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City of Bellevue, WA – Chief Communications Officer – Job Opportunity

Salary: $84,804 – $117,036/Annually Apply on-line at www.bellevuewa.gov not later than: April 20, 2012

General Information
The City of Bellevue, WA is currently recruiting for a seasoned communications professional to develop and execute communication plans, branding initiatives, and public relation strategies for the City that positively shift perceptions and land appropriate messages to the right audiences timely. The candidate must be a superior writer and strategic thinker with the capacity to develop and follow through on long-range plans while managing emerging news, building brand recognition for the City, and delivering results.

The Chief Communications Officer is assigned to the Executive Office of the City Manager, will serve as chief spokesperson for the City, and will develop and implement comprehensive external and internal communication strategies with effective marketing and branding. The Chief Communications Officer shall act as principal consultant to the Executive Staff – City Council, Mayor, City Manager, and Deputy City Manager; and in an advisory capacity to the Leadership Team.

Value Added Essential Services
• City’s Chief Journalist/Public Information Officer
• Marketing/Branding Consultant for the City
• Press Management for City Council, Mayor, City Manager, and Leadership Team
• Assist with Strengthening, Developing and Implementing and Effective Internal Communication Plan/Strategy
• Advancing the Appropriate Use of Communication Technology – Web 2.0, Social Media, City Website, etc.

Essential Functions of the Job
Serve as a chief consultant to all departments on the planning, development, implementation and execution of communications, marketing, and public relations policies, branding and strategies. Operate using a collaborative style to inform, educate and build relationships with staff, and to build continuity for effective communication systems both internally and externally.

Directly supervise a small cadre of staff and contractors with backgrounds in communications, public relations, social media, and television, etc., within the City Manager’s Office. Write and negotiate communication-related contracts. Budget planning and management.

Work effectively within a matrixed relationship structure with department Public Information Officers who report directly to department managers. Consult and collaborate with department staff on program specific communications, incident response events, social media issues and public relations activity, etc. Work as a team to build fluid communication systems that effectively launch messages at the right time with targeted audiences, using appropriate branding, and use of social media.

Provide management leadership for cross-departmental communications projects and programs, such as the year-end report, by identifying major issues, determining the scope of projects, and working in concert with management to establish schedules and allocate resources.

Develop the City’s strategic Communications Plan and related policies that will include external public relations and media coverage and internal messaging and strategic communication. Design, develop, organize and execute (through collaboration) the communication, marketing and branding of the City’s vision, values and central themes and messages to internal and external audiences.

Develop, organize, implement and maintain an internal communications plan to communicate information to employees, volunteers and contract staff, ensuring a consistent, effective and efficient process. Lead or facilitate interdepartmental communications team on City publications and communication opportunities.

Apply a high-level of technical skills and expertise in the communications field to effectively advise elected officials and staff on aspects of policy communication; provide preparation to spokespersons; engage with media personnel, community associations, the business community, civic organizations, and regional partners to effectively build relations, respond to inquiries, and to better market the services provided by the City.

Manage the dissemination of public information during emergency/disaster situations. Work in collaboration with first responder departments, their Public Information Officers to handle the dissemination of prompt and accurate public information during emergency and disaster situations. Participate as a communications consultant on the Emergency Preparedness Committee and provide advice and service as needed.

Education & Experience Requirements
Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations or related field with a high-level of knowledge in media relations required. Master’s preferred. Seven or more years of advanced-level professional and managerial expertise in the communications field which encompassed journalism, media broadcasting, public relations, marketing, use of social media, web content development, government and community relations, including spokesperson responsibilities for a complex public or private organization. Experience must include advanced-level, professional success within the industry using collaboration to build effective relationships, accomplish task and successfully deliver results. Or any equivalent combination of education, experience, and training that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Experience as Chief Journalist/Public Information Officer for like-size agency involving a marketing/branding consultative role, acting as press management for the executive leadership with expertise in working within a politically sensitive environment dealing with complex situations requiring the analysis and development of effective solutions is essential.

Additional Qualification Criteria
We are looking for a Communications “Leader” who is action-oriented, politically savvy, a self-starter, has exceptional interpersonal skills that can build effective relations through collaboration, adaptability, education and mentoring. A good candidate will be knowledgeable of local and regional issues, and understand the demographics of Bellevue, WA. Our candidate needs to be comfortable working within a matrixed organization with Public Information Officers reporting to managers within their departments. We want to hire the right person, with the right technical and interpersonal skills to help us further develop a high performance team of Communication experts that share a passion for developing and implementing strategic communications, branding, and public relation strategies. In addition, our candidate should have:

Demonstrated ability to build and maintain effective working relationships within an organization as well as with media providers, including leading and motivating work teams and/or individual contributors. Collaborative, entrepreneurial spirit with the ability to illicit cooperation and resolve conflict. Skilled in consensus building.

Experience speaking and writing on behalf of the City Manager, the Mayor and the City Council where knowledge of local and regional issues are essential. Experienced communications strategist and advisor who can work in a collaborative environment to develop and implement consistent messages and branding. Speech writing and preparation/coaching of speakers’ experience required. Significant experience writing and editing with a high standard for quality of work product required.

Strong verbal, written, presentation, team leadership and interpersonal communication skills with demonstrated design and implementation skills in producing publications and communications in a multi-media environment. Experience managing development of TV programming, web content development and publication production processes. Must have a good understanding of the value and impact of social media.

Demonstrated experience and capability working with politically sensitive, complex situations, analyzing complex problems and developing creative solutions.

Knowledgeable about current and future communication trends. Recognition and understanding of new technology/social media and commitment to provide guidance and facilitate, not control its use. Experience with current social media venues (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) but also familiar with engagement platform options, personally and professionally connected with like-professional communities (GovLoop, MuniGov, etc.) Web-savvy – not only understands how the web works and social media opportunities, but also understands what customers are looking for. Understands how to do usability studies that results in a dynamic and engaging City website.

Working Conditions & Physical Requirements
The physical demands and work environment 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 noise level in the work environment is usually moderately quiet.

Additional Information
The City of Bellevue is situated between Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington with the Cascades mountain range to the east and the Olympic mountains to the west offering breath-taking panoramic vistas. Bellevue is the Eastside’s major urban population center, making it the fifth largest City in Washington State. Due to its livability and economic base, Bellevue consistently receives top awards for its’ communities, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. We are proud of our award winning City and the employees who help make it happen! The City of Bellevue is truly a culturally-enriched destination City to live, work and play!

Apply on-line at www.bellevuewa.gov . Issues with the on-line application system should be directed to the IT Help Desk at 425.452.4340.

The City of Bellevue offers its’ employees medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage; three retirement saving programs; and, a wide variety of benefits from on-site fitness facilities, tuition reimbursement, to flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care. We also offer two weeks of paid vacation, 96 hours of paid sick leave and approximately 12 holidays paid. We work in an eco-friendly environment with state of the art technology and equipment.

*Note: The City of Bellevue does not participate in Social Security, which means employees do not contribute to or earn Social Security credit while employed with the City. Further, the Social Security Administration applies a formula containing an offset to take into account employment with a nonparticipating employer. The Social Security offsets are explained in the Municipal Employee Benefits Trust – City of Bellevue Retirement Benefit Plan Summary Plan Description. They are also described in the Social Security Administration Publications 05-10045 for the Windfall Elimination Provision and 0510007 for the Government pension Offset which can be found on the Social Security website www.ssa.gov/pubs. City of Bellevue employees participate in the Washington State Retirement Plan and may also contribute to the Municipal Employee Benefit Trust (MEBT)/401K plan and a 457 Deferred Compensation Plan.

The City of Bellevue is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity in its workforce.

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