CLASSIFICATION NO. 045
Under direction, to plan, prepare and produce public information and communications to increase citizen awareness, understanding and involvement in County programs, activities, opportunities and resources; and to do other work as required.
The Public Affairs Division of the Public and Government Affairs Department is responsible for effective two-way communication between county government and citizens. The Division also coordinates media outreach and relations, public involvement outreach and engagement, serves as liaison to and/or administers the recruitment for various citizen/community committees, organizations, boards and commissions and provides county employees with specific information on events, accomplishments and contributions.
The Publications/Communications Specialist performs standard journey level, non-controversial publications and communications work. The Publications/Communications Specialist arranges, writes, edits and produces County publications, and also consults with County departments regarding their individual communications plan to assist with outlining goals, executing the plan and conforming with County standards. The incumbent participates as a team member in originating communication ideas based on the needs of the public, Board of County Commissioners, County Administrator and employees.
The Publications/Communications Specialist differs from the Community Relations Specialist which assists County departments in developing effective communications strategies and programs to enhance citizen involvement. It also differs from the Community Affairs Specialist provides assistance, guidance and oversight to hamlet and village boards, community planning organizations (CPOs) and citizen involvement committees on their establishment, operations and activities.
Duties may include but are not limited to the following:
- Participates as part of a team to design effective, appropriate and strategic communication plans; originates ideas for communications; conducts specific, focused surveys to assess the effectiveness of published communications; compiles and analyzes information and suggestions; forwards and/or makes recommendations for improvements; produces quarterly reports on reader feedback.
- Develops, designs, produces and updates County-wide and specific program publications based on changing technologies, demographics and citizen needs; identifies new communication approaches; develops cost estimates for various communication projects.
- Coordinates annual plan for brochure development and publication schedule; develops visual standards for and operates external e-mail based news information service; plans, coordinates, writes and edits original news articles and submissions, and prepares layout for quarterly newsletter; assembles, writes and distributes monthly internal electronic newsletter.
- Consults with other County departments in the development of new communication and outreach approaches; advises on project costs; maintains alignment to department's communications goals and plan, and County standards.
- Takes photographs, develops/creates graphic images, and prepares images for publication; maintains image library; develops and maintains contact with departmental and program representatives to keep informed of newsworthy events.
- Responds to citizen inquiries on a variety of topics via phone, e-mail and in-person; conducts research as needed and maintains filing system of ongoing research projects.
- Monitors Public Affairs program budgets; processes division travel requests, mileage reimbursements, procurement card statements and office supply purchases; coordinates printing with vendor; monitors quality, ensures deadlines are met and invoices are accurate; provides back up for electronic payroll.
- Performs general back-up coverage duties for other PGA staff as necessary; writes routine press releases in conformance with standards; under direction performs limited media/public information officer duties.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Thorough knowledge of: English composition and language; multimedia and print media production, layout and presentation; desktop publishing software and its applications.
Working knowledge of: Principles and techniques of public relations; functions of County organizations and departments; audience market analysis sufficient to identify user needs and interests; media practices and procedures; principles and practices of photography; principles and procedures of office management and administration; budgeting techniques and procedures; research techniques and procedures; standard office equipment, including computer systems and software programs such as word processing and spreadsheets.
Skill to: Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing; respond to public citizen inquiries and interface with other government agencies; establish and maintain effective working relationships with the public, other County personnel, elected officials and other public and private agencies; participate in division's development of comprehensive public information programs; analyze and evaluate non-controversial public relations issues; design, write and edit promotional and informational materials; organize and maintain office/administrative systems and procedures; conduct independent research and prepare cost estimates; define issues and recommend and implement solutions; collect, evaluate and summarize data; translate technical material into common terms; operate computer software and other office equipment.
Driving is required for County business on a regular basis or to accomplish work. Incumbents must possess a valid driver's license, and possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.
MINIMUM RECRUITING STANDARDS
Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.