Public Relations Manager

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium

About Mote:

We are scientists, explorers and stewards of the ocean. Driven byresearch,educationand excitement we work to create a better environment for ourselves and our children. The answers are in the ocean. Together, we will find them.

We are an independent, nonprofit marine research institution comprised of world-class marine scientists committed to the belief that the conservation and sustainable use of our oceans begins with research and education.

Position Details

Public Relations Manager
Southwest Florida
Sarasota, FL

This is a full-time position that supports public relations activities for all Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium departments and programs and the institutional goals of: 1) promoting Mote’s research, 2) generating attendance for Mote Aquarium, Education programs and events and 3) supporting fundraising efforts. It supports and enhances the institution’s reputation, integrity and partnerships.

The primary emphasis is media relations — this position is responsible for initiating and managing regular contact with local, regional and national media, including being the primary responder to incoming media queries and primary media escort at Mote’s Sarasota County facilities. This position also develops (in conjunction with the Content Development Manager and the Assistant Vice President of Community Relations and Communications (AVP)) and implements a media-relations strategy that supports institutional objectives.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

Works with AVP of Community Relations and Communications and Content Development Manager along with other staff in the Education, Aquarium and Outreach departments to perform and support daily activities of each department.

Duties include:

  • Media relations – developing and maintaining strong professional relationships with members of the media at the local, state and national level. Mote’s Public Relations Manager should be the go-to source for reporters covering coastal and ocean-related news. 
  • Manages media database, including updating current contacts as reporters and adding new contacts as they are developed (including notes of contact with reporters). 
  • Develops story ideas, places stories, handles inquiries, researches and writes news releases (including the media eblast issued every Tuesday, Newsday@Mote). 
  • Works with media on site and fulfills photo and video requests. 
  • Reviews media contracts for appropriate usage of Mote materials. 
  • Serves as a spokesperson for Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium as appropriate. 
  • Handles occasional inquiries from the general public via phone, website and in person. 
  • Supports and enhances institutional partnerships, including representing Mote at off-site events and in professional organizations. 
  • Monitors media for placement about Mote and issues related to Mote’s mission to inform staff, Trustees and volunteers. Provides regular newsclips to internal audiences on a monthly basis. 
  • Creates institutional messages for issues and programs to be used across communication platforms. 
  • Manages Communications interns and Communications volunteers 
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 
  • Working Hours: Full-time position. Regular office hours with the understanding that flexibility is required to provide coverage for media and events after hours and on weekends.

Minimum Qualifications and Skills:

  • Strong organizational skills and ability to juggle multiple priorities and tasks simultaneously 
  • Creative and detail-oriented 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and the ability to simplify complex topics for a general audience Ability to work with volunteers, interns and staff at all levels 
  • Administrative skills and proficiency with Microsoft Office. 
  • Minimum of 2 years journalism, writing, editing, public relations and/or marketing experience. 
  • A four-year college degree preferred in a communications field including journalism, marketing, public relations or related field or equivalent work experience in a similar environment. 
  • Knowledge of common marketing and public relations practices and tools 
  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds

Preferred Experience/Background:

  • Experience placing stories with national media
  • Knowledge of basic scientific processes and terminology
  • Interest in marine science

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