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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 197M
Category: Information Services


Plans, organizes, directs and controls multiple information and/or public relations programs in a State agency/institution. 

Distinguishing Characteristics

The difference between positions at this level and the Communications Consultant 4 is that the scope of their responsibility encompasses multiple programs rather than a single program.

Positions at this level must be delegated a majority of the following responsibilities:

1. Supervises three or more professional information staff.

2. Advises director and other top management staff on public information policies and issues, including participating in management decision-making process.

3. Represents the director and the agency/institution as spokesperson to the news media and the public regarding cross program and policy issues, including representing the director and the agency/institution at public meetings, hearings, news briefings or other public events. 

4. Serves as information manager responsible for developing and managing complex public information activities, including the development of policies, goals and objectives; determines appropriate information methods and techniques to carry out the public information activities; coordinates activities with Governor's Press Secretary. 

5. Advises agency/institution top management on public information activities and issues pertaining to legislative activities, initiatives and directives; works closely with agency/institution management to ensure adequate agency/institution public information policies and activities are developed and carried out for legislative matters. 

6. Develops and coordinates agency/institution public information policy and activities with other governmental agencies and boards, or develops agency/institution policy and makes policy decisions pertaining to information issues. 

7. Serves as agency/institution information manager responsible for responding to significant emergency or crisis situations, including advising director and other agency/institution officials on public information strategies; coordinates information dissemination with appropriate local, State and Federal officials.

Typical Work

Serves as spokesperson for agency/institution and director to news media and the general public;

Plans, develops, administers and directs complex and extensive information and public relations program based on internal and external communications needs of the agency/institution;

Serves as principal staff specialist and professional consultant to agency/institution and division heads in field of communications and public relations; serves as member of agency/institution policy committee and attends executive staff sessions;

Responsible for performing administrative tasks in direct support of communications programs of agency/institution; establishes objectives of information and public relations program and determines methods and techniques for accomplishment;

Analyzes extent of public understanding of agency/institution programs and determines need and type of information and educational programs required;

Evaluates effectiveness of information and public relations activities and recommends changes as warranted;

Advises director and agency/institution executives regarding public interest and reaction to proposed programs and policies;

Interacts with agency/institution staff to develop communications programming in support of ongoing programs, services and activities;

Organizes and conducts meetings, workshops, seminars and training sessions on public information and public relations for agency/institution personnel;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: methods of determining needs for public information and education; methods and techniques of evaluating effectiveness of public relations programs; mass news media capabilities, procedures, and techniques; state government and departmental organization, programs and functions.

Ability to: advise top management officials regarding program impact upon public; organize, prepare, and present comprehensive public information and education programs utilizing mass news media; write and speak effectively; coordinate and supervise subordinate personnel; establish and maintain cooperative relations with members of press and public; select effective methods and techniques of disseminating a variety of information.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable 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 will be substituted, year for year, for education.

Class Specification History

New class, effective October 1, 1968.
Revised December 15, 1972. Revises definition, distinguishing characteristics and minimum qualifications.
Revised June 15, 1990. Revises definition, distinguishing characteristics, minimum qualifications, title change (formerly Information Officer 4).
Revise class. Revises title (formerly Public Information Officer 4), class code (formerly 26360), definition, and distinguishing characteristics; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007; general revision revises typical work and desirable qualifications; effective July 1, 2007.
Revised typical work, adopted June 13, 2019; effective July 1, 2019.
Revised typical work, adopted June 22, 2023; effective July 1, 2023