TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST III
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Immediate Job Opening
Department of Transportation Planning
TRANSPORTATION PLANNING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST III
STARTING SALARY $61,673 - $77,000 DOQ
AGENCY AND CONTEXT
Transportation planning at the regional level in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is coordinated by the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB). The TPB is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the metropolitan area and also plays an important role as the regional forum for transportation planning. The TPB coordinates regional transportation planning activities and develops the long-range transportation plan in order for federal-aid transportation funds to flow to the Washington region. The TPB includes representatives of local governments; state transportation agencies; the Maryland and Virginia general assemblies; transit agencies; and non-voting members from the airports authority and federal agencies. The TPB is staffed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Department of Transportation Planning (DTP).
The department is seeking a Communications Specialist as part of a team that has the lead responsibility to provide staff support for the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) and all of the public outreach activities associated with the metropolitan transportation planning process. The successful candidate will coordinate and conduct the member and stakeholder communications program for the TPB, which focuses on sharing news about board actions, special events, and transportation research, analysis, and planning. In addition, the specialist will manage one staff person. Together, they carry out the work of the program. The specialist will also closely coordinate with the COG Office of Communications, which is responsible for media relations, branding, and agency-wide communications. The position requires strong organizational skills, the ability to juggle multiple projects in a fast-paced, membership oriented environment, and excellent written and oral communication skills.
EXAMPLES OF WORK
The successful candidate will:
- Develop and execute coordinated communications strategies promoting the technical and policy work of a metropolitan transportation-planning agency.
- Plan, write, edit, and publish content for blogs, digital and print newsletters, annual reports, social media, and the web explaining work activities, highlighting program outcomes, and promoting events.
- Work closely with program staff to understand research findings, conceptualize stories, and craft compelling narratives and graphic content highlighting key messages.
- Coach program staff in the development of compelling content, including providing feedback and direction on writing style and how to effectively communicate key messages.
- Maintain editorial calendar and lead weekly editorial meetings to brainstorm story ideas, identify news pegs, update content schedule, assign stories, and coordinate messaging across platforms.
- Edit public-facing publications, reports, brochures, web copy, and more to ensure factual accuracy, clarity of meaning, and consistency of style, tone, and message.
- Ghostwrite official correspondence and remarks on behalf of senior executives and elected officials articulating organizational policy positions and highlighting accomplishments and achievements.
- Actively participate on inter-departmental communications team to plan and coordinate content and messaging across platforms and channels, craft and carry out media plans, as well as manage graphic design, video production, and print and mail vendors in the development and distribution of attractive, impactful communications products.
- Work with communications team to conceive and create new web pages and websites to meet communications goals for public events, outreach campaigns, planning processes, and more.
- Review website and social media analytics to assess effectiveness of communications strategies and convey findings to broader public involvement and senior management teams.
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree in Communication, Journalism, Media, Public Relations, Government, Political Science or related field and some experience in writing and producing publications, journalism, public relations, local, state or federal government, or nonprofit organizations or any equivalent combination of knowledge and training which provides the required knowledge, experience, skills and abilities. Transportation planning experience or knowledge considered a plus.
- Strong communications skills – both written and verbal -- including the ability to effectively reach out to a variety of individuals, ranging from elected officials to support staff, and to communicate about complex topics to non-technical audiences.
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret technical reports, general business periodicals, and professional journals. Ability to write newsletter articles, reports, blogs, and business correspondence. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from officials, senior management staff, the news media, and the general public.
- Demonstrated strong writing skills and ability to write for public consumption; an eye for detail and proofreading skills; knowledge of public relations goals and practices; knowledge and ability to respond to journalistic methods and techniques, including a knowledge of journalism; knowledge of local, state, and federal government and regional issues; knowledge of transportation planning;
- Ability to maintain good relationships with co-workers, member agencies, and the general public; good judgment and tact when interacting with officials and senior management staff;
- Ability to manage projects like reports and other printed publications; ability to work under deadline to produce high quality work; ability to multi-task and set priorities.
- Ability to prepare, produce, and present clear, effective, and accurate reports and presentations. Skills must include solid experience with Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Experience with ArcGIS, InDesign, Microsoft Access or other database software and/or graphic design is a plus. Knowledge of web content management systems, and social media programs, familiarity with video production software and Photoshop, such as creating info graphics and graphics for the web, a plus.
- Ability to execute tasks with minimal supervision, and ability to respond flexibly to a small staff with significant demands on time.
Education and Experience
Three - Five years’ experience in writing and preparation of publications, including layout; experience in using computers to write and design publications, including use of desktop publishing software; some experience in public relations and/or work involving relationships with the public; local or state government experience also desirable as well as administrative experience. Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, or related field; or any equivalent combination of knowledge and training which provides the required knowledge, experience, skills and abilities. Some journalism and/or transportation planning experience helpful.
Computer Knowledge and Skills
Knowledge of Microsoft Word or other word processing software; experience in using computers to write and design publications, including use of desktop publishing software.
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, and governmental regulations.Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedural manuals.Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.
To apply for this position, please submit your cover letter, salary history, and resume to:
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments/ Human Resources
777 North Capitol Street, NE Suite 300
Washington, DC 20002-4290
Visit our website at: www.mwcog.org or Fax: 202-962-3715