Lead Communications Specialist

Rochester, NY



  • The Lead communications specialistfor the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) develops and implements communications strategies to enhance LLE's and the University of Rochester's reputation as a top-tier research facility and the leading academic institution advancing laser technology, fusion, and high-energy-density science at scale.

  • The Lead communications specialist is responsible for proactively pursuing national and international media coverage for significant scientific research to raise the visibility of LLE and the University in the United States and abroad.

  • In addition to setting strategy, the position produces a high volume of original content for print and digital channels and must be adept at multimedia storytelling.

  • TheLead communications specialistprovides counsel and support for LLE’s senior directors, including leadership messages and high-impact presentations. Must possess the necessary experience and judgement to counsel on effective communication approaches.

  • Must possess a keen interest in science and have relevant experience synthesizing complex scholarly writing and concepts.


Develop and Implement Communications Strategy

  • Regularly meets with LLE senior leadership to understand communications priorities and audiences. Collaborates with management and scientific staff to ensure alignment of communication efforts with organizational objectives.

  • Identifies key messages and narratives to effectively communicate the laboratory's research, achievements, and societal impact.

  • Creates comprehensive communication strategies with associated KPIs, aligned with the laboratory's goals and priorities.

Executive Communications and Thought Leadership

  • Serves as a trusted advisor to the laboratory's leadership team, providing strategic guidance and support on communication matters.

  • Positions the laboratory and its leadership team as thought leaders in scientific research and innovation.

  • Identifies speaking opportunities, conferences, and events to showcase the laboratory's expertise and achievements.

  • Assists senior administrators in crafting key messages, speeches, presentations, and talking points for high-impact internal and external engagements.

Content Creation

  • Collaborates with scientists and researchers to translate complex scientific findings into accessible content for various audiences.

  • Develops and delivers strategy-based communications through the most effective channels for print and digital communications. Produces compelling multimedia stories for both internal and external channels, including website, newsletters, and social media.

  • Coordinates with other communications professionals and business partners across the University to share and amplify content.

Media Relations and Outreach

  • Establishes and maintains regional, national, and international media contacts. Pursues media coverage creatively in a variety of markets.

  • Develops and executes targeted media pitches to secure coverage of the laboratory's research, initiatives, and achievements in relevant media outlets.

  • Collaborates with scientists and researchers to identify potential media opportunities and provides them with media training and support to effectively communicate key messages.

  • Develops and maintains relationships with key stakeholders including government agencies, funding bodies, academic institutions, and community organizations.

  • Stays apprised of issues, trends, innovations, current events, and policy developments relevant to the laboratory's areas of research.

Performance Measurement and Reporting

  • Establishes metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the effectiveness of communication efforts.

  • Monitors and analyzes communication activities, tracks media coverage, and prepares regular reports for senior management.

  • Applies analytical skills to improve content performance and delivery.

  • Recommends and executes the improvement of current channels and the development of additional channels to achieve communications objectives.


  • Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism or related field required.

  • 7 years of relevant experience required or equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • Understanding and compliance with HIPAA requirements required.

  • Demonstrated proficiency in writing and editing content based on target audience required.

  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills required.

The University of Rochester is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion to advance the University’s mission to Learn, Discover, Heal, Create – and Make the World Ever Better. In support of our values and those of our society, the University is committed to not discriminating on the basis of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship status, or any other status protected by law. This commitment extends to the administration of our policies, admissions, employment, access, and recruitment of candidates from underrepresented populations, veterans, and persons with disabilities consistent with these values and government contractor Affirmative Action obligations.

How To Apply

All applicants must apply online.

EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled

Pay Range

Pay Range: $75,650 - $113,464 Annually

The referenced pay range represents the minimum and maximum compensation for this job. Individual annual salaries/hourly rates will be set within the job’s compensation range, and will be determined by considering factors including, but not limited to, market data, education, experience, qualifications, expertise of the individual, and internal equity considerations.

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Location: Laser Lab & COI
Full/Part Time: Full-Time