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Communications Manager (Communications Consultant 5)

Biotech/R&D/Science Jobs
Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
January 16, 2019
Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, WA
Years of Experiences
1 - 3
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:

Protecting Washington State's environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, has leadership that embraces the value of people, Ecology is a good fit.

The Water Resources (WR) program is currently looking to fill a Communications Manager (Communications Consultant 5) position, located in our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA.

We are looking for an experienced communications strategist and media relations professional to join our Water Resources Program and agency-wide communications team. The ideal candidate will possess excellent people skills and be able to quickly assess a situation, determine the best strategy for communicating about it, and mobilize the communications resources to tell the most effective story on behalf of the Water Resources 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 our website at

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


The mission of the Water Resources (WR) program is to manage water resources to meet the current and future needs of the natural environment and Washington's communities.

Some of the key work activities of the Communications Manager position are:
 Strategic communications

  • Manages and responds to acute Water Resources-related issues and develops long-term communications planning and strategy for the Program.

  • Organizes, develops and implements public information and public involvement plans and activities.

  • Advises Water Resources Program management on communications goals and objectives, policy, public involvement, citizen engagement, media relations, social media, and stakeholder relations.

  • Writes for a variety of audiences and in a variety of formats: communication plans, news releases, websites, emails, speeches, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, videos, stories, and more.

  • Assists with education and outreach efforts for Program clients such as dam owners, well drillers, local governments and tribes.

News media and social media

  • Leverages news media and social media to share Water Resources Program and agency news broadly.

  • Serves as media liaison and lead spokesperson for projects, issues, and emergency responses.

  • Plans, organizes and facilitates media briefings.

  • Coaches and prepares executives, program managers, and subject experts to succeed in interviews.

  • Crafts news releases that dynamically blend the Web, social media, and graphics into enriching and compelling stories.

  • Proficiently uses all appropriate social media tools.

  • Seeks to tell stories visually, incorporating photography, videography, and graphics.


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

  • Provides a strong voice on Web content strategy.

  • Strategically writes for the Web, and edits and organizes content.

  • Leads and oversees maintenance and updates to Water Resources Program content on the Web.


  • Supervises three Water Resources Program communications team members who are responsible for Web and Sharepoint content, publications, graphic design and accessibility, and activity-specific communications for unique Water Resources responsibilities.

Public relations and involvement

  • Represents the Water Resources Program in interactions with other governmental, business, and community organizations.

  • Plans and organizes public involvement opportunities for communities such as community meetings, public hearings, webinars, newspaper ads, social media posts, and mailers.

  • Writes and edits speeches, talking points, briefing papers, and other strategic documents.

  • Writes, edits, publishes, and distributes stories for Ecology's internal website.

Emergency and after-hours response:

  • Serves year-round as lead communications expert when emergencies arise related to the Water Resources Program's Dam Safety and Wells Section.

  • Serves four weeks per year on after-hours, on-call communications support team for Ecology's Spills Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program.

  • Responds to oil spills and other environmental emergencies as needed, including advising agency leaders on public information strategies, and serving as lead media spokesperson as assigned. 

The Communications Manager leads proactive internal and external communications to explain, educate and engage diverse audiences through multiple communications channels to create, lead, and foster partnerships inside and outside the agency. This position is an essential and integral member of both the Water Resources Program's management team and Ecology's agency-wide Communications team. The Communications Manager must provide clear, accurate, and timely communications to explain the work done by the Program and agency, why it matters, and the science and logic behind it.

This position supports and advises Program and agency leadership to help address some of the toughest environmental challenges of our time. We are always looking for ways to improve how we share our interesting and challenging work using emerging communications tools and methods. Innovation is welcomed and creativity is encouraged and supported.

As a member of the Program's leadership team, the Communications Manager may be called upon to provide communications support outside normal business hours to support program and agency priorities. Travel to the agency's statewide region offices is routine; additional travel may be required to engage with media, stakeholders, and others on an as-needed basis.
For four weeks each year, this position will serve as the key after-hours point of contact for communications support to Ecology's Spills Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program. This will include responding to oil spills and other environmental emergencies as needed, including advising agency leaders on public information strategies, and serving as lead media spokesperson as assigned.

The Water Resources Program and Ecology as an agency demonstrate daily our commitment to internal and external collaboration. Collectively, we are committed to addressing environmental issues that are challenging and complex, and to conducting our work in ways that are transparent and easily understood both within and outside of the Program and agency. We support one another during stressful periods and celebrate each other's successes. We call ourselves a team because that's the way we work!

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be January 28, 2019. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before January 27, 2019. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.


Required Qualifications:

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


Four 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.

Must have experience in organizing and leading interdisciplinary/cross-program teams to inform and educate the public and the news media.

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 Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan ForgivenessTuition Waiver,  Long Term Disability & Life InsuranceDeferred Compensation ProgramsDependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP),  Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA)Employee Assistance ProgramCommute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader)Combined Fund DriveSmartHealth


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.

Please complete the applicant profile when applying for this position. Or you may paste the text of your resume within the profile's resume text field.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely. Incomplete responses, including "please see resume" may disqualify you from further consideration.

Department of Ecology employees, please make sure to 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 need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail 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.
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Mary Verner at: Please do not contact Mary to inquire about the status of your application.

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 position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology.

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.