MONTGOMERY COUNTY GOVERNMENT
Code No. 7963
ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND (Non-Merit)
DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
DEFINITION OF CLASS:
This is executive-level work serving as spokesperson for the Executive branch of the County Government and directing the operation of the Office of Public Information. Personal contacts are with elected and appointed officials of the County Government and their staffs for the purpose of advising on complex, sensitive or controversial matters of public information and media relations and planning and coordinating major media events or responses to controversial issues; with representatives of the media for the purpose of providing information to the public and responding to inquiries concerning a variety of issues; with employees of the Office for the purpose of providing supervision and direction and resolving problems; and with counterparts in other governmental agencies and jurisdictions for the purpose of exchanging information.
An employee in this class plans, directs, coordinates, and evaluates the varied components of the County Government's public information program, including media relations, publications and graphics services, and the County Government's cable television channel, in addition to serving as spokesperson for the Executive branch of County Government. Work requires extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of journalism and public relations; knowledge of the organization and operation of the Executive and Legislative branches of the County Government and of related public agencies, and of public programs and services; administrative and supervisory ability; ability to analyze and make recommendations concerning complex and sensitive issues and the impact of news and information on the public; judgment to decide what is or what should be news and how to present it; and a high level of interpersonal skills to develop and maintain effective working relationships with County Government officials and representatives of the media. Work has a significant impact on public perception and understanding of programs and functions of County government and of the government's ability to respond to problems and issues of public concern. Work is performed under administrative direction in accordance with established policies and guidelines and is reviewed for effectiveness in meeting broad program goals.
EXAMPLES OF DUTIES: (Illustrative Only)
Acts as spokesperson for Executive branch of County Government to the
media, advising on County Government responses to news events and advising
on impact of government policies and positions on a variety of issues.
Provides advice and guidance to County Executive and high level County Government officials concerning public relations problems and the public impact of actual or proposed government actions, policies and decisions.
Attends high level meetings and strategy sessions to remain informed of major governmental programs and activities and advises on necessity, method and timing of press releases or press conferences or of potential public relations problems.
Drafts speeches for County Executive and other high-level officials.
Plans, directs and implements programs of public information to increase public understanding and support of County Government programs and services, through graphics design and editing support for a variety of office publications and publications of other departments, and cable television programming.
Reviews and approves press releases, monthly newsletters and related informational materials for public dissemination through various media; writes and reviews and approves feature articles, monthly Executive column, and press releases concerning sensitive or controversial matters for adherence to County policy.
Prepares and organizes press conferences for County Executive.
Administers and supervises staff and functions associated with management of assigned programs; develops and administers work program and budget; supervises, counsels, and evaluates staff; plans, implements and evaluates programs.
Plans and manages production of County Government's cable television programming; reviews and approves operating departments' proposals for programs; provides advice to departments and agencies regarding cable television as a medium for public information.
Plans, organizes and implements multi media publicity events for special or on going initiatives and issues (e.g., human services efforts, planning, solid waste and transportation issues); plans and organizes special publicity campaigns for County Government programs, services and events (e.g., public forums, food giveaways, health clinics, etc.).
Meets with media representatives to conduct briefings and background sessions.
Administers contracts as required.
Prepares and publishes County Executive's Annual Report; publishes and markets County Connection, "Guide to Community Resources" and other informational materials.
Participates on task forces and committees; attends meetings and conferences.
Performs related duties as required.
Experience: Extensive (7 years) experience in journalism, public relations
or related field, with at least four (4) years in a managerial or supervisory
capacity which included responsibility for fund and budget administration,
program planning, implementation and administration.
Education: Graduation from an accredited college or university with a Master's Degree in journalism, public relations or related field.
Equivalency: An equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Extensive knowledge of the principles and practices of journalism and public relations, including understanding of requirements of various media.
Extensive knowledge of the informational media appropriate for the dissemination of various kinds of information and publicity material.
Extensive knowledge of English usage, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
Knowledge of the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.
Knowledge of, or the ability to acquire knowledge of, the organization, functions, and operations of the Montgomery County Government, Montgomery County Council and bi county, State, and Federal agencies which deal with the County.
Knowledge of the cable television process of disseminating public information, including knowledge of copyright law, video production techniques, and programming principles and practices.
Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with elected and appointed officials of County, bi county, State, and Federal agencies in an advisory capacity, and also with officials of any groups and organizations interested in the Montgomery County Government and its operation.
Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with representatives of the media.
Ability to write creatively and to edit reports and publications covering a wide range of subject matter.
Ability to speak effectively in public.
Ability to manage a program of diverse activities.
Ability to motivate and to supervise subordinate employees.
Ability to attend meetings and perform work assignments at locations outside the office.
MEDICAL GROUP: Medical History Review.
Class Established: July 1993
Revised: April 2002