What We’re Looking For:
Reporting directly to the VP of Corporate Communications, the Director of PR and Media Relations will build, promote, and protect the corporate reputation of 2U and edX through PR and media relations strategies that position the company as a powerful force for access and affordability in higher education and a leader in education, technology, and the future of work. Our team thinks big and moves fast, and together, we’ll educate and inspire our diverse audiences around our mission to unlock the potential of learners worldwide at a pivotal moment for higher education.
The ideal candidate is a strategic storyteller, an exceptional writer, and an articulate speaker; adept at developing long-term PR campaigns to achieve business goals, as well as moving quickly to capitalize on trending topics; experienced collaborating with an external PR agency and internal team to drive meaningful media coverage; adept at navigating complex organizational structures to build relationships and surface insights; comfortable interacting with a wide range of stakeholders, from university provosts and C-suite executives to reporters; skilled at pitching national, business, and trade stories; calm and collected in high-stakes situations; and most importantly, biased toward action.
Responsibilities Include, But Are Not Limited To:
Strategic communications and planning
- Work closely with the VP of Corporate Communications to develop a strategic PR roadmap that ladders into 2U’s corporate communications plan
- Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to surface compelling story angles, cultivate brand advocates, and build key assets to support the development of newsworthy narratives aligned with corporate communications goals
- Develop media strategy around key company priorities, launches, events, and milestones
- Conduct research and analyze data to identify trends and support narratives
Public Relations Leadership
- Create and execute strategic PR and media plans to drive business and reputational goals and support official news announcements
- Drive strategies that result in consistent and meaningful media coverage that articulates the impact and value of our business and products across trade, tech, business, national, and regional outlets
- Manage external PR agency and lead cross-functional project teams to ensure seamless corporate announcements and launches
- Develop high-quality briefings, pitches, press releases, messaging documents and strategic plans, media statements, talking points and FAQ
Crisis Communications and Reputational Risk
- Support VP of Corporate Communications in developing strategies for minimizing reputational risk
- Liaise with key stakeholders across the company to map impacts to internal and external audiences, and plan accordingly.
- Provide strategic counsel and guidance to leadership on response approach to inbound questions, particularly related to crisis and sensitive issues
- Serve as main press officer and 2U/edX spokesperson, and function as primary point of contact for media inquiries
- Develop new – and maintain existing relationships – with key reporters across regions and verticals, with emphasis on education trade publications, business, tech and financial media
- Set up reporter briefings with key 2U/edX spokespersons and important media contacts
- Liaise with business owners and leadership to run down necessary context, facts and figures to answer inbound media questions and appropriately prepare for proactive, outbound pitching.
- Coach and train executives for interviews with media
- Build strong internal relationships with executives, spokespeople, and SMEs to support storytelling efforts
- Navigate complex organizational structure to surface key insights
- Develop briefing materials for company spokespeople and regularly prep executives
- Work across teams to stay up to date on key corporate news and innovations
- Build and maintain media relationships with top-tier national, business, and trade journalists
Analysis and administration
- Oversee management of the team’s coverage reporting, news monitoring, competitive listening, and other analytics processes
- Maintain necessary updates to media policy and oversee monitoring of media inbox
- Oversee system for measuring and analyzing scope and impact of media relations programs
Things That Should Be In Your Background:
- 8+ years experience in public relations, preferably in a fast-paced, high-change, global company or agency; experience working with public companies and/or edtech companies preferred
- Energetic leader: you’re able to craft a cohesive plan and organize and inspire people to execute and achieve great results
- Proactive and resourceful: you are a problem solver energized by identifying creative solutions; you’re skilled at managing up, prioritizing, and setting expectations
- Professional and skilled communicator: you can present ideas clearly to a variety of audiences, from high-level executives to local beat reporters.
- Strategic storyteller: You understand how to build narratives that tie to business goals and can cultivate the key components to craft a compelling story
- Strong writer: You love the writing process and enjoy the creative challenge of shepherding anything from a byline to a press release from start to finish.
- Flexible: You are able to juggle multiple projects and switch gears seamlessly; you thrive in a fast-paced environment and can stay cool and calm under pressure
- Highly organized: You are detail-oriented, process-driven, and able to manage projects to meet tight deadlines
- Curious: You are a voracious consumer of news across industries, always eager to learn, and keep up to date with changing best practices in PR
- Team-first attitude: You’re a team player willing to lend a hand on a variety of projects and go the extra mile to achieve company goals
ABOUT THE COMPANY
2U is comprised of 3 lines of business: Graduate Degree Programs, Short Course, and Boot Camps. Going beyond traditional learning management systems, we use tech, people, and data to help top universities and enterprise organizations transform in the digital era—and eliminate the back row in higher ed. We support lifelong learning which means thinking beyond a single degree. It means finding ways for students to gain the skills they need to change careers, evolve their expertise, and meet the challenges of the changing world head-on. We help our partners fill those needs—developing new digital education technologies and offerings capable of supporting students at different points in their lives. Whether they need a simple refresher, to learn something new, or to change their career trajectories completely, our partners are there to help them succeed. Together with our partners, 2U has positively transformed the lives of more than 275,000 students and lifelong learners.
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