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Senior Media Relations Specialist

Department: Public Affairs

Requisition ID: 3422
Schedule Type: Full-Time
Shift: Days
Location: Medical Center - Duarte (Duarte, CA)


Requisition: 3422

Position Title: Social Media/Senior Media Specialist

Location: Medical Center (Duarte)

Position Summary:

Responsible for raising the national and local profile of City of Hope with an emphasis on research, treatment advances, patient stories, clinical care and events via traditional media, online media and social media platforms; cultivating internal and external contacts; and deftly maneuvering within an evolving media environment that includes national, regional and local news outlets and blogs; medical/science, consumer, business and medical/health trade journals; and social media outlets. Creates written, social and video content for online and print publications. Drafts materials such as pitches, articles, news releases, talking points, background information, press kits, media advisories, and other tools for use in increasing awareness of City of Hope amid the media and the public.

Essential Functions:

  • Generates stories about City of Hope for placement in traditional media, in online media and in social media. This would include articles about scientific discoveries, treatment breakthroughs and clinical care; human interest profiles; researcher profiles; trend pieces from the ever-changing health and medical world; and relevant angles to stories in (or expected to be in) the current news cycle.  
  • Instigates, and responds quickly to, inquiries from the news media. This includes collecting relevant information, identifying appropriate spokespersons, securing clearances if necessary, and preparing messaging as appropriate. Generates builds and maintains relationships with reporters, news outlets nationally, regionally and locally. Actively pitches City of Hope experts for editorial placement opportunities.
  • Generates and builds relationships with the general public on behalf of City of Hope, its events, its faculty, its researchers and its accomplishments through high-profile online forums such as blogs, social media platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other methods still in development.
  • Assists in the implementation of creative strategic media plans that cover medical/scientific research and discoveries, events, clinical care, fund-raising programs. Such a plan might incorporate traditional pitches, blog posts, online videos, podcasts, social media discussions and commentaries.
  • Assists in the development and implementation of media activities to meet the organization’s goal of attaining a higher degree of recognition for its  science, medicine, care and events. This would include coverage in consumer news media, as well as a strong social media presence, and participation in high-profile online discussions.
  • Identifies potential news-making opportunities at City of Hope. Regularly identifies and interviews City of Hope information sources through beat development. Shares story ideas with key media, while also giving those stories life online and in social media.
  • Understands that external stories are also internal stories (and sometimes vice versa) – and communicates accordingly with other members of the communications and marketing team.
  • Meets with staff and faculty on an ongoing basis to develop story ideas, pitches. Also interfaces with department team leaders to develop content for trend, feature pitches.
  • Supports department’s crisis communication plan.
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of issues relevant to City of Hope and its work, both those occurring at City of Hope and those occurring elsewhere. Uses this knowledge to arrange interviews with City of Hope expert spokespersons. Conducts daily, weekly reading of assigned publications to keep abreast of trends.
  • Provides advance and on-site media support at key events, including arranging media briefings and interviews with City of Hope experts.
  • Works in concert with department director to forge partnerships with key healthcare, research organizations to combine resources, as appropriate, for media relations.
  • Provides public relations counsel, recommendations to colleagues, faculty, and department management.
  • Communicates effectively with all levels of management and staff.  Fosters development of teamwork within the department.  Communicates effectiveness of projects with other departments.
  • Maintains professional growth and development and keeps abreast of latest trends in area of expertise.  Demonstrates accurate knowledge of relevant laws, policies, regulations and standard affecting decisions and interpretations. Is alert to changes in regulations and responds immediately to meet them
  • Internal Contacts: City of Hope administration, faculty, Development staff.
  • External Contacts: News media, filmmakers, vendors, City of Hope donors and volunteers, cancer/research associations, nonprofit organizations, state officials, patients and the general public.
  • Follows established City of Hope and department policies, procedures, objectives, performance improvement, attendance, safety, environmental, and infection control guidelines, including adherence to the workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan.  Practices a high level of integrity and honesty in maintaining confidentiality.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned or requested.

Position Qualifications:

Minimum Education:

Bachelor’s degree in journalism or related field

Minimum Experience:       

Five+ years  relevant experience in marketing and communications, including at least three years in healthcare marketing communications

Preferred Education:   Bachelor’s degree in a communications field, with emphasis on health care, science or medicine, or Master’s degree in a related field      

Preferred Courses/Training:      

English, journalism, public relations, marketing, public affairs

Pref. Certification/Licensure:        

Preferred Experience:

Health care, public relations, marketing, public affairs, social media


Excellent written, verbal and social media communication skills

Extensive contacts and productive working relationships within medical, scientific, health-care and general media

Ability to quickly translate complex or technical scientific subjects for a lay audience

Adaptability within evolving social media environment and proven ability to share and amplify stories among public and media

Excellent time-management skills and ability to juggle, and complete, multiple tasks at once.

Ability to work well with department colleagues, administrators, academic medical professionals, researchers, and development officers

Problem-solving skills

Knowledge of AP style

Aptitude:  Req./Pref.

 Prolific idea generator

Ability to work on multiple tasks 

Ability to work independently

Ability to produce variety of content quickly, efficiently and accurately

Scientific/medical knowledge

Interpersonal communications skills


Word processing and media list database programs

Microsoft Outlook

Power Point


Personal computer and related online, social programs

Video editing software

Must be willing to learn media list database programs and the ever-evolving array of communication platforms

Working / Environmental Conditions:

Atmosphere and environment associated with office setting

Smoke-free environment

Pressure due to deadline requirements

Pressure due to multiple tasks 

About City of Hope

City of Hope, an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution with over 4000 employees, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases and guided by a compassionate, patient-centered philosophy. Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Duarte, California, City of Hope is a remarkable non-profit institution, where compassion and advanced care go hand-in-hand with excellence in clinical and scientific research. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s 20 leading cancer centers that develops and institutes standards of care for cancer treatment.

City of Hope strongly supports and values the uniqueness of all individuals and promotes a work environment where diversity is embraced. Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.




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