The Public Information Officer (PIO) position is at the Assistant/Associate level and is under the direction of the Principal Public Information Officer. The primary job responsibility of this position is to engage interested Bay Area residents and other organizations in key policy and fiscal decisions of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments using best practices for public participation activities. The PIO holding this position will coordinate public engagement activities associated with long-range regional transportation and land-use planning, including those with community-based organizations, youth, etc. The incumbent will also communicate and promote the activities, policies and priorities of the agencies to a variety of audiences using a range of communication vehicles, including digital and print. The PIO will also assist in special projects as needed. The job requires a familiarity with a wide variety of public-policy subject matter, including transportation, land use, housing, resiliency, economic development and other regional issues.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Individuals at the Assistant/Associate level must be able to demonstrate:
Excellent project management skills, including being capable of adapting to changing priorities and new tasks, working with contractor and agency staff to ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget;
Confidence in interactions with members of the public as well as with professional staff and executive staff, elected public officials, board members, and members of various interest or advocacy groups;
Clear and concise communication, both orally and in writing, distilling detailed concepts into relevant and understandable presentations; and
Effective relationship building, timely decision making, understanding of technology, familiarity with best practices for organizational/business operations.
Other than those skills and abilities expected of all Assistant/Associate staff members (listed above), the ideal candidates will have:
Experience using best practices to seek out and involve residents from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and interest groups, meeting design, presentations, data visualization, community surveys and other techniques.
Excellent writing/editing/copyediting/proofreading skills are required. The incumbent must be able to write about topics with clarity and style, and over time should be able to cultivate a distinct and authoritative "voice" for the agencies in all materials produced.
Other Desirable Skills
Ability to converse in Spanish with community members and Spanish-language media is desirable. Familiarity with issues related to environmental justice, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and language assistance programs is highly desirable, as is fluency in Spanish and/or Chinese languages. Knowledge of the Bay Area's geography and governmental institutions is a plus, as is knowledge of transportation and housing issues. The ability to find opportunities to partner with other agencies and organizations on public education and outreach initiatives is also helpful.
An appropriate combination of education and experience that has provided the required knowledge, skills and abilities is qualifying. A typical way of obtaining the required qualifications is:
Education: A Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, English, liberal studies, rhetoric, political science, public policy, public administration, transportation or city and regional planning, or related field. Those applicants with a Master's degree will be given preference. (Applicants with a degree issued from an institution outside the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by an academic accrediting service and provide proof of equivalency along with their application.)
Experience: One year of recent, progressive and verifiable civic engagement, public relations or writing experience in a professional environment. Preference will be given to those applicants with more or proven work experience reaching out to the general public, special targeted audiences or the media, and/or who have worked with federal, state, regional or local governments.
Best practices for public participation, civic engagement and project management;
Principles and practices of communication techniques, public information programs and legislative analysis;
Principles and practices of media relations, reporting and news writing;
Issues relating to environmental justice, Title VI and limited-English proficient populations;
Methods and techniques for record keeping and report preparation and writing; and
Proper English, spelling and grammar.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Under the direction of the Principal Public Information Officer, the typical assignments and responsibilities for the Public Information Officer will include, but are not limited to:
Work on outreach related to the Horizon initiative and Plan Bay Area 2050, including assisting in the development and execution of various outreach events and projects related to Horizon and Plan development;
Work with planners and with graphics or design staff to produce clear and compelling charts, graphs and other visuals;
Perform research and analysis in the preparation of informational and promotional communications;
Initiate, organize, prioritize and complete work in a timely manner despite deadlines and competing responsibilities;
Establish positive working relationships with colleagues both within and outside the agency;
Represent the agency at meetings and events, including occasional evening and weekend assignments;
Assist in writing and editing for a variety of audiences, as well as marketing and public relations;
Monitor and keep informed of current trends in assigned program areas, including legislation, court rulings, current events and transportation plans that need to be communicated to various audiences; and
Perform other related duties as required.
All employees at MTC are classified as Disaster Service Workers.