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Washington State Communications Manager (CC5) in Olympia, Washington


Communications Manager (Communications Consultant 5)

Who we are The Department of Enterprise Services' (DES) mission is "strengthening the business of government." DES does this through its visionof delivering high quality, cost effective support services, policy and governance to state government and other public entities so they can focus on their core missions. DES’s goals are to offer expertise in facilities & capitol grounds management, acquisitions, training & support, and various shared services. We relentlessly pursue our strategic drivers: satisfied customers, satisfied team members and a financially healthy organization. We value Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we seek new team members who share those values. We listen to customers and team members to understand what they need and expect. We promote creativity, learning and improvement to meet those needs and adapt to the ever-changing business environment. We measure our results and seek feedback to improve our performance.

Why this position The Department of Enterprise Services is hiring a Communications Manager to serve the Facilities Professional Services (FPS) Division. Each year across all of Washington state, FPS manages 650 projects worth more than $470 million. The work spans public works construction, architectural and engineering services, and energy savings performance contracting. Examples of FPS projects include construction of a new child care center on the Capitol Campus, construction of the College Instruction Center on the Olympic College campus, and a recent full energy retrofit at the Seattle offices for the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind.

This is a new position, created to meet high demand for information about FPS projects from a variety of stakeholders. Stakeholders include state and local elected officials, building tenants, the business community, the media, the public, other business lines within DES, and decision makers such as local jurisdictions and education institutions where DES manages projects. Demand for information is especially high for projects affecting the State Capitol Campus, which is home to 6,000 employees from more than 40 state agencies, boards and commissions as well as elected officials from all three branches of government. Tens of thousands of people engage with the legislative process, participate in events, and exercise their right of free speech on the campus each year.

What you'll be doing This advanced-level position provides dedicated public affairs expertise to FPS including strategic communications planning, media relations, writing and editing for a variety of channels, crisis communications, and support for the stakeholder engagement process. This position reports to the Public Affairs Director in the Communications Division with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the FPS Assistant Director.

Who you are You are an experienced public information manager who understands the value of scanning the environment to identify issues before they arise. You are skilled at identifying issues of reputational risk and at advising the proper course of action based on the desired outcomes. You are comfortable with the intersection between public affairs and government relations, and you are flexible enough to work with everyone from agency directors to front-line staff. Most of all, you are serious about what you do, but you don't take yourself too seriously. You will be joining a team that works hard and plays hard. A team that loves to laugh. A team looking for a new family member who gets our brand of crazy.

A bit more about why you want this job When public affairs is activated early, the agency is able to build relationships between stakeholder groups, improve overall engagement, shape public perception, strengthen brand reputation, reduce reputational risk, and capitalize on opportunities. You will be instrumental in DES’s efforts to connect and engage the FPS Division with its myriad stakeholder groups early and often. You'll be working with a Communications Division that is taking a fresh look at how it serves the agency's internal divisions as well as its external customers. There is a strong commitment to your work/life balance by providing flexible schedules, compressed work weeks and telecommuting opportunities.

We also offer:

  • The Communications Division is currently teleworking through the end of June 2021. The team regularly connects via Zoom meetings and other activities.
  • Long-term mobile and flexible work opportunities.
  • A work location that is close to downtown Olympia (where you have access to the waterfront, Farmer's Market, Capitol Lake and the Capitol Campus).
  • Wellness activities, including onsite exercise classes and a work location close to the Chehalis bike trail and on-premise bike lockers and shower rooms.
  • A cafeteria in the building.
  • Bus service (including the free DASH shuttle) and Vanpool (commuting) opportunities.
  • An Infants in the Workplace program. Duties

Duty:Serves as information manager responsible for developing and managing complex public information activities.


  • Plans, develops, administers and directs complex and extensive public information and education strategies based on communications needs of the FPS division;

  • Applies best practices in strategic communications planning, including assisting the FPS division in identifying desired outcomes;

  • Analyzes extent of public understanding of division programs, and determines need and type of public information and educational programs required;

  • Develops and coordinates communication activities across the FPS division and other DES business lines as well as with other governmental entities.

Duty:Develops, reviews and edits communications content. Tasks:

  • Develops, reviews and edits communications content identified within communications and project plans such as talking points, speeches, executive communications, web page content, stakeholder communications, social media posts, videos, photos, feature articles, media pitches, fact sheets and other supporting communication materials.

  • Reviews and edits reports to the Legislature.

  • Creates content for both external and internal communication platforms.

Duty:Advises agency director, FPS assistant director and other agency managers on public information policies and issues, including participating in management decision-making processes.


  • Advises regarding public interest and reaction to proposed programs and policies.

  • Advises on public information activities and issues pertaining to legislative activities.

  • Advises during executive and/or management staff sessions.

  • Serves as professional consultant in field of communications and public relations.

Duty:Represents agency director, FPS assistant director and the agency as a whole as spokesperson to the news media, stakeholders and the public.


  • Creates and vets talking points.

  • Determines best method to deliver messages.

  • Makes media pitches and responds to media inquiries, and develops and maintains relationships with key media.

  • Identifies issues of reputational risk and advises course of action.

  • Proactively prepares for and rapidly responds to crisis situations.

  • Provides coaching to support agency leaders and staff spokespersons.


Required Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor's degree or higher in communications, public relations, journalism, or related field; AND
  • Five (5) years of professional experience in public information, journalism or public relations; OR equivalent education/experience.

In addition, incumbent will be proficient in the following:

  • Applying best practices in strategic communications planning.
  • Organizing, preparing and deploying comprehensive public information strategies.
  • Determining needs for public information and outreach.
  • Producing written and verbal communication for a variety of audiences about complex or controversial topics.
  • Advising top management regarding program impact upon the public.
  • Determining the most effective methods and techniques to accomplish identified outcomes.
  • Building collaborative partnerships both internally and externally to an organization.
  • Planning and executing typical media relations activities.
  • Managing and leading numerous projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment.
  • Producing materials that follow readability (e.g. Plain Talk) and accessibility guidelines.
  • Working seamlessly in Microsoft Office Suite.

Preferred/Desired Qualifications:

  • Basic experience in photography and videography (create, edit, publish).
  • Experience in crisis or emergency incident situations and/or FEMA public information officer training.
  • Accredited in Public Relations designation (APR). Supplemental Information

You must provide the information below; failure to do so will result in not being considered for this position:

  • A letter of interest that describes why you are the best candidate and how you meet the specific qualifications for this position;
  • Current resume, detailing experience, and education; and
  • Three samples of your work that showcase your public affairs expertise including at least one communications plan. It's your decision as to what kind of work you choose and how you choose to present it (link to online portfolio or website, PDF of project, Word document, PowerPoint presentation, etc.). Please also include a short written statement (50-75 words) for each work sample that explains what it is and what your involvement with it was. Submissions must be made electronically. By submitting these materials, you are indicating that all information is true and correct. The state may verify information. Any untruthful or misleading information is cause for removal from the applicant pool or dismissal if employed.

Prior to any new appointment into the Department of Enterprise Services, a *background check *including criminal record history will be conducted. Information from the background check will not necessarily preclude employment, but will be considered in determining the applicant's suitability and competence to perform in the position.

Veterans Preference Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications and wish to claim Veterans Preference MUST *attach a copy of their DD214, or other verification of military service. Please *black out any personally identifiable data such as social security numbers. For additional information on Veterans Preference and guidance on how to determine if you are eligible, click here.

We are grateful for your service!

The Department of Enterprise Services celebrates our differences and we are committed to a workplace that supports equal opportunity employment and inclusion regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity diversity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. We will also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws.

Persons with a disability, who need assistance with their application or need this announcement in an alternative format, may call (360) 664-1960 or toll free (877) 664-1960. TTY users should first call 711 to access the Washington Relay Service.

You are welcome to include the name and pronoun you would like to be referred to in your materials and we will honor this as you interact with our organization.

Should you have any questions regarding this position or the online application, contact Jennifer McWaid at (360) 407-8210 or

Salary: $64,332.00 - $84,396.00 Annually

Location: Thurston County – Olympia, WA

Job Type: Full Time - Permanent

Department: Dept. of Enterprise Services

Job Number: 2020-COM-004

Closing: 11/24/2020 11:59 PM Pacific

Agency: State of Washington

Address: View Job Posting for Agency Information View Job Posting for Location, Washington, 98504

Phone: View Posting for Agency Contact