Title: Director of Communications
Organization: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Brief Summary of Position:
The Department of Public Health (DPH) is seeking a dynamic and innovative professional who can lead DPH’s communication and marketing strategies via news/print media, social media, social marketing and health promotion. The role will support the communication needs of the agency through development and execution of communication plans with clear priorities and proactive initiatives including strategies and talking points on key issues. All of these designed to create and maintain a favorable public image of DPH across a wide range of audiences, while educating with accuracy and clarity.
Our ideal candidate flourishes in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment. He/she excels at project management and can take ideas and develop work plans, collaborate with other staff members, subject matter experts, and direct projects through launch. He/she is analytical, strategic, and a big-picture thinker, with a proven ability to understand complex ideas and articulate them clearly and concisely in a digestible way, using anecdotes and analogies. He/she is diplomatic, able to understand and appreciate policy/politics and use sound judgment in messages addressing the Commonwealth, especially in the event of public health emergencies.
The DPH Office of Communications manages (1) a wide range of statewide and national media requests including public record requests; (2) award winning health communications campaigns; (3) ethnic media and translation services; (4) DPH website and social media; (5) development of communication and risk communication messages; and (6) writing and editing support.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- In collaboration with the Commissioner and senior leadership team, develop and facilitate an overarching strategic communications strategy and message based on agency priorities and core public health needs.
- Manage and approve all internal/external communications as needed or requested for departments including press releases, social media marketing, blogs, meetings and presentations.
- Formulate policies, procedures, and plans for the effective development and implementation of a comprehensive, agency-wide communication program and brand.
- Serve as spokesperson during public health emergencies; Collaborate with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Management, the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Science, and the Bureau of Environmental Health on these issues.
- Serve as an accessible, accurate and trusted media spokesperson, while providing advice to the Commissioner and the Chief of Staff on effective media priorities and engagement initiatives. Supervise the Media Relations Manager who manages daily press requests.
- Lead RFQ process and provide budgetary authority for all health and social marketing initiatives; exercise oversight and final approval of all awarded health communication contracts. Supervise the Health Marketing Manager.
- Establish relationships and synergies with subject matter experts, external groups, organizations, individual influencers, local communities and other stakeholders to align initiatives and message
- Identify gaps in agency/department risk communication plans, developing a plan to meet those needs, and the ability to implement them during an emergency.
- Partner with other agencies within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to ensure the needs of at-risk populations in accordance with Risk Communication Planning and Emergency Response. Supervise the Ethnic Media and Translation Services Manager.
- Provide supervision and support to staff through timely feedback and facilitate the ability to achieve highest level of professional growth, performance and career advancement.
- Lead team meetings, establishing short-term and long-range goals, and provide adequate resources to meet team and departmental objectives.
- 8+ years of progressively responsible experience in communications, media relations, or public relations, preferably in the healthcare industry or a community health organization;
- Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Communications, Public Relations, – or related field;
- Mastery of the principles, methods, practices and techniques of communication, marketing strategy, branding and writing styles;
- Basic principles of management, including supervision, project management, grants and budgeting as it relates to program management;
- Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations, community advocacy groups, and at-risk populations (elderly, the disabled, non-English speaking persons, and other persons that require additional assistance during an emergency);
- Skilled in exercising initiative, judgement, discretion and decision making to achieve objectives;
- Demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities, proposing new ways of creating efficiencies, and guiding investment in processes and systems;
- Capacity to supervise staff including performance appraisal, employee coaching, training, development, and performance management;
- Capability in partnering with and influencing a wide range of constituents and senior leaders at all levels of the organization through relationship building;
- Strong written and oral communication skills
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications including Powerpoint, Excel, Outlook and Word;
- Technically savvy utilizing social media and other relevant platforms
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