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Communications Officer - Office of Sustainability (Open and Promotional)

Company: The County of San Mateo
Location: San Mateo
Posted on: November 20, 2022

Job Description:


Are you passionate about leading sustainability communications and outreach programs that have a positive impact on San Mateo County communities? Would you like to join a team of enthusiastic and innovative professionals advancing the County's environmental sustainability initiatives and partnerships? The County of San Mateo's Office of Sustainability (OOS) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Communications Officer. We are looking for a highly organized individual and innovative thinker, a service-oriented leader skilled in relationship building and strategic communications, with experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We are committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourage candidates from varied backgrounds to apply.

Under the general direction of the Department Director and Assistant Director, the Communications Officer will oversee the Office of Sustainability's communications to promote sustainability education and initiatives within the County and the community. The Communications Officer oversees all external communications and media relations, develops messaging for internal and executive communications, and manages community engagement initiatives, including the Sustainability Academy, the Youth Climate Ambassador Program and the Youth Exploring Climate Science Program. As a member of the Management Leadership Team, this individual will have executive leadership experience, a collaborative approach, and be adept at securing and managing resources.

The Job/The Ideal Candidate

The Communications Officer will provide the vision, direction, and execution of internal and external communications that articulate and promote the Office of Sustainability's strategic initiatives. The ideal candidate will have experience with strategic communications that maximize organizational impact, facilitate equity centered public engagement, and support organizational-wide change and initiatives. They will have deep experience with branding, messaging, strategy, media relations, public records requests, events, social media, material production, community engagement, and executive communications. The ideal candidate will also have a very high level of political acumen and be skilled at working effectively with elected officials, executives, the public, and the media.

As the lead strategist for developing communications plans, the ideal candidate will be a creative and innovative thinker with a background in media relations and technical knowledge of media, marketing, branding, engagement, and communications tools and methodologies. They will have excellent writing skills and be a natural storyteller to craft a variety of deliverables, including press releases, newsroom posts, talking points, messaging guides, presentations, and other communications and media materials.

As the lead of the Communications team, the ideal candidate will have demonstrated supervisory experience to inspire a small team and be able to coach and train Department staff in the tools and methodologies needed for successful communications implementation. They will also be adept at working with management and staff to develop targeted messaging, communications plans, and strategic communication direction to achieve the Department's mission, vision, and program goals. They will be a proactive leader in ensuring team members have the support and guidance they need to enhance the Department's overall communications.

The ideal candidate will have strong program and project management skills and be able to spearhead concurrent projects and campaigns. Successful candidates will be highly organized individuals and innovative thinkers, identifying promising strategies and phasing out others. They will understand the concepts of change management and be able to translate those concepts by developing strategic internal communications plans and messaging. An understanding and commitment to equity and social justice is integral for this position, and the Communications Officer must understand how equity, social, racial, and economic justice inform the County's climate and sustainability goals.

About the Office of Sustainability

Formed in July 2014 as a part of the County Executive's Office, the Office of Sustainability (OOS) strives to improve the sustainability of the County's operations and the greater community through work in areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency, resource conservation, active transportation, climate resiliency, affordable housing, and greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Here at OOS, we:

* Are passionate about protecting and saving the environment, while serving our community
* Are compassionate and empathetic to the needs of our colleagues, community members, and stakeholders
* Are committed to increasing racial equity, diversity, and inclusion through our work
* Value diverse life experiences and strive to create a workplace that is welcoming to all

We know work isn't only about what you do; it's also about who you work for and with! The OOS has a fun and supportive work environment that supports a work-life balance, including:

* Flexible, hybrid work schedule opportunities
* Wellness classes and resources to promote a healthy mind and body
* Generous benefits package
* Subsidy of up to $150 per month to cover the costs of public transit, vanpooling, carpooling, and bike and scooter share, or up to $480 per year for walking, biking, or carpooling to work
* At least 20 hours of training provided annually

A competitive benefits package is associated with this position. For complete information regarding benefits please click here.

Examples Of Duties

Duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Advise executive team and managers in the formulation, development, implementation, and evaluation of communication programs and media engagement activities.
* Develop policies and procedures related to public and media relations, communications and publications.
* Develop and implement communication strategies that ensure flow of information with key stakeholders of department programs and services.
* Oversee media relations; review and produce news releases; prepare talking points; maintain personal contact with key media people; serve as point of contact for all media inquiries and requests.
* Oversee development and content of print and web communications, including social media; write content that is consistent with department brand and county standards; promote internal and external information-sharing.
* Develop and conduct media relations training for key managers and staff.
* Supervise assigned staff.
* Manage consultants, contractors and/or vendors providing communications or media-related services.
* Represent the department in committee and/or community meetings.
* Monitor changes in laws, regulations, and technology that may affect the department; recommend policy and procedural changes as required.
* Work closely with department executive team and managers in responding to difficult and sensitive public inquiries and complaints.
* Perform special assignments and projects and other related duties as required.


Knowledge of:

* Administrative principles and practices, including goal setting, program development, implementation, and evaluation.
* Principles and practices of public information, media relations, and community outreach project and program development.
* Methods and techniques for the development of press releases, talking points, newsletters, presentations, business correspondence, and information distribution; research and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures.
* Techniques for effectively representing the County in contacts with governmental agencies, community groups, and various business, professional, educational, regulatory, and legislative organizations.
* English usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation.
* Techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, vendors, contractors, and County staff.
* Public agency contract administration, county-wide administrative practices, and general principles of risk management related to the functions of the assigned area.
* Organizational and management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation of projects, programs, policies, procedures, and operational needs.
* Applicable Federal, State, and local laws, regulatory codes, ordinances, and procedures relevant to assigned area of responsibility.
* Record keeping principles and procedures.
* Modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment and applications related to the work.

Skills/Ability to:

* Design, implement, and manage multiple or ongoing programs/projects, and direct the related resources, personnel and activities.
* Develop and implement goals, objectives, policies, procedures, work standards, and internal controls.
* Provide professional leadership and direction in managing department-specific communication strategies, media relations, and campaigns.
* Conceptualize messages and effectively communicate in writing, speech, and other methods of communication.
* Develop and maintain effective working relationships with reporters, editors, and other media representatives.
* Interpret, apply, explain, and ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
* Effectively represent assigned department in committees and meetings with stakeholders and the community.
* Prepare clear and concise reports, correspondence, policies, procedures, and other written materials.
* Conduct complex research projects, evaluate alternatives, make sound recommendations, and prepare effective technical staff reports.
* Organize and prioritize a variety of projects and multiple tasks in an effective and timely manner; organize own work, set priorities, and meet critical time deadlines.
* Operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software applications programs.
* Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing.
* Use tact, initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within general policy, procedural, and legal guidelines.
* Establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with internal and external partners, stakeholders, and media contacts.
* Apply an understanding of institutional and structural racism and bias and their impact on underserved and underrepresented communities to improve communication strategies.

Education and Experience:

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way of gaining the knowledge and skills is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in public relations, communications, journalism, business or public administration, or a related field and five (5) years of management experience in public affairs, media relations, or related area. Application/Examination

Open and Promotional. Anyone may apply.Current County of San Mateo and County of San Mateo Superior Court of California employees with at least six months (1040 hours) of continuous service in a classified regular, probationary, Confidential and Management extra-help/limited term, and SEIU or AFSCME represented extra help/limited term positions prior to the final filing date will receive five points added to their final passing score on this examination.

Application Materials: The following are required to be submitted:

1) regular online employment application form

2) cover letter expressing interest in the position

3) resume

Responses to the supplemental questions must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form.

Applications for this position will only be accepted online. If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the "Apply" button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to https://jobs.smcgov.orgto apply. A supplemental application form must be submitted in addition to the standard County employment application form. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required application materials.

The examination process will consist of an application screening based on the candidates' application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening may be invited to a panel interview (weight: 100%). Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification. All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination. All examinations will be given online and applicants must participate at their own expense.


Application Deadline: Monday, November 14, 2022 11:59 PM PST

Application Screening: Tuesday, November 15 through Thursday, November 17, 2022

Civil Service Panel Interviews: Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The County of San Mateo requires that all employees provide proof of COVID-19 vaccine or comply with weekly COVID-19 testing. Employees hired into specified health care facilities and other high-risk settings where there is potential for frequent COVID-19 exposure to staff and highly vulnerable patients are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. For more specific information, please refer to the County's COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Policy.

At the County of San Mateo, we welcome and celebrate the diversity of our employees, and strive to create a workplace where they feel valued every day.

County of San Mateo is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Analyst: Arlene Cahill (Communications Officer - D105)

Keywords: The County of San Mateo, San Mateo , Communications Officer - Office of Sustainability (Open and Promotional), Other , San Mateo, California

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