July 2, 2011

Press officer job @ Columbia Law School

Reporting to the Director of Public Affairs, the Press Officer promotes the many newsworthy events, initiatives, and scholarship that take place at Columbia Law School, and works as a liaison with news media around the world. As well, the position functions as an in-house reporter, seeking out new and novel feature and news stories that would be of interest to members of the Law School community, as well as to the informed public.

Overall Responsibilities:

Serves as in-house legal reporter or correspondent, covering events, including interviewing speakers and participants (e.g. professors, alumni, students, etc.); writing news releases and web stories; and unearthing story ideas to be pitched to elite media. (40%)

Serves as initial media contact for major national and international news media, including print, broadcast and electronic. Handles steady flow of incoming media inquiries on a daily basis. Screens requests, and makes referrals and arranges interviews as appropriate. Facilitates interviews in the on-campus broadcast studio, including operating basic equipment. Anticipates and quickly responds to breaking news stories relevant to faculty expertise, writing media alerts and offering professors for interviews in current news cycle. Tracks media coverage, and compiles a weekly clip sheet distributed internally. (30%)

Develops and maintains strong working relationships with faculty members, attending (live or virtually) academic symposia, lectures, appearances on Capitol Hill, meetings and other events, some of which may occur outside the regular business day. (15%)

Keeps abreast of and champions faculty research. Provides advice and support to professors about how best to present their research and publications, for example, empirical research and resulting publications in top law journals), including editing draft opinion pieces, releases, letters to the editor, and other material. (5%)

Writes news headlines and announcements involving faculty, alumni and students to appear on the Law School’s website, and selects photos and images to illustrate stories. Researches and writes press materials, including fact sheets, bios, media advisories, etc. Oversees and provides content for Law School’s Twitter feed. (10%)

Supervisory Responsibilities:
Works in concert with Law School Public Affairs and Communications team focused on branding and marketing the institution.

Minimum Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required. Minimum of six years experience in public relations and/or news media, background in writing about legal strongly preferred. Law degree a plus.

Candidate must be an outstanding writer, fast and versatile, with a proven background in covering current affairs and timely issues. Individual must have in-depth knowledge of how the news media works, and how best to interact with top-tier journalists. Experience working with digital media and social networking channels essential. Must possess excellent judgment and maturity needed to interact effectively with members of the faculty and administration, as well as to maintain a focus on top priorities.

Writing samples and a personal cover letter are required. A writing/editing test might be administered to candidates.

E-mail Reporting to the Director of Public Affairs, the Press Officer promotes the many newsworthy events, initiatives, and scholarship that take place at Columbia Law School, and works as a liaison with news media around the world. As well, the position functions as an in-house reporter, seeking out new and novel feature and news stories that would be of interest to members of the Law School community, as well as to the informed public.

Overall Responsibilities:

Serves as in-house legal reporter or correspondent, covering events, including interviewing speakers and participants (e.g. professors, alumni, students, etc.); writing news releases and web stories; and unearthing story ideas to be pitched to elite media. (40%)

Serves as initial media contact for major national and international news media, including print, broadcast and electronic. Handles steady flow of incoming media inquiries on a daily basis. Screens requests, and makes referrals and arranges interviews as appropriate. Facilitates interviews in the on-campus broadcast studio, including operating basic equipment. Anticipates and quickly responds to breaking news stories relevant to faculty expertise, writing media alerts and offering professors for interviews in current news cycle. Tracks media coverage, and compiles a weekly clip sheet distributed internally. (30%)

Develops and maintains strong working relationships with faculty members, attending (live or virtually) academic symposia, lectures, appearances on Capitol Hill, meetings and other events, some of which may occur outside the regular business day. (15%)

Keeps abreast of and champions faculty research. Provides advice and support to professors about how best to present their research and publications, for example, empirical research and resulting publications in top law journals), including editing draft opinion pieces, releases, letters to the editor, and other material. (5%)

Writes news headlines and announcements involving faculty, alumni and students to appear on the Law School’s website, and selects photos and images to illustrate stories. Researches and writes press materials, including fact sheets, bios, media advisories, etc. Oversees and provides content for Law School’s Twitter feed. (10%)

Supervisory Responsibilities:
Works in concert with Law School Public Affairs and Communications team focused on branding and marketing the institution.

Minimum Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent required. Minimum of six years experience in public relations and/or news media, background in writing about legal strongly preferred. Law degree a plus.

Candidate must be an outstanding writer, fast and versatile, with a proven background in covering current affairs and timely issues. Individual must have in-depth knowledge of how the news media works, and how best to interact with top-tier journalists. Experience working with digital media and social networking channels essential. Must possess excellent judgment and maturity needed to interact effectively with members of the faculty and administration, as well as to maintain a focus on top priorities.

Writing samples and a personal cover letter are required. A writing/editing test might be administered to candidates.

To apply, e-mail nancy.goldfarb [at] law.columbia.edu

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