Job Description

Overall Job Objective

Job Title: Communications Manager
Closing Date/Time: Fri. 01/12/18 5:05 PM Pacific Time
Salary: $7,926.00 - $9,651.00 Monthly
$95,112.00 - $115,812.00 Annually 
Job Type: Regular Full-time
Location: 220 4th Ave. S., Kent, Washington

The City of Kent is looking for a strategic, dynamic, and creative leader to serve as its next communications manager.  The successful candidate will bring fresh ideas, build partnerships with city departments, and leverage talent across the organization to take the city's communications, social media, and community engagement programs to the next level.

**Please note that you must attach your cover letter and resume to your application in order for your application to be considered complete.  Uploading your resume to auto-fill portions of the application does not automatically attach it to your application.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.  If you experience technical difficulties, please contact our office Monday-Friday, between 8:00 AM- 5:00 PM at (253) 856-5270 and we will do our best to assist you.**

Under the direction of the Chief Administrative Officer, the incumbent will develop, implement, and manage the City's long-range communications plan.  In this role, the incumbent will serve as a member of the Mayor's Leadership Team and will be responsible for internal and external communications, government relations, media relations, and marketing. Within the framework of the City's long-term strategic goals, this highly-skilled incumbent will take the lead in developing and managing the City's communications strategy, effectively displaying an awareness of and a sensitivity for the political issues involved in municipal environment.
Work is characterized by a substantial amount of highly-skilled administrative and management duties.  Duties include, but are not limited to, developing and implementing a comprehensive, citywide strategic communications plan which includes communications, public relations, media relations, marketing, and public information; lead the City's external and internal communication efforts; oversee coordinate, and facilitate all City communications; serve as a resource to the media; serve as a professional communications consultant to elected officials, management, and City staff; and developing communication strategies around issues of particular concern to the Mayor's office, the City Council, and City departments.
Work is performed under managerial direction.  The supervisor provides the incumbent with assignments in terms of broad practice, precedents, policies, and goals.  Work may be reviewed for fulfillment of program objectives and conformance with departmental policy, practice, and/or objective .
 Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Serve as the City's professional communications consultant, developing, implementing and managing a comprehensive, citywide strategic communications plan that sets the direction and creates effective standards for overall communications, including public relations, media relations, government relations, marketing, outreach efforts, and public information.
Plan, organize, manage, evaluate, and direct the programs, operations and personnel in the Communications section of the Administration Department in community outreach, community relations, public relations initiatives, marketing activities, and community engagement between government and community members.
Provide management oversight to and coordinate the tactics and activities of the Neighborhood Program Manager, the Community Engagement Coordinator, and the Communications Specialist positions.
Oversee and coordinate the City's external and internal communication efforts and provide public, government, and media relations to promote citywide issues, initiatives, and/or events, utilizing the Communications Team and Multimedia staff as resources; enhance the City's image by communicating on City issues, actions, and services.   
Direct the preparation of Kent's state legislative agenda by attending departmental meetings with the lobbyist, compiling issues, and co-presenting to the Mayor and CAO for approval. Facilitate final City Council approval of the agenda and manage any potential changes.
Serve as the City's legislative manager to review, analyze, and advise the Mayor, City Council, department directors, and staff of the impacts of potential as well as recently passed legislation; work with the City's legislative liaison to ensure the City's interests are represented.   
Monitor and track City communications with other government organizations at the federal, state, regional, county, and local levels. Support the Mayor, CAO, Department Directors and key staff in tracking intergovernmental correspondence on key policy issues to ensure timely communication.
Serve as the City's principal spokesperson and a resource to the media on breaking stories, news features, and publicity campaigns; coordinate the communication of Public Information Officers across all departments to ensure a consistent, accurate City message.
Oversee production and provide approval of written media/news releases, fact sheets, web page copy, social media posts, monthly community e-newsletter, traffic alerts, CAO and Mayoral messages, educational and promotional materials, and other innovative communication tools as needed.

Work closely with Multimedia staff to ensure accuracy, quality, timely, and effective communication materials.

Establish and maintain positive, supportive and collaborative working relationships with the public, the media, community leaders, local school districts, businesses, other governmental agencies, civic organizations or other community groups.  
Research, recommend, and develop new emerging communication methods, technologies, and enhancements and work closely with the Information Technology (IT) Department to use technology to achieve the City's communication goals.

Develop and manage professional contracts relating to the City's communication and marketing activities.

Attend meetings and events within the community, such as City Council meetings. Meetings and events may occur in the evenings and on weekends.

Actively support the vision, mission, values, and goals of the department and the City.


Perform other duties and responsibilities as assigned.
 Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • City of Kent's organization, operations, goals and objectives, policies, and procedures
  • City of Kent's political environment and sensitivities and the ability to function effectively in that environment
  • Kent's community network including area schools, businesses, civic organizations, and other community groups
  • Local, regional, state, and federal governmental organizations and functions
  • Principles and practices of advanced strategic planning, particularly in a municipal setting
  • Principles and practices of public relations, media relations, public speaking, community relations, government relations, economic development, public information, marketing, and advertising
  • Public communication planning to include development and production of support materials
  • Research methods to include public opinion research techniques, public involvement strategies, and various methods of application in a local government setting
  • Project planning, organization, and coordination
  • Modern office practices, procedures, technology, and equipment
  • Methods, principles, and practices of effective conflict resolution
  • A full range of communication techniques and how to strategically apply them in a municipal environment
  • Ability to read, interpret, apply and explain codes, rules, regulations, policies and procedures, goals, and objectives to the public, the media, and internal sources as well.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills, including a varied vocabulary and the proper usage of English and its grammar, spelling and punctuation rules.  This includes the ability to work under pressure with short deadlines and to communicate in a tactful, patient, and courteous manner
  • Strategic short and long-range planning in a rapidly changing environment
  • The ability to analyze and strategize to develop creative solutions to pertinent communications issues
  • Development and implementation of strategic communications and marketing strategies
  • Development and presentation of information to various audiences including public officials, the media, community groups, businesses, service organizations, and the public
  •  Effective public speaking as well as the preparation of supporting print and online materials and multimedia presentations.
  • Speech writing and coaching of elected officials and City staff to speak with the public and the media
  • Ability to accurately assess the intent of the Municipal political environment and translating that intent into effective presentations.
  • Effectively determine and communicate the news value of municipal activities including, but not limited to, the compilation of information and development of news releases and other materials for media distribution and publication
  • Research, analysis, and composition of stories, reports, research papers, and other documents to clearly communicate information to the intended audience
  • Prioritization and management of multiple, concurrent projects and tasks
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with City staff, elected officials, the community, businesses, consultants, and other governmental agencies
  • Effectively work both independently and within a team environment. Contribute openly, listen, disagree with respect, understand, and acknowledge the ideas of others, work toward consensus, solicit cooperation, and resolve conflict
  • Demonstration and implementation of critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Willingness to take on tough issues and initiate action when appropriate
  • Work independently and make decisions with broad guidelines
  • Demonstrate positive and effective interaction and communication with individuals of diverse occupational and social-economic backgrounds
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to respond  in a timely and effective manner to the common inquiries or complaints from personnel, outside agencies, or the general public
  • Develop and implement missions, strategic goals, and objectives for the assigned work
 Education, Experience and Other Requirements:

Bachelor's Degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing, Political Science or a related field; and
A minimum of five (5) years experience in strategic communications, public/community relations, journalism, marketing, public/government affairs or related field involving the preparation and distribution of public information materials for a public entity or large organization; minimum of two (2) years in a supervisory or management capacity.
In place of the above requirements, the incumbent may possess any combination of relevant education and experience which would demonstrate the individual's knowledge, skill, and ability to perform the essential duties and responsibilities listed above.

  • Valid Washington State driver's license, or the ability to obtain within thirty (30) days of employment
  • Bilingual capabilities desired, but not required
  • Must successfully pass a Washington State Patrol background inquiry