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Senior Media Relations Officer Job Vacancies at University of the Free State in Bloemfontein 2018

University of the Free State hiring for Senior Media Relations Officer placed in Bloemfontein. This job vacancies is open from 29 Juni 2018 to the end of this month. Here is more information about the requirements, qualifications and job descriptions associated with Senior Media Relations Officer job opening 2017.

University of the Free State Recruitment 2017

Senior Media Relations Officer - Bloemfontein

Department Corporate Communication Marketing

Senior Media Relations Officer (post level 9)

Job ID: 2405

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Brand and reputation building
    • Implement the UFS media strategy to communicate institutional themes and messages externally in order to build the university brand and reputation.
    • Review and adapt media-relations guidelines to incorporate recent changes in the media landscape.
    • Explore and implement guidelines for media engagement in markets where the UFS wants to be more proactive and consistent with media coverage.
    • Formulate and communicate messaging for the media about the accomplishments of the university and its staff and students to positively position the UFS in the media.
  • Media engagement: locally, nationally, and internationally
    • Initiate, develop, and maintain positive working relationships with regional, national, and international media, as well as internal stakeholders.
    • Actively pursue a match for media needs regarding content and experts with academics, students, and alumni of the UFS.
    • Renew and refresh accurate media contact lists constantly for different science areas, as well as general news.
    • Engage the media frequently, event when there is no breaking news, in order to build relations.
  • Social media and web
    • Work with the Unit for Digital Communication to contribute to the university’s social-media plan, with clear strategies for connecting with the media via the social media.
    • Plan and upload content to the UFS research page on Facebook.
    • Establish, maintain, and update a database of UFS research experts on the UFS web for media use.
    • Leverage the website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and other social-media platforms as a means of distributing information more proactively.
  • Media tools, training, and projects
    • Facilitate training and support to internal stakeholders who need to engage with the media.
    • Assist in the development and implementation of operational processes and procedures for new media projects.
    • Monitor, evaluate, and keep processes, channels, tools, and platforms in relation to the media update.
  • Media monitoring and reporting
    • Monitor weekly media coverage, creating a dashboard that tracks metrics, keeps comparator data, sets goals, and allow for adjustments to the media reputation plan.
    • Conduct daily media scans, proactively identifying and acting on risks and opportunities.
    • Provide weekly and monthly media reports to the Director: Communication and Marketing, analysing and evaluating media coverage of the UFS as well as the broader/national education environment, and report on monetary value of coverage received.
    • Conduct half-yearly media-satisfaction assessments/surveys.
    • Research trends in the media environment (including webpages visited by journalists) and recommend tools, media outlets, journalists, and platforms to engage.
  • Events
    • Arrange media presence and a high level of social-media activity through involvement and attendance of high-profile UFS events, announcements, occasions, and celebrations. Assemble press kits for these events.
    • Coordinate media briefings for major announcements to ensure ongoing coverage for the UFS.
  • Advertising
    • Liaise with advertising/communications agency and prepare (including generation of text and visuals) adverts/media inserts (for print and online media) for different media platforms, to position the UFS positively in the media.
  • Manage flow of news to the media
    • Liaise with UFS research experts to provide commentary on typical issues in the media, and to contribute to opinion editorials as well as columns.
    • Facilitate regular feature articles by experts, e.g. after inauguration, conferences, etc.
    • Provide a steady flow of creative story ideas, news, and information to the media on UFS trends. Proactively disseminate content to the media.
    • Develop an editorial calendar for sharing university news and develop a content-marketing plan built around clear objectives, audience research, consistent messaging, and appropriate selection of channels.
    • Identity opportunities for positive media coverage in collaboration with role players.
    • Attend weekly News Desk (a news gathering platform) meetings.
    • Write (conduct research on topics, interview sources, and write articles) about news generated by designated faculties and business units. This includes the effective identification of research, staff, student, and alumni successes, features and profiles – and activate use in media and on the various communication platforms.
    • Act as the main contact for the Directorate: Research Development to identify media opportunities, ensure timely announcements of research news and success stories, effectively highlighting the unique connection between research and teaching at the UFS for media relations and the various communication platforms.
    • Advise the News Desk on typical issues in the media to ensure distribution of relevant content to the media (digital, print, and social).
    • Issue media releases on multiple platforms.
  • Media enquiries
    • Act as main point of contact for media enquiries.
    • Collect information to enable the Director: Communications and Marketing to respond to media enquiries.
  • Crisis Communication
    • Distribute crisis messages and engage with the media during crisis times.
    • Build ‘media resilience’ – especially in crisis times by constantly having positive news stories before and during crisis times.
  • Serve as back-up for other communication functions
    • Provide support and back-up to other communication functions and platforms as required.
  • Execute administrative duties, including monthly reports, completion of all Human Resource processes (e.g. Performance cycle).
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Willingness to attend events on and off campus, after hours or on weekends.

Inherent requirements:

  • Relevant diploma or bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism or Media Studies.
  • Two (2) to Three (3) years' relevant experience in Public Relations, Communications or Media.

Required competencies:

  • Knowledge of the media environment, including digital and social media.
  • Outstanding strategic, creative, and conceptual writing and editing skills for various media.
  • Photography skills.
  • Advanced computer skills in MS Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and the Internet.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • Project management and organisational skills.
  • Excellent sense of discretion, judgment, tact, and diplomacy.
  • Exemplary interpersonal, communications, and conflict-resolution skills.
  • Well-honed issue and crisis-management skills.
  • Good time management and planning skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure and keep to deadlines.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team.


  • Proven record of securing positive press with key media, including magazine/trade/online publications at national and international level.
  • Interest in and appetite for the latest developments in media as well as experience in integrating social media and online media strategies.
  • Recognisable and consistent social-media presence, as well as interest and expertise in new media technologies.
  • Proven experience in the use of digital media.
  • Dedication to customer service.

Assumption of duties:
01 September 2018

Closing date:

13 July 2018

The salary scale is available on request. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact 051 4013934/2584/9339.

Fringe benefits:

(Subject to specific conditions): pension scheme, medical aid scheme, group life insurance, housing allowance, leave and sick leave, service bonus and study benefits.

The University reserves the right not to fill the post. The University subscribes to and applies the principles prescribed by the Employment Equity Act. Preference will be given to candidates from the designated groups, in accordance with the principles of the aforementioned act and the employee profile of the specific department/division.

Applications may only be submitted online. All applications must be accompanied by the following:

  • a detailed curriculum vitae (please note that the first three (3) referees on your CV will be contacted with regard to reference checking);
  • copies of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications);
  • a copy of your identity document (ID).

Applications that are incomplete, or sent by fax or e-mail, will not be considered. Communication will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.

Apply online:

External candidates can click HERE to apply online.

UFS staff members can log onto PeopleSoft, click Self Service, Recruiting, and Careers to apply online.

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