Title: Senior Public Relations Specialist
The Sandy Springs Communications team operates as an on-site, full-service marketing and public relations Communications Department working in a variety of mediums including print, video, web and other digital platforms. The Communication Department supports all other departments within the City of Sandy Springs, including the City Manager’s office, Mayor and Council, Public Works, Recreation and Parks, Community Development (Building, Code Enforcement and Development), Economic Development, Finance, Police and Fire. With such a varied range of “clients,” the work overseen by the Communications Department is wide-ranging and constantly changing. It is a fast-paced environment, requiring attention to detail and flexibility in prioritization.
The Senior Public Relations Specialist will work in conjunction with the Community Relations Manager in providing public relations and community relations efforts in support of community outreach programs. Efforts include working on targeted projects, identifying challenges and emerging issues, creating messaging for use internally as well as externally, and assisting in the development of external communications including press releases, advertisements, fact sheets, website content, etc.
The Senior Public Relations Specialist will be a primary point of contact for the community on selected projects, providing on site presence as well as conducting proactive in-person outreach as major projects get underway, keeping in communication during execution of the program, and assisting with messaging and outreach related to any problems which may occur. Needed skills for this position include (but not limited to): PR strategist, strong writer, critical thinker able to anticipate and mitigate issues, creative problem solver, calm under pressure, leadership, and unwavering collaboration skills
Required Professional Skills:
- Excellent organizational skills including adhering to best practices in project file management
- Excellent verbal and interpersonal skills
- Excellent research, time and program management skills
- Demonstrated competency to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines, set priorities and determine objectives and strategies to achieve them
- Ability to deal with conflict and difficult situations with short deadlines
- Ability to establish rapport quickly with people at all levels to support an event.
- As a small creative team, we utilize all our members’ extended skill sets. Ongoing skills development is encouraged. The following skills are not required, but are viewed as a highly desirable.
- Works with department leadership to identify key programs and or projects in need of targeted public relations support
- Develops public relations and community outreach plans to support messaging, publicity and community outreach needs for identified projects
- Executes public relations and community relations plans including developing and writing press releases, fact sheets, advertisements, web copy etc.
- Works with Communication Director on strategy and messaging related to media outreach (note: this position will not have media relations duties)
- Provides assistance as needed on supplemental projects including city emergency operations activations, city-wide topic public information meetings, and city events.
PR / Community Outreach activities include, but are not limited to:
- Participates in department meetings as needed to obtain information concerning key projects and to share and gain input on PR strategies developed.
- Meets with affected groups (i.e. homeowner and condo associations, etc) and residents to introduce and update status of projects with some of these interactions taking place in the evening, after traditional business hours
- Serves as an onsite communications representative for targeted projects, communicating with stakeholders as needed
- Handles stakeholder comments, concerns and complaints, assisting individuals who have questions related to projects
- Ensures that the City’s website is up-to-date related to projects under his/her care
- Prepares weekly updates and progress reports as needed
- Maintains organized project files and records, including, but not limited to, all pertinent documents, correspondence, contact records, and project tracking reports, accurately, completely and in compliance with records management requirements
- Assists in planning public input meetings, including on site participation, with these meetings taking place in the evenings, after traditional business hours
- Ensures a high level of customer service to internal and external customers
- Helps maintain a favorable public image for the City.
- Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations or related field
- Minimum of three years of experience communications or public relations
- Exceptional communication skills, including strategy, writing and verbal abilities
- Ability to establish rapport quickly with people at all levels
- Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to be flexible and effectively work with others as a team
- Must be able to handle adverse discussions and be adept at conflict resolution performing in a professional manner
- Demonstrated competency to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines, to organize work, set priorities and determine objectives and strategies to achieve them
- Excellent research, time and project management skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Technical proficiency in learning quickly new web-based programs (with training)
- Experience working with the public and municipal officials a plus
- Knowledge or experience with standard construction concepts and practices a plus (but not a requirement)
- Valid Georgia motor vehicle operator’s license required
- Ability to work outside, subject to all kinds of weather and temperature conditions Commitment The position is a full time. From time to time, work hours will include nights and weekends.
Salary and Benefits:
The City of Sandy Springs offers a competitive salary and benefits package. The City of Sandy Springs is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law.
The City of Sandy Springs is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the City will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities and encourages both prospective and current employees to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.
The information presented, while not an exact or exhaustive listing, describes the work, performance standards, and qualifications typically required of positions or employees in this job. A specific position description or employee performance plan may differ as long as it is consistent with the core Responsibilities, Standards and Qualifications of that job.
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