Communications Specialist III

King County   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Advertising / Marketing / Public Relations
Posted on May 6, 2022
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The Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) values diverse perspectives and life experiences. The Department encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including Black, Indigenous, and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans and those with lived experience.


King County's Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) provides equitable opportunities for people to be healthy, happy, and connected to community.

The Department of Community and Human Services is recruiting to hire a talented communications professional to join our DCHS Communications Team. We are seeking an individual with a wide range of communications knowledge, skills and experience to support department-wide and program-specific goals and activities.

This position is assigned to the DCHS Director’s Office and supports the entire department, with a focus on creating and organizing communications through social media, the website, and other platforms to inform over two million residents in King County about the projects and initiatives in the department. The Digital Communications Specialist will support content strategy for our digital properties and create public information materials primarily for digital use. In addition to strong writing and proofreading skills, the Digital Communications Specialist will showcase strong creativity and a tactical skill set in communications, including project management, proactive planning, flexibility, and creative problem solving to meet communications objectives.

The successful candidate must be an outstanding and innovative communications professional. A commitment to equity and social justice principles are critical to success.

: This position is open to all qualified candidates that meet the minimum qualifications.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Candidates who wish to be considered for this position must submit an online King County application and respond to the supplemental questions. Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you do not include the requested and relevant information in the online application and supplemental questionnaire. Applications and/or supplemental questionnaires that state, “see my resume” are considered incomplete and will not be considered to be competitive. 

WORK SCHEDULE: This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and not eligible for overtime. Typical hours are Monday - Friday 8am-5pm. This Special Duty/Term Limited Temporary (TLT) position is anticipated to end on 9/30/23. This position is represented by PROTEC17.


Teleworking Requirement 

The work associated with this position will be performed through a combination of teleworking complemented with onsite work and meetings as needed. Employees will have access to shared workspaces at various King County facilities. Employees must reside in Washington state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.

Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection (access may be supplemented in some situations) where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours. Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are requiredincluding the wearing of masks in some situations. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

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 that is redefining how we work as we transition to the department's hybrid environment.  

Job Duties

The Digital Communication Specialist will bring exceptional skills, experience, and creativity to the Director’s Office and the DCHS Communications Team and provide leadership on a wide range of activities and assignments. The specialist will focus on communicating and educating decision makers, community partners, media, and members of the public about the programs and services available to assist children, youth, adults, families and communities across King County.

Essential functions:
*Develop and implement communication strategies and products to reach various audiences. Establish procedures, protocols, methods and metrics for communicating with the public and key stakeholders, in collaboration with subject matter experts throughout the department and in other agencies. Oversee projects with communications vendors as needed, e.g., translation services, videographers, photographers, etc. Knowledge and experience in developing strategies and materials to reach and serve Black, Indigenous, and communities of color and access for limited or non-English speaking residents is an essential role and responsibility.
*Develop and design visually compelling materials, including web content, written presentations, and other products using established design tools and skills.
*Lead digital media activities to build and sustain department and division social media such as Instagram and emerging strategies. Plan, develop, write and edit blog and other social media posts. Manage social media analytics. Develop and edit content from program staff; write original content focused on current issues or department activities; and utilize photos and videos to engage audiences. Promote social media to the public.
*Develop and maintain engaging and informative web content. Work with division and department staff to develop interesting and accessible web content appropriate to key audiences and ensure division pages are kept current
*Support website redesign project: work in a project management capacity across five divisions and coach/edit staff-created content to follow department and County best practices and standards.
*Support internal communications efforts, including newsletters, team updates, department communications, and program highlight presentations.
*Engage in effective story telling. Develop and foster relationships with service providers and community to gather and share compelling stories about programs and services provided by DCHS and King County that are making a difference in people’s lives and improving the livability of our region.
*Perform other related duties as assigned.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills

•Minimum three to five years of recent experience developing communication plans that inform the public or target audience.
•Deep 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. Professional experience working in and with diverse communities
.•Experience in communications strategy development for social media, particularly Instagram and LinkedIn.
•A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in graphic design, communications, public relations, or a related/applicable field is preferred. Experience is also a consideration.
•Strong verbal and written communication skills.
•Strong computer skills, including use of Adobe, design products, digital presentations, and analytics tools
.•Demonstrated expertise in established communications principles, methods and metrics for success
.•Demonstrated ability to use graphics, illustration, photography and videography to effectively engage and inform audiences (InDesign, Adobe, Photoshop, other).
•Experience and skill in developing content specifically for websites.
•Proven ability to prioritize workload, work under pressure with tight timelines and changing priorities, and simultaneously work on multiple assignments.
•Ability to build and foster collaborative and respectful relationships.
•Passion for human services and improving the health and well-being of our residents and communities.
Desired Qualifications:
• Fluency in languages other than English.
• Knowledge of Sitecore content management system and html web coding.
• Experience working effectively with news media.
• Recent professional experience developing communications materials in a government, nonprofit
or related environment focused on public policy.
• Personal or professional knowledge and experience with issues related to behavioral health, housing and homelessness, health or human services.

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.

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.

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
Do you have experience developing, writing, and editing a wide range of communication materials in a clear and concise manner?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #3, please describe the range of your experience in developing, writing, and editing different kinds of communication materials. If you answered no, then type N/A.
Do you have experience and skill in graphic design and illustration of materials for multiple audiences?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #5, please describe products or projects you have developed and designed to reach and inform multiple audiences, and the design programs you have used (e.g., Adobe, InDesign, Photoshop, etc.). If you answered no, then type N/A.
Do you have experience developing strategic communications plans and strategies?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #7, please describe your experience developing targeted communications plans and include at least one brief example of a plan and strategy you developed that achieved your goal. If you answered no, type N/A.
Do you have professional experience using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, etc. for strategic communication purposes?
  • Yes
  • No
If you answered yes to question #9, please describe your professional experience using social media for strategic communication purposes and give one brief example of a successful campaign. 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 and social justice issue to you and why?

Required Question