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Company: City of Seattle
Communications/Public Affairs
United States
Job Status:  Full-time
Ad Expires: 
February 22, 2013
Job ID: 1463669




Current salary range: $85K – $105K annually depending on experience. The Communications Director is responsible for working closely with all nine (9) members of the Council to ensure that the Seattle City Council’s legislative work and civic leadership is communicated effectively to the public. Duties are included in four main categories: Media Relations, Public Information Dissemination, Internal Department and City-wide Communications, and Key Stakeholder and Community Outreach. This position reports to the Council President and may supervise or provide lead direction to 3 staff. 


Media Relations

  • Develops and implements strategic annual media action plan and best practices for media workload with Communications team
  • Writes and distributes news releases
  • Responds to media inquiries on behalf of the Council
  • Provides background materials and speaking points
  • Advises Council on policy messaging and communications-related topics
  • Plans and coordinates media briefings and media coverage for Council events
  • Develops relationships with print, radio, and television media staff to secure editorial coverage of Council legislation and events
  • Guides social media outreach and oversees Legislative Department website
  • Meets regularly with the department’s policy analysts and legislative aides to develop a knowledge base of Council legislation and policy issues, and identify and maximize related media opportunities
  • Meets regularly with City departments and external stakeholders and municipal partners to ensure coordinated efforts on joint announcements and projects

Public Information Dissemination

  • Drafts and edits opinion pieces for individual Councilmembers
  • Develops and/or maintains systems for timely dissemination of Council-related information
  • Determines the best use of the Seattle Channel to educate citizens about the work of the Council, including partnering with Seattle Channel staff to plan “Council Edition” and other show segments
  • Uses technology effectively for purposes of responding to and tracking media and citizen communication
  • Develops and distributes brochures related to the Council and its work
  • Reviews issues, debates, and legislation for public presentation and develops a plan that uses the most effective medium for dissemination of information
  • Incorporates web-based tools to disseminate information in all public communication efforts and incorporates graphics, design and layout into brochures, flyers and other publications

Internal Department and City-wide Communication

  • Manages the weekly production and dissemination of the Action Summary, Council Connections Blog and other efforts that summarize the events of the Full Council
  • Develops, writes and distributes the Council’s upcoming proposed actions via traditional and social media outlets, as well as website
  • Serves on the editorial board for the Legislative Department’s monthly newsletter and reviews all Councilmember newsletters
  • Supervises daily distribution of electronic news clips
  • Serves as Department Public Information Officer for purposes of Emergency Preparedness readiness
  • Coordinates communication efforts with other City departments, including press conferences and news releases
  • Prepared for “on call” activities as issues arise

Stakeholder and Community Outreach

  • Develops, in partnership with Councilmembers and staff, strategic communications approach and implements both media and community outreach
  • Promotes and encourages stakeholder and community involvement, including the Council’s participation, in community forums, public input/feedback processes, and joint press events
  • Responds to stakeholder and community inquiries in an organized and timely fashion
  • Maintains excellent relations with King County Executive, King County Council, Port of Seattle, Governor’s office and state-level electeds, departments and staff

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, and minimum of five (5)  years progressively responsible experience in media relations, public relations or equivalent combination of education and experience that directly demonstrates the substantial knowledge and experience necessary to perform this complex role in a fast-paced political environment
  • Education/Experience Equivalency: combinations of appropriate education, training, certification and experience will be evaluated on an individual basis for comparability to the minimum education and experience requirements
  • Proven experience providing strategic advice to senior management or elected officials on options for communicating complex policy issues to a wide  variety of audiences
  • Successful experience supervising staff
  • Sound ethics and good judgment
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to identify the best tone, medium and timing to communicate with the public
  • Ability to think and speak “on your feet” particularly under pressure
  • Working knowledge of local government and the policy-making process

Desired qualifications

  • Experience in leading web content development and utilizing web technologies to drive organizational messaging
  • Ability to guide social media outreach in a political environment
  • Public affairs and/or government relations or political campaign experience in addition to communications/public relations expertise a big plus
  • Familiarity with AP style writing

Application Process

Visit 4:00pm on Tuesday, February 5, 2012 to complete an online application.  The Legislative Department values diverse perspectives and life experiences; people of color, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.  If you have questions please contact Melissa Beatty at

Please note if you do not submit all requested materials your application is not complete and may not be considered.  Please include the following items with your application. 

  • Cover letter which includes a description of your professional experience and experience working in the public sector specifically with elected or appointed positions; and
  • Resume.



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