Established:  07/17
FLSA:  Exempt
EEO:  2



Under direction, to create and lead the implementation of the County’s departments/divisions strategic communication plans using web-based applications and other media/digital publishing tools; serves as the lead communications strategist in analyzing and planning strategies and managing media relationships; 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 Community Relations Specialist, Senior is the advanced level of the Community Relations Specialist series, characterized by expert competence in communication relations. Positions at this level are distinguished from the full professional level Community Relations Specialist 2 by more sensitive and/or complex work assignments; broad strategic role in web content, communications development and marketing efforts; web leadership functions; and high impact on internal and external customers of the County’s department/divisions. The Community Relations Specialist, Senior typically works at a more strategic level in soliciting public input and involvement in important and/or sensitive issues and developing collaborative relationships in the community to effective positive change. Incumbents independently carry out all phases of assigned public outreach, education, information and participation projects and activities, from initial concept through implementation and evaluation.

The Community Relations Specialist, Senior differs from the Community Relations Specialist 2 which implements departments/divisions strategic communication plans developed by higher level staff. It also differs from the Community Relations Specialist 1 which focuses on producing public information and communications.


Duties may include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Leads and supports the development of communication plans, projects and deliverables; develops and modifies strategies that support county objectives and goals; evaluates and selects appropriate communication and styles for targeted audiences; ensures that the county message, story and images are appropriately conveyed and supports the county’s mission, values and services; identifies and addresses potential issues resulting in public misinformation or miscommunication; provides culturally competent communication services.
  2. Advises management and project teams on public affairs impact of proposed changes to County programs, policies and operations; integrates communication strategies with agency goals and objectives; assesses communication plans and projects, and updates information according to feedback; serves as liaison and link to departments to help communicate department missions and values; coaches and trains staff for interviews with journalists; connects department management to representatives in the state legislation and congressional delegation.
  3. Reviews, coordinates, oversees and responds to public information requests; coordinates interviews and appearances of elected officials, county management and staff; drafts, writes, edits and directs the preparation of public presentations, discussion notes, position statements and speeches for elected officials and county management.
  4. Conducts research and analyses of issues relating to county business, labor practices and negotiations, budget strategies and significant political and sensitive topics and issues; carries out significant media relations responsibilities; recommends and determines appropriate communication messages for elected officials and management.
  5. Develops, implements and manages assigned department/division community and outreach plans; conducts cost/benefit and situation analyses; develops messages and determines target audiences; recommends approaches and products consistent with client needs and overall goals of the County; maintains effective working relationships with community leaders; works with other staff and the community in setting targets for successful outreach efforts.
  6. Develops new methods of promoting projects to the public; develops strategy for presenting and facilitating community discussion and implementing new policies; contributes to development of marketing and public involvement concepts for effective representation of County projects.
  7. Lead and facilitate the development of department/division web communication plans, marketing campaigns, and/or project communication plans; ensure plans are implemented as designed, within budget, and on time.
  8. May act as County’s web content editor, performing complex professional assignments including strategic content development and web design, user interface design, human-computer interactivity, usability, search engine optimization, informational graphics, social/viral media and dynamic content; oversees County’s online presence; utilizes tools and utilities to support County communication and service delivery needs, operational productivity goals and community service requirements.
  9. May act as County public information officer, spokesperson and/or liaison to external groups; assesses community values, concerns and opinions, and communicates them to staff and management; anticipates internal and external constituent needs and proactively provides information, access and communication.
  10. May provide lead direction to staff on work activities; prioritizes and coordinates work assignments; reviews work for accuracy and content; evaluates projects, activities and processes.


Thorough knowledge of: Principles, methods and practices applied in design and implementation of public information, public affairs, community outreach, public involvement and participation and promotion and marketing programs; principles, methods and practices in design and implementation of public involvement programs, collaborative processes and consensus building; principles and practices of public administration, including public policy decision making processes; principles and techniques of public relations; principles, practices and methods of web-based design and development and applicable programming languages, scripts and protocols; best practices of web design technology, such as navigation principles, breadcrumbs, progress trackers, search engine optimization and site use statistics; functions of county organizations and departments; legislative processes; audience market analysis sufficient to identify user needs and interests; media practices and procedures; training concepts; public and extemporaneous speaking; methods and techniques of writing for a variety of purposes and for diverse audiences; principles and practices of business communication; correct English usage, including spelling, grammar and punctuation; technical issues related to language translation in publications; research techniques including internet and database resources; project, contract and print budget management techniques and procedures; current trends and methods in public information and public involvement; multimedia and print media production and presentation; website development methods and techniques, including basic html programming; web-formatting options for special audiences; media markets and sources of community resource information; public notification and record keeping requirements and regulations.

Skill to: Anticipate issues of strategic importance and effectively communicate the department’s interests with the BCC and PGA; clearly and persuasively speak extemporaneously on sensitive and controversial issues; compose statements, news releases, and position statements; train staff to effectively communicate and respond to public citizen queries and interface with other government agencies; build and maintain an effective department public information and citizen relations program; establish and maintain effective working relationships; keep abreast of all department projects, issues, and opportunities;.


Driving may be necessary for County business. For position(s) with occasional/incidental driving, incumbents must possess a valid driver’s license. Accommodation requests for an acceptable alternative method of transportation will be reviewed on an individual basis in compliance with State and Federal legislation. For position(s) with regular driving, incumbent(s) must also possess and maintain an acceptable driving record throughout the course of employment.


Any satisfactory combination of experience and training that demonstrates possession of the required knowledge and skills.