Media Relations and Editorial Communications Manager

Alexandria, VA
$80,766.14 - $142,132.64 Annually
Aug 12, 2022
Aug 26, 2022
Full Time
Media Relations and Editorial Communications Manager

The City of Alexandria is known for the stories of its past; this position is an exciting opportunity to craft the story of its present and set the stage for its future. Join us and help tell the evolving story of this 272-year-old community, named #3 Top Best Small City in the U.S. in 2021 by Condé Nast Traveler magazine.

The Media Relations and Editorial Communications Manager is a critical part of the City’s work to engage and communicate with our many important constituencies - our residents and businesses, visitors, City employees, and the greater community - utilizing the media and written materials. Our goal is to reach people where they are , using strategies and tactics that address language access, the digital divide, and issues around race and social equity.

The Position - Duties and Responsibilities
  • Manages the City’s day-to-day relations with the media, including but not limited to: handling media queries; coordinating media interviews and press conferences; preparing public statements, news releases and media materials; and promoting City programs and projects through proactive pitching of stories to news media.
  • Responds to and follows through on requests for information from the media and the public, determining appropriate, accurate responses and appropriate City contacts for response.
  • Serves as City spokesperson on often highly sensitive, complex or emergency situations. Cultivates and maintains knowledge of and relationships with key news media at local, regional, state and national levels.
  • Writes, edits, reviews and assures appropriate distribution of communication/public relations/community outreach materials that have a City-wide impact; may oversee editorial process, production and publication of City or department publications, communication/public relations materials and related communication.
  • Manages editorial/writing/media relations staff within the Office of Communications and Public Information.
  • Manages special projects, including directing the work of a collaborative communication team as appropriate.

Candidate Profile
The candidate will be an experienced communications professional with recent experience and relationships with local/regional/national news media, knowledge of the full range of current communications, media relations, and public engagement strategies and an understanding of communications and media relations tactics, techniques, formats and platforms, and how to apply them in a municipal environment.

The candidate will demonstrate accuracy, diplomacy, discernment and effectiveness when developing and executing public information and communications strategies involving the news media and written communications from the City, including from senior City leadership.

The candidate will have experience engaging and communicating with hard-to-reach, diverse and under-represented communities and constituencies.

About the Office of Communications & Public Information
The Office of Communications & Public Information (OCPI) develops, coordinates and delivers meaningful and responsive communications for the community and for City employees. OCPI develops and directs a City-wide communications program, including content on the City’s website, and provides guidance and direction to other City government communicators.

The Office of Communications and Public Information is currently undergoing an exciting revitalization and reorganization, including new leadership, new direction from City Council and the City Manager, increased resources and a new vision for communications, public information and community engagement throughout Alexandria. We are working to build an organization that tells Alexandria’s story, builds relationships, and connects with the community using community engagement, communications planning, media relations, creative production and distribution and qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools.

OCPI’s current staff of 11 develop external and internal messaging; provide oversight and maintenance of content on the City’s external and internal websites; administers the City’s language access program; distribute routine and emergency information to employees and the public; design and layout print publications for external and internal use; develop and produce external and internal video content; coordinate with the news media; and coordinate communications with City academies, special recognition events, and City boards and commissions. OCPI has been serving as the City’s public information and communications lead during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minimum & Additional Requirements

Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, English, Marketing, Communications, or a closely related field. Five (5) years of experience in communications, media, public relations, or public information; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Preferred Qualifications

At least seven years of experience in a complex, dynamic communications environment involving public information, communications, public relations and/or media relations and at least five years of experience working directly with news media, including serving as an on the record spokesperson.

The candidate must have proven message development, writing and editing experience, a clear understanding of, and experience with, the media and news gathering, and demonstrate strong on-the-record and on-camera experience that includes interviews with television, radio and other media outlets.

The candidate must have experience communicating with the public and elected officials, a thorough knowledge and understanding of local government, the ability to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure and demonstrated experience in showing a high level of discretion and sensitivity when performing your work.

Written and spoken fluency in a language other than English, including but not limited to Spanish, Arabic and Amharic.


Compensation and Benefits
The salary for this position will be negotiable and commensurate with the background and qualifications of the successful candidate. The City of Alexandria has a highly competitive executive benefits package, which includes annual leave, holidays and sick leave; a defined benefit retirement plan; health insurance, dental plan, life insurance, and long-term disability insurance; optional deferred compensation retirement plan; credit union membership; employee discount programs; tuition assistance; well-being rewards; and an employee assistance program.

Application and Selection Process
Applications will be screened against criteria outlined in this brochure. Interviews will be offered by the Department Director to those candidates named as finalists, with reference checks, background checks and academic verifications conducted after receiving candidates’ permission.

For more information, please contact:
Sandra Gibbs
Senior Talent Acquisition Lead

Finalists will be subject to a thorough background check after receiving a conditional offer of employment.

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