Director of Public Relations

Washington D.C.
May 01, 2019
Jun 05, 2019
Full Time

The Optical Society (OSA) is recruiting for a Director, Public Relations. The position will plan, direct and implement all public relations activities for OSA towards the objective of ensuring high quality communications in support of OSA’s mission and to enhance the society’s external reputation. Manage key communications efforts. Support meetings’ and publications’ efforts as they relate to communications and promotional opportunities.


  • Create, oversee and implement overall PR plans for OSA as well as PR plans for individual programs and projects for both domestic and international activities.
  • Support plenary speaker selection, outreach and confirmation for relevant OSA meetings and events (Leadership, OFC, FiO and 3 OSA Congresses) to identify public relations opportunities. Serves as primary contact for content development, on-site logistics and speaker management.
  • Develop and implement PR programs for OFC, OSA Life Science, OSA Imaging, OSA Laser Congress and CLEO, FiO (including Daily Wrap content, video production, plenary scripting and plenary speaker management.)
  • Manage PR programs for special projects, e.g., International Day of Light, Centennial ever-green programs Light The Future (including script writing, on-site speaker management, post-presentation blog writing)
  • Promote society objectives/initiatives including meetings and exhibitions, publications, member activities, field of optics opportunities and government relations.
  • Draft and disseminate news releases and media materials, promoting OSA initiatives, publications, conferences and programs.
  • Build and maintain ongoing communications with key reporters and industry analysts.
  • Support corporate community in PR activities.
  • Proactively develop media opportunities for OSA executives and volunteer leadership and the promotion of the field of optics.
  • Manage PR consultants and agencies as needed (AIP, Creative Science Writers, Aaron Cohen, Wilkinson & Associates consulting, C&G Partners).
  • As appropriate, develop and provide PR support for crisis communications efforts.
  • Provide training, support to internal departments’ social media outreach activities.
  • Provide training on media relations and social media to OSA student chapter leaders and OSA Ambassadors as needed.
  • Develop strategic direction to OSA’s overall digital media communications efforts.
  • Ensure high-quality PR visibility, access, and content management or oversight in digital media channels such the newsroom, OSA blogs and digital strategy
  • Support Executive Office in speechwriting and external presentation development and messaging.
  • Work to ensure OSA branding and messaging is reflected in OSA external communications.
  • Support Government Relations external communications and develop content strategy for OSA advocacy issues
  • Develop and implement PR and media programs for OSA journal research. Work with authors and editors to secure positive media coverage of peer-reviewed journal content.




  • 7-10 years of professional experience in media relations, public relations and/or communications.
  • College degree, preferably in communications, public relations or journalism.
  • Experience working directly with the media.
  • Familiarity with science research and scientific publishing is preferred
  • Experience in social media strategic planning and implementation.
  • International experience or foreign language skills are a plus.
  • Exemplary oral and written communications skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Strong time management skills
  • Excellent financial skills from developing and managing budgets to analyzing return on investment, explaining variances, writing budget narratives, and making projections
  • Familiarity with PR and social media management systems, such as Meltwater and Hootsuite.
  • MS Office proficient
  • Travel: International and domestic travel for conferences is required.

OSA offers a competitive salary and benefits. Please send your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to


  About The Optical Society The Optical Society’s (OSA) mission is to promote the generation, application and archiving of knowledge in optics and photonics and to disseminate this knowledge worldwide. The purposes of the Society are scientific, technical and educational. OSA’s commitment to excellence and long-term learning is the driving force behind all its initiatives. Since 1916, OSA has been the world’s leading champion for optics and photonics, uniting and educating scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders worldwide to foster and promote technical and professional development. Through publications, events and services, the Optical Society is helping to advance the science of light by addressing the ongoing need for shared knowledge and innovation. OSA was founded more than 90 years ago as The Optical Society of America and has evolved into a global enterprise serving a worldwide constituency. In recognition of its global reach and focus, since 2008 the Society has been known as OSA - The Optical Society.

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