Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator – Philadelphia, PA

Are you Ready to join us?
For Those Interested In:
• Exploring exciting and challenging issues in the cutting-edge field of emergency management.
• Working alongside our dedicated team of emergency planners, who are responsible for the City’s ability to plan for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.
• Assisting with the development of comprehensive public education and community engagement Preparedness programs.
• Providing critical information to the public during emergencies and large-scale special events working in a Joint Information Center with public information officers from various local, state, federal, and private sector emergency response partners.
• Instilling confidence in our citizens knowing that the City of Philadelphia is planning, training, preparing, and exercising during non-emergency times.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management has a unique opportunity for a Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator who will participate in public information activities involving public safety for several major, large-scale special events held in Philadelphia during the next several years. The selected candidate must agree to a two-year commitment serving as the Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator and be available to work during snow emergencies, other severe weather events, other emergencies, and large-scale special events, as needed.

This position consists of public education, public information, and promotional work coordinating all aspects of the Ready Philadelphia public education program for emergency preparedness. The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator oversees the continued development and annual roll out of the Ready Philadelphia program, designed to influence the public to take responsibility for personal and family emergency preparedness.

The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator participates in the overall strategic development and planning for the campaign and related programs, prepares and disseminates the Ready materials and information products, manages the Ready Philadelphia Speaker’s Bureau, and conducts Preparedness workshops for civic associations, senior centers, schools and more, throughout Philadelphia. The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator may serve as a media spokesperson.

Work includes, but is not limited to, drafting content for collateral materials such as brochures, fact sheets, press releases and media advisories, public service announcements, social media, talking points; emergency text alerts, video scripts, PowerPoint presentations, and updating the emergency preparedness website and Philadelphia’s Government Access Channel 64 during emergencies.

The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator organizes a variety of special events and exhibits, and develops and maintains working relationships with the media, corporate sponsors, the public, and other key stakeholders. The Coordinator represents the Office of Emergency Management at conferences, community meetings, civic associations, other public meetings, and professional associations. The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator is also responsible for video recording and photo documentation of media briefings, emergency management exercises, and Ready Philadelphia special events. The Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator will also be responsible for development and fundraising to sustain the campaign, as well as marketing research and public opinion polls designed to gauge the overall success of the Ready Philadelphia program.

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 Assistant Public Information Officer/Ready Coordinator also serves in the City’s Emergency Operations Center or a Joint Information Center, when activated during large-scale emergencies and special events, to provide accurate, 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.

Typical Examples of Work (Illustrative Only)
Under the direction of the External Affairs Manager, the Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator is responsible for a range of preparedness public information, education, community engagement, 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.
• Arranges for American Sign Language Interpreters at media briefings, workshops, community events, and meetings.
• Plans and coordinates community outreach events. Works with advisory committees, civic associations, community, faith-based groups, special needs groups, and governmental officials.
• Serves a media spokesperson.
• Appears before special interest groups and community organizations; attends relevant meetings as requested to present programs or materials dealing with emergency preparedness activities.
• Manages the Ready Philadelphia Speakers’ Bureau; develops PowerPoint presentations for various audiences.
• Presents at various public workshops and community engagement programs.
• Responds to inquiries from the public and the media.
• Participates with the External Affairs Manager in the planning of educational and informational programs utilizing a variety of news media.
• Monitors and assesses relevant social media and 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/Joint Information Center Manager 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 Knowledge, 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 newsgathering, writing, and interview techniques.
• Techniques of speech writing, copywriting, and writing scripts for videos.
• Public relations principles and practices, and effective advertising techniques and practices.
• Public speaking techniques involving conflict resolution and crisis and emergency risk techniques.
• Philadelphia media market.
• Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Creative Suite, and Windows 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.
• Serve as a media spokesperson.
• Present at public workshops and community meetings.
• 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 communications, marketing, public relations, journalism or a related area.
• Three years of fulltime, paid public relations experience, preferably in emergency management or related public agencies.
• Proficient in public speaking and serving as a media spokesperson.
• Demonstrated ability using Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and Windows Media Maker.
• Familiarity with the City of Philadelphia is preferred but not required.
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 perform the physical duties and to work in the environmental conditions required of a position in this class.

Licenses, Registrations, and/or Certificates
Selected candidate must possess 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.

Selected candidate must complete Federal Emergency Management Agency training courses (IS-29, IS-49, IS 100.b, 200.b, 700.a, and 800.b) within first month of hire.

Residency Requirement
Philadelphia residency is preferred, but is not required at the time of application. Once hired, employees have six months to move into the City of Philadelphia.

All staff in the Office of Emergency Management must be accessible after regular working hours, weekends, and holidays. All staff members serve on a rotating field response team and 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.

Salary is negotiable depending upon experience. Salary will not exceed $55,000.

Professional Portfolio
Candidates selected for interviews must be prepared to present a professional portfolio of sample brochures written and designed, photos taken, and videos produced by the candidate.

Interested Candidates
Please send cover letter, resume, writing sample (showing your ability to write a plan, or a report documenting a campaign or program), and a transcript to:

Candidates must submit a copy of their official college or university transcript(s) indicating completion of the educational requirement at the time of application. Transcripts must indicate conference of the appropriate degree.

Send paper transcripts to:
Public Information Assistant/Ready Coordinator Position
Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management
240 Spring Garden Street, Lower Level
Philadelphia, PA 19123

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