Join the Best Starts family: We’re hiring for a Communications Specialist!

Communications Specialist

This position will remain open until filled. Applications received by 11:59pm on Monday, April 4th will be screened first.

Are you passionate about equity-driven communications and want to support the health and well-being of babies, kids, youth, and families? We are seeking a skilled, creative, and enthusiastic Communications Specialist III to support Best Starts for Kids! The Communications Specialist III will bring exceptional writing and editing skills, creativity and enthusiasm, and strong interpersonal skills to lead a wide range of communications activities that support Best Starts for Kids’ implementation and ongoing programs and services for children, youth and families residing in King County.

This Communications Specialist III position will carry out a wide range of communications functions, with particular attention to program activities focused on children and families in the prenatal – 5 year old period. They will be a part of the Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Communications Team and will partner with a communications specialist in the King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) to support the Best Starts for Kids initiative through a cross-departmental approach.

 Essential functions: 

  • Research, plan, write, edit and design various documents in draft and final form, including reports, newsletters, blogs, correspondence, op-ed articles, news releases, fact sheets, education materials, website content and other materials. Develop graphics as needed. Manage translation of written materials. Collect and develop stories about clients and services.
  • Support digital media activities to sustain and build capacity to effectively use social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and other emerging strategies. Plan, develop stories, write and edit the public facing blog. Solicit and develop content from program staff; write original content focused on BSK programs and services and other department activities; and capture photos and create videos to engage audiences in content.
  • Develop and implement communication plans and strategies. Work with subject matter experts to develop communications plans and strategies for various audiences, and lead implementation of those plans. Develop strategic messaging and approaches to address emerging media issues.
  • Serve as a public information officer. Write news releases and speaking points, coordinate media events, and field media inquiries. Use innovative and traditional means to promote story ideas. 

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

  • At least two years experience working in communications, public relations, journalism, public policy or related fields that provides the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the duties described.
  • Knowledge of equity and social justice principles and practices, and understanding of the effects of place, race, policy and systems-based inequities on marginalized communities and populations.
  • Skilled in producing reports, news releases, fact sheets and education materials utilizing 2010 Microsoft Office Suite products, WordPress and other platforms.
  • Skilled in synthesizing and communicating technical information in writing, orally, and visually to a variety of audiences including policy makers, diverse ethnic-cultural populations, employees and the general public.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and assess the communication needs of targeted audiences and determine the best communications methods and tools to reach them.
  • Knowledge and professional experience working with social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs, content-rich websites, and other outlets.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and use graphics, photography and videography to effectively engage audiences in content.
  • Experience working effectively with news media, including developing key messages.
  • Knowledge of presentation methods and techniques and presentation experience.
  • Proven ability to prioritize workload, work under pressure with tight timelines and changing priorities, and simultaneously work on multiple assignments.
  • Ability to act in a tactful and diplomatic manner on sensitive issues with diverse groups and individuals.
  • Ability to build and foster collaborative relationships across many levels of staff and disciplines within and outside of county government.
  • Experience working in and with diverse communities.
  • Passion for human services/public health and our mission to improve the health, self-sufficiency and well-being of our residents and communities.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism, public policy or related field 
  • Advanced skills in producing graphics and illustrations using a variety of graphics software.
  • Fluency in languages other than English.
  • Recent professional experience developing communications materials in a government environment.  

Best Starts for Kids

Building on the deep knowledge, connections, and skills within King County communities, and backed by what science and research tells us about human development, the Best Starts for Kids King County initiative meets children and families with the right services at the right time. The first Best Starts for Kids levy, approved by King County voters in 2015, reached 490,000 of King County’s youngest children and their families and 40,000 youth and young adults, catalyzing strong starts in a child’s earliest years, and sustaining those gains through to adulthood. In August 2021, King County voters chose to renew the levy with over 62% approval for another six years. The plan for Best Starts for Kids 2.0 will maintain current Best Starts for Kids investments in promotion, prevention, and early intervention, while deepening our investments to address critical needs in our community. View the Best Starts for Kids Implementation Plan: 2022 – 2027 here.

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