Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

TITLE: Public Relations Manager

CATEGORY: Management

FLSA: Exempt



Under the direction of the Department Director, leads the public relations functions of the College. Plans and executes a comprehensive, proactive public relations strategy that advances the College's mission and goals by building support for the institution and an understanding of its unique role. Works with other College Advancement managers  to plan and implement public relations strategies that support efforts to reach and engage Advancement’s target audiences, which include the community, government policy makers, the media, alumni and friends, students, employees and business and philanthropic leaders.


The Public Relations Manager serves as the College Public Information Officer (PIO), and is the key spokesperson to local, state and national media in all College matters. Leads the College’s public relations strategy, carrying out operating policies and procedures with a focus in the area of public relations, media relations, community relations, and communication programs, coordinating efforts with the Marketing Manager for the greatest efficiency, impact, and strengthening of College communications.


  1. Supervises professionals, classified staff, technical/support staff and students.  Hires, evaluates, trains, disciplines and recommends dismissal of staff as necessary.
  2. In collaboration with the other College Advancement managers, provides leadership for the media and public relations components of the College’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Plan. Manages media relations for the College, developing and implementing a strategic media relations campaign to ensure a positive public image for the College. Works with both traditional news media and “non-news” media, such as talk shows, advertorials and bloggers to obtain coverage for the College. Works with state and national associations to promote media awareness of community college issues.
  3. Plans external audience special events for the College, aggressively seeking opportunities to “make news” that generates coverage. Provides guidance and support to departments and campuses planning events and other public relations activities. Represents College administration at public relations strategy meetings with business and industry, education, other partners and with media outlets for shared promotional efforts. Represents College administration at public events, press conferences and meetings, and assists leaders with public appearances.
  4. Develops and disseminates public relations materials, including press releases, media packets, feature stories for the college website and magazine, social media content and internal communication pieces. Researches and helps develop communications and talking points for College leaders.
  5. Serves as the College’s public information officer and principal spokesperson to the public and the media. Maintains contact with Executive Officers and the District President in matters relating to news media, public statements, crisis communications and public relations activities, representing College leadership to the news media. Serves as a key member of the College Crisis Preparedness and Management team, providing communications response during emergencies. Participates in the office’s “on-call” rotation system.
  6. Confers with department directors, committees, managers, and staff teams to provide public relations consultation. Develops related strategies and provides training on how to implement strategies.
  7. Participates in planning and allocating the departmental budget, which includes: monitoring spending, approving purchases, reallocating funds, and monitoring blanket purchase orders.
  8. Assists the department Director with development and implementation of special projects such as Bond and capital campaigns.
  9. Establishes priorities for work assignments, monitors progress, reviews work products and ensures products are delivered in a timely manner.
  10. Represents the College at state, regional and national meetings related to the area of media and public relations.
  11. Positions in this classification may perform all or some of the responsibilities above and all positions perform other related duties as assigned.


Bachelor's degree in journalism, political science, marketing, public relations, communications or related field. Relevant experience may substitute for the degree requirement on a year-for-year basis. Five years of progressively responsible, professional experience related to area of assignment, including two years of supervisory experience.


Knowledge of:

  • Media and public relations principles and practices;
  • Public information principles and practices;
  • Supervisory principles;
  • Budgeting principles and practices;
  • Community college operations and administration principles and practices.
  • Crisis planning and communications;
  • Project management principles and practices;
  • Social media principles and practices

Demonstrated Skills in:

  • Developing public relations strategies;
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with members of the community, media, business and industry;
  • “Pitching” story ideas and getting earned media;
  • Planning and executing special events;
  • Communicating effectively through oral and written mediums.
  • Developing and monitoring budgets;
  • Developing creative concepts and messages to achieve desired objectives and College branding;
  • Facilitating meetings;
  • Handling multiple tasks simultaneously;
  • Managing projects;
  • Communicating effectively with all levels of management, board of directors, staff and external individuals and groups, including media representatives;
  • Analyzing and interpreting data and information and making appropriate recommendations based on findings;
  •  Preparing a variety of written materials, including speeches, presentations, magazine and web articles; blog posts, news releases and media advisories.
  • Utilizing computer technology for communication, data gathering and reporting activities;
  • Working with diverse academic, cultural and ethnic backgrounds of community college students and staff


Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule. In-district travel is required as necessary. Working hours may vary and occasional evening and weekend work is required. No special coordination beyond that used for normal mobility and handling of every day objects and material is needed to perform the job satisfactorily.

REVISED: 8/2012

REPLACES: Public Affairs Manager