Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Public Affairs Specialist (#20001335)

General Statement

Under direction, performs a variety of public information assignments including developing and writing press releases, talking points, presentations, fact sheets, and social media messages, and graphic design.

Essential Job Functions

Essential job functions are fundamental, core functions common to positions in a classification.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all job duties for any one position in the class.  Since class specifications are designed to be descriptive and not restrictive, incumbents may complete one or all of the job duties listed or tasks of similar kind not specifically listed here. 

  • Researches, writes and edits text for brochures, fliers, posters, press releases, media advisories, photo captions, social media messages and signage.
  • Designs brochures, fliers, posters, booklets, press releases and photo releases. 
  • Takes photographs to support Public Affairs initiatives; organizes and maintains online photograph library and provides photo selections to the public as needed.  
  • Manages, monitors and controls the District’s external and internal internet content and design in cooperation with other Public Affairs staff and other organizational units.
  • Coordinates the response to Freedom of Information Act inquiries by referring to the appropriate department, compiling information, drafting responsive correspondence and monitoring requests to ensure timely response. 
  • Assists with planning, administering and monitoring the Public Affairs budget. 
  • Plans and organizes community outreach events sponsored by the District; coordinates and staffs other special events supported by the District.
  • Makes educational and informational presentations; arranges for speakers to attend presentations at schools or other public events; develops educational materials.
  • Prepares and responds to public inquiries and prepares draft responses for media inquiries by conducting research and formulating appropriate responses.

Other Job Functions

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Environmental Conditions

Work is performed in a typical office environment and requires the use of standard office equipment including computers.  Some duties such as attendance at community outreach events or District presentations may be performed outside of the office and require the operation of a motor vehicle.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of public relations and communications principles and practices.
  • Knowledge of mass communication media including electronic and social media, print media, television and radio.
  • Knowledge of governmental structure, functions and administration. 
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, and techniques of photography including printing and developing of photographic materials.
  • Ability to undertake and complete complex and sensitive public information assignments effectively and according to schedule. 
  • Ability to research, write and edit written materials.
  • Ability to work effectively with District officials, resource personnel and members of the media.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, orally and in writing.

Minimum Qualification Requirements

Graduation from a four-year accredited college or university majoring in journalism, communications, public relations or a closely related field.


Professional experience in journalism, public information or public relations activities may be substituted for the required education on a year-for-year basis to a maximum of two years.

Promotional Requirement

  • Possession of a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations or a closely related field.
  • One year of service with the District as a Graphic Artist, Investigator, Legal Assistant, Senior Administrative Specialist, Administrative Assistant, Human Resources Assistant, Accounting Clerk III, Accounting Associate or Secretary; or two years of such service as an Administrative Specialist. 
  • Civil service status in one of the foregoing classifications.

CLASS: 20001335; EST: 1/1/2013; REV: 1/1/2019;