Communications Specialist III - Best Starts for Kids

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations
Posted on April 21, 2022
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This position will remain open until filled. Applications received by 11:59pm on Monday, April 4th will be screened first.

Best Starts for Kids (Best Starts) is King County’s community-driven initiative to support every baby born and child raised in King County to be happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. Initially approved by voters in 2015 and in place since 2016, Best Starts invests in comprehensive supports for children, youth, young adults, families and caregivers, catalyzing strong starts in early childhood, and sustaining those gains as children progress to adulthood. Best Starts was renewed by voters in August 2021. Implementation of Best Starts is guided by the Best Starts Implementation Plan, approved by the King County Council in November 2021 for 2022-2027 (
Best Starts for Kids (BSK) emphasizes the promotion of positive development of children and youth, with the largest investments in pre-natal to children age five and continuing with early intervention services at critical milestones throughout childhood to early adulthood to reduce and prevent negative outcomes later in life. The initiative encourages innovation and multiculturalism built on the experiences and priorities of our community partners and residents, with multi-generational approaches planned to capitalize on strengths within families and communities.
In support of the Best Starts for Kids initiative, a Communications Specialist III position is being recruited for Public Health - Seattle & King County (PHSKC) Communications Team. This position will partner with a communications specialist in the King County Department of Community and Human Services, which jointly administers Best Starts through a cross-departmental approach. The incumbent 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.

Commitment to Equity and Social Justice: As the only county in the United States named after Martin Luther King Jr, one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nations' history, King County is a vibrant community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the artistic and social traditions of many cultures. Together, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence.

We continue to build on an enduring legacy of shared values of equity and social justice, employee engagement, innovative thinking, and continuous improvement. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda aimed at advancing regional change and is developing the systems and standards necessary to achieve better outcomes for all of our residents, regardless of their race or income. All of these qualities make King County one of the nation's best places to live, work, and play.

Job Duties

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 related to the implementation and ongoing provision of Best Starts for Kids (BSK) programs and services for children, youth and families residing in King County.
  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.  

Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State's best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we're changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation's best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our "True North", we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles--we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

King County Executive Branch employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are the successful candidate for the position you applied for, the County will send you a conditional offer letter.

As a condition of employment, prior to a final offer of employment, you will be required to:

  • submit proof of vaccination, or
  • have an approved request for medical or religious exemption and an approved accommodation. Philosophical, political, scientific, or sociological objections to vaccination will not be considered for an exemption or accommodation.

People are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the final dose of a vaccination approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Executive Branch includes employees in the Executive branch, the Assessor's Office, Elections, the King County Sheriff's Office, and the Executive Office.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer

No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply

If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact the recruiter listed on this job announcement.

Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications. King County values diverse perspectives and life experiences. The County encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, Veterans, and those with lived experiences.
 Application Process: 
 The following items are required to be considered for this vacancy:
  • An electronic application through or (use the "Apply" link) including work history and position duties.
  • Responses to Supplemental Questions. Please do not copy and paste your resume or resume sections as responses to Supplemental Questions. Doing so will result in an incomplete application, unless the submitted information completely and directly answers the questions posed. 
Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the relevant information in the application. Cover letters and/or resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed NeoGov application. Applications and/or Supplemental Questionnaires that state "see my resume" or "see my personnel file" are considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
  • The selection process may include but is not limited to: evaluation of application materials and supplemental questions, interviewing, and testing. For more information on our selection process, please refer to
  • Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.
  • Staff may be required to play an active role in the event of a public health emergency, which may include changes in responsibilities, work location and working hours.
Necessary Special Requirements
  • The selected candidate will be required to pass a thorough background investigation.
  • Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.
  • Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing required training on time.
Work location: The work for this position is currently being performed 100% remotely. However, in the future, the selected for this position will likely need to report to the Chinook Building (401 5th Ave in Seattle) likely 1-2 times per week, as needed.
Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.  Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.  There will be situations where the employee is required to report to a County worksite.  Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer.
To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.
Work schedule: The normal work schedule for this position is Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM- 1.0 FTE. This position is not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime eligible.
Union affiliation: This position is not represented by a labor union.

For more information about the application process, please contact Catherine Fitzpatrick, HR Analyst at    

King County offers a highly-competitive compensation and benefits package designed to meet the diverse needs of our employees and support our employees' health and well-being.  Eligible positions receive the following benefits and have access to the following programs:

  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage: King County pays 100% of the premiums for eligible employees and family members
  • Life and disability insurance: employees are provided basic coverage and given the opportunity to purchase additional insurance for both the employee and eligible dependents
  • Retirement: King County employees are eligible to participate in a pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems and a 457(b) deferred-compensation plan
  • Transportation program and ORCA transit pass
  • 10 paid holidays each year (plus 2 personal holidays)
  • Generous vacation and paid sick leave
  • Paid parental leave, family and medical leaves, and volunteer leave
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Wellness programs
  • Onsite gyms and activity centers
  • Employee giving program
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Flexible schedules and telecommuting options, depending on position
  • Training and career development programs
For additional information about employee benefits please visit our Benefits, Payroll, and Retirement Page.

This is a general description of the benefits offered to eligible King County employees, and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.  If any information on this document conflicts with the provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the CBA prevails.  Also, in the event of any incorrect information in this document, applicable laws, policies, rules, CBAs, or official plan documents will prevail.
NOTE:  Benefits for Term Limited Temporary (TLT) or Short Term Temporary (STT) positions, including leave eligibility and/or participation in the pension plan through the Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, will vary based upon the terms and details of the position. Short Term Temporary positions are not eligible for an ORCA transit pass.
For inquiries about the specifics of this position, please contact the recruiter identified on this job posting.

Do you have experience developing and communicating complex information, including human services, health and science information, in writing, orally and/or visually to a variety of audiences, including media, communities of color, non-English speaking residents and other varied audiences in a clear and concise manner?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes, please describe your experience developing and communicating complex information to multiple audiences in a clear and concise manner. Please limit your response to 1 - 2 paragraphs. If you answer no, then type N/A.
Do you have professional experience using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs for strategic communication purposes?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes, please describe your professional experience using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and blogs for strategic communication purposes. If you answer no, then type N/A.
Do you have skills in producing graphics and illustrations using a variety of graphics software?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes, please describe your professional experience in producing graphics and illustrations using a variety of graphics software. If you answer no, then type N/A.
King County has transformed its work on equity and social justice from an initiative to an integrated effort that applies the principle of "fair and just" intentionally in all that the county does in order to achieve equitable opportunities for all people and communities. What is the most important equity or social justice issue to you?
Are you applying to this position as an eligible current or previous King County Employee Priority Placement Program Participant? Is this position the same or lower percentage of full-time when compared to the position held at the point of the notification of layoff? Do you possess the skills and abilities to qualify for this position?
  • Yes, I was given a layoff notice from my role at King County and I am within two years of the effective date of my layoff. Additionally, the position I was laid off from was the same or a higher percentage of FT status when compared to this one.
  • No.
If you answered yes to the question above and you are applying for this position as a Priority Placement Participant, to be considered, you must provide the following three pieces of information in the space provided: 1. The title you held when you received your layoff notice 2. The department you worked in 3. The effective date of your layoff

Required Question