UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
Functional Title: Digital Media Specialist
Position Number: 122912
Category Status: Exempt, Contingent ll, Full-Time
Unit: AGNR-AES-Agriculture Experiment Station-Associate Director
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) invites applications for this 12-month, renewable, digital media specialist position, to work in the SARE Outreach office located in College Park, Md. SARE is a program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and operates under a cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland at College Park.
SARE Outreach is the national communications arm of SARE (www.sare.org). SARE Outreach’s primary objective is to translate the results of SARE-funded projects into practical, how-to information for diverse agricultural audiences, including farmers, Extension educators and researchers. Therefore, through the activities described below, the digital media specialist will help develop multimedia products to reach various target audiences with this information.
Position Summary/Purpose of Position:
The coordinator serves as the program’s digital communications specialist, responsible for creating engaging, informative content using combinations of text, still photographs, video, audio, graphics and interactivity. This person works with staff to identify appropriate subjects and develop key messages according to program objectives, and coordinates with contracted vendors to create, promote, and distribute multimedia and print assets as needed. This person is an important member of the SARE communications team who uses their knowledge of agriculture and digital media to make significant contributions to overall communications planning.
(S)he is the primary website team member, including guiding the overall online strategy, managing content on the website, developing new functionality, implementing search engine optimization projects and using analytics to inform online strategies.
(S)he helps to develop the program’s digital communications and outreach efforts, including advising staff on social media strategies and analyzing the results of social media efforts.
Collaborative Content Development
- Create inspirational and educational content about SARE research and sustainable agriculture practices in appropriate multimedia formats.
- Develop multimedia assets in-house or coordinate with contracted vendors as needed (e.g., video footage, photos, audio recordings, interactivity, illustrations and graphic design).
- Write and copy edit text for online and multimedia materials and, as needed, for print publications and news releases.
Collaborative Content Management
- Work with staff to cultivate, package, edit and post content for the website using a content management system.
- Along with the IT coordinator, serve as the primary administrator of the SARE website, which includes developing and testing new functionality, troubleshooting and user support.
- Use Google Analytics and Google AdWords to implement SEO best practices on the website.
- Work with outreach staff to develop and carry out promotion and distribution plans.
- Provide strategic input and best practices for the use of social media platforms.
- Network and develop relationships with potential partners, including periodic travel to conferences, field days and other events.
- Work with outreach staff to draft and distribute press releases and promotional content.
- Manage email and mailing lists.
- Manage multiple digital media projects at once by appropriately organizing priorities and time. Must be able to work in a team-based environment with both in-person and remote colleagues.
- Manage 1-2 student workers.
- Coordinate with communications team to develop content strategies.
- Proactively identify and recommend new ways of using digital formats and online tools to achieve outreach goals.
- Ensure that content format and delivery is based on preferences of different target audiences.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
A minimum of a B.A. in communications/journalism and/or a B.S. in an agricultural or environmental sciences-related field. At least five years of work experience in a related field. Excellent written and oral communication skills; demonstrated ability to use a variety of digital formats and channels to tell compelling stories; excellent computer skills, including content management systems, email database management and design programs; and the ability to work both in a team-based office environment and independently.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Demonstrated ability to translate complex scientific information into educational and inspirational messages for a wide range of audiences and purposes.
- Experience creating and packaging information across digital multiple formats, such as text, video, audio, photos, graphics and interactivity.
- Experience managing multiple social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) in a professional setting.
- Experience with content management systems such as WordPress and email marketing systems.
- Strong writing and editing skills.
- Knowledge of agriculture, particularly sustainable agriculture principles and scientific research methods.
- Ability to work simultaneously on several projects by appropriately managing priorities and time, and to manage student workers.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- A master’s degree in a related field is highly preferred.
- Five years of experience performing the duties described above in an agriculture-related field.
- Familiarity with AP style.
- Intermediate or higher skill with any of the following Adobe Creative Cloud programs: Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere.
- Experience implementing SEO strategies.
- Demonstrated ability to use videography, audio recording, photography and/or graphic design to tell motivational and/or educational stories.
- Experience with Google Analytics and Google Keywords.
- A demonstrated commitment to SARE’s mission—to advance sustainable innovations to the whole of American agriculture.
- Knowledge of media relations strategies—how to identify and pitch stories based on key trends, how to structure and message news releases, etc.—is highly desirable. Knowledge of the agricultural media landscape is a plus. Familiarity with Cision or another media relations service is also a plus.
- Must have basic skills using Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Advanced skills preferred. Basic experience with HTML is also preferred.
- Experience using content and contact management systems is highly desirable. Experience contributing to an organization’s social media presence is a plus.
- Photography and video skills are a plus.
- The coordinator may be responsible for coordinating the activities of student worker(s) who will assist on collaborative projects as needed.
This is a primarily a sedentary position with the physical demands found in an office environment involving extensive use of desktop computers. Involves light lifting.
Salary commensurate with education and experience, with a base salary of $54,324. The University of Maryland offers an extensive benefits package.
Applications: All interested persons must submit their application online at
. A complete application package includes cover letter, resume, copies of transcripts, list of three professional references and a list of three multimedia projects you worked on with a brief description of your role in each.
Closing Date: April 28, 2017
The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, political affiliation, and gender identity or expression. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.