JOB POSTING | Media Relations Manager – Milwaukee Public Schools

Media Relations Manager – Milwaukee Public Schools 

Position Summary/Purpose:

The Media Relation Manager serves as the direct contact between the media and the Milwaukee Public School District. Leads the development, planning, and execution of public and media relations strategy in support of the overarching MPS communications plan to help generate greater public confidence in public education in Milwaukee. Serve as primary media strategist, working at the direction of the Communications Director.  Time outside regular office hours is required, including time in the evening and on weekends.

Core Competencies:

  • Decision Quality and Problem-Solving
  • Communication and Customer Service
  • Professionalism
  • Equity, Access and Inclusion

Essential Functions:

An essential function is a duty or responsibility that is fundamental to the job — a critical, or basic component of that job.   An essential function cannot or should not be assigned elsewhere.

Note:  An Essential Function must meet the following criteria:

  • Does the job exist to do this function?
  • Would taking this function from the job fundamentally change the job?
  • Would there be significant consequences if this function were not performed?
  • Can other employees do this function if necessary?
  • How much time per week is spent doing this function?
  • Do people in similar positions elsewhere do this function?

80% of Essential Functions:

  • Develop, write, and distribute news releases for Milwaukee Public Schools District.
  • Protects and promotes MPS’ brand and image in a proper, coordinated, and consistent manner.
  • Respond in real time to initial calls and inquiries from the media for information and coordinate MPS responses from the appropriate individuals.
  • Assist Director of Communications & Outreach and leadership staff with crisis management for individual school and district wide occurrences.
  • Coordinate, plan, organize, and promote all news conferences.
  • Identify story leads, create pitches, and secure media coverage.
  • Establish and maintain positive working relationships with members of the media.
  • Develop and write speeches and talking points for the Superintendent and other leadership staff, as needed.
  • Provide media coaching and training to staff and prepare MPS leadership for interviews and other public appearances.
  • Writes parent, teacher, staff messages and directs distribution of messaging.
  • Act as a media spokesperson on behalf of MPS and address questions and complaints.
  • Serve as backup for the Director when the Director is unavailable
    Support of the PR/social media relationship and support digital messaging

20% of Essential Functions:

  • Collaborate with Communication & Marketing team on brainstorming creative strategies for weekly messaging and storytelling ideas
  • Assist in the development and implementation of MPS overall internal and external communication strategy.
  • Participate in all-staff, team, and other internal meetings as requested.
  • Attend District meeting to stay up-to-date on District policy and happenings.
  • Be an outstanding team player who can troubleshoot issues, offer ideas and support, and help others succeed.
  • Be proactive, reliable, responsible, and accurate with an attention to detail
  • Actively supports the MPS Strategic Plan.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Job Requirements:

Education Requirements:
Position requires a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, public relations or related field.

Experience Requirements: 
Five or more years’ experience in public relations, media, or related field. Demonstrated experience in media or public affairs/relations.

 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Must be a confident communicator and presenter
  • Skill at organizing resources and establishing priorities.
  • Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Must possess excellent organizational and planning skills
  • Have a full understanding of media needs and media relationships
  • Be proactive, reliable, responsible and accurate with an attention to detail
  • Possess the ability to keep information confidential
  • Strong relationship building and networking skills, with the ability to engage effectively with media.
  • Outstanding verbal/written pitching ability, with the competence and desire to tell MPS’ story with passion and precision.
  • Ability to multitask and navigate uncertain or challenging situations with ease.
  • Ability to work in high-stress environments, often for long hours

Working Environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. General office environment.  Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.

Physical Demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodation.
General office environment, must be able to handle lifting 10-15lbs. with standing, bending.

Equal Opportunity:
It is the policy of the District that persons seeking employment with the District shall not be discriminated against in employment by reason of their age, race, creed, color, religion, handicap or disability, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sex, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, military service, membership in the National Guard, state defense or reserves, political affiliation, use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours, declining to attend a meeting or to participate in any communication about religious matters or political matters, the authorized use of family or medical leave or worker’s compensation benefits, genetic information, physical, mental, emotional or learning disability, or any other factor protected by local, state or federal law in all employment practices including terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

Reasonable accommodations requested by qualified individuals with disabilities will be made in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.

Reasonable accommodations shall be made for qualified individuals with a disability, unless such accommodations would impose an undue hardship on the District. Requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act must be submitted to the Employee Rights Administration Department in the Office of Human Resources.


About the author

The Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) is a professional association representing schools, school districts, educational associations, consulting agencies and organizations. WSPRA is a state affiliate of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). 4797 HAYES ROAD | SUITE 103 | MADISON, WI 53704 | PHONE: 608-241-0300 | WSPRA@AWSA.ORG