Arlington, Virginia
$92,497.60 - $141,252.80 Annually
Jan 24, 2022
Feb 15, 2022
Full Time
Position Information
Arlington County is seeking a Communications and Public Engagement (CAPE) Manager to lead the centralized Communications Office within the Department of Environmental Services (DES). DES is a large and complex service-focused operational department with a full range of public works, transportation, facilities, and support operations.

The CAPE Manager is primarily responsible for planning and implementing communications and engagement initiatives to inform and educate the public, news media, internal staff, and community groups about DES services, programs, projects, and events. This includes directing a robust multi-faceted department-wide communications and public engagement program; supervising professional Communications and Engagement staff; and providing matrix management of all communication, marketing, media relations, public affairs, social media, web content, and outreach and engagement programs and activities throughout DES.

The CAPE Office is located in the DES Director's Office and this position reports directly to the Department Director.

Areas of responsibilities and specific duties include:

Strategic Communications: Develops long-term strategic communications plans and short-term objectives by:

  • Overseeing the development of specific initiatives to ensure that they are in concert with departmental and countywide communications and community engagement philosophies, evaluating department communication and engagement programs and services, and identifying program needs and gaps in service;
  • Coordinating internal communication and engagement plans to inform and engage DES staff in potential organizational, policy and program changes;
  • Educating staff on how and what to communicate in emergency situations, and serving as the DES spokesperson for incidents;
  • Training program managers on effective presentation strategies and assisting with the preparation of materials for public meetings;
  • Ensuring the integration of all communication and engagement services throughout the department and identifying existing communications that might be used as an opportunity to publicize other programs or services;
  • Guiding the development and implementation of specific engagement plans with project and program managers, and clarifying the levels of engagement at various project phases to build and maintain trust with affected community members throughout the project lifecycle.

Public Relations and Engagement: Manages large public relations campaigns and maintains public engagement with DES customers and stakeholders by:

  • Developing and implementing a communications and public engagement program mission and philosophy by maintaining an awareness of all DES agency initiatives, programs, and projects to anticipate communication and engagement needs, anticipate potential problems, and guiding DES management on appropriate public relations and engagement strategies;
  • Producing and editing content for press releases, internal newsletters, news and special feature articles, web-pages, calendar listings, internal documents such as policies, speeches, and talking points;
  • Managing the department's social media presence on various platforms such as Twitter and Facebook;
  • Managing community outreach and engagement for initiatives including developing community forums, education materials, and presentations for plans, projects and programs.
  • Representing DES in advisory groups, civic associations and other community meetings and events;
  • Coordinating public meetings, pop-ups, engagement forums, and community events both in person and online;
  • Strategizing engagement methods to ensure equitable access and outcomes for all members of the community regardless of barriers; and
  • Assisting in the design and coordination of DES special events such as groundbreaking ceremonies for important DES capital projects ranging from facilities to transportation to stormwater to water and sewer utility projects.

Management and Operational Support: Manages a team and provides other operational and departmental support by:

  • Supervising a full team of communication and engagement staff including overseeing the day-to-day duties and work product of decentralized outreach staff throughout DES;
  • Selecting contractors and vendors, and coordinating the work of contractors hired to provide printing, public relations, marketing product design, and other services;
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with internal teams and key stakeholder groups, including hard-to-reach, diverse, and under-represented communities; and
  • Providing departmental leadership, technical expertise, guidance, and quality assurance.

Selection Criteria
Minimum: Bachelor's degree in Marketing, Communications, Business/Public Administration, Journalism or related field plus considerable professional experience in one or more communications fields, such as marketing, public relations, speech writing, employee communications, journalism, or other related area.

Substitution: Additional qualifying experience may substitute for the education requirement on a year-for-year basis.

Desirable: Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following:

  • Leading a team of communications, public relations, or marketing professionals;
  • Community engagement project planning, design, and construction;
  • Serving as a spokesperson and responding to media inquiries;
  • Working in an environment providing services related to public works, capital improvement projects, urban development, or other government services; or
  • Composing web content, fact sheets, e-newsletters, social media, press releases, graphics, flyers, and digital and print presentations.

Special Requirements
COVID-19 Vaccination: Arlington County Government is committed to the health, safety and wellness for all staff. In support of that commitment, all current and newly hired employees are required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. For those qualified employees with a disability or sincerely held religious belief which prohibits them from receiving a vaccine, you will be able to contact the Office of Human Rights to request a reasonable accommodation. Adherence to this policy is a condition of employment.

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