Communications Specialist Ii

Fairfax, Virginia
$60,276.11 - $100,461.09 Annually
Sep 11, 2021
Sep 25, 2021
Full Time
Job Announcement

Seeking a highly motivated, energetic professional to work with a team of high-level communicators to promote the award-winning Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services. Given the many business areas, divisions and branches that comprise DPWES, the incumbent must be flexible and able to adapt in a fast-paced environment. The position duties include, but are not limited to, social media, writing stories, pitching stories, engaging media, responding to media inquiries, drafting news releases, managing events and handling public relations and leading communications/education/outreach for major DPWES projects. Proficient with digital photography, videography/editing. Goes into the field with crews to observe their work and tell their stories. Assists in the coordination of FOIA request responses for the agency in alignment with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. Assists in collaborative, inter-agency and intra-agency communications during emergencies and activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Joint Information Center (JIC).

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 the work of others in publication management, multimedia development, community relations or media relations;
  • Ability to write, edit and design for departmental publications;
  • Ability to write for multimedia;
  • Ability to use photography equipment and to plan photography coverage;
  • Ability to format online media;
  • Ability to use current computer software and email;
  • Ability to develop or create Web sites;
  • Ability to solve problems;
  • Ability to be able to manage projects (including budgeting);
  • Ability to be able to communicate in a crisis;
  • Ability to adapt broadly defined policy guidance to specific situations with a minimal amount of supervision;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to participate in meaningful interchange of views on matters of critical importance to the County;
  • Ability to plan and review the work of others;
  • Ability to lead a division of communicators;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the public, the press, and County employees.

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, journalism, public administration, political science, or field related to a department's business, plus five years of progressively responsible experience in communication area of specialization or area of specialization of department represented.

Valid driver's license.

The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check and driving record check to the satisfaction of the employer.

All newly hired employees are required to be fully vaccinated 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 religious reasons will still be subject to the weekly testing requirement. Otherwise, vaccinated employees will complete the attestation online in the first day of employment.

  • Experience drafting comprehensive communications plans and collateral (e.g. brochures, flyers, etc.) for projects, programs and/or initiatives
  • Ability to interact with media and draft responses to media inquiries.
  • Three or more years direct experience in providing digital, online and social media communications for local, state or federal government agencies.
  • Demonstrated success in use of social media for business operations and public information.
  • Experience with still photography, videography, video production and editing for digital media platforms. Working knowledge of Adobe Premier.
  • Knowledge of fundamentals of graphic design software, photo editing tools, and general publication standards.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills, including the ability to write for multiple media formats and conduct public presentations.
  • Experience responding to or coordinating responses to Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced team environment

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, communicate verbally and in writing, and sufficiently mobile to attend meetings at various locations and make presentations to county staff and community. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations. All duties performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interviews and may include exercises.

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 status as a veteran 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. EEO/AA/TTY.

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