The Publicist plays an essential role in the Museum’s Communications Department, taking primary responsibility for cultivating substantive press coverage and implementing strategic public relations plans for the Whitney’s exhibitions, public and educational programs, and institutional initiatives. Additional responsibilities include drafting press materials; oversight of the Museum’s media contact database; producing press coverage reports; and overseeing film, television, and photography shoots in the Museum.
The Communications Department designs and implements the Museum’s external communications strategy to advance a positive, compelling, and nuanced story of the Museum’s mission and core activities globally. Through proactive engagement with print, digital, and broadcast media, it builds greater institutional awareness externally and drives audience attendance. The department also fosters a broader understanding of and advocates for the value of communications within the Museum.
The Publicist works in a dynamic environment within a highly visible organization. Critical skills and experience required for this position include excellent writing and verbal communications; strong media relations capabilities; knowledge of historical and contemporary art; and the ability to set priorities and manage multiple projects and deadlines while working both independently and as part of a team. The Publicist must also bring to this role knowledge of the media landscape and awareness of its continuous evolution.
- Plan, create, and implement results-oriented press campaigns for assigned exhibitions, initiatives, and special events, in collaboration with internal and external Communications teams
- Write press materials, including press releases, media alerts, fact sheets, and FAQs
- Proactively meet with curatorial, education, marketing, content, and other colleagues to obtain the information and assets to create communication plans and maintain up-to-date resources for media
- Help maintain/cultivate relationships with media and influencers; create targeted press lists and research new media contacts using Meltwater and other tools
- Track and analyze coverage results; generate exhibition and project-specific reports
- Respond to and track requests for interviews, information, images, and other digital assets; serve as go to person for media inquiries, report back on new opportunities and results on a frequent basis
- Evaluate requests for photo and film shoots at the Museum for appropriateness; manage scheduled shoots, including coordination with internal stakeholders, contracts, scheduling, and onsite logistics
- Lead publicity campaigns for education programs, including family, K12, teen, access and community programs
- Assist with press events as assigned, including press previews and special events
- BS/BA college degree and 3 to 5+ years of relevant experience in public relations/communications setting
- Excellent writing, editing, and research skills
- Strategic proficiency that leads to consistent, high value media placements
- Strong record of working with journalists
- History of successful, high value story placements across print, broadcast, and online media outlets
- Ability to write clear and compelling pitch letters and press releases, cultivate strong relationships with journalists in local, national, international, and trade publications, as well as influential bloggers
- Knowledge of reporters, bloggers, influencers who are relevant to the Museum, where they are, what they are currently covering and will be writing about in the long term
- Expertise with Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel
- Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop, Mailchimp, Raiser’s Edge, and media monitoring software such as Meltwater or Cision
- Experience working with reporters and bloggers who cover NY metro news and culture
- Experience with media database management/story placement monitoring and working with integrated online and social media campaigns
Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you’re new to arts and culture administration, returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in the arts and culture space and what you hope to bring to this role.
About the Whitney:
The Whitney Museum of American Art, founded in 1930 by the artist and philanthropist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, houses the foremost collection of American art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From her vision arose the Whitney Museum of American Art, which has been championing the most innovative art of the United States for 86 years. The core of the Whitney’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit American art of our time and serve a wide variety of audiences in celebration of the complexity and diversity of art and culture in the United States. Through this mission and a steadfast commitment to artists themselves, the Whitney has long been a powerful force in support of modern and contemporary art and continues to help define what is innovative and influential in American art today.
The Whitney Museum of American Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Museum does not discriminate because of age, sex, religion, race, color, creed, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, partnership status, veteran status, gender (including gender identity), sexual orientation, or any other factor prohibited by law. The Museum hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of their qualifications for the job to be filled. The Museum encourages all qualified candidates to apply for vacant positions at all levels. This description shall not be construed as a contract of any sort for a specific period of employment.
The health and safety of our Museum community is the highest priority. As such, the Whitney Museum is requiring all newly hired staff members to be fully vaccinated and boosted with an FDA authorized and/or approved COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations for medical, religious, or other reasons will be considered in accordance with applicable law.