Strategic Communications Manager - Public Works

City of Vancouver | Vancouver, WA

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Posted Date 5/24/2023

Reporting to the Communications Director, the Strategic Communications Manager – Public Works will act as communications strategist for Public Works, using their proven strategic thinking, writing skills, political knowledge, community engagement, and communications expertise to guide the approach to communicating and engaging with the public about Public Works. This position will provide support to division managers and staff by developing and delivering exceptional strategic messaging and creative content that touches every aspect of Public Works operations and services. The manager will oversee internal and external communications–to tell the story of Public Works and promote Public Works initiatives as well as ensure alignment with City Council goals and policies. Responsive 24/7 to high-profile, highly sensitive issues and concerns requiring critical thinking, problem solving, independent action where required, and critical communication strategies to meet department and utility needs and regulatory requirements. Supervise and provide direction to communications team dedicated to Public Works programs.

At this time, this position is eligible for telework or hybrid schedule. As with all routine telework positions, employees may be required to come into the office on occasion based on business needs. Telework may be subject to change at a future time. Currently, all employees must reside in Oregon or Washington; the City cannot support ongoing telework from other locations.

This is a full-time, regular, exempt position. The schedule for this position is M-F, 8am to 5pm.

Position open until filled. First review date is June 6, 2023.

Job Details

Essential Functions:

  • Develop and implement communications and engagement strategies and lead the development of key messaging that tells a clear and compelling story in support of Public Works initiatives, programs and services.
  • Collaborate with city-wide Communication Managers to ensure resources, strategy, and work is coordinated.
  • Ensure messaging aligns with City Council goals and policies and overall city messaging/brand.
  • Identify emerging public concerns or issues; develop and implement proactive and responsive communications or community engagement strategies.
  • Strategize and advise on communications surrounding complex issues, major incidents, and emergencies. Available 24/7 to help with dissemination of prompt, accurate, vital public information during emergency and disaster situations from snow, ice, severe weather events to severe natural disasters, such as earthquakes. Representing the Utility, responsible for quickly reaching diverse audience in case of protective/mandatory orders such as Boil Water or Conserve. Part of department, citywide and regional PIO emergency preparedness. Expertise in community relations, including highly controversial, sensitive and/or complex assignments involving conflicting community interests and/or potential for significant financial or political impact.
  • Provides emergency communications support during activation of the City’s Emergency Operations Center.
  • Develop and execute media outreach strategies to promote and enhance the awareness of Public Work’s services, projects, and initiatives in alignment with citywide programing.
  • Make presentations to the public, Council, boards and commissions as necessary.
  • Supervise the communications team dedicated to Public Works.
  • Manage contracts, consultants, and vendors as needed.
  • Work with news media on Public Works projects, initiatives and stories.
  • Oversee and participate in public outreach and engagement activities
  • Approve news releases, web content and other related to Public Works content.
  • Oversee and approve internal communications content.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.


Experience and Education

  • Five (5) years’ experience in communications, public relations or closely related field, including three (3) years of supervisory experience of a team. Experience in public sector preferred.
  • Equivalent to a Bachelor's Degree in Communications, Marketing, Journalism, Public Relations or a closely related field.
Job Category
Local Government
Career Level

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