Media Communications Specialist

Website Scripps_Ocean Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego is one of the most important centers for global earth science research and education in the world. Now in its second century of discovery, the scientific scope of the institution includes biological, physical, chemical, geological, geophysical, and atmospheric studies of the earth as a system. Hundreds of research programs to further understanding of the planet are under way today on every continent and in every ocean. Birch Aquarium at Scripps serves as the interpretive center of the institution and showcases Scripps research and a diverse array of marine life to more than 460,000 visitors each year.

The Media Communications Specialist works to raise awareness of the important work being done at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This involves working in many different capacities to highlight the institution and its initiatives including research, education, institutional events, and stories on students, staff and faculty. This position implements proactive communications around the institution’s global research to understand and protect the planet across four research themes: Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, Innovative Technology to Observe the Planet, Human Health and the Ocean, and Resilience to Hazards.

The position searches out, reports on, writes, and pitches a high volume of stories that highlight the various positive impacts of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The position possesses, maintains and develops a high level of media interaction to generate positive press coverage of the institution.

The position contributes to social media efforts to create compelling multi-media content that further tells the story of the institution’s important scientific research advances across the four research themes. This position also provides analysis and reporting on marketing communications efforts. High-quality, high-volume work under deadline is consistently required.

The ideal candidate for this position will be a strong writer, an avid consumer of news, a media relations pro who can proactively pitch features to all types of media, a digital aficionado not afraid to experiment with new social media techniques, a collaborative team member who can work with colleagues to develop and execute an integrated strategy, and an earth and ocean fan who wants to spread the word on cutting-edge research and innovation to better understand and protect the planet.


  • Thorough knowledge of the concepts and principles of news, media communications and media relations.
  • Thorough skills in understanding and effectively utilizing all news / media mediums including broadcast news, the internet, social media and other emerging technologies.
  • Thorough knowledge of the location, its achievements, mission, vision, goals, objectives, programs and infrastructure.
  • Thorough written, verbal and interpersonal communications skills, including a strong sense of a good story and understanding of the topics that may be of interest to various publics and will incorporate key location messages.
  • Good judgment, political acumen, and thorough organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish positive relationships with news media that result in the placement of positive press coverage.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand, explain and summarize complex concepts and to share them in simple language that is both scientifically accurate and accessible to lay audiences.
  • Experience using social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, online forums and blogs in professional capacity. Demonstrated results in utilizing new social media tactics that resulted in high engagement.
  • Experience quantifying effectiveness of social media strategies; experience evaluating and advising on effectiveness of social media strategies.
  • Demonstrated skill to complete projects that require a high level of accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with staff teams.
  • Knowledge of journalistic best practices and AP style. Ability to turn copy around quickly.
  • Experience writing compelling copy that is targeted to specific audiences via a variety of outlets including social media, websites, email marketing, video, printed brochures and publications, websites, emails, talking points, articles and reports.
  • Familiarity and interest in science and/or environmental fields.
  • Prior experience writing news releases, media advisories, feature stories, and more.
  • An avid consumer of news across print, online, broadcast and social media.
  • Prior experience planning and executing press conferences, coordinating media interviews and managing reporters.


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