Media Relations Specialist | Bethesda Magazine

Media Relations Specialist

JBS International, Inc.

North Bethesda | Business/Management, Public Relations, Writing/Editing | Mid-level, Senior-level | Full-time
Date posted: 01-03-20

North Bethesda health and human services consulting firm seeks a full-time Media Relations Specialist to translate federal clients’ research activities and scientific advances through proactive media strategies and outreach to various audiences—through traditional media, new technologies, and best practices.


· Work with the JBS Officer in Charge (OIC) and the prime contractor to conduct media outreach and pitching to national media outlets for federal government contract.

· Work onsite with government press team 3 days a week to draft public-facing content including news releases, talking points, public statements, and social media messages related to diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases, nutritional disorders, obesity, and digestive, liver, kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases.

· Use journalism-style writing that adheres to AP and internal style guidelines.

· Directly pitch stories about institute-supported research to reporters and editors at national media outlets.

· Respond to reporter inquiries and arrange interviews with researchers in keeping with the client’s guidelines for interviews.

· Respond to researcher questions about news media and publicity. Develop expertise on a particular area of research, as assigned by the press team lead, and develop relationships with researchers and leadership in that area.

· Monitor news media for mentions of the institute and its programs using Cision; create media monitoring reports summarizing news coverage.

· Participate in press team strategy meetings and meetings with relevant researchers and client leadership.

· Bring new and innovative ideas to increase press coverage (e.g., PR Newswire).

· Work with other JBS contract staff to assist with radio media tours for the Director including drafting talking points


Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations or relevant field.

Language: English fluency (oral and written)

Experience: A minimum of 5 years of experience working in media relations or journalism, with expertise writing in and editing for plain language for the public and media, with demonstrably successful products produced, such as news releases, published articles and social media. Experience with developing media strategies in increasing media mentions and reach. Experience working with media and be able to facilitate interview requests, including message development, clearances, and scheduling, while building positive relationships between government program clients and scientific staff. Ability to write clear and concise press releases and talking points with attention to detail and target audience. Ability to write in journalist pyramid style. Experience interviewing researchers and other government staff to prepare press releases, social media posts, and other media materials and articles.

Knowledge: Knowledge of communication practices, social marketing, and behavior change principles, particularly when part of a larger strategy for reaching varied audiences.

Skills: High degree of attention to detail and timelines. Experience developing and maintaining positive relationships with the press, contract staff, and clients. Excellent customer service and oral communication skills. Able to handle numerous tasks simultaneously in a fast-paced environment. Strong organization, flexibility, and responsiveness to changing requirements. Ability to write clearly, concisely, and logically, using proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and language appropriate for the target audience. Good research, interviewing, and computer skills.

Software Proficiency: Knowledge of MS Office and media monitoring software such as Cision

Location: This position is located on site in North Bethesda, MD


Experience: Experience working in an agency environment on Federal Government projects.

Knowledge: Subject matter expertise that is aligned with to diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases, nutritional disorders, obesity, and digestive, liver, kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases a plus.

This position is subject to availability of funds and to any and all restrictions contained in the contract or contracts that provide funding for this position.

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