Director of Communications

Recruitment #210121-UNCE-29


The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is committed to providing quality health services to Oklahoma citizens. The mission of the Department of Health is to promote, protect and improve the health of all Oklahomans through strategies that focus on preventing disease and injuries.

OSDH is seeking a full-time Director of Communications providing support to the Office of Communications. This is an unclassified position in state government, located in Oklahoma City, OK.  OSDH offers a comprehensive Benefits Packageincluding a generous benefit allowance to offset the cost of insurance premiums for employees and their eligible dependentsFor more information about the benefit allowance [click here]. The annual salary for this position is up to $139,000.00 based on education and experience.

Position Description:  
Reporting to the Chief of Communications, and serving as an integral member of the leadership team, the Deputy of Communications will be responsible for the formulation of an agency-wide communication strategy, supporting all administrative and program levels.  The role will have oversight to support and guide the development of all media relations, including central office and local health department’s communication strategies, in order to ensure alignment with the overall brand position and key message points.

The position will help to further integrate the work of Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) with other state and local partners while directly managing activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s reputation and brand. In addition, this role will serve as an ambassador for the organization and educate a variety of stakeholders about the organization’s mission. The role will also lead a broad range of communications and media activities to amplify the OSDH and affiliated sub-brands, its programs, strategies, values, priorities, and impact.

Position Responsibilities /Essential Functions
• Develop and implement cohesive media and communications strategies to increase the visibility of OSDH as subject matter experts, in addition to supporting and enhancing OSDH’s reputation as the premier organization supporting health improvement throughout the state.
• Draft and oversee all media relations, external communication and press releases from the central office while supporting each region including but not limited to op-eds, media advisories, media social posts and tweets, and internal employee communications.
• Lead all crisis management responses with the OSDH executive team.
• Assemble and oversee the communications team, both internal and external.
• Identify and secure speaking opportunities, interviews, op-eds, and other opportunities to amplify the work, mission, and impact of OSDH
• Draft speeches, op-eds, and articles for submissions to relevant publications and outlets while ensuring quality control of all information released.
• Manage external communication partners, consultants, and vendors
• Manage a communications budget
• Monitor and track OSDH media mentions and reach.
• Respond to media requests for information and oversee the development of press/information kits, news releases, news materials for both central office and county health departments.
• Oversee marketing staff to prepare organizational and programmatic information for release.
• Facilitate media interviews with appropriate OSDH staff members and spokespersons.
• At times, serve as an OSDH spokesperson with media, including on-camera appearances
• Prepare briefing materials, talking points, and Q&A documents.
• Secure media coverage for major OSDH events and partnership activities
• Perform other duties as assigned or directed to meet the goals and objectives of the organization.
• Provide media coaching and interview training/guidance to staff at both central office and county offices as required.
• Develop and maintain quality relationships with relevant media and outlets

Other Duties
• Demonstrates knowledge of and supports mission, vision, value statements, standards, policies and procedures, operating instructions, confidentiality standards, and the code of ethical behavior.
• Works effectively in team environment, participating and assisting their peers.
• This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Education and Experience
• Required at this level consists of a bachelor’s degree and (5) five years of professional business or public administration experience, including two years in a supervisory or administrative capacity;
• or an equivalent combination of education and experience, substituting one year of professional or technical administrative experience in business or public administration for each year of the required education.
• Ability to meet aggressive deadlines
• Creative with strong skills in storytelling
• Work closely with the Commissioner and Executive Team
Selective Qualification
• Applicants must have at least (5) five years of professional business/administrative experience leading communications and public affairs, and in the development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations activities to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
• Team player, capable of working both collaboratively and independently, with the confidence and diplomacy to take the lead and guide other departments and/or individuals when necessary
• Ability to successfully work independently without a lot of daily supervision
• Proven ability to generate earned media
• Strong project management, communication, logistical and organizational skills
• Strategic and creative thinker, self-starter, cool under pressure and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
• Required at this level includes knowledge of agency policies and procedures; of all state and federal legislation related to assigned agency programs; of the principles, methods and practices of various programs being administered and of the organization, development and administration of the programs for which responsibility is assigned.
• Ability is required to evaluate program performance; plan, coordinate and evaluate the activities of divisions and multiple work units engaged in a broad range of functions; to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing and to interpret, analyze and resolve highly complex administrative and personnel problems; to interpret and apply policy material; and to maintain effective working relationships with others.

Physical Demands and Work Environment
Office & Community Environment
Computer based
Travel may be required


If education, certification or licensure is required to meet qualifications, applicants must provide documentation at the time of interview.

All applicants are subject to a background check and must be legally authorized to work in the United States without visa sponsorship.


Please read instructions carefully and include all required documents when you submit your application.

No additional information will be accepted after the application has been submitted.


Veteran's Preference Points Apply only for initial appointment in the Classified Service.