PUBLIC OUTREACH COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST
The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska is seeking applicants from qualified individuals for the position of Public Outreach Communications Specialist. The position reports to the Director of Communications and Marketing and will play an important role in helping build public support for high-quality early childhood care and education in Nebraska and beyond. This individual will assist with the development and execution of public outreach and education initiatives, communications research, media relations, partner and agency liaison, special events, and project coordination. This position requires the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, managing multiple priorities and working well under pressure with strict deadlines and the ability to juggle tasks in a busy, deadline-oriented environment.
The Buffett Institute serves as a bridge to resources and information for parents, providers, and the public. One of the four areas of focus at the Institute is outreach in order to communicate what we know to improve the lives of vulnerable young children and their families. The communications unit plays a critical role in this function, and this position will help the Institute realize its vision of making Nebraska the best place in the nation to be a baby.
Buffett Early Childhood Institute Profile
Envisioned as a new model for how public higher education is engaged in the first years of life, the Buffett Early Childhood Institute (https://buffettinstitute.nebraska.edu/) is a four-campus, university-wide, multidisciplinary research, education, outreach, and policy institute of the University of Nebraska committed to helping transform early childhood development and education in Nebraska and across the nation. The long-term goal of the Institute is to be a leading center where scholars, practitioners, community members, and policymakers collaborate to advance a unified approach that can improve the lives of young children and families and the systems that support them.
Applicants should note that the goals of the Institute are university-, state-, and nation-wide, but the location of the Institute administration office is in Omaha. The position will work primarily out of the Omaha office. Regular hours at the Institute and for this position are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., with some evening and weekend assistance when events occur outside of normal work hours. This position will also require some travel and is grant-funded for three years.
This job description is not to be considered an exhaustive or exclusive statement of duties, responsibilities, or requirements. Employees may be required to perform other job-related duties as requested. This list describes major responsibilities to support the Buffett Institute by aligning marketing and communication strategies to Institute goals.
Public Outreach and Education Initiatives (40%)
" Assist with the development of public outreach strategies and initiatives to build public support for high-quality early childhood care and education in Nebraska and beyond.
" Create and manage an external speakers' bureau aligning early childhood partners and experts with outreach and education opportunities across the state; coordinate efforts with the Institute's events manager, who oversees speaking opportunities for Institute leadership and staff.
" Facilitate and support communications research projects, including identification and review of available communications research, message frames, surveys, and focus groups; audits of communications materials and programs; and other designated items.
" Support the Nebraska Early Childhood Partners Communicators' Roundtable and facilitate effective communications among communicators and other professional staff.
" Work with external agencies and contractors as required to fulfill public outreach and education initiatives.
Media Relations (35%)
" Under the direction of the Director of Marketing and Communications, write and distribute media advisories and press releases.
" Respond to routine media inquiries pertaining to early childhood education and stories about Institute reports and publications, research findings and briefs, events, and other designated priorities.
" Work closely with the managing editor to identify additional outlets and opportunities for Institute-written stories.
" Assist with the development and execution of press kit materials.
" Strategically leverage the Institute's media software, Meltwater, to discover new opportunities and develop relationships with new local, state, and national media outlets.
" Track analytics for media outreach efforts.
Communications and Marketing Coordination (25%)
" Assist with the development of Institute publications, including writing and editing publications, press materials, and website copy in alignment with an editorial plan.
" Responsible for coordinating cross-functional teams and project managing public outreach materials from start to finish.
" Assist with the implementation of strategic communications plans and strategies to achieve the Institute's public outreach and education goals.
" Assist Events Manager with public outreach events as needed.
" Assume other responsibilities as defined by the Director of Communications and Marketing.
" Bachelor's degree
" Five years of professional experience in communications, journalism, marketing, or related fields
" Demonstrated success in managing and executing communications strategies
" Demonstrated media relations experience
" Excellent writing abilities
" Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively across an organization
" Seven years of progressive professional experience in communications, journalism, marketing, or related fields
" Previous experience coordinating local, state, and national media coverage for an educational organization, nonprofit, or issue-oriented organization
" Experience using Meltwater media software
" Experience with shooting and editing photography/videography
" Experience working in a university and/or non-profit setting is desirable
" Fluent in oral and written Spanish
An equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities is acquired may be considered.
How to Apply
Applications are processed through the online job posting at https://careers.nebraska.edu. Follow instructions to complete the Standard Application. Along with your application, attach a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references. Direct questions about the position to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct questions about the online application process to: (402) 472-3701.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment. The University of Nebraska is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status.