ASSISTANT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER

CITY OF PHILADLEPHIA

OFFICE OF THE MANAGING DIRECTOR

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT


OFFICE TITLE: 

READY COORDINATOR /ASSISTANT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER


GENERAL DEFINITION

This position consists of public education, public information and promotional work coordinating all aspects of Ready, Or NOT?, a public education campaign for emergency preparedness. The Ready Coordinator will oversee the continued development and annual roll out of the campaign, designed to influence the public to take responsibility for personal emergency preparedness.

The Ready Coordinator participates in the overall strategic development and planning for the campaign and related programs, and prepares and disseminates the Ready materials and products. Work includes, but is not limited to, drafting emergency preparedness messages; drafting content for collateral materials such as brochures, fact sheets, press releases and media advisories, public service announcements, social media, emergency text alerts, videos, PowerPoint presentations; updating emergency preparedness websites and the 3-1-1 call center; Philadelphia’s Government Access Channel 64, coordinates the Ready, Or NOT? Speakers’ Bureau and a variety of special events and exhibits; developing and maintaining working relationships with the media, corporate sponsors, and the general public and other key stakeholders; and representing the Office of Emergency Management at conferences, community meetings, civic associations, other public meetings, and professional associations. The Ready Coordinator is also responsible for video recording of press conferences, media briefings and special events and for taking photographs of these events. The Ready Coordinator will also be responsible for development and fundraising to sustain the campaign, as well as market research and public opinion polls designed to gauge the overall success of the Ready, Or NOT? campaign.

Overall goals are clear, concise communications and effective marketing to influence the public to take the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies, including how to shelter in place and how to evacuate.

 

The Ready Coordinator/Assistant Public Information Officer also serves in the City’s Emergency Operations Center or a Joint Information Center which are activated during large-scale emergencies to provide accurate and timely information and guidance to the public.   

This position reports to the External Affairs Manager/Public Information Officer.

The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) works to mitigate, plan and prepare for emergencies; educate the public about preparedness; coordinate emergency response and recovery efforts; and develop tools and identify resources to support the overall preparedness of the City of Philadelphia.

 NOTE:   All staff in the Office of Emergency Management must be accessible after regular working hours, weekends, and holidays. All staff may be subject to 24-hour on-call in the event of an emergency. This service may require working irregular hours, work at locations other than the official duty station, under extreme weather conditions, and may include duties other than those specified in the employee’s official position description. Successful candidates must be City residents within six months of hire.


TYPICAL EXAMPLES OF WORK (ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY)

Under the direction of the External Affairs Manager, the Ready Coordinator is responsible for a range of preparedness public information, education and promotional activities. Typical examples of work may include:

  • Assists with the development of public information; researches and gathers information. Drafts, edits, proofreads and arranges for the publication for a variety of materials, such as fact sheets, pamphlets, brochures, press releases, ads, newspaper articles reports, websites, public service announcements and video products.
  • Works with public relations consultants, graphic designers, photographers and printers to obtain material in accordance with specifications.
  • Prepares materials for printing; proofreads galley and page proofs;
  • Arranges for translation of materials for non-English language speaking communities. Arranges for the publication of materials for vulnerable populations and those who are at most risk. 
  • Plans and coordinates community outreach events. Works with advisory committees, civic associations, community, faith-based groups and special needs groups; and governmental officials.
  • Appears before special interest groups and community organizations; attends relevant meetings as requested to present programs or materials dealing with emergency preparedness activities.
  • Coordinates the Ready, Or Not? Speakers Bureau; develops PowerPoint presentations for various audiences.
  • Responds to inquiries from the public.
  • Participates with the External Affairs Manager in the planning of educational and informational programs utilizing a variety of news media.
  • Monitors and assesses relevant news coverage, prepares draft responses and follow-up when necessary.
  • Fosters good public/media relations by notifying the media of newsworthy events, provides pertinent information in a timely manner. Assists in arranging timely interactions with the press.
  • Develops techniques for the release of materials to reporters and editors of newspaper and broadcasting media; serves as contact and backup spokesperson with the media. Maintains media contact lists.
  • Uses social media on a regular basis to promote the Ready Philadelphia program.
  • Serves as backup Public Information Officer in the event of an emergency to coordinate and release information.
  • Serves on the Southeastern PA Regional Task Force’s Public Information Workgroup and on the Philadelphia Local Emergency Planning Committee’s Public Information Subcommittee.
  • Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

KNOWLEDGE OF:

  • English usage, grammar, rhetoric, punctuation and spelling; AP style guidelines.
  • Methods and techniques of disseminating information to the public, and the print and electronic media.
  • Techniques and practices of news gathering, writing and interview techniques.
  • Techniques of speech writing and copywriting.
  • Public relations principles and practices, and effective advertising techniques and practices.
  • Local media.
  • Various types of multimedia production and graphic design.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, InDesign and Window Movie Maker.
  • Crises communications plans and emergency response plans.
  • Photography and videography.

ABILITY TO:

  • Prepare interesting and informative news releases, articles, speeches, bulletins, reports and other informational material.
  • Evaluate various subject matter materials critically from the standpoint of listener, viewer or reader interest.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with associates; the public; local, state and federal officials; corporate sponsors; civic and business officials, and representatives of the news media.
  • Be sensitive to public perceptions.
  • Plan and coordinate all components of promotional and informational activities.
  • Communicate clearly and concisely both orally and in writing, tailoring the message to the intended audience.
  • Plan, schedule and organize special events or news conferences.
  • Interact effectively with the media and audiences of varying sizes and backgrounds.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and to make sound decisions.
  • Ability to solve problems creatively.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • Independently manage multiple projects, priorities and deadlines in a rapidly changing work environment;
  • Exercise discretion and judgment in the handling of sensitive matters; and ability to maintain confidentiality;
  • Travel as needed.

MINIMUM ACCEPTABLE TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited college or university with major course work in journalism, communications, marketing, public relations or a related area.
  • Three years of public relations or media experience, preferably in emergency management or related public agencies.

Or any equivalent combination of training and experience determined to be acceptable by the Office of Emergency Management, which includes a Bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university in the above program areas, as an educational minimum.

PHYSICAL AND MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS

Ability to physically perform the duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.

 LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS AND/OR CERTIFICATES

Possession of a valid proper class motor vehicle operator’s license as issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania prior to appointment and during tenure of appointment with the City of Philadelphia.

 PAY RANGE: Negotiable depending upon experience. Salary not to exceed $55,000.

 Please send cover letter and resume to:

Joan Przybylowicz, Deputy Director for External Affairs/Public Information Officer

Email: Joan.przybylowicz@phila.gov

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