County of Alameda

Departmental Communications Manager (#0322)

Bargaining Unit: Unrep - General Mgmt (U15)
$51.55-$67.63 Hourly / $4,124.00-$5,410.40 BiWeekly /
$8,935.33-$11,722.53 Monthly / $107,224.00-$140,670.40 Yearly


Under general direction, administers a public information program for a county agency or department.  In partnership with senior management, incumbents will conceive, plan, develop and oversee a variety of programs and projects including creating, updating, editing and publishing content and messaging for all forms of media (i.e., print, electronic, social media, web, mobile, broadcast, etc.) and audiences, written marketing materials, creating public awareness, and understanding and effectively communicating the department or agency’s policies and programs.


The position of Departmental Communications Manager is responsible for overseeing a departmental communications unit and will provide administrative programmatic communication services oversight within an internal county department and with external clients and services.  This classification is responsible for overseeing the day to day work of personnel associated with the communications unit and will handle the more complex and sensitive projects or assignments.  This position can report to an executive level management position or directly to the department/agency head.  The class of Departmental Communications Manager is distinguished from the lower level classification of Public Information Specialist in that the former is in a supervisory role and provides direction to support staff and handles the more sensitive transactions for the agency or department.  This classification is also distinguished from the next higher classification of Public Information Officer in that the latter is a single position class found solely within the County Administrator’s Office, which is responsible for handling County communications and public relations services.


NOTE:  The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification.  However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level.  Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

  1. Supervises, plans, assigns, and reviews the work of subordinate support staff engaged in providing communication and public affairs services.  Provides training and instruction for new personnel in the procedures and techniques utilized by the department.
  2. Develops public relations and digital marketing programs that support the Department’s brand strategy, objectives, engage the public, and identify effective methods to bring targeted messages to market.
  3. Creates and develops informative, user-friendly, customer-focused, and visually compelling content across a variety of platforms (i.e., websites, social media, mobile applications, broadcast, video, photography, or print marketing) for internal and external communications.
  4. Reviews and approves the design and content of departmental publications, including annual reports, informational booklets, posters, fliers, etc.
  5. Serves as liaison between Department Staff and community groups, providing accurate public, stakeholder, and community information; manages crises communications; represents senior management in their absence at various community, organizational, and governmental meetings; and manages daily office operation as required.
  6. Contributes to the development and implementation of project strategy and work plans for future expansion of all communication channels by managing promotional activities, including, but not limited to: the message copy and on-going implementation of communications campaigns, customer service messaging, and department services campaigns.
  7. Monitors communication campaigns, information on projects, and special events with the goal of developing and maintaining positive community and internal employee relations; works with departmental programs and sections to coordinate informational activities.
  8. Conducts administrative studies of, and develops metrics to assess the effectiveness of departmental public affairs and relations initiatives; recommends new and revised policies, procedures, and systems designed to effect maximum efficiency, improve effectiveness of services and reduce administrative costs in the areas of community coordination, customer relations, and marketing strategies.
  9. Collaborates with senior management on the development and coordination of overall public relations/diplomatic programming for the department or agency.
  10. Functions as the primary media contact for department or division level incidents and issues, 24 hours per day.
  11. Maintain effective press and media relations; respond to difficult and sensitive public inquiries and complaints; recommend alternative resolutions.
  12. Develop and manage a department’s brand identity to increase awareness of programs, projects, and services and to increase the visibility of key messages to stakeholder audiences.
  13. Stay abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public information, media relations, marketing, and other services as they relate to the area of assignment.
  14. Arrange tours of departmental facilities for students, visiting officials, and community groups.  
  15. May perform other duties as assigned.



Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in public relations, journalism, communications, business administration, or a closely related field.  



The equivalent of three (3) years of experience in journalism, public relations, or media which included providing information to the public in the capacity of an organization’s public relations spokesperson and writing and placing news releases or writing of news and feature articles for various communications media. One (1) year of the required experience must have been in a supervisory capacity.  


Substitution:   Additional experience in journalism, public relations, or media may be substituted for the education requirement on a year-for-year basis.  


NOTE:  The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.


NOTE:  The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Example of Duties” section of this specification.  

Knowledge of:

  • Principles and practices of public information, media relations, and community outreach project and program development.
  • Principles and methods of supervision, management, and training.
  • Methods used in evaluating the effectiveness of a public information program.
  • Methods and techniques used in evaluating public attitudes regarding departmental operations and issues and the determination of public affairs needs.
  • Copyright and trademark laws pertaining to use of multi-media.
  • Marketing strategies and techniques.
  • Desktop publishing, web content design and development and basic graphics preparation/presentation applications and equipment.
  • Principles, techniques, procedures and methods used in the composition and production of a variety of print and internet communications.
  • Understanding of the working media.
  • English grammar, spelling, syntax and punctuation.
  • Social Media and current internet trends.

Ability to:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Develop effective communication and marketing strategies.
  • Plan, organize, coordinate, and implement a variety of communications, marketing, media relations, and outreach activities.
  • Stay abreast of current communication and marketing trends.
  • Maintain effective working relationships with community groups and members of the media.
  • Determine potential public information items.
  • Provide a high level of customer service when interacting with the public, vendors, contractors, and departmental staff.
  • Plan, assign, train, supervise, review, and evaluate the work of assigned support staff.
  • Plan and organize programs and projects.
  • Make decisions quickly and effectively.
  • Solve problems.
  • Produce accurate information within short timeframes.
  • Manage multiple and changing priorities.
  • Meet deadlines.


NewSpec 0322

RE:kl 01/02/2020

CSC Date: 01/15/2020

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