PNNL Careers

Media Relations Advisor


Job Description

Job ID: 307653
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

The Invitation:

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to collaboration and work/life integration. Dynamic, adaptable people come to PNNL to work smarter and to work together on high-impact projects and initiatives for the U.S. Department of Energy and many other sponsors. PNNL staff members focus on meaningful work, innovation, and impactful outcomes. At PNNL, you’ll find a positive, fast-paced environment and excellent benefits including pension, matching 401(k), tuition reimbursement plans, health insurance, flexible work schedules, and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State, known for its outdoor recreation, thriving wine industry, and affordable cost of living.

The Opportunity:

As the media relations specialist, you’ll work with targeted national, regional, local, and science media—and other strategically important stakeholders—to build relationships and tell PNNL’s many engaging science and technology stories. You’ll generate earned placements of PNNL stories with top-tier media outlets and creates opportunities for PNNL leadership and staff to speak, lead sessions, and participate on panels at key national and international conferences.

Authority and Accountability:

-Builds a comprehensive media strategy to reinforce strategic priorities and raise awareness of PNNL and its mission areas.
-Establishes and maintains relationships with key national, regional, local, and trade news media representatives with the goal of earning impactful story placements in major outlets.
-Pitches story ideas and distributes news releases as a part of press packages that may include backgrounders, video, images, infographics, and other visuals.
-Develops and pitches compelling story ideas and news to targeted reporters and editors.
-Identifies media opportunities that connect the Laboratory to topical national and international scientific discussions and matches PNNL experts with reporters working on related stories.
-Manages news conferences and media availability on-site as well as at science and technical conferences.
-Attends scientific conferences to build and maintain relationships with targeted news media.
-Conducts regular calls and/or offsite visits to media offices to build or maintain relationships, discuss news story ideas, and offer PNNL staff as expert resources for future stories.
-Follows and engages key media on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media channels, as appropriate.
-Works with scientific societies and communications staff to secure speaking engagements and identify opportunities to chair or sponsor sessions.
-Works with PNNL researchers, communications colleagues, and senior leadership to develop strategies, tactics, and measures.
-Supports the communications director and public affairs advisor in managing issues with potential for negatively affecting PNNL’s reputation in the news media.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

-Skilled in discovering and identifying journalists, constructing target lists, and building lasting relationships with key media or other representatives.
-Ability to craft an impactful media strategy that achieves the strategic goals of the organization.
-Ability to identify newsworthy material and pitch it to media.
-Proficiency in creative storytelling.
-Ability to identify a story and articulate it in a compelling manner while maintaining scientific accuracy.
-Ability to monitor news trends, develop stories that take advantage of those trends, and pitch the stories to media.
-Sound knowledge of proper media interactions (i.e., the dos and don’ts of press interviews).
-Ability to prepare, coach, and work with spokespeople so the desired story is communicated in a way the media will find it compelling and interesting.
-Knowledge of media monitoring and press relations tools, such as Cision, Meltwater, etc.
-Proficiency with the Microsoft Office Suite.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, public relations, business, English, journalism, or similar degree, plus 7 years of related experience; or an advanced degree and 4 years of related experience.

Preferred Qualifications

-Experience conducting media relations at a national laboratory or scientific research and development institution.
-Excellent written, oral, interpersonal, presentation, and project management skills.
-Strong customer service orientation.
-Knowledge of strategic communications principles and experience in building strategic communications plans.
-Ability to prepare and deliver written and verbal reports that clearly and quickly communicate operational status, progress toward goals, and key issues.
-Experience serving as a media relations representative for a large, science and technology-based organization.
-Track record of relationship building with reporters from top-tier news and media outlets.
-Demonstrated ability to regularly earn story placements with major media organizations.
-Understanding of applications of digital technology to the media relations function.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307653
Directorate: Communications and Information Technology
Division: Communications
Group: Digital and Media Communications