Working as part of a team of media relations professionals and other Communications staff and with limited supervision, the Senior Science Communications Officer writes and distributes internal and external communications materials and generates media placements in regional and national media outlets on advances in basic and translational science, and biomedical research underway at Penn Medicine.
Key areas of responsibility include:
• Maintains consistent contact with appropriate members of the Penn Medicine community (including leadership and members of the faculty) to track and execute media-worthy activities in assigned beat areas.
• Forges and maintains relationships with influential members of the media to monitor and respond to their interests and needs and leverage Penn Medicine news opportunities.
• Writes press releases, blog posts, and news articles for internal publications to promote high-profile institutional news and happenings.
• Secures placement of news stories about Penn Medicine faculty and research in the regional and national print, broadcast, and online media, on both a proactive and reactive basis.
• Manages and creates content for Penn Medicine's specific basic and translational science channels including PennMedBench on Twitter and the Benchmarks digital newsletter.
• Conceptualizes and collaborates on digital dissemination of information – including video and photo assets – to the press and various health care constituencies and the public.
• Works closely with colleagues in Marketing and Development, as well as with those leading business and communications efforts in labs, centers and institutes to cross-promote institutional priorities
• Covers, writes about and disseminates research, programmatic and/or appointment news for basic and translational science departments, divisions, labs, programs, centers, etc.
• Develops a rich content expertise in the sciences/biomedical research, requiring a deep understanding of biology and high-level scientific concepts and approaches.
• Builds relationships and trust with members of the faculty and staff and encourages collaboration.
• Maintains confidential information at all times.
• Serves as main content creator and point of contact for basic- and translational-specific channels including Penn Medicine Benchmarks Twitter account (creates content, develops and implements campaigns and handles community management) and Benchmarks monthly newsletter, a digital publication showcasing the fundamental and translational science work at Penn Medicine.
• Contributes ideas and written and multimedia content for the department's internal communications and publications.
• Works with other members of the Communications team and department leadership to spearhead publicity efforts for special news and institutional developments related to basic and translational science, and biomedical research.
• Develops and participates in promoting special events that advance the reputation and achievements of Penn Medicine to the media, as well as to the thought-leader community.
• Handles media inquiries in a timely fashion and participates in a regular rotation of Press Officer "on call" coverage.
• Represents a professional and positive image of Penn Medicine to internal and external stakeholders.
Required Education and Experience:
• Bachelor's Degree in English, Journalism or Communications or biological/health sciences
• 5+ years of professional experience in public relations/communications/journalism or a combination of communications and science/medicine experience at a professional level
• Master's Degree in English, Journalism or Communications or biological/health sciences
• 3+ years of professional experience in public relations/communications/journalism or a combination of communications and science/medicine experience at a professional level
• Science and/or medicine experience required
• Experience in translating technical information into language accessible by media and the lay public required
Required Skills and Abilities:
• Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and practice of biomedical research and clinical care
• Demonstrate good judgment in assessing stories for potential newsworthiness
• Must be ambitious and a self-starter
• Must demonstrate flexibility and the ability to work under pressure
• Is able to work independently and as a team player
As part of our COVID-19 response, this position may currently be offering partial or full remote work. However, in the near future this position will require full or partial on-site work.
We are an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. Candidates are considered for employment without regard to race, ethnicity, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, marital status, familial status, genetic information, domestic or sexual violence victim status, citizenship status, military status, status as a protected veteran or any other status protected by applicable law.