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Communications Manager/Public Information Officer - City of Sammamish ( Job # 17-0028)

This job is closed.

Minimum Salary: $77,024.00
Maximum Salary: $105,413.00
Employment Type: Full Time
Department: City Manager’s Office
Closes: November 27, 2017 at 5:00 PM. Applications first reviewed on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017
(Open to current employees and the general public.)



The Communications Manager is a hands-on, highly strategic adviser who understands how to best craft and deliver nuanced messages to support the City’s goals and programs. Under the general direction of the City Manager’s Office, this position is responsible for creating, overseeing, and monitoring the effectiveness of the City’s communications plan. The Communications Manager’s work includes public relations, media relations, digital media, internal and external communication, marketing, education, community-building, and outreach. This position exercises considerable discretion in making decisions about operational issues, anticipating and resolving emergency situations, and ensuring the City’s public-information program is aligned with the City’s overall mission and brand. 


Works under the general supervision and direction of the City Manager. The position requires a high degree of independent judgment, initiative, and discretion. Oversees contracted communications positions, including the Social Media Consultant.


  • Develops, implements, and continually evaluates the effectiveness of a long-term strategic communications plan—with annual incremental work plans—that supports the City’s goals and programs and aligns with the City’s vision, values, and central themes.
  • Acts as a strategic adviser, providing a communications perspective to the leadership team that reflects a deep understanding of the citizens Sammamish serves.
  • Leads external communication efforts to ensure a timely, effective, consistent, two-way flow of information with the public.
  • Manages media relations, including training and preparing leaders to be on-message spokespeople during events and media interviews; maintaining connections with local reporters; anticipating and preparing for media coverage; serving as a spokesperson when appropriate; and regularly pitching positive stories that reflect Sammamish’s mission and goals.
  • Performs City outreach by establishing and maintaining effective relationships with community, school, civic, elected, social-service, and business leaders. This includes developing an outreach program to identify and meet the needs of groups/organizations that have barriers (e.g., language) or may be disproportionally affected by a City action.  
  • Implements and oversees surveying methods to continually gauge citizens’ satisfaction with the City’s services, including communication methods and messages.
  • Prepares emergency communication protocols as a liaison to internal emergency management committee and follows those protocols in the event of an emergency/disaster to ensure the prompt, accurate dissemination of information.
  • Helps empower each staff member to be a City ambassador through an internal communications plan that informs and trains colleagues to disseminate consistent, accurate, positive information; this includes leading inter-departmental communication teams.
  • Oversees content and manages delivery systems, including print, web, social media, text, and email listserv. This includes recommending new, innovative communication methods and channels based on user-data from citizens, community groups, and other external organizations.
  • Manages Sammamish TV Channel 21 programming and scheduling.
  • Manages consultants to provide communications assistance as needed.
  • Provides oversight of written public processes, including writing articles, preparing, and/or editing publications and presentations.
  • Attends council meetings, commission meetings, public meetings, community programs, and other events to support communications efforts.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of advanced strategic planning, project planning, public communications plan development, and the production of support materials.
  • Communication techniques including verbal, written, web, media and other technology, along with knowledge of current social media tools.
  • Professional public-relations practices and techniques, i.e., how to assess and influence public opinion.
  • Editing, composition, and general design principles for informational publications.
  • Graphic arts and printing/publication methods.

Skills / Abilities:

  • Strategic and creative thinking, flexibility, organization, and political sensitivity.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills, including editing and analytics.
  • Ability to work effectively in a dynamic, fast-paced organization with multiple competing priorities.
  • Ability to establish credibility and build relationships at all levels of the organization;
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills;
  • Must be self-motivated and have proven ability to practice good judgment in making decisions both independently and within a team.
  • Ability and interest to stay current with new technologies and technological advances;
  • Ability to analyze complex problems and find creative solutions.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Ability to meet daily deadlines, schedules, and legal timelines.
  • Proficient skill with software and publishing tools, web-based content management systems, and current/emerging social-media platforms.
  • Bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, journalism or related field with a high level of knowledge of media relations; master’s and/or APR Certification preferred.
  • Seven or more years of experience in professional or managerial level media relations, government relations and community relations, including spokesperson responsibilities for a complex public or private organization.
  • Or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Must demonstrate high-level of personal integrity and ethics.


Valid Washington State Driver's License with driving record free from serious or frequent violations.


Personal computer, including word processing software (Microsoft Word), PhotoShop, InDesign, Premiere, Excel, Outlook, copier, fax, multi-line phone system, calculator, video camera, and still camera.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Work involves walking, talking, hearing, using hands to handle, feel or operate objects, tools, or controls, and reaching with hands and arms. Vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.  The employee may be required to push, pull, lift, and/or carry up to 20 pounds. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet.

Mobility sufficient to establish and continue contacts with all community members is required. Duties are frequently performed under the stress of information deadlines, pressure from the public, and/or the press for information on sensitive issues. The conditions encountered will vary depending on the sensitivity and complexity of the information to be disseminated, the format used for dissemination, and the target audience.


Duties are performed both individually and as part of a work team.  Attendance at night meetings and at weekend events may be required, and meeting project deadlines may require working more than forty hours per week.  This is a FLSA-exempt position, not eligible for overtime compensation.  The position serves at-will.


The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed.  The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

This job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the City and the employee, and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the City and the requirements of the job change.



Sammamish City Hall
801 - 228th Ave SE
Sammamish, WA 98075