Senior Public Outreach Officer
San Diego Association of Governments - San Diego, CA

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Overview of the Communications Team

The SANDAG Communications Department is taking advantage of unprecedented times as new service programs are being launched, transportation projects are being completed, and sophisticated marketing efforts are underway. With public outreach and education as the foundation of their work, the team is focused on developing and implementing strategic communication and marketing plans to support a variety of projects while meeting state and federal requirements. Examples of current major agency projects include the 11 mile extension of the San Diego Trolley from Old Town to UCSD, Bus Rapid Transit service in the I-15 and I-805 corridors, infrastructure for extended FasTrak service throughout the region, regional traveler information services through iCommute and 511, and San Diego Forward: The Regional Plan.

Through close collaboration and coordination with internal project teams, outside stakeholders, member agencies, and vendors, the team develops communication plans, websites, logos, advertising campaigns, brochures, and collateral materials such as video production and other promotional pieces. The implementation of these unique products and services requires superior public outreach and marketing knowledge, aggressive fortitude, and grit.

Senior Public Outreach Officer Role

The Senior Public Outreach Officer will coordinate communication strategies that promote SANDAG projects and ensure a strong, positive identity among all audiences. This work includes managing multiple concurrent projects, developing and implementing outreach and communication plans, responding to requests for information, developing news stories for mass media, assisting with marketing efforts, and contributing to a variety of internal and external publications.

This is a limited term employment opportunity and it is expected to be funded through December 2015. Limited Term Employees are considered to be “at-will” and receive many of the benefits of regular employees.

Job Responsibilities

This opportunity is ideal for an experienced communications professional with an interest in furthering their expertise in public outreach programs for large-scale capital development projects. We anticipate significant career development will occur while working on the types of duties and responsibilities described below and through mentoring and close collaboration with senior staff. Examples of primary responsibilities for this position include:
  • Provide public outreach and communication efforts during the planning and construction phases of the North Coast Corridor and the LOSSAN construction projects (LOSSAN is the coastal rail corridor that runs from San Luis Obispo through Los Angeles to San Diego).
  • Develop, implement, and coordinate public information and community outreach programs, services, and activities; collaborate with staff to develop and promote new construction milestones.
  • Respond via email, telephone, fax, and written correspondence to general inquiries from the public, elected officials, news media representatives, and agency staff.
  • Provide assistance to staff members and members of the public in accessing specific information, data, and other resources from regional databases, the SANDAG website, and the KeepSanDiegoMoving (KSDM) website.
  • Develop in-depth knowledge of the KSDM website and make suggestions for incorporating new information on the site; identify when updates to the website are required, coordinate with Corridor Directors and project managers to develop new content.
  • Develop strategic media outreach programs to secure news coverage for projects.
  • Participate in the planning and implementation of a variety of media, promotional, and special events including groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremonies, public workshops, and outreach events.
  • Provide creative services and technical writing for website pages, newsletters, news releases, fact sheets, social media, advertorials, opinion pieces, print/broadcast advertising, and other collateral materials.
  • Provide materials for Corridor Directors and project managers to present to individuals, community, and civic groups.
  • Serve as project manager for consultants and contractors in connection with various projects.
  • Complete concurrent assignments in an efficient and responsive manner.
  • Provide highly technical assistance to senior managers and executives.

Experience and Qualifications

Numerous factors contribute to an individual’s ability to be successful in any given role. For this position, we are searching for an articulate, outgoing, and conscientious candidate experienced in all aspects of public communication and outreach programs, event coordination, marketing, and customer service. Superior project management, writing, and public speaking skills, strong organizational and decision-making capabilities, and the ability to exercise discretion, judgment, and diplomacy when working with clients and staff are key characteristics.

The minimum education, training, and experience qualifications include a bachelor’s degree with major coursework in journalism, communications, marketing, planning, or a related field, and a minimum of five years of progressive career development in a communications/public information environment, preferably supporting regional planning and/or capital improvement projects.

The following information describes the specific types of career experiences that are most relevant to this position.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, implement, and coordinate public information, public involvement, marketing, and community outreach programs, services, and activities.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of effective communication techniques and public relations and marketing strategies; ability to take initiative in identifying and meeting communication needs.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the practices and operations of news gathering and reporting organizations; experience arranging press conferences and securing media coverage to promote public understanding of projects; familiarity with regional information resources and local news media sources, including websites.
  • Successful project management experience including preparing and negotiating scopes of work, requirements, budgets, and schedules; experience developing Requests for Proposals; experience evaluating proposals and selecting and managing consultants.
  • Demonstrated experience planning and implementing various meetings and special events; experience developing new program and outreach initiatives.
  • Outstanding writing and editing skills; experience writing engaging and compelling communications for a variety of audiences and purposes including social media.
  • Ability to research, analyze, interpret, organize, edit, write, and design informational material for publication and presentation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Web-writing techniques and experience developing and maintaining website content.
  • Excellent customer service skills including strong verbal and written communication skills for responding to telephone and email inquiries.
  • Capacity to establish, maintain, and foster cooperative and collaborative working relationships with those contacted in the course of work; ability to gain cooperation and consensus through discussion and persuasion.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and perform multiple tasks simultaneously with frequent interruptions from telephone calls, visitors, and staff; effective time management skills, excellent organizational skills, and the ability to exercise good judgment and work independently.
  • Demonstrated computer software proficiency using various programs from the Microsoft Office Suite and other PC-based applications, and conducting research on the Internet.
  • Proficiency with the Spanish language, both oral and written, is desirable.

Salary and Benefits

SANDAG rewards the efforts of its employees with a comprehensive compensation package. Competitive salaries are supplemented with a flexible offering of health, financial security, and time-off benefits to meet the work and life needs of employees and their families.

This limited term Senior Public Outreach Officer position has an annual salary range of $63,106 to $100,970; the starting salary will depend on the qualifications and experience of the selected candidate.

Our benefits include traditional health, dental, and vision insurance as well as employee assistance, wellness, and work/life balance programs. Retirement and financial security benefits are provided through a pension plan and deferred compensation program. And to support the need to rest and rejuvenate, employees are provided with a bank of paid time off in addition to paid holidays.

How to Apply

We encourage all interested candidates to apply for this position by completing a SANDAG Employment Application form. Resumes, cover letters, and work samples may be submitted in addition to the Employment Application but are not a substitute for this document.

The Employment Application can be downloaded in PDF format from the SANDAG website. Alternatively, a copy can be requested by calling (619) 699-1900 or emailing . Completed
applications and related materials can be submitted via email, fax, regular mail, courier, or delivered by hand. See our Careers / How to Apply Web page for additional information.

Applications for the Senior Public Outreach Officer position will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 25, 2013.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), SANDAG will accommodate persons who require assistance in order to apply for a position at SANDAG. Applicants requiring an accommodation due to a disability during any stage of the recruitment and selection process, including requesting this document and related application materials in an alternative format, should make their needs known by contacting Human Resources at (619) 699-1900, (619) 699-1904 (TTY), fax (619) 699-6905, or .

Additional Application Requirement

To help us further evaluate the skills and experience of individuals interested in this position, candidates are asked to respond to the Supplemental Questions below. The information can be up to 500 words per question and should be submitted with the Employment Application. This is considered a required component of the application; applications received without a response will be screened out of the selection process.

Supplemental Questions

1. Please describe why it is important for SANDAG to have both public information and public involvement programs.

2. Provide a summary or overview of a project you have successfully managed (or had a lead role in) that showcases your ability to develop budgets and schedules, coordinate a team, seek input from key stakeholders, respond to challenges, and ensure successful delivery of the final project.

Candidate Selection and Notification

Following the close date for applications, all candidates will receive written confirmation that their application has been received. The hiring manager will begin reviewing and evaluating applications within a few days of the close date. Based on this evaluation, the best qualified candidates will be invited to continue in the selection process. All candidates will receive written notification as to the final outcome of their application.

Further Information

The SANDAG website contains a wealth of information about our various project and program areas. The Careers section of the site lists all of our current Job Openings as well as information on how to apply for positions and Frequently Asked Questions about our recruitment process.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, applicants hired by SANDAG must show acceptable proof of identity and evidence of authorization to work in the United States.

SANDAG is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is comprised of 18 city and county governments which serve as a forum for regional...