PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST Town of Christiansburg Code 12710
JOB SUMMARY The Public Relations Specialist acts as a liaison between Town departments and elected officials and the public – including media, residents and visitors. The Public Relations Specialist creates, manages and implements communication campaigns and produces and releases content and information about the programs and activities of the Town. The position is responsible for marketing and promotions, media management, social media and website content and internal communications. ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS • Produces and releases a variety of internal and external content, including but not limited to, pamphlets, brochures, fliers, reports, newsletters, videos and website and social media content with the aim of educating the community about Town programs, activities and special events • Designs and prints marketing and promotional materials using Adobe Creative Suite and other software; takes photographs and maintains photo database for use in marketing and promotional materials; designs graphics used in collateral materials; takes and edits video • Writes press releases, social media and website content and other internal and external communications in AP style • Maintains and updates Town website and social media pages; responds to citizen inquiries or complaints on social media; works with staff to develop and maintain website’s content; monitors website activity and social media reach • Writes press releases; responds to media inquiries and questions; provides print and broadcast interviews as needed; assists in managing essential and time-critical communications; serves as Public Relations Director in absence of same • Attends meetings and makes presentations; develops and/or reviews presentations for both the Public Relations Department and other Town departments • Assists with coordinating special events and activities; designs and produces publicity materials and articles for events; etc. • Performs general customer service and administrative duties; receives and responds to inquiries, concerns and complaints of citizens regarding Town programs, policies and/or personnel; assists customers; answers the telephone and prepares reports; copies and files documents; enters computer data, etc. • Prepares, types, proofreads and/or completes various forms, reports, correspondence, Freedom of Information Act requests, press releases, newsletters, brochures, fliers, lists, directories, logs, notices, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, policies, handbooks, manuals, reference materials, brochures or other documents • Communicates with supervisor, department heads, Town employees, media representatives and the public, as well as outside businesses and agencies as needed to coordinate work activities, review status of work, exchange information, resolve problems or give/receive advice/direction • Maintains a comprehensive, current knowledge of applicable Town and state policies, procedures, codes, laws/regulations; maintains an awareness of new issues, methods, equipment, trends and advances in the profession; reads professional literature; participates in continuing education activities; attends workshops and training sessions as appropriate • Maintains a comprehensive, current knowledge of local news media coverage; Collects and records relevant media coverage • Performs other duties as required JOB CONTEXT The Public Relations Specialist will perform tasks that require the ability to exert light physical effort in sedentary to light work, but which may involve some lifting, carrying, pushing and/or pulling of objects and materials of light weight (5-10 pounds). Tasks may involve extended periods of time at a keyboard or work station. Essential functions are regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
WORK PERFORMANCE The Public Relations Specialist is required to follow departmental expectations and adhere to all rules, regulations, policies and procedures in the Town of Christiansburg Personnel Handbook. Work performance is reviewed utilizing the Town’s employee performance review program following first six month probationary period. During this probationary period, the employee must demonstrate a strong understanding of all that the job requires.
JOB REQUIREMENTS EDUCATION • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism or related field; supplemented by one (1) year of experience or relevant internship in marketing, advertising, public relations, writing, graphic design or related field; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities for this job.
LICENSES AND CERTIFICATIONS • Valid Virginia driver’s license with the ability to meet and maintain Town insurability requirements
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES Required: • Knowledge of public relations, marketing and design • Excellent oral and written, interpersonal and sound business communication skills • Excellent organizational skills; deadline oriented • Proficient in AP Style • Proficient in social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram • Ability to learn new software and programs • Ability to work independently and be a self-starter • Strong customer service skills
Prefer: • Video editing skills • Proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud (i.e. Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign); Graphic design skills
Ability to • Evaluate, audit, deduce and/or asses data using established criteria; exercising discretion in determining actual or probable consequences and in referencing such evaluation to identify and select alternatives • Apply principle of persuasion and/or influence over others in coordinating activities of a project, program or designated area of responsibility • Operate and control the actions of equipment, machinery, tools and/or materials requiring complex and/or rapid adjustments • Utilize a wide variety of reference, descriptive, advisory and/or design data and information • Perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division with the ability to calculate decimals and percentages; utilize principles of fractions; compute discount, interest and ratios; calculate surface areas, volumes, weights, and measures • Apply principles of influence systems, such as motivation, incentive and leadership, and exercise independent judgment to apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to resolve problems • Exercise judgment, decisiveness and creativity in situations involving the evaluation of information against sensory judgmental, or subjective criteria, as opposed to that which is clearly measurable or verifiable • Some tasks require the ability to perceive and discriminate sounds, colors or shades or colors, sounds, depth, texture and visual cues or signals • Some tasks require the ability to communicate orally TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT • Cell phone • Desktop computer/laptop • Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Cloud and various software applications • Various office equipment