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Senior News Director

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Job ID: 198291
Category: Marketing/PR/Development
Work Type: FT
Location: Philadelphia, PA, United States
Work Schedule: 8:30AM-5:00PM, M-F | Hybrid

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Penn Medicine is dedicated to our tripartite mission of providing the highest level of care to patients, conducting innovative research, and educating future leaders in the field of medicine. Working for this leading academic medical center means collaboration with top clinical, technical and business professionals across all disciplines.

Today at Penn Medicine, someone will make a breakthrough. Someone will heal a heart, deliver hopeful news, and give comfort and reassurance. Our employees shape our future each day. Are you living your life's work?

Job Summary:

  • The Penn Medicine Senior News Director brings expert communications strategy and a growth mindset to leading the media relations team in the Department of Communications, developing compelling concepts for media outreach and storytelling, overseeing daily news operations and serving as editor for press releases and other media materials targeting the regional, national, and international press. The Senior News Director will work closely with the press officer team to develop and lead a best-in-class media relations strategy, identify and develop tactics to support communication of marquee institutional initiatives, and collaborate to create social media content to amplify the reach of topics covered in press releases and news media placements. The Senior News Director's work aims to drive engagement with an array of external audiences – including the news media, patients, the general public, elected officials, and health care influencers – to enhance and grow Penn Medicine's reputation.

  • This position plays a crucial role in driving operational process improvements and identifying/developing new areas of focus for the Communications department, as well as fresh synergies across each domain of the department. The Senior News Director will work closely with the Senior Director for Internal Communications and Senior Editorial Director to lead and amplify efforts to unite media relations, internal communications, social media, and publications activities under thematic/campaign umbrellas and maximize the reach of impactful topics covered in each domain. The Senior News Director will report to and serve as a chief deputy to the AVP for Communications on planning and execution of both short- and long-term department-wide priorities and special projects, as well as crisis communications matters.


  • Management of the Penn Medicine Communications department’s team of press officers (including Associate Director for Strategic Communications), including editing of all press releases, invitations to cover, videos, social media content, and other media materials, as well as responsibility for helping shape strategy and providing oversight of systemwide strategic media initiatives and campaigns.

  • Provide strategic oversight and leadership of departmental initiatives such as medical meeting press plans, publicity for major gifts and new centers and facilities. Identify and implement pitching strategies and social media content to amplify the reach of topics covered in press releases and other mediagenic subjects.
  • Provide creative consultation and execute cross-cutting strategies designed to drive public awareness of key institutional priorities in all domains of Penn Medicine’s mission (clinical care, research, education, and community service) as well as stories exemplifying the power of integration across departments, entities, and between UPHS and the PSOM.
  • Develop and implement overarching external communications/media relations strategy – from written pieces to live events to multimedia experiences -- across Penn Medicine, including incorporation of video and social media content as a key driver of engagement with the press, funders and philanthropic partners, patients, and peer influencers.
  • Develop and implement metrics and analytics for defining and evaluating success of new media relations/communications initiatives and campaigns mapped to key institutional initiatives, and methods of sustaining and building on gains.
  • Partner with Development & Alumni Relations leaders to develop and enhance communications materials to showcase media coverage and multimedia projects to key donor/philanthropic and alumni constituencies.
  • Stay abreast of and proactively adapt to trends in the news media industry. Strengthen existing relationships with the press and cultivate new relationships with both regional and national media, and shape communications strategy and tactics to align with emerging opportunities in the news media.
  • Serve as first-line contact for communications teams at regional entities (LGH, CCH, Princeton)
  • Develop and implement departmental continuing education activities and group learning experiences to enhance team collaboration and efficacy and develop standardized approaches to improve efficiencies and productivity within media relations team and ensure excellent client service.
  • Day-to-day and long-range leadership of the department’s media monitoring and metrics efforts, as well as management, evaluation and budgetary oversight of monitoring vendors. The News Director also spearheads the department’s Annual Communications Report analyzing trends in our performance across a range of key indicators for public relations success.
  • Serve as lead liaison to Penn Medicine Marketing and Development staff and leadership and University Communications on all inter-departmental/school planning for institutional priorities such as new clinical initiatives and high-profile naming gifts, etc.
  • Close collaboration with the Senior Director for Internal Communications and Senior Editorial Director to leverage and cross promote content and ideas in all communications domains.
  • Performs duties in accordance with Penn Medicine and entity values, policies, and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned to support the unit, department, entity, and health system organization.


  • Bachelor's Degree (Required), preferably in Communications/English/Journalism or related fields.
  • Master's Degree (Preferred)
  • 12+ years of experience in public relations/communications (Required), preferably with strong health care and/or science experience.
  • 3+ years of Leadership experience including management/supervisory or project management experience (Required)
  • Experience with digital media – social media, video, infographics (Required).
  • Experience managing vendors, including contracted writers, media monitoring, metrics and reporter database services (Required).
  • Experience writing and editing medical and scientific writing (Preferred).
  • Experience working with health care advocacy and professional associations (Preferred).

Skills & Abilities:

  • Superior understanding of the principles and practice of biomedical research.
  • Ability to be flexible and work under pressure.
  • Clear ability to operate independently in a high-profile, fast-moving environment characterized by multiple competing prioritizes and stakeholders.
  • High energy with the ability to think innovatively; resilient and able to build effective and collaborative.
  • relationships at all levels of the organization.
  • Expertise in educating leaders and staff in strategic communication practices, principles, tools and resources.
  • Demonstrated skills providing leadership, mentorship, and coaching to drive highly effective teams and individual development.
  • Demonstrated success placing stories in national and regional media.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of broader news events and trends in medicine and scientific research in order to make appropriate recommendations regarding both proactive and reactive communication strategies.
  • Ability to translate technical information into language accessible by media and the lay public.
  • Strong track record of managing people, projects, and processes.

                      We believe that the best care for our patients starts with the best care for our employees. Our employee benefits programs help our employees get healthy and stay healthy. We offer a comprehensive compensation and benefits program that includes one of the finest prepaid tuition assistance programs in the region. Penn Medicine employees are actively engaged and committed to our mission. Together we will continue to make medical advances that help people live longer, healthier lives.

                      Live Your Life's 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.

                         Current UPHS employees must apply HERE
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