Northern Illinois University announced the appointment of Lisa Miner to the position of Director of Institutional Communications. Miner has nearly 18 years of experience in public relations, largely spent advancing world-class brands and education initiatives. In her new position, Miner reports to Harlan Teller, Interim Vice President for the university’s Marketing and Communications Division.
Miner, who will assume her new role Feb. 1, will lead the university’s media and public relations unit and develop strategic communication initiatives promoting the mission, talent, expertise, accomplishments and resources of NIU, as well as directing broader reputation management efforts for the university. She also will work to build NIU’s share of voice in the Chicago media market and will chair the university’s public relations committee, made up of communicators from across the DeKalb campus.
Miner has been Director of Public Relations for the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) for the past 12 years. There she conceived of and led a number of award-winning campaigns for the largest science museum in the nation. Teller said that Miner was selected because of her experience in developing and managing creative public relations campaigns, and for her understanding of how brand building and reputation intersect.
Under Miner’s stewardship, MSI has won a variety of awards, including a Golden Trumpet and the first-ever Jeffrey D. Bierig Brand Builder Award, both from the Publicity Club of Chicago. Under her leadership the museum also earned a Silver SABRE from the Holmes Report and in 2006 her staff was named the nation’s non-profit team of the year by PR Week.
Teller noted that the position Miner is taking on represents an expansion and enhancement of what had been the university’s Director of Media and Public Relations position, most recently held by Acting Director Joe King, who will now report to Miner. In her new role, Miner will work to consolidate the university’s current media and public relations initiatives with other activities aimed at taking a more holistic approach to reputation management.
“We created this enhanced position with the hopes of attracting an individual who could take us to the next level in developing proactive communications strategies for enhancing our institutional reputation, and in Lisa Miner we have found the ideal candidate,” said Teller. He noted that the university was intent on reinforcing its reputation as a major economic engine in the northern Illinois region, known for providing a student-centered education aimed at preparing students for success both in life and in their work.
Prior to MSI, Miner worked at the global public relations firm Hill and Knowlton Strategies for nearly five years. She began her career in the office of U.S. Congressman Ray LaHood (R-IL).