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Communications Manager - Southwest Region (Communications Consultant 5)

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Washington State Department of Ecology

Job Summary

Full Time
Posted on
May 31, 2018
Washington State Department of Ecology
Lacey, Washington
Years of Experiences
3 - 5
Career Level
Manager (Manager/Supervisor of Staff)
Education Level
Bachelor's Degree
$58,284.00 - $76,464.00 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.

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Job description

The Department of Ecology is seeking an experienced communications strategist and media relations professional to join one of the most respected communications teams in state government.

We support agency leadership and lead strategic communications, public information and environmental outreach efforts. We develop and lead communications planning for high-profile, complex environmental issues affecting our entire state.
We're leaders when it comes to sharing information with news media, on the web and through social media. We're always looking for new ways to share our stories on TwitterFacebookInstagram or our blog

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, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.

To learn more about our agency, please visit our website at

We're looking for an experienced Communications Manager to serve as a collaborative and integrated member of our Southwest Region office in Lacey. This high-energy position will work on a wide variety of high-profile projects and issues across Southwest Washington.

As part of the Communications team, you'll be joining a fast-paced, dynamic and strategic team. We create, innovate, lead, and foster partnerships inside and outside the agency. As a team:

  • We average 1,000 media interviews annually.

  • We average more than 5 million visitors to our website annually.

  • Our Facebook and Twitter accounts are verified.

The Communications Manager position plans, organizes, directs and manages integrated communications strategies for executives and regional management.

Some key work activities include:
Strategic communications, planning, and managing:

  • Leads issues management and manages communications planning and strategy.

  • Designs, organizes, develops and implements public information and public involvement plans and activities.

  • Advises the regional office 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, speeches, blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, videos and more.

News media and social media: 

  • Leverages news media and social media to share 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, regional 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.

  • Is proficient using all appropriate social media tools.

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


  • Leverages the agency's website as our greatest communications channel.

  • Provides leadership on web content and strategy.

  • Strategically writes for the web, as well as edits and organizes content.


Public relations and involvement:

  • Represents Ecology in interactions with other governmental, business, and community organizations.

  • Plans and organizes public involvement opportunities for communities – community meetings, public hearings, webinars, newspaper ads, social media ads 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 on the Spills program's after-hours, on-call communications support team four weeks a year.

  • Provides communications and media support for oil spills and other environmental emergencies as needed, including advising agency leaders on public information strategies and serving as lead media spokesperson.

Please note: We are currently hiring for two separate Communication Manager positions. You must apply for both positions separately to be considered for both opportunities

This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be June 13, 2018.  In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before June 12, 2018. 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.

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:
Please attach the following documents as attachments to your application in order to be considered for this position:

  • 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.

Please read the supplemental questions carefully and answer completely.
(Blank or incomplete responses will disqualify you.)

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 Dustin Terpening at Please do not contact Dustin 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 position is included in the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) union bargaining unit for the Department of Ecology. All employees covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the WFSE will, as a condition of employment, either become members of the WFSE and pay membership dues or, as non-members, pay a representation fee as described in the CBA, no later than the 30th day following the effective date of this CBA or the beginning of their employment.

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.