Director of Communications (Public Information Officer)

State of Colorado Job Opportunities - Denver, CO3.5

Department Information


About Us

If your goal is to build a career that makes a difference, consider joining the dedicated people of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS). Our professionals strive to design and deliver high quality human and health services that improve the safety, independence, and well-being of the people of Colorado. In addition to a great location and rewarding and meaningful work, we offer:

Employee wellness programs
Strong, secure, yet flexible retirement benefits including PERA Defined Benefit Plan or PERA Defined Contribution Plan plus 401K and 457 plans
Medical and dental health plans
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Paid life insurance
Short and long-term disability coverage
10 paid holidays per year plus vacation and sick leave
Excellent work-life programs, such as flexible schedules, training opportunities, and more

Our Culture & Environment

Our vision is that the people of Colorado will be safe, healthy, and prepared to achieve their greatest aspirations. Through our core values listed below, CDHS staff are committed to:

Making decisions with, and acting in the best interests of the people we serve, because Colorado's success depends on their well-being.
Sharing information, seeking input, and explaining our actions because we value accountability and transparency.
Managing our resources efficiently because we value stewardship.
Promoting a positive work environment, and supporting and developing employees, because their performance is essential to Colorado's success.
Meaningfully engaging our partners and the people we serve because we must work together to achieve the best outcomes.
Committing to continuous learning because Coloradans deserve effective solutions today and forward-looking innovation tomorrow.
Description of Job
This position resides in the Strategic Communications & Legislative Affairs Division.

What You'll be Doing

In this role you will be serving as the department's Public Information Officer (PIO) responsible for developing the department's overall communications strategy in consultation with senior leadership. The PIO develops messaging strategy, engages in proactive press relations, executive/speech writing communications, product and service marketing and promotion, social media practice, issues/crises management, customer communications, financial communications, diversity public relations, as well as management, and PR support for key departmental and initiatives of the Office of the Governor. Major duties include, but are not limited to:

Develop and systematically updates a broad, integrated communications strategy to support the Department's strategic goals using the CDHS Strategic Plan.
Design specialized outreach strategies that increase visibility and showcase the Department's work and achievements.
In conjunction with the pertinent offices, oversee efforts of outside vendors who have communications and marketing contracts involving CDHS programs and services.

Ensure that Office-level communications specialists are coordinated and utilized to generate news releases, retrieve material responsive to CORAs, come up with positive news story ideas, and other duties as necessary.
Systematically assess national and local media opportunities for outreach potential and impact to the department.
Lead media relations outreach including developing media strategies for media inquiry responses or significant agency press releases.
Provide executive preparation and media consultation.
Proactively leverage social media tools to advance CDHS's goals and enhance its image.
Coordinate and review Department responses to media inquiries and emerging issues.
Service as the Department's spokesperson when needed.
Monitor industry news, identify emerging public policy and/or customer issues; be familiar with all relevant media; develop and maintain appropriate relationships with media and other key stakeholder groups.
Seek out speaking and conference opportunities for executive management and promote them internally and externally.
Oversee the drafting and final approval of agency responses to questions and requests for information from the Office of the Governor.
Supervise the Department's Internal Communications Manager, Deputy Communications Director, and Social Media and Web Site Manager.
Minimum Qualifications, Substitutions, Conditions of Employment & Appeal Rights

Minimum Qualifications:
Education: Bachelor's degree in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, Advertising or a related field.


Experience: Five (5) years of professional experience in the communications field.

Preferred Qualifications:
At least (3) three years of communications experience AS A DIRECTOR OR MANAGER WITH SUPERVISORY EXPERIENCE
Experience working with the media and a proved track record for developing and maintaining trusted relationships with media, industry experts and online influencers and stakeholders. Preference given for experience with Colorado based media outlets.
Experience in developing and implementing communications strategies.
Experience as a spokesperson to the media.

Highly Desirable Characteristics:
Strong Interpersonal and communication skills.
Ability to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
Ability to conceive and pitch unique and compelling story ideas across print, online and broadcast media.
Good judgment in determining when it is necessary to elevate issues and seek senior executive input on strategy, media requests, etc.
Demonstrated ability to advise executive staff on communication issues.
Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills.
Vision for a multifaceted communications strategy with particular attention to web and social media.
High energy, maturity, and leadership skills.
An entrepreneurial, self-starter style; an ability to work independently; and a passion for creating and implementing new initiatives.

Conditions of Employment:
Valid driver's license.
Candidates must pass a Colorado Background of Investigations background check, and a Federal Bureau of Investigations background check.
Definition of Professional Experience: Work that involves exercising discretion, analytical skill, judgment, and personal accountability, and responsibility for creating, developing, integrating, applying, and sharing an organized body of knowledge that characteristically is uniquely acquired through an intense education or training regimen at a recognized college or university; equivalent to the curriculum requirements for a bachelor's or higher degree with major study in or pertinent to the specialized field; and continuously studied to explore, extend, and use additional discoveries, interpretations, and application and to improve data, materials, equipment, applications and methods.

Supplemental Information

Applicants are required to attach a cover letter and resume to their application and submit a writing sample at time of application.

Please note that ONLY your State of Colorado job application will be reviewed during the initial screening. Your resume and cover letter will be reviewed in later stages of the selection process. Therefore, it is paramount that you clearly describe all of your relevant experience on the application itself. Applications left blank or marked "SEE RESUME" will not be considered.

Your application will be reviewed against the minimum qualifications for the position. If your application demonstrates that you meet the minimum qualifications, you will be invited to the comparative analysis process, which is described below.

Note: Current and former employees (transfers, voluntary demotions and reinstatements) are required to apply and participate in the comparative analysis process. Former employees of the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) who were disciplinary terminated or resigned in lieu of termination must disclose the information on your application and may not be eligible for employment at CDHS.

Comparative Analysis Process

The comparative analysis process for this position may consist of [COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS PROCESS: STRUCTURED APPLICATION REVIEW, TELEPHONE SCREENING, STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS, WRITTEN ASSESSMENT, ETC.]. Candidates who most closely meet the job requirements will move through successive stages of the process. Applicants will be notified of their status via email following each stage.

Any person with a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To receive the accommodation, the person making the request must present medical documentation that describes the impairment which justifies the accommodation. Because it requires several days for CDHS to evaluate the request and prepare for the accommodation, it is essential for the person who believes he/she may need an accommodation to locate or obtain the documentation that he/she intends to submit well in advance of the assessment date. Failure to provide the medical documentation three days in advance of a comparative analysis could make it impossible for CDHS to prepare for and provide the requested accommodation. To request a reasonable accommodation for this assessment, please contact Bridget Clawson Braaten at 303-866-4373 or or the contact listed on this announcement three days before the assessment date.