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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $8 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Public Communications Specialist

Viterbi School of Engineering Los Angeles, California

USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI), a unit of the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering, is a world leader in the research and development of advanced artificial intelligence, information processing, computing, and communications technologies. ISI’s 400 faculty, professional staff and graduate students carry out extraordinary information sciences research at three distinct locations - Marina Del Rey, CA, Arlington, VA, and Waltham, MA.

*This position is located in Marina del Rey, CA.*

ISI’s activities extend from basic scientific research in the information science, engineering, and computing fields to the creation and deployment of imaginative, innovative prototype systems that demonstrate new research results in real life settings. Our work spans areas of fundamental importance to modern society – we’re working together to shape our collective future.

We seek a skilled Public Communications Specialist to help us tell our stories and publicize the great research and advancements that happen at ISI every day as well as communicate internally to faculty, staff, and students.

As ISI’s Public Communications Specialist you will have the opportunity to work closely with dedicated technical researchers in areas that directly and visibly impact the modern world. You will have exceptional independence to guide the Institute’s direction, objectives, and activities in the communications domain, while building and leveraging collaborations across USC’s outstanding community of communications professionals and communications-focused students. You will have access to cutting-edge technologists and technical research in the area of media analytics, social media effectiveness, and similar topics, and the opportunity to apply these emerging ideas to your own work and professional development as you see fit. You will have a remarkable job in a vibrant and unique environment!

This position requires a range of skills, capabilities, and prior experience, including:

  • Intuitive understanding of, and experience developing communications strategies, approaches, and methods
  • Familiarity and comfort with technical environments, people, and communications
  • Ability to develop and lead communication strategies in support of change as ISI evolves and grows
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines and work in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to self-manage time across multiple concurrent projects

Candidates with experience in one or more of the following areas will be preferred:

  • A leadership position with responsibility for communication strategy
  • Communication of complex technical topics to multiple, varying audiences
  • Internal communications supporting change and growth
  • Media relations & communications
  • Social media strategies, campaigns, and engagement
  • Effective website design
  • Journalistic photography
  • Graphics and visual design as a means of explicit and implicit communication

Job responsibilities include:

  • Communications Strategy and Planning
    • Work with ISI senior management to develop and maintain an overall communications strategy for ISI
    • Independently develop and evangelize specific plans and activities to realize the strategy
  • Story concept and lead development
    • Cultivate story ideas and leads within and outside the Institute
    • Interview ISI students, staff, and faculty to develop stories
    • Communicate with internal and external sources as needed
    • Pitch stories/story ideas to external media, leading to publication
  • Story creation and content generation
    • Write and edit copy for external media, the ISI and USC websites, and internal communication channels
    • Produce and publish a quarterly ISI newsletter
    • Maintain an active ISI presence on social media
    • As appropriate, write and edit copy for reports, formal documents, and similar
  • Management and collaboration
    • Exercise ongoing content oversight of ISI's website
    • Coordinate and oversee external resources (consultants, photographers, etc.)
    • Work with ISI’s internal technical writing staff, researchers, and project managers as needed to advance story development and creation
    • Collaborate with USC Viterbi School and USC-wide communications teams
    • Mentor and oversee student interns in the communications, graphics, design, data analytics, and related areas

The University of Southern California values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment.


Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree, Combined experience/education as substitute for minimum education Minimum Experience: 3 years, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience Minimum Field of Expertise: Public relations or journalism


REQ20104583 Posted Date: 08/16/2021

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