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Assistant Director of Public Affairs Bureau

Participates in all aspects of the department's Public Affairs Bureau program, including both internal and external communications. Supervises social media and public information staff. Responds to queries from both the news media and general public, and initiates release of and disseminates information relating to department activities. Provides or arranges for interviews by broadcast and print media. Provides editorial content for publications. Advises and assists members of the department in dealing with news media representatives. Provides instruction in public information procedures and techniques to police officers assigned to the office.

Note: This job announcement is being readvertised. If you previously applied to 21-00073 you do not need to reapply in order to be considered.
Illustrative Duties
(The illustrative duties listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list. A complete list of position duties and unique physical requirements can be found in the position description.)
  • Serves on 24-hour call, with responsibility for notifying County officials of significant incidents;
  • Makes decisions under pressure and deadlines regarding information that may be released to the media;
  • Coordinates and provides information regarding emergency incidents and other sensitive matters to the news media;
  • Acts as official County spokesperson before representatives of print and/or broadcast media, handling the more sensitive and/or controversial issues;
  • Plans, directs, and executes publicity campaigns designed to inform citizens about various county programs, events or legislation;
  • Supervises the work of subordinates engaged, in public information activities;
  • Establishes and maintains effective working relationships with members of the media;
  • Responds to requests for information regarding agency/County programs;
  • Provides assistance to agency/County staff as to the most effective means of communicating information to the general public, government employees, and other target groups;
  • Supervises the office administration function that includes purchasing, personnel, and
  • administrative reporting and budget preparation;
  • May interact directly with the Board of Supervisors and County Executive's Office on behalf of the department.
Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities
(The knowledge, skills and abilities listed in this specification are representative of the class but are not an all-inclusive list.)
  • Knowledge of public safety area of expertise:
  • fire and safety, police, public health, emergency management;
  • Detailed knowledge of the requirements of the media regarding content, format, and timing of official releases;
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of public administration and public relations as applied to public safety issues and local government operations;
  • Knowledge of new media and its applications;
  • Knowledge of the department and operation of the County government and its departments and agencies;
  • Ability to plan and execute photographic coverage of complex events;
  • Ability to adapt broadly defined policy guidance to specific situations with a minimal amount of supervision;
  • Ability to work under pressure;
  • Ability to participate in meaningful interchange of views on matters of critical importance to the County;
  • Ability to plan and review the work of others;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with the public, the press, and County employees;
  • Ability to speak extemporaneously on a broad variety of County-related issues and occurrences;
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with County government officials and representatives of the media.
Employment Standards
Any combination of education, experience, and training equivalent to the following: (Click on the aforementioned link to learn how Fairfax County interprets equivalencies for “Any combination, experience, and training equivalent to”)

Bachelor's degree in communication, journalism, public relations or related field or field of public safety specialization (fire, police, health, safety), plus at least 6 years of progressively responsible experience in supervision which includes 3 years as a media or communications professional or first responder communicator to include two years of social media experience.

Mastery of computer graphics and/or desktop publishing. Powerful understanding of social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WordPress. Experience in television production. Seven years of progressively responsible work experience, to include supervisory and budgetary responsibilities. Communications experience within a police or public safety organization.

Valid driver's license.

The appointee to this position will be required to complete a criminal background check, credit check, driver's license check, and public safety background check to the satisfaction of the employer. 

Work requires the ability to operate keyboard driven equipment, to operate devices with tablet technologies, and to sit for long periods of time. All duties are performed with or without reasonable accommodations.

Panel interview.
Fairfax County Government prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetics, political affiliation, or status as a veteran in the recruitment, selection, and hiring of its workforce. 

Reasonable accommodations are available to persons with disabilities during application and/or interview processes per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Contact 703-324-4900 for assistance. TTY 703-222-7314. EEO/AA/TTY.