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We are looking for an experienced Communications Specialist to serve as a collaborative and integrated member of our Water Quality Communications & Outreach team.

A core role of this position is to translate complex scientific, policy, procedure, or technical information for a wide range of audiences. This position leads web content strategy for the program, serving as the guiding authority to leverage this important communications tool to share program news and information. Beyond the web, this position produces, writes, and edits blogs, social media, publications, other communications materials, and supports communications efforts by designing products for digital media, print media, video, and audio to tell program stories.

Some of the key work activities include:

Program web coordinator

  • Development of content and strategy for the program’s web presence.
  • Writes, reviews, edits, develops, coordinates, and maintains user-centered web content.
  • Plans, organizes, schedules, and carries out web communication strategies for program activities.
  • Makes decisions and resolves complex issues about web content, design, and organization.
  • Works closely with staff and managers.
  • Trains and develops subject-focused web authors throughout the program.
  • Sets and maintains website update schedules.
  • Advises program web authors about effective web content strategies and web writing skills as needed.
  • Enforces agency web governance and style guide to ensure web standards are met.
  • Stays current and informed on information technology methods, standards, publications processes (protocols and policies), and tools.

Writing and editing

  • Produces written content for blogs, Inside Ecology stories, social media, outreach materials, and publications.
  • Gathers information to write, edit, lay out, and proofread materials for news releases, speeches, radio, and television announcements.
  • Translates complex scientific, policy, procedure, or technical information for a wide range of audiences.
  • Develops, edits, and proofreads content to ensure it meets agency style standards and is appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Plain-talks technical or scientific information.
  • Determines best medium for outreach and ensures proper protocols and schedules are put in place for successful communication product development.
  • Supports traditional media and strategic issue management by drafting communications plans, news releases, and Frequently Asked Questions for program issues.
  • Takes in media inquiries, fact-checks information with staff, manages traditional media interest for routine topics, and occasionally fills in for program Communications Manager.

Graphic, video, and audio storytelling

  • Produces dynamic communications content for digital media, print media, video, and audio to help tell program stories.
  • Takes and edits photos to support program outreach objectives.
  • Designs social media graphics, infographics, publications, and posters for digital and print media.
  • Records and edits audio/interviews to tell program stories through podcasts, staff messages, and workshop/public hearing recordings.
  • Uses Adobe editing products such as Photoshop, InDesign, Premier, Audition, and Acrobat Pro.
  • Plans, produces, edits, and publishes photo, video, and podcast products to support program stories.


This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be July 5th, 2017. In order to be considered for the next screening, please submit an application on or before July 4th, 2017. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.

Required Qualifications:A Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, humanities, public relations, or related field


Three years of writing and editing experience.

A Master’s degree in one of the above fields will substitute for two years of experience

Additional qualifying experience will substitute, year for year, for education.

NOTE: Two years of the required experience must include communicating complex scientific, policy, procedure, or technical information for a wide range of audiences AND creating written and visual content for web, blogs, social media, and outreach materials.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience developing web content strategy, writing/editing, and managing web content.
  • Experience using Adobe creative products like Photoshop, InDesign, Premiere, Audition, and Acrobat (or similar graphic production software).
  • Experience with video/audio recording and editing.
  • A team player with excellent customer service skills and a calm, helpful manner under pressure.
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment and responding to urgent requests.
  • Ability to work effectively both as part of a team and independently.
  • Experience coordinating logistics for events, presentations, or meetings.
  • Experience managing multiple deadlines and working with many teams concurrently.
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.
  • Three professional references.
  • Two writing samples.

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 have questions about this position, please contact Jessica Payne at Please do not contact Jessica to inquire about the status of your application.

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.)

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.