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Job Details

Communication Specialist - Confidential - Human Services Agency Open

Company name
San Mateo County


Redwood City, CA

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Overall Job Objective

Job Title:

Communication Specialist - Confidential - Human Services Agency (Open)

Closing Date/Time:

Mon. 04/30/18 11:59 PM Pacific Time


$41.59 - $51.98 Hourly

$3,327.20 - $4,158.40 Biweekly

$7,208.93 - $9,009.87 Monthly

$86,507.20 - $108,118.40 Annually

Job Type:



San Mateo County, California

The Human Services Agency of County of San Mateo is looking for an experienced  Communication Specialist

 to, under general supervision, provide support in the planning, organizing, developing, and implementation of the Human Services Agency's outreach and communications strategies to keep the public, providers, media, community partners, internal staff, and all County stakeholders informed of Human Services Agency services, programs, and priorities. 

The Communication Specialist is expected to perform the full range of duties required to support all Human Services Agency internal and external communications, and marketing strategies. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

General Communications

: Write, edit, and proof various communications and content as needed, including but not limited to press releases, website content, social media content, promotional outreach copy, reports, articles, phone scripts, email alerts, and other informational content. Proof and edit for clarity, consistency and accuracy and ensure language complies with County and Human Services Agency regulations and guidelines such as appropriate cultural competency and reading level for each target audience.


: Oversee Human Services Agency managed websites, oversee content publishing, graphic and style guide oversight, navigation, and proofing of website pages for assigned projects, working closely with division content owners, IT, and external web contractors. Track, analyze, and report on all website traffic, trends, and activities.

Social Media: 

Work on team to coordinate all Human Services Agency social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Instagram. Be a leader in the social media writing and posting content, moderating activities, tracking, and reporting. Use of in-depth and expert knowledge of social media and current platforms; track new platforms and the changing best practices as well.

Graphic Design and Production

: Define department needs and coordinate design deliverables with contractors and or division staff. Help to identify and gather copy, translation, printing and distribution of quality informational, educational, and promotional print and electronic materials. Coordinate or support divisions in production, printing and mail house services, managing vendors.

Photography/ Videography:

 Provide photography and videography services as part of communications services supporting Human Services Agency divisions, partners and other County departments as needed. Location scouting, digital asset management, all lighting and styles of photography and videography.

Media Relations:

 Assist and in many instances, lead in coordinating media activities as assigned by the Human Services Agency, which may include writing, editing, and proofing media documents including releases and advisories, alerts, talking points, fact sheets, FAQs and other documents as needed. Track media clippings and distribute summary of news coverage to the Human Services Agency and other stakeholder.

The  ideal candidate

 will: Have a proven track record of excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills across print and electronic formats and for various target audiences.

Have hands-on experience working on website content and navigation.

Have hands-on experience in developing, monitoring, and growing social media platforms.

Have advanced knowledge and experience using graphic design and photo-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Microsoft Publisher, or similar tools.

Have experience with best practices in photography, journalism, videography and storytelling.

Have the ability to plan, shoot and edit video and photo requests for Human Services Agency, its partners and other County departments.

Have strong production skills with the ability to plan, organize and facilitate simultaneous production schedules, coordinating various outside vendors as needed and a proven track record of managing multiple projects and meeting tight deadlines.

Have a deep working knowledge of serving and communicating with diverse populations. This includes having a deep knowledge in the County of San Mateo's most at-risk communities.

Have the ability to work independently with a proven track record of work related responsibilities that increased due to creative thinking and high-quality performance.

Have the ability to enlist and mobilize (influence) Human Services Agency leaders and staff to make positive communications decisions.

Have significant experience handling clients, strong attention to customer service, and the ability to provide advice to clients in a positive and influential way.

Be experienced maintaining the highest level of discretion with client services, with media and the public.

Have education and life experience in a communications field.

NOTE: The eligible list generated from this recruitment may be used to fill future extra-help, term, unclassified, and regular classified vacancies.


Education and Experience:  

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to qualify is a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in mass media communication, marketing, public relations, journalism, business or public administration or a closely related field; and four years of professional experience with responsibility for public relations, communications, marketing or a closely related field and directly involved the preparation and dissemination of information to the general public.

Knowledge of:

Principles and practices of effective public and media communication, including social media platforms.

Principles and practices of effective public and media relations and marketing.

Techniques of effective design, copy writing, layout, editing, and multimedia productions.

Customs, practices and trends in public information media.

Principles and practices of County government.

Information dissemination techniques and methods.

Principles and methods of community services including current trends and issues relevant to assigned department.

Principles of effective written communication.

Skill/Ability to:

Plan, organize, and coordinate comprehensive communications programs to meet department needs, values and priorities.

Strategically develop programs and tools to increase and maintain public awareness of department programs, services and achievements.

Apply principles and techniques of effective public communication.

Support small design requests, such as simple flyer or social media content image, using graphic design and photo-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Microsoft Publisher, or similar tools.

Speak effectively to diverse audiences, including media, civic and citizen groups and other County staff.

Write and edit effective press releases, articles, speeches, scripts and other correspondence.

Produce accurate information and meet deadlines.

Maintain cooperative working relationships with other program managers and staff, other agencies and the community.

Enlist and mobilize community support for programs.


Anyone may apply.

Responses to the supplemental questions must be submitted in addition to our regular employment application form. A resume will not be accepted as a substitute for the required employment application and supplemental questionnaire.

The examination process will consist of an application screening (weight: pass/fail) based on the candidates' application and responses to the supplemental questions. Candidates who pass the application screening will be invited to a panel interview (weight: 100%) which may include the evaluation of a brief written and/or performance exercise given immediately preceding the interview. Depending on the number of applicants, an application appraisal of education and experience may be used in place of other examinations or further evaluation of work experience may be conducted to group applicants by level of qualification

All applicants who meet the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement through any subsequent phase of the examination.

  All examinations will be given in San Mateo County, California and applicants must participate at their own expense. 


Final Filing Date: April 30, 2018

Application Screening:  May 1, 2018

Panel Interviews:  May 15, 2018 and/or May 16, 2018


: Applications for this position will only be accepted online.

If you are currently on the County's website, you may click the Apply Online

button above or below. If you are not on the County's website, please go to

to apply. Online applications must be received by the Human Resources Department before midnight on the final filing date.

 At the County of San Mateo, we take pride in the way our employees bring together their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to serve our community's needs. The County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

HR Contact: Arlene Cahill (040918) (Communication Specialist-Confidential - E055)


Job Reference #:


Job Status:

Full Time

Date Posted:


Pay Rate:

$86,507 to $108,118/year

Company info

San Mateo County
Website :

Company Profile
San Mateo County was formed in April 1856 out of the southern portion of then-San Francisco County with a population of fewer than 5,000 people and little in the way of commerce. Today, more than 758,000 people call San Mateo County home and it stretches the boundary of Silicon Valley northward. Innovation thrives here in industries including bioscience, computer software, green technology, hospitality, financial management, health care, education and transportation. The County prides itself on how that prosperity fosters its commitment to protecting and enhancing the health, safety, welfare and natural resources of the community. Within its 455 square miles bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east, the County is known for its mild climate and scenic vistas. Nearly three quarters of the county is open space and agriculture remains a vital contributor to our economy and culture.

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