences, and may have contacts within local government, civic, cultural, and business organizations that can be leveraged where appropriate to promote John Jay.

Specific duties and responsibilities include:

  • Serves as primary contact, spokesperson and key member of integrated communications team and! knows how to effectively collaborate with senior leaders to seamlessly advance university with important! constituencies and all media outlets.

  • Develops and executes a strategic plan for campus media relations, including identification of key! performance indicators. As appropriate, identifies, develops and produces news releases, editorials,! opinion pieces, advisories, experts’ lists, video stories, podcasts, social media campaigns and other rich! news content that advances John Jay College as the leader in justice focused education, research, and! innovations.

  • Leads press relations and targeted outreach on an array of education and justice topics, developing! strategic relationships with key reporters and media organizations at the local, regional, and national! levels, as well as community and ethnic media outlets.

  • Develops and cultivates relationships with contacts for traditional and new media across all channels in! the College’s important markets; maintains regular contact with media sources and conducts on-campus! media events annually to pitch College’s strategic initiatives.

  • Manages crisis communications and proactively manages reputational issues, under direction of the Chief Communications Officer and with other senior leaders. Keeps abreast of!social media conversations to monitor emerging reputational issues.

  • Writes press releases, media advisories, pitches, announcements, news stories, etc. that highlight key! messages and distill complex information, including research, data, issue papers and reports.

  • Monitor and analyze print and online publications for media coverage in order to provide regular! updates on such coverage and inform strategic planning.

  • Provide media tips and training as needed for College members being interviewed by media.

  • Keep abreast of current on new and emerging media outlets and coverage by key reporters, including! online news media and social media influencers, as well as best practices in the field of media relations.

  • Consult and advise senior College leadership on strategic communications to key constituents.

  • Supervises and mentors media relations staff, interns and has extensive relationships throughout the! College and on other campuses with faculty, staff, students and administrators.

This position is excluded from union representation.

Until further notice, this is a hybrid position, eligible to work remotely and work on-site in the office.


Bachelor's degree and eight years' related experience required.


  • Established relationships with top-tier media contacts,in the NYC market, nationally and itnernationally.

  • On-the-record experience as a spokesperson, well-developed skills in building and maintaining media! relationships required.

  • Crisis management experience and capacity to perform under pressure required.

  • Demonstrated track record in generating media coverage, developing creative media strategies, and! refining and communicating key messages effectively.

  • Knowledge of changing media landscape and ability to engage in various media formats/channels,including digital media, required.

  • Excellent writing, editing, verbal, presentation and interpersonal skills and superb interpersonal and oral communication skills required.

  • Excellent organizational and project/time management skills; ability to adapt and manage multiple priorities and tight deadlines required.

  • Strong ability to work collaboratively and enthusiastically with colleagues in the department and across campus required; must be a team player with ability to lead a team of professionals.

  • Understanding of higher education and justice issues preferred.


Directs College communications and public relations efforts.

  • Establishes goals consistent with the College mission and works collaboratively with senior management to develop short- and long-range plans to further College outreach

  • Develops and maintains comprehensive press, public relations, and internal communications strategies

  • Represents the College to a variety of external and community organizations, establishing good working relationships and two-way communications on areas of common interest

  • Oversees College web site and other major communications vehicles, such as publications

  • Plans, organizes, and implements special events including conferences, receptions, and informational programs

  • Develops and implements campaigns to foster awareness of College activities and initiatives

  • Researches and develops speeches and other critical communications by senior management

  • Maintains media relationships and serves as spokesperson representing the College

  • Identifies and leverages opportunities to promote the visibility and reputation of the College.

  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Job Title Name: Communications and College Relations Director


Higher Education Officer




$115,333 - 132,987. Salary commensurate with education and experience.

CUNY's benefits contribute significantly to total compensation, supporting health and wellness, financial well-being, and professional development. We offer a range of health plans, competitive retirement/pension benefits and savings plans, tuition waivers for CUNY graduate study and generous paid time off. Our staff also benefits from the extensive academic, arts, and athletic programs on our campuses and the opportunity to participate in a lively, diverse academic community in one of the greatest cities in the world.


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Note: Candidates will be required to submit at least three writing samples (e.g., press release, pitch, news story, etc.)


Open until filled.


CUNY Job Posting: Managerial/Professional


CUNY encourages people with disabilities, minorities, veterans and women to apply. At CUNY, Italian Americans are also included among our protected groups. Applicants and employees will not be discriminated against on the basis of any legally protected category, including sexual orientation or gender identity. EEO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer.