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Communications Manager - Spills Program

Marketing/Product Jobs
Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
March 22, 2019
Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, WA
Years of Experiences
3 - 5
Career Level
Manager (Manager/Supervisor of Staff)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree
$60,636.00 - $79,548.00 Annually

About Washington State Department of Ecology

The Department of Ecology is Washington's environmental protection agency. Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington's land, air and water for current and future generations. We support environmental work throughout Washington. Nearly 70 percent of our budget is passed through to local communities to pay for projects that benefit the environment. We were founded in 1970 as the first agency in the nation dedicated to environmental protection.

Contact name

Job description

Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen

Please apply through the following link:


The Washington Department of Ecology is seeking an experienced communications strategist and media relations professional to join its Spills Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program.
The ideal candidate has experience in emergency response communications, possesses excellent people skills, and is able to quickly assess a situation to determine an effective communication strategy. They know how to mobilize the communications resources to tell the most effective story on behalf of the Spills Program and Department of Ecology.
As an agency, our mission is to protect, preserve, and enhance Washington's environment for current and future generations. We invest in our employees to create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability. See some of our recent stories on TwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog.
To learn more about our agency, please visit

Local efforts... Diverse people... Statewide impacts 


We're looking for an experienced Communications Manager to serve as a collaborative and integrated member of our Spills Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Program in our Lacey office. The position serves as a collaborative member of Ecology's statewide communications team.

This high-energy position will work on a wide variety of high-profile projects and issues across the state, and act as lead media spokesperson during emergency responses to oil spills and releases of other hazardous materials.

The position participates on the Spills Program Leadership Team, and advises program managers, senior management and staff about communication and outreach strategies. It leads communication-related activities performed other communication team members.

The position may be called upon to lead communications for a spill anywhere in the state during and outside of normal business hours. It organizes and trains a cadre of communications managers who help provide timely responses during emergencies to the media and the public.
Importantly, this is a leadership position that builds and maintains effective working relationships with local, state and federal communications partners during spill incidents.

We're looking for a proven, experienced media relations professional.

  • Broad and deep experience working with print and broadcast news media.

  • Anticipates what a reporter is going to ask and strategically prepares for how to respond.

  • Experience interviewing with reporters from local, national, and international news media, including standing in front of a camera and calling into a radio station.

We're looking for an expert communications strategist.

  • Leverages the agency's website as an overarching communications channel.

  • Proficiently uses all appropriate social media channels.

  • Has real-world experience responding to emergencies.

  • Excels at planning, organizing, managing and carrying out long-term plans and projects.

  • Exercises careful judgment/sensitivity in framing communications.

  • Strategic thinker who aligns Ecology's brand and voice with our purpose and values.

We're looking for a motivated, hard-working multi-tasker.

  • Invigorated by new challenges every day.

  • Solid sense of initiative and drive, bias toward action, and passion for getting it right.

  • Highly organized and prioritizes projects with competing demands.

  • Can develop and implement effective communications plans to support program activities.

  • Works efficiently and confidently under tight deadlines on complex issues.

  • Attentive to details and deadlines while juggling numerous projects.

We're looking for an exceptional storyteller.

  • Strong background in writing clearly, concisely, and creatively on deadline.

  • Processes massive amounts of information and feedback to deliver elegant, impactful communications.

  • Assimilates new, complex information quickly and transforms it into compelling stories.

  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.

  • Crafts news that dynamically blends the web, social media and visuals.

Additional key ingredients we're looking for include:

  • Naturally curious.

  • Great listener with high emotional intelligence.


We will begin screening applications on April 3, 2019. If you'd like to be considered for the initial screening, please submit your application on or before April 2, 2019. This recruitment will remain open until the position is filled. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.



Required Qualifications:

A Bachelor's degree involving a major study in journalism, communications, public relations, or closely allied field


Four (4) years of professional experience in information, journalism or public relations.

Additional professional experience in information, journalism, or public relations may substitute, year for year, for education.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience in emergency response "crisis" communication, incident command system, and functioning of joint information centers involving multiple jurisdictions and entities. Demonstrated public speaking acumen.

  • Strategic communications experience in a government setting.

  • Strategic issues management and communications planning.

  • Experience in developing outreach and education plans/campaigns for community engagement.

Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:

  • This position normally works in a relatively sedentary, open office environment, working with computers and other office equipment for long periods of time. However, this position also may require spill response in the field, which could involve several hours of standing, walking, or squatting each day.

  • This position is part of the Spills Program Incident Management Team (IMT) and Crisis Management Team (CMT) and is required to complete Incident Command System (ICS) training at the level 100, 300, 700, and 800. Maintain HAZWOPER certification annually and continual training as required by the program, as opportunities come available, to maintain IMT position qualifications.

  • Be able to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC Card), which entails a detailed background check.

  • Hold and maintain eligibility and certification to permit travel to and from Canada, including passport or Enhanced Driver's License.

  • Hold and maintain a valid driver's license and be able to operate a motor vehicle.

Why work for Ecology?

Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State's environment.

A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.

Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holiday per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability: & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives, Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth.

Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See for more details.

*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information

Supplemental Information

Application Instructions:
In order to be considered, applicants MUST attach the following documents as attachments to their application:

  • cover letter describing how your experience, skills and abilities meet the required qualifications of this position.

  • resume outlining your professional communications experience.

  • Two writing samples.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying. Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely.

Please know that we get a tremendous amount of interest and applications for our communication positions. If you're excited about applying for this position, then be sure you capture our attention and clearly demonstrate why you should be our next hire.

Department of Ecology employees, please answer the agency-wide questions regarding permanent status as a classified employee within the Washington General Service or Washington Management Service. Do not forget to select Department of Ecology as a response to question 2, and type your personnel ID number for question 3. If you are not sure of your status or do not know your personnel ID number, please contact Human Resources.

If you are reading this announcement in print format, please visit to access the online recruitment system. Click on "Look for Jobs" and select Dept. of Ecology under the "Department" search list. Click "Apply Search."

Other Information:
If you have questions about this position, please e-mail Dale Jensen at Please do not contact Dale to follow up on the status of your application.

If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail or call 360-407-6186.

(Please do not send an email to this address to follow-up the status of your application. You can view the latest status of your application on your profile's main page.)

The act of submitting application materials electronically is considered affirmation that the information is complete and truthful. The state may verify this information and any untruthful or misleading answers are cause for rejection of your application or dismissal if employed.

This is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.

The Washington State Department of Ecology is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of disability, persons over 40 years of age, veterans or people with military status, and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application/testing process or this job announcement in an alternative format may call 360-407-6186. Applicants who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the Washington Relay Service by dialing 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388.