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Director of Publicity Job Opening in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


The University of North Carolina Press is looking for a seasoned professional to lead our growing and successful advertising team. We keep adding to our list and creating ambitious new targets for the press as we near our centenary. Over the past few years we’ve published several NY Times bestsellers, received a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a long list for the National Book Award, and a newly donated masthead for national textbooks. The Director of Publicity will be responsible for traditional, online and social media advertising for approximately 120 UNC press releases per year and will lead the three-person advertising department.

This position reports to the Senior Director of Marketing

The main tasks include:

Development and management of all aspects of advertising campaigns, including specialist books (national and regional trade), academic and scientific titles, monographs and occasional special projects for the press. Includes the care and maintenance of relationships with national and regional media contacts.

Developing creative solutions for generating advertising and attention in non-traditional advertising media, including social media platforms, building relationships with suitable bloggers, websites, podcasts and other social networks.

Supervising our extensive program of authoring events and tours (150-200 events per year), including pitching at bookstores, book festivals and other venues, helping authors develop strategies to create direct engagement opportunities through online platforms.

Representing the press at two seasonal sales conferences, festivals and promotional events. Regular media visits in New York and DC.

Maintaining a weekly newsletter / bulletin with advertising highlights / media placements, elements of which are passed on to our sales team and international distribution partners, our representative for foreign rights and others in the press network.

Attend department and press-wide meetings on new release proposals, seasonal product launches, marketing and sales meetings, etc. Contacting other departments as needed, including acquisitions, development, finance and sales.

Management of audio and serial ancillary rights for the press.

Create, manage and monitor the advertising department’s budget, including funding for author trips and events, review of copies, department trips, copying, mailing, etc.

Manage the work and processes for the department publicist and an assistant in the joint marketing department, as well as recruiting and training two to three interns / students. Working closely with other members of the marketing department (sales, social media, advertising / exhibits, exhibits), this person will help develop strategic plans to manage this growth as the press wants to grow.

UNC Press values ​​diversity, justice and inclusion in word and deed. The work we publish reflects a commitment to engaging different voices and experiences and making them available to the broadest possible audience. We also value a workplace that welcomes different perspectives in order to improve the quality of our decision-making in the execution of our work. We are strategically committed to developing and improving policies and practices that attract, retain and develop employees that are different in many dimensions.

Interested candidates should email their résumé, cover letter, potential start date, salary, and moving package requirements to Adele Sommerville, Human Resources Director at [email protected] The review of the résumés begins immediately and continues until the position is filled. Only finalists will be contacted.


Via the University of North Carolina Press

The University of North Carolina Press promotes the research, teaching, and community service of a major public university by publishing outstanding work by leading scholars, writers, and intellectuals and presenting that work to both academic audiences and general readers. UNC Press was founded in 1922 and is the largest university press in the south. It is a subsidiary of the UNC system with 16 campuses.


Preferred background:

  • A university degree or equivalent educational background and at least five years of experience in public relations or related book publishing acquired through increasingly responsible management positions within the marketing or advertising function.
  • A proven record of advertisement generation performs in both traditional venues (print and broadcast media) and organically created environments (online events, social media campaigns, etc.) for both general interest and academic books.
  • Extensive media knowledge and familiarity with newspaper and magazine editors, producers, book critics and reviewers.
  • Experience working with major venues and book festivals (including coordinating the press stand at selected festivals).
  • The ability to work on multiple deadlines in a fast paced environment.
  • Strong computer literacy in MS Office, basic graphic design programs, and media monitoring / PR platforms.
  • Fluent and successful engagement in social media
  • Excellent management, organizational, communication and writing skills.
  • Basic graphic design skills (to create posters, flyers, postcards, etc.) are desirable.
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