Special Projects Writer

If you’re committed to diversity and have a passion for equity issues — and love to talk to people and uncover their fascinating stories — you may be our next Special Projects Writer.

USC University Communications seeks a talented writer who will illuminate the achievements and personality of university students, faculty members, staff, researchers, alumni, donors and friends. The writer will focus on finding interesting stories and creating content with an authentic voice that highlights the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and access to higher education for students of all backgrounds. This creative professional also works closely with advancement and leadership staff to advance the university’s academic, philanthropic, community and research priorities, as well as support USC’s culture.

In this role, you’ll interview and maintain positive relationships with faculty and staff members, scientists and physicians, undergraduate and graduate students, high-profile donors and other supporters, including professors and administrators involved in diversity issues. You’ll discover, propose and write your own stories for USC media designed for a variety of audiences. You may also be assigned announcements and other content about university initiatives and milestones, major administrative changes, community outreach efforts and events and trends important to USC. In addition, you may coordinate gift- and leadership-related announcements with other collaborators across USC, as well as maintain collections of banked stories.

The Special Projects Writer is an active part of a creative editorial team that tells the story of the university across the spectrum of media. As a team player, you’ll contribute story and source ideas to content campaigns and work collegially with a variety of colleagues. You’ll recommend photo opportunities based on your reporting, respond and adapt content to learnings from analytics, seek ways to improve results and processes related to your projects, keep up with news and reflect the constantly evolving world of digital communication.

Attention to detail and accuracy, an eye for trends, strong writing skills, curiosity, comfort with often complex academic and research issues and a commitment to discovering and telling stories that reflect our diverse communities are musts.

Accountabilities: Find, propose and create news and compelling human-interest content that makes people laugh, cry and feel inspired and informed. Content may range from 2,000-word feature articles to short, lively bullet points, as well as profiles. This content may appear on USC’s website and news blogs, email announcements, e-newsletters and social media promotion, as well as the university’s alumni magazine and feature stories website. Write announcements for major administrative changes and philanthropic gifts, milestones and initiatives and coordinate content and timing with other staff members so they can distribute and promote content effectively. This may include conducting interviews and creating and managing project plans. Communicate regularly with staff members in advancement and leadership to stay on top of university priorities, keep schedules and plans for communicating about initiatives and accomplishments, and report on progress. Actively contribute ideas and expertise to the team and across the department and pitch in on group projects such as special content campaigns.

Materials required for the application process: Candidates must submit a cover letter, resume, and 4-5 relevant writing samples. Applications must contain each one of these elements to be considered.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS Preferred education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, public relations, history or related field

Preferred experience: 5 years of experience in fundraising writing and storytelling. Demonstrated ability to write about scientific, technical and academic topics and make them accessible to a general audience. Experience covering topics such as diversity, equity, inclusion, especially in the context of higher education. Established body of work around topics of social justice and equity with a portfolio that demonstrates an authentic voice. Experience working within a higher education institution. Experience working with VIPs and high-profile clients. Professionalism, tact and attention to schedules, detail and accuracy (from grammar to facts). Knowledge of AP Style and experience with different forms of writing and different writing voices (e.g., long-form journalistic features; hard news stories; short consumer-friendly web content; press releases; internal announcements; charticles; social media blurbs). Comfort with modern digital communication, website content management (Wordpress) and securing image assets for digital and print use. Experience creating multimedia storytelling content such as social videos, audio stories and photography. Writing for search engine optimization

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS Education: Bachelor’s degree.
Experience: 3 years as a paid content writer/producer. Field of expertise: Experience with writing, editing, proofreading and preparation of materials for print and online publication.