Communications Specialist Iv

Fairfax, Virginia
$79,329.95 - $132,217.07 Annually
Jul 23, 2022
Aug 20, 2022
Full Time
Job Announcement

Fairfax County is a dynamic community with 1.1 million residents, an award-winning park system, a top-notch school system, safe neighborhoods, and bustling town centers. At the heart of the community is the nationally recognized leader, the Fairfax County Park Authority. A large and complex park system encompassing over 24,000 acres of land, 420 parks, an estimated 18 million park visitors, 500 full-time employees, 2,500 seasonal employees and over 2,000 volunteers.

The Fairfax County Park Authority seeks a Communications Specialist IV to serve as the public information officer for the agency under the direction of the Marketing and Communications Director. This position will provide strategic communications for complex initiatives that have multi-department and countywide impact. The Communications Specialist IV will oversee all internal and external communications, event planning and program marketing to support the mission of the agency. The Communications Specialist IV will make presentations on behalf of the agency to the community and county and will write speeches for others to give as well. This position will serve as the primary agency spokesperson and will have regular contact with a variety of public media outlets. The Communications Specialist IV will oversee the social media programs, a FOIA coordinator, community outreach program, and a corporate brand manager. The Communications Specialist IV will collaborate with other Marketing and Communications Office teams to ensure consistency of public messaging and adherence to the overall marketing and communications strategies. The Communications Specialist IV will plan and implement a robust community engagement program that is guided by the County’s One Fairfax policy. Responsibilities include:
  • Oversees a comprehensive strategic communications plan for both the agency and for complex initiatives that have countywide impact developed in collaboration with Marketing and Communications Office personnel and agency leadership.
  • Serves as agency spokesperson and develops professional relationships with members of the media, blogs, etc. Provides opportunities for media to meet with subject matter experts, ensures compliance with Open Meetings Act, facilitates public meetings as needed and works to ensure transparent communications with the community as well.
  • Collaboratively develops plans for external communications using a wide variety of communications tools and multi-media platforms.
  • Coordinates internal communications through a variety of agency internal communications tools, including regular emails and electronic newsletters. Directs the agency’s internal communications team and works to ensure consistent messaging across the department.
  • Writes speeches and develops presentations and multimedia productions to support the goals of the agency.
  • Publishes and/or assists with a variety of in-house communications and publications
  • Collaborates with all members of the Marketing and Communications Office team to support all aspects of the strategic initiatives of the agency.
  • Oversees management of Parkmail email box helping to identify emerging issues, improve customer service and place content on the website as determined by customer inquiries.
  • Collaborates with FOIA Coordinator to manage this legislative mandate and ensure timely response and transparency.
  • Leads agency’s crisis response communications efforts and participates in county emergency communications team, serving as the primary contact for OPA and attending regular trainings and meetings as required.
  • Performs a variety of professional functions related to project management and event/meeting planning and management.
  • Facilitates internal and external meetings and functions.
  • Must be available outside of regular business hours frequently to quickly respond to media inquiries and to coordinate events, and public meetings, etc.
  • Ensures constant focus on equity through all forms of public engagement and conformance with the One Fairfax policy.
  • Supervises a team of professional staff who manage social media platforms.
  • Works with the Marketing Manager and appropriate staff to conduct constituent research for evaluation and measurement of communication programs, as well as analytics related with web and social media and creates quarterly dashboard to illustrate results;
  • As needed, assists with and is formative in development of FOIA responses, community outreach, and agency-wide marketing efforts.

Note: For special assignments/deadlines, alternate/flex schedule or comp time may be an option. Attendance at frequent weekend and evening meetings and events will be necessary.

Illustrative Duties

(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position job description.)
  • Develops comprehensive strategic communication planning
  • Supervises and manages other communications specialists within an agency;
  • Makes presentations on behalf of the department or system to community and County;
  • Plans and implements event and meetings;
  • Writes speeches for presentation to community;
  • Coordinates presentations before the Board of Supervisors;
  • Implements print production projects;
  • Budgeting and cost control for communication projects;

Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities

(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)
  • Ability to supervise and manage professional and paraprofessional staff;
  • Ability to write for departmental publications;
  • Ability to write content;
  • Ability to manage social media for the department
  • Ability to write for multimedia;
  • Ability to use current computer software and e-mail;
  • Ability to problem solve;
  • Ability to manage projects (including budgeting);
  • Ability to communicate in a crisis;
  • Knowledge of the methods for preparing information to increase the likelihood of its use;
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with County government officials, regional officials, and potentially national and international dignitaries and government representatives.

Employment Standards

Any combination of education, experience and training equivalent to the following:
(Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for "Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to")
Bachelor's degree in communication, business or public administration or field related to subject matter expertise, plus 7 years of progressively responsible experience in a communication area of specialization, government relations, management, or area of specialization in which the department is represented.

  • Driver's License
All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the last required dose) as a condition of employment or obtain approval of a medical or religious exemption prior to their start date. Proof of an exemption or vaccination status will be required during the pre-employment onboarding process. New employees who obtain an exemption from the vaccine mandate for medical or sincerely held religious beliefs may be subject to a weekly testing requirement. Vaccinated employees and employees with a medical or religious exemption will complete the attestation online on their first day of employment or shortly thereafter.

The appointee to this position must submit to a criminal background check, child protective services registry check, and driving record check to the satisfaction of the employer.

  • Bachelor’s degree in communication, public administration, business management or related field.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Experience writing, preparing, and giving presentations in front of a wide range of audiences, including public elected officials.
  • Proficient in Power Point, Canva and other communication tools.
  • Experience working with a variety of media outlets and building relationships with media contacts.
  • Experience collaborating with staff at all levels across a large organization with many competing strategic priorities.
  • Extensive experience writing information releases and other internal and external communications tools.
  • Experience with all aspects of event and public meetings management.
  • Familiarity with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act requirements

Work is generally sedentary in nature. However, incumbent may be required to do some walking, standing, bending, and carrying of items up to 25 pounds. Ability to operate keyboard-driven equipment. Ability to communicate verbally and in writing. Sufficiently mobile to attend meetings at various locations and make presentations to county staff and community. Occasional walking and standing on diverse terrain in the field. Ability to work in varying weather. All duties may be performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interview and may include exercise.

The population of Fairfax County is very diverse where 39.8% of residents speak a language other than English at home ( Spanish, Asian/Pacific Islander, Indo-European, and others ) and we encourage candidates bilingual in English and a foreign language to apply to this opportunity.

Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or military status in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce.

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314.