The Communications Specialist is responsible for planning and implementing effective Wheatland County communications that is open, transparent and proactive, through the following services: media relations, public / community relations, internal communications, issues management, corporate communications, electronic communications, creative services, and crisis management / emergency communications.
This position works a 5 day work week, Monday to Friday, with one day off in a 3 week cycle; hours of work: standard 37.5 hour work week
Occasional overtime may be required
Key Responsibilities Include:
Develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive strategic communication plans and programs in consultation with the County’s departments and business areas.
Identify communications opportunities to raise awareness of activities, programs and services within the community of Wheatland County; implement communication plans and programs.
Develop and implement the County’s social media strategy and plan (e.g., Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn); maintain social media on a regular / daily basis.
Conduct ongoing updates to the Wheatland County website ensuring information is strategic, accurate, and current.
Strategically plan and coordinate all media relations; incorporate social media updates into media relations communications.
Facilitate and / or lead the development of content for numerous communication materials including media releases, fact sheets, backgrounders, community newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, staff newsletters, website content, advertisements, and social media posts.
Develop communications materials such as brochures, newsletters, advertising, promotional materials, quarterly reports, and the County’s annual report.
Provide leadership / coordination services regarding the planning and delivery of public and staff / special events.
Research, plan, execute, and evaluate / report on public engagement / public participation
Provide a variety of graphic design activities including desktop publishing and layout, production, illustration, and pre-press file preparation.
Provide writing services (e.g., editing, proofreading, plain language / gender neutral language, etc.) for internal and external communications.
Prepare and deliver communication training programs to internal audiences.
Develop and maintain a network of internal contacts to keep abreast of developments within the organization; ensure employees are aware of the organization’s business objectives, activities and branding requirements.
Coordinate media and / or press conferences and briefings, when strategically required.
Attend committee and Council meetings to maintain an awareness of key issues; respond to inquiries from staff / external community by producing internal / external documents containing updates based upon Council decisions.
Monitor media articles to ensure the organization is kept aware of significant / impactful issues.
Develop, maintain / update the Emergency Public Information Plan; act as the Emergency Public Information Officer; develop and train a support team of volunteers to provide communications support during emergency situations.
Ensure adherence to all applicable Wheatland County policies and bylaws.
Ensure compliance with OH&S including attendance at safety meetings, being properly trained in OH&S related topics, and ensuring work is completed in a safe manner.
Appropriately, and in a timely manner complete administrative tasks (e.g., personal timesheet) when required.
Relate to and communicate with co-workers, management, customers and vendors sincerely, clearly, tactfully, promptly and courteously; respond to inquiries and complaints promptly and professionally (e.g., coordinate appropriate responses to public / ratepayers’ complaints).
Perform tasks, consistent with the position, including special projects / assignments, as may be required on an ad hoc basis.
Degree from a recognized post-secondary educational institution in Communications, Public Relations, Journalism, or equivalent.
Current membership in a professional association (e.g., IABC, CPRS, or ACE) preferred.
Minimum of 3 years related experience in communications, public relations or related field
Incident Command System (ICS) training for emergency management communications strategy and planning would be ideal
Proven success in developing and implementing communications strategies and plans
Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with various stakeholders
Experience crafting and maintaining a social media presence to assist in branding / promoting events and initiatives for building relationships with stakeholders
Exceptional writing, editing, proofreading skills with the ability to adapt writing style to target audiences
Effective presentation skills with the ability to facilitate group meetings / discussions for the purpose of soliciting ideas, gathering feedback, collecting data, and summarizing information
Strong interpersonal communication skills with the ability to communicate with sensitivity, diplomacy and integrity; ability to maintain confidentiality and handle information appropriately in a political environment
Effective time management and organizational skills to meet deadlines while prioritizing and completing several competing, complex and evolving projects in a fast paced environment
Ability to use various computer software programs including Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite
Ability to use website software (e.g., Joomla)
Ability to work independently and cooperatively in a team environment