Salary $78,992.16 - $100,127.46 Annually


Location Seattle, WA


Job Type Special Duty Assignment or Term Limited Temp (TLT)


Department DPH - Public Health


Job Number 2020EY12395


Closing 11/17/2020 11:59 PM Pacific




Public Health is seeking up to 4 term limited / special duty Communications Specialist III’s to serve as part of Public Health – Seattle & King County’s Communications Team, which is a unit of the Office of the Director. These roles will carry out a wide range of external and internal communications functions that support goals and activities that protect and improve our community’s health in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). The duration of this role is expected to be through 3/31/21 with potential for an extension if additional funding becomes available.

We are looking for candidates with excellent writing skills along with a variety of communications experiences. These are not entry level positions, and successful candidates will be able to demonstrate significant professional experience with some or all of the minimum skills and qualifications: Using innovative and established social media tools to promote health; storytelling and editing skills; abilities to write and otherwise communicate in languages in addition to English; knowledge of and experience with writing and working for media, particularly ethnic media; experience working in communications in the government sector, preferably public health; skills involving summarizing, synthesizing and presenting technical information; ability and comfort with oral and written presentation; graphics and design skills; videography skills.
Successful candidates will have a high degree of integrity, trustworthiness, a commitment to countywide equity and social justice principles and quality peer relationships, as well as a passion for the health and well-being of all King County residents. Our team is highly collaborative and we welcome applicants with the ability to work independently along with the capability to learn on the fly in a fast-paced environment.

Commitment to Equity and Social Justice:
We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies and policies that promote fairness, justice and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts. Our communications specialists will have a commitment to addressing institutional racism through communications work.

The selected candidate will integrate King County’s Equity and Social Justice principles into the daily functions of this position.

Who May Apply: This position is open to all qualified candidates. To be considered as a Special Duty applicant, you must be a current King County employee who has successfully passed probation.

Required documents to apply

  • Resume
  • Cover letter describing relevant skills and experiences.
  • Supplemental Questions (completed)

Your application may be rejected as incomplete if you include relevant information only on the resume or cover letter, or if you reference “see resume” on your application. Cover letters, and/or resumes are not accepted in lieu of a completed application, but all are required.

Work Schedule: These are 100% FTE positions (40 hours a week) through 3/31/21. One or more of these positions may be extended, contingent on funding. The people selected for these positions will be required to work 5 days a week, on a negotiated schedule. This position is exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and is not overtime eligible.

Work Location: Chinook Building, 401 5th Avenue, 13th Floor, Seattle, WA 98104 telecommuting by agreement with supervisor.

Contact: For questions relating to this recruitment, contact Erika Yanak, Human Resource Anlayst, at erika.yanak@kingcounty.gov


Job Duties


Participate on our department’s digital communications team that seeks to sustain and build the department’s social media capacity, using tools such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Develop and use visual communications tools and techniques to increase the effectiveness of messages. Create graphics for social media and other uses. Shoot and edit short videos. Promote social media tools to the public.

Create written content: Plan, write and edit for our public-facing blog (www.publichealthinsider.com). Solicit and develop content from program staff; write original content; utilize images, photos and videos to engage audiences. Create materials, including news releases, fact sheets, educational materials, policy messaging, website content and other formats.

Develop communication strategies for health communications to impact diverse populations’ understanding and behaviors associated with the coronavirus pandemic in King County. Work in cooperation and coordination with subject matter experts throughout the department and in other agencies.

Serve as a public information officer. Develop media engagement strategies with regional community and ethnic media; write talking points, identity and train spokespeople, work with existing staff to gain earned media with ethnic media outlets. Write news releases and speaking points, coordinate online media events, field media inquiries and serve as spokesperson. Develop strategic messaging and approaches to address emerging media questions and concerns.

Act as coordinator for the Communications group. Gather, synthesize, prepare and share information from a variety of subject matter experts from within and outside the department. Present updates and share information with agency staff through prepared reports and oral presentation. Track and capture progress and milestones of the communications group.

Provide additional support for communications response activities during the novel coronavirus pandemic as assigned. Occasional evening/weekend work may be required.

Experience, Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills


  • An understanding of and passion for public health and our institutional mission to improve the health and well-being of our residents; experience working in diverse communities;
  • Background in education, communications, English, journalism, marketing, public health, public administration, or a related field or comparable experience.
  • Skills in synthesizing and communicating health and science information in writing, orally, and visually to a variety of audiences including policy makers, communities of color and language communities;
  • Skilled in producing news releases, fact sheets and/or educational materials utilizing Microsoft Office Suite products, WordPress and/or other blogging platforms; experience in Sharepoint and Teams.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and assess the communication needs of targeted audiences and determine the best communication methods and tools;
  • Knowledge of communications principles, methods and materials; and
  • Demonstrated ability to act in a tactful and diplomatic manner with diverse groups.

The most competitive applicants will also have some or all of the following desired experiences and qualifications:

  • Bilingual in English and another language spoken by significant numbers of King County immigrant groups;
  • Significant expertise in health promotion via a variety of channels including social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, blogs or other social media tools;
  • Significant demonstrated ability to create and use graphics and photography for story-telling and to effectively engage audiences in content; experience developing infographics; videography experience;
  • Understanding of working effectively with news media; Knowledge of and experience working with ethnic media in King County.
  • Science or health education experience; experience synthesizing information and presenting it in oral and written formats; and/or
  • An advanced degree in a related field or a combination of significant experience / education in public communications or journalism, preferably in a public health or health-related field.


Supplemental Information

Forbes recently named King County as one of Washington State’s best employers.

Together, with leadership and our employees, we’re changing the way government delivers service and winning national recognition as a model of excellence. Are you ready to make a difference? Come join the team dedicated to serving one of the nation’s best places to live, work and play.

Guided by our “True North“, we are making King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. We value diversity, inclusion and belonging in our workplace and workforce. To reach this goal we are committed to workforce equity. Equitable recruiting, support, and retention is how we will obtain the highest quality workforce in our region; a workforce that shares and will help advance our guiding principles–we are one team; we solve problems; we focus on the customer; we drive for results; we are racially just; we respect all people; we lead the way; and we are responsible stewards. We encourage people of all backgrounds and identities to apply, including Native American and people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQ+, people living with disabilities, and veterans.

King County is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer
No person is unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy), age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or other protected class. Our EEO policy applies to all employment actions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, selection for training, promotion, transfer, demotion, layoff, termination, rates of pay or other forms of compensation.

To Apply
If you are interested in pursuing this position, please follow the application instructions carefully. If you need this announcement in an alternate language or format, would like to request accommodation or assistance in the application or assessment process or if you have questions please contact your recruiter listed on this job announcement.


The work associated with this position will be performed remotely, at least through July 5, 2021 in compliance with King County’s telecommuting mandate. Employees will be provided with a County issued laptop and must maintain a workspace with an internet connection where they can reliably perform work and remain available and responsive during scheduled work hours.  Employees must reside in WA state and within a reasonable distance to their King County worksite to respond to workplace reporting requirements.  There will be situations where the employee is required to report to a County worksite.  Please note that when an employee conducts work that is likely to bring them in contact with another individual, safety precautions are required by the department in alignment with the Public Health Directive from the Seattle & King County Public Health Officer.

To support employees during this time King County has a robust collection of tools and resources to support working remotely. The individual selected for this opportunity will be joining an innovative and progressive team. King County is doing its part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and remains committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

Employees are required to protect the privacy and security of protected health information as defined in State and Federal Law.

Employees are required to adhere to OSHA/WISHA guidelines including but not limited to completing their mandatory trainings on time and obtaining required immunizations.
Regular and reliable attendance, effective communication skills, and development of effective working relationships are requirements of all Public Health positions.

Due to the nature of the COVID pandemic, it may be necessary to change specific job duties or working hours.

If you need a disability accommodation in the application or testing process, please call the contact number listed on the job announcement.

Union Affiliation: this position is not represented.



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