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Academic Health Center Public Relations – University of Minnesota

The Academic Health Center (AHC) was founded in 1970, part of one of the oldest and largest land grant universities in the country, and is one of the most comprehensive academic health centers in the nation. Since its inception, the Academic Health Center has been the home to firsts such as the world’s first successful open heart surgery, pancreas transplant, first pharmaceutical care degree, and more recently, development of one of the most widely used anti-HIV drugs. Research addresses significant, cross-cutting issues including cancer, infectious diseases and immunology, neurosciences, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

The Academic Health Center (AHC) Office of Communications (z.umn.edu/communications) provides strategic communications, partnering with AHC units to promote and enhance the reputation of the University of Minnesota’s medical and health sciences.

Duties & Responsibilities


– Directly manage the public relations and multimedia coordinators within the AHC Office of Communications.

– Build relationships with communication leads for health sciences schools, colleges, programs and units to promote academic health and research success across the AHC.

– Anticipate, plan for and manage issues in support of the organization’s overall communications objectives.

– Conduct media training for faculty, staff and administrators across the AHC.

Public Relations

– Execute a media strategy that positions University health sciences experts as leaders in research, patient care and health education.

– Work with marketing units from University of Minnesota Health and media relations colleagues at Fairview Health Services to promote shared clinical services and develop unified approaches to PR strategy.

– Respond to and proactively communicate with national, consumer, trade, newswire and local media.

– Monitor health care trends and media coverage to identify opportunities for AHC experts to provide commentary and opinions, positioning them as leaders in the regional and national health care conversation.

– Support the development of media toolkits, including news releases, backgrounders, media pitch documents and social media around research and clinical successes. Draft or provide input on PR plans as needed.

– Develop spokesperson messaging related to public announcements or issues for leadership. Prepare executives for interviews, and coordinate media spokesperson training as necessary.

– Work collaboratively with other University of Minnesota PR teams to support system wide goals, initiatives, issues and crisis management and legislative proposals.


– Serve as managing editor of Health Talk, the University’s health news blog.

– Work closely with the AHC web team to develop content that supports the University’s reputation while demonstrating the University’s impact on Minnesota and the state’s patient population, as well as the national impact of work happening within the AHC.

– Direct the social media strategy for the Academic Health Center’s digital media ecosystem, which includes Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

– Leverage analytics to track performance and instruct the content creation process.

Required Qualifications

– Four-year degree with an emphasis in public relations, strategic communications or a related field.

– Six years practical experience in public relations, corporate communications or a related field. Non-communications related degrees must have eight years of related experience.

– Management and leadership experience.

– Strong verbal and written communication skills.

– A proven track record of media relations success, including landing stories, managing crisis communications and developing meaningful relationships with regional and national reporters.

– Experience in planning, managing and developing content for the web. Experience acting in a managing editor capacity for large, content-heavy websites.

Preferred Qualifications

– Proven ability to function across a large, complex and multi-layered organization.

– Ability to plan independently and lead with a targeted vision and strategy.

– Ability to identify story opportunities and ideas that align with greater organizational objectives.

– Experience working within CMS systems such as Drupal and WordPress.

– Experience in a health care industry setting.

– Ability to independently manage media campaigns with limited oversight.

- Ability to work within a team and as an individual contributor in a fast-paced, changing environment.

For more information or to apply please visit: employment.umn.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=120661



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