Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Media Officer Society for Neuroscience Washington, Dist. Columbia

Media Officer
Society for Neuroscience
Washington, Dist. Columbia

Job Description
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is a non-profit, professional association representing over 41,000 members working in the dynamic and multi-disciplinary field of science that deals with the brain and nervous system. Our staff of 80-plus is a highly dedicated group passionate about and proud of supporting the scientific research, advocacy and public education activities our members are engaged in.

We work in a unique, award-winning, environmentally friendly building and offer excellent employee benefits. We foster a culture of creativity, initiative-taking and excellence, and seek highly motivated, bright, inquisitive, and energetic team players interested in contributing to the multi-faceted mission of the Society.

SUMMARY: The Media Officer is responsible for helping to implement a proactive public information and media program to inform key audiences about neuroscience research and its impact. The position works to effectively disseminate materials to the media and secure stories in mainstream and science publications; works with reporters to assess interests/needs, identify experts, and secure interviews; helps planning and implementation of annual meeting media operations; manages press lists and contacts; helps writes or edits press material such as advisories; creates and maintains media resources and tools on the Web; and monitors/reports on press coverage.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (along with other duties that may be assigned):
· Helps implement public information and media outreach plan to secure coverage of neuroscience in leading news outlets and build awareness of key audiences about the importance of supporting neuroscience. Also conducts media outreach for broader institutional communications efforts developed with volunteer leadership, senior staff, and other SfN units.
· Supports annual meeting press room planning and event management. Works with manager on content selection process for annual meeting press events; collaborates with others to write news releases and other press material; assists lead up to conference and on–site media events, including 10-12 press conferences over three days and integration of Web and broadcast activity; and supports on–site press corps.
· Works to build year-round responsive and proactive media relations operation to disseminate science findings and present SfN members as authoritative, accessible sources on relevant issues. Responds effectively to press inquiries; cultivates effective relationships with key science and public policy reporters and publications to identify their interests and pursue stories; manages press lists on an ongoing basis; monitors media coverage and provides regular reports; writes and/or pitches news releases on topics appearing in The Journal of Neuroscience; facilitates media tools like embargoed access to journal content and advisories; makes SfN experts available on timely subjects; and partners with other PI staff and SfN units to implement policy- and education-related media activity.
· Manages Web Newsroom content for reporters and in-the-news section, and helps develop and contribute to other multi-media projects as appropriate.
· Supports work of the volunteer Public Education & Communications Committee, which guides communications activity. Assists with the preparation and dissemination of materials for meetings and ongoing projects.
· Serves as active team member of public information department: works with other staff; helps report on department progress; and works effectively and responsively with volunteer leadership committees and individuals.

GENERAL DUTIES: Serves as an engaged and involved team member, respecting the varied experiences and perspectives of internal and external colleagues. Supports and actively builds an office culture dedicated to superior customer service that exceeds member expectations. Works within the team and among teams to ensure that decisions are made to further the organization's goals.

QUALIFICATIONS: Exceptional written and oral communication skills; experience communicating scientific content to engage non-scientists; ability to build media relationships and work with reporters to secure stories in mainstream and trade news outlets, including pitching; collaborative style to work effectively with colleagues, other departments, and Society volunteer leaders and scientific reviewers. Demonstrated ability to write, edit, and promote compelling scientific/health content on tight deadlines, with a highly developed sense of news and story ideas that resonate with public audiences. Superior organizational skills.

EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE: Bachelor's degree, preferably in English, journalism, communications, or a science major; minimum 3 years’ experience in an external communications position at a scientific or medical related institution/organization, public relations agency, and/or background as a science or medical journalist. Proficient in Microsoft suite. Ability to handle interpersonal situations with tact and professionalism.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Excellent oral/written communication skills and knowledge of the English language.
MATHEMATICAL SKILLS: Basic math required. Ability to figure percentages and proofread scientific figures.

REASONING ABILITY: Must show good judgment, logic and strong analytical and reasoning skills. Must show critical judgment in evaluating topic areas and an ability to present complex or potentially controversial topics in an understandable, balanced, yet interesting, manner.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here represent those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Must be able to work as a team member

Please forward your cover letter, current resume, salary requirements, writing samplese, and references by e-mail or mail to:

Human Resources, SfN
1121 14th Street, NW
Suite 1010; Washington, DC 20005
email: Web:

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