Media Relations Specialist

Back to Blogs Posted: April 21, 2017


Perform a wide variety of media relations tasks designed to enhance the University of British Columbia’s reputation by working with students, faculty and staff to communicate activities, facilities, services, goals and objectives to audiences through the local, national and international media.


  • Reports to the Associate Director, Public Affairs.


  • Pitching story ideas to news media;
  • Providing media training to senior administration and faculty;
  • Responding to media inquiries and referring media to experts or other sources of information and providing factual background information;
  • Researching and writing articles for UBC News;
  • Liaising with communications staff of governments and granting agencies;
  • Researching and writing media releases and related materials;
  • Producing complementary video and other multimedia story content that advances media relations goals;
  • Developing media and communications strategies to support to senior administration and faculty;
  • Liaising with deans, department heads, campus communicators, faculty, staff and students; referring them to experts or other sources of information, providing factual background information and actively promoting story ideas;
  • Assisting in maintenance of information for the UBC Experts Directory and media contact lists;
  • Planning, organizing and conducting news conferences and other events as required and in conjunction with senior university administrators, faculty and outside organizations, including various levels of government.


Media Relations Specialists are expected to function with a high degree of autonomy and independence, working under broad guidelines. The consequence of error in this area could be very serious for the university as it concerns the public image and profile of UBC on a provincial, national and international level. Incorrect or insufficient information and advice subsequently passed on to senior administration could have grave consequences.


Works under board guidelines established by the Managing Director, Public Affairs and Associate Director, Public Affairs with minimal technical guidance.




Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum of six years experience or communications services or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience in print and/or broadcast journalism, which includes social media and multimedia aspects, is required (broad-based public relations an asset). Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. Ability to communicate effectively via social media and use of multimedia elements. Ability to communicate effectively with the media and public relations agencies. Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and priorities. Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment. Ability to work effectively with various levels of senior administration and university personnel.


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