Human Resources

Public Relations Specialist

Apply now Job No: 21300
Department: Univ Marketing & Communications
Work Type: Staff - Full Time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Marketing/Communications

Department: University Marketing & Communications

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Public Relations Specialist helps to increase public awareness and understanding of Michigan Technological University by developing and promoting stories that demonstrate and advance the University’s mission and values. The Public Relations Specialist writes news releases, statements, campus communications, and magazine stories; coordinates general and breaking news coverage with other writers and the content team; and provides media relations services.

This position reports to the executive director of communications within University Marketing and Communications (UMC).

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

• Draft media statements for UMC leadership.
• Draft internal communications (including email, web copy, and text messages) directed to employees and University stakeholders.
• Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional, and national news media, and advise UMC leadership on media relations issues.
• Research and write general and breaking news stories for the UMC news website and for placement in print and online publications.
• Send out media alerts as needed.
• Pitch stories to local, regional, and national news media.
• Identify opportunities to proactively pitch brand and other University stories as appropriate.
• Respond to media questions and requests.
• Develop content for Michigan Tech Magazine.
• Post news stories, images, and multimedia files to the content management system.
• Consult as necessary with the executive director of communications on media alerts and story pitches.
• Help develop targeted media lists utilizing UMC’s media database.
• Update and maintain electronic news distribution channels.
• Help identify and profile faculty experts.
• Coordinate the gathering, categorizing, and reporting of news clips from various media.
• Participate in the UMC Crisis Communications Committee.
• Edit and proofread UMC publications as requested.
• Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work; actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
• Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.
• Other writing, editing, and media relations duties as requested.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• Bachelor’s degree in communication, marketing, English, journalism, or a related field, received from an appropriately accredited college or university.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• At least two years of experience in public relations, journalism, marketing, or copywriting/editorial.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Three (3) or more years of experience in public relations, journalism, marketing, or copywriting/editorial.
• Experience in developing, implementing, and measuring external and internal media-based communication plans.
• Experience in developing talking points and media statements.
• Experience working with Muck Rack or a similar media database.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Excellent writing skills demonstrated through a submitted writing sample.
• Ability to adhere to brand and editorial style and guidelines.
• Exceptional relationship building, collaboration, and interpersonal skills.
• Proficiency in Google Workspace and MS Office suites.
• Composed and professional in stressful situations, including emergency situations.
• Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff.
• Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Ability to formulate public relations plans and strategies.
• Ability to generate image and video content for social media.
• Knowledge and understanding of social media platforms and their participants, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
• Experience writing content for social platforms and an understanding of how the platforms are unique from each other.
• Familiarity with Adobe suite.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

  • Annual Title IX Training

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Other Conditions of Employment:

The successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring eligibility for employment in the United States on or before the effective date of the appointment. Visa sponsorship is unavailable at this time. This is not an E-Verified Position.

As of January 4, 2022, Michigan Tech is requiring all faculty, staff, temporary and student employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 due to the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate or have an approved exemption for a religious or medical reason.  This includes those working remotely.  More information on this policy is available on the mtu flex website.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable. No less than $45,000.

Title of Position Supervisor

Executive Director for Communications

Posting Type

Internal & External Posting

Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

References should include the contact information for at least three (3) professional references.

Additional Information

Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 6,800 students from 60 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, the University offers more than 125 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. Applications from women and minorities are encouraged.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

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