The Director of Public Affairs & Communication is a member of the City Manager’s Office, with guidance and direction provided by the City Manager and Deputy City Manager. However, this position will work with all of the City’s line departments (nine in total), the City Commission, City Attorney, and City Clerk as needs arise.
The Director routinely monitors, assesses, and evaluates City services, operations, and actions and develops appropriate informational pieces for use in communicating with staff, elected officials, residents, partners, and stakeholders. Through collaboration with various personnel in all departments, the Director develops organizational messages, press releases, and official statements for dissemination via the City website, social media, radio, traditional print media, and television.
This position also serves as the lead in the management of the City’s website and social media presence. Support for this effort is through designated web-stewards within the line departments, who receive guidance from the Director of Public Affairs & Communication. This position also assists in the development, review, and deployment of all marketing and promotional communications for the City.
The Director plays a key role in monitoring external public media communications and assessing general sentiment on City-related matters. This includes researching historical events, significant milestones, and current trends, and serving as the City’s official “story-teller” for the purpose of engaging and educating stakeholders. Responding to digital, telephone, and in-person inquiries regarding City operations, services, actions, and policies is part of the responsibilities for this position. This also includes participation in the on-boarding and acclimation of new employees.
Monitoring Federal, State, and County/Local legislative activity deemed impactful to the City’s operations is a function of the Director of Public Affairs & Communication. The Director assists in the development and communication of the City’s annual legislative agenda, and interacts with staff and local members of the State and Federal legislature on issues pertaining to the City.
The Director serves as an ambassador for the City at various community events, meetings, and gatherings. This includes making presentations on behalf of the City Manager’s Office as needed. In addition, the position assists in the coordination of ceremonial events to include ground-breakings, dedications, and other engagements specific to the City Manager’s Office and City Commission.
Minimum education and training requirements are graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a degree in Public Relations, Marketing or a related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience that is determined to be directly related to the foregoing specific requirements may be substituted.
The ideal candidate will have at least ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in public relations or marketing with at least three (3) years in a leadership or administrative capacity.
Able to lead, develop and implement a citywide communication strategy for dissemination of information to internal and external audiences about City accomplishments and initiatives, City Commission actions and agenda, budget announcements, construction projects, and special programs/events.
Capacity to work collaboratively and establish and maintain effective working relationships with news media professionals as well as other agencies, boards, authorities, commission and community groups.
Wants to make a difference.
Politically sensitive and results oriented.
Solid understanding of civics at the local, county, and state level.
Able to maintain awareness and monitor emerging public policy, legislative, regulatory and political issues that could impact City’s objectives, priorities and activities.
Ability to organize and address multiple tasks concurrently.
Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
Familiarity with concepts, national trends, and current issues related to communication.
Strong knowledge of marketing principles, practices and methods including web-based and social media delivery of content.
Ability to design and guide others in the design of graphics in various formats and mediums that include photography, art, color schemes, design and layout.
Flexibility to work a varied schedule as required by the uniqueness of the position.
Leadership skills that foster a team atmosphere with city leadership, employees, elected officials, and citizens.
Knowledge of applicable laws to include Freedom of Information, and Florida’s Sunshine Law.
Ability to work collaboratively with others (internal and external persons) to solve problems and accomplish agreed upon objectives.
Ability to make decisions recognizing established precedents and practices and to use resourcefulness and tact in solving new problems.
The salary range is $77,896 to $126,110; depending on qualifications. Also offered is a comprehensive package of a full range of leave benefits, health and life insurance, and an Executive 401(a) Plan featuring day one vesting.
A satisfactory background investigation and post-offer physical examination with a drug screen is required of the chosen candidate.
The City of Winter Haven operates under a Council-Manager form of Government. Five elected City Commissioners are responsible for City policy. The City Manager, who reports to the Commission, is responsible for day-to-day operations. The City has a 530+ workforce and a proposed budget of $181 Million for the Fiscal Year 2021/2022.
Winter Haven is a “full-service” City, providing services in the areas of Police, Fire, Water & Sewer Utilities, Solid Waste, Roads & Drainage, Building Permitting and Inspections, Planning, Parks & Recreation, Libraries, Cemeteries, and multiple internal support functions. The current population within the City limits is 49,219; however, the greater service area is estimated at 83,000.
As an organization the City recognizes, embraces, and celebrates the diversity of the greater community it serves, and strives to include these unique voices, ideas and culture in all aspects of City services. An employee driven Diversity & Inclusivity Team works to instill that sentiment within the workforce, while the Director of Diversity & Inclusivity helps maintain healthy and productive dialogue with citizens, businesses and interest groups. The Public Safet...y Department is presently establishing a Citizen Advisory Committee to further engage the community in conversations related to law enforcement, fire protection, and code compliance.