PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for providing an informational and marketing program for a government agency. An employee in this class performs a wide range of public information and marketing activities required in planning, preparing and disseminating information and promotional materials relative to services, programs, projects, and objectives of the agency. Emphasis is in the ability to develop and follow through on departmental marketing initiatives through promotional literature, Internet and related electronic formats. An employee in this class evaluates marketing strategies, information materials and projects to determine effectiveness and clarity in reaching out to the public. Supervision is received from an Administrative Superior with considerable latitude provided for recommending changes in distribution, scheduling, media used, format, style and content. Supervision is exercised over clerical personnel and, depending upon project, may assign work, instruct and assist artists, public relations specialists, graphic artists, cartographers, photographers and printers. Incumbents may be required to successfully pass a background check. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Supervises, coordinates and participates in the production and distribution of various types of multi‑media material.
Organizes and manages multiple marketing and communications projects simultaneously.
Develops and collaborates on web content, exhibit designs, booklets, pamphlets, flyers and articles for public distribution.
Assists and/or organizes and prepares the agency's annual report when it includes written text, cover design, graphics, photographs and other artwork.
Writes, produces and distributes press releases to appropriate media for special events and programs.
Prepares memos to technical and clerical staff outlining nature of projects and what information and materials will be needed for preparation and project completion.
Works closely with vendors in preparing specifications, layouts and cost estimates for publications, signage, and other related graphic materials.
Prepares speeches, letters, and policy statements for agency personnel.
Answers public queries and welcomes recommendations and suggestions for improving agency programs.
Assesses public reaction to agency activities by providing verbal or written response to difficult or controversial matters, working closely with the department head.
May at the request of the department head, represent agency at press conferences, interviews, workshops and seminars.
When Assigned to the Onondaga County Health Department:
Participates in public health preparedness activities as trained and assigned.
Utilizes appropriate methods for interacting effectively and professionally with persons of all ages and from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, lifestyles and physical abilities.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the principles of marketing and communications as they apply to governmental information and publication/promotional programs.
Good knowledge of marketing strategies and technology appropriate for use in the various communications media.
Good knowledge of the principles and practices of public relations.
Good knowledge of terminology appropriate for use in the various communications media.
Good knowledge of style, vocabulary, spelling and grammar.
Good knowledge of the agency's organization, functions, goals and programs.
Good knowledge of the use and limitations of various media needed to reach targeted audiences.
Working knowledge of the uses and capabilities of photographic, audio-visual, printing and other relevant equipment.
Working knowledge of where to obtain and verify information including such sources as libraries, research facilities, publications and interviews.
Ability to exercise initiative in identifying areas where public participation can be encouraged and strengthened through either new publications or more effective news releases and public announcements.
Ability to select appropriate computer and other graphics, photographs or charts which will make written text more effective.
Ability to edit and to proofread both prose and graphic materials
Ability to anticipate need for seasonal and informational brochures for mass distribution and to design, write and edit these materials.
Ability to represent the department before interested groups and to conduct and participate in public interviews.
Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with agency staff, printers, media publishers and the general public.
Ability to supervise and collaborate with staff in preparing or revising projects and programs.
A. Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Bachelor’s Degree and two (2) years of professional level work experience, or its part time equivalent in marketing, journalism or communications; or,
B. Six (6) years of paraprofessional or professional level work experience, or its part time equivalent, two (2) years of which must have been professional level work experience in marketing, journalism or communications; or,
C. An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A) and (B).
NOTE: Successful completion of graduate semester credit hours in marketing, journalism or communications or a closely related field from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university may be substituted for work experience as follows: Thirty (30) graduate semester hours is equivalent to one (1) year of work experience; Sixty (60) graduate semester credit hours is equivalent to two years of work experience.