RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves the performance of speechwriting and public relations responsibilities and related assigned duties under the direction and assignment of the County Executive. An employee in this class is entrusted with confidential information regarding the operation of county government. An employee in this class prepares, edits and disseminates written materials, correspondence and reports used in promoting and publicizing county government. The work also includes collecting information and providing confidential advice on issues which will result in policy determinations by the County Executive. These policy determinations have economic, political or social implications of considerable impact on the public, specialized professional trade, or other agencies and groups in the county. The work also involves making recommendations for and coordinatiing executive appointments to county boards and commissions. The work also involves advising the County Executive, department heads and other elected officials and their representatives in the communication of county government information, programs and policies to the media and the general public. Assignments are received directly from the County Executive with latitude for the exercise of independent judgment in carrying out work assignments to promote the County’s programs and policies. This position is privy to a number of confidential and sensitive issues that are generated from the County Executive’s Office. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Gathers confidential data and other information as needed and requested by the County Executive.
Writes, edits, and reviews drafts and final texts of speeches and other communications made by the County Executive.
Researches and compiles statistical and informational data and prepares written and oral presentations as needed by the County Executive and other government officials.
Responds to informational requests by individuals and groups on behalf of the County Executive in both oral and written responses.
Coordinates the release of news items to the press and advises regarding the methods of handling various news stories for all local government
Prepares news releases and reviews and edits media material prepared by staff in other departments before release to the press.
Arranges and leads tours and briefings on local government for various school, youth and community groups.
Provides staff support to various government advisory boards and committees as assigned by researching and staying abreast of committee and board activities, enabling legislation, membership requirements, etc.
Maintains a library of reports and studies prepared by local government officials and departmental staff, including reference material useful to the office of Management and Budget.
Maintains listings, oaths of office, terms of appointment and related information on a large number of people recommended for appointment and appointed by the County Executive to various committees, boards and commissions; prepares proper notification and agenda for those who must be confirmed by the County Legislature.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the principles and practices of public relations.
Good knowledge of the use and limitations of various media needed to reach specific audiences of importance to a particular agency.
Good knowledge of the techniques and practices of verbal and written communications.
Good knowledge of writing style, vocabulary, spelling and grammar.
Working knowledge of the functions, goals and programs of local government departments and agencies.
Ability to research and verify information including such sources as general and specialized libraries and research facilities, publications and interviews.
Ability to organize and present data pertaining to research assignments.
Ability to develop and maintain harmonious relationships with media personnel, governmental persons and groups, and community organizations.
Ability to proofread prose and graphic materials and edit written work of others.
Ability to exercise tact and good judgment in maintaining the confidentiality of issues and policies that are under consideration.