The Department of Ecology’s priority during the Covid-19 health crisis is to keep our staff, candidates, and the public safe. We are still hiring and encourage you to apply to open positions. The majority of our staff are currently working from home; we have transitioned to a virtual recruitment process, to include web-based interviews.
Keeping Washington Clean and Evergreen
Protecting Washington State’s environment for current and future generations is what we do every day at Ecology. We have a culture that is invested in making a difference. If you want to join a team that is highly effective, collaborative, and has leadership that embraces the value of people, then this may be the position for you.
Our mission is to protect, preserve and enhance Washington’s environment for current and future generations. Our work is highly reliant on comprehensive communications. Ecology’s portfolio of work demands strategic, clear, accurate and timely communications that describe the work we do, why it matters, and the science behind it.
The Water Resources (WR) Communications Manager (Communications Consultant 5) is a classified general service position that reports to the Water Resources Program Manager with a primary duty station at our Headquarters building in Lacey, WA.
We are looking for an experienced communications strategist and media relations professional to join our Water Resources Program and agency-wide communications team. The ideal candidate will possess excellent people skills and be able to quickly assess a situation, determine the best strategy for communicating about it, and mobilize the communications resources to tell an effective story.
Ecology’s Communications Strategic Priorities are to:
- Lead proactive external communications to explain, educate, and engage diverse audiences.
- Leverage technology and multiple communications platforms to brand Ecology and tell our stories through news media, social media, and visual and audio formats.
- Ensure the agency’s public website includes effective content and design, to continually improve customer satisfaction and meet business needs.
- Create, lead and foster innovative partnership inside and outside the agency.
- Inform and engage employees through timely internal communications.
At Ecology, you’ll be part of a team that is invested in making a difference. We are environmental scientists, engineers, planners, geologists, communication specialists, administrative professionals, and more – all working toward our common goals.
We invest in our employees to foster a diverse, well-trained, and friendly workforce operating with excellence and professionalism. We create and sustain a working environment that encourages creative leadership, effective resource management, teamwork, professionalism and accountability.
We celebrate and value diversity, appreciating that a workforce composed of those from different backgrounds and experiences creates an inclusive environment, strengthens positive relationships with local communities, and brings new perspectives and approaches to fulfilling our mission.
Local efforts…. Diverse people…. Statewide impacts
The mission of the Water Resources (WR) program is to manage water resources to meet the current and future needs of the natural environment and Washington’s communities.
What will you be doing?
The Water Resources Communications Manager leads and manages the program’s team of communications professionals to plan, lead, and manage media relations, social media, web communications, other external communications, and internal communications.
Some key work activities of the Communications Manager are:
- Organizes, develops and implements public information and public involvement plans.
- Advises Water Resources Program management on communications goals and objectives.
- Writes for a variety of audiences and in a variety of formats.
- Assists with education and outreach efforts to Program’s clients such as dam owners, well drillers, irrigators, local governments, and tribes.
- Informs and engages employees through timely internal communications.
News media and social media
- Leverages news media and social media to share Water Resources Program and agency news.
- Serves as media liaison and lead spokesperson for projects, issues, and emergency responses.
- Coaches and prepares Program and agency representatives to succeed in interviews.
- Crafts news releases that tell enriching and compelling stories.
- Leverages the agency’s website as an overarching communications channel.
- Leads and oversees Water Resources Program content on the Web.
Public relations and involvement
- Plans and organizes public involvement opportunities such as community meetings, public hearings, webinars, newspaper ads, social media posts, and mailers.
- Writes and edits speeches, talking points, briefing papers, and other strategic documents.
Emergency and after-hours response and travel
- Serves year-round as lead communications expert when emergencies arise related to the Water Resources Program’s Dam Safety and Wells Section.
- For four weeks each year, serves as the key after-hours point of contact for communications support to Ecology’s Spills Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program.
- As a member of the Program’s leadership team, the Communications Manager may be called upon to provide communications support outside normal business hours to support program and agency priorities.
- Travel to the agency’s statewide regional offices is routine. Additional travel may be required to engage with media, stakeholders, and others on an as-needed basis.
- The Communications Manager leads a team of four professionals who are responsible for Web and SharePoint content, publications, graphic design and accessibility, and activity-specific communications for unique Water Resources responsibilities.
- Fosters a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and respectful workplace.
- Looks for ways to improve how we share our interesting and challenging work using emerging communications tools and methods.
Who are we looking for?
We’re looking for an experienced leader who is ready to partner with other dedicated individuals in a collaborative work environment. This position supports and advises Water Resources Program and Ecology leadership to help address some of the toughest environmental challenges of our time.
This position is an essential and integral member of both the Water Resources Program’s management team and Ecology’s agency-wide Communications team. The Communications Manager must provide clear, accurate, and timely communications to explain the work done by the Program and agency, why it matters, and the science and logic behind it.
Why join the Ecology Water Resources team?
Collectively, we are committed to addressing environmental issues that are challenging and complex. This is an opportunity to make an impact! You will have the opportunity to help solve complex issues and engage in work that is challenging, fun, and exciting. The Water Resources Program and Ecology demonstrate daily our commitment to internal and external collaboration. The Communications Manager helps us conduct our work in ways that are transparent and easily understood both within and outside of the Program and agency.
Innovation is welcomed and creativity is encouraged and supported. You’ll leverage technology and multiple communications platforms to brand the Program and tell our stories.
We support one another during stressful periods and celebrate each other’s successes. We call ourselves a team because that’s the way we work!
Please note: During Stay Home, Stay Healthy, staff are working a combination of in-office and/or telework based on position and business need. This position is expected to work in the office 5 days a week.
Ecology is maintaining less than maximum building occupancy, and requiring masks, health screening questions before entry, and social distancing.
This recruitment will remain open until filled. The initial screening will be May 6, 2021. In order to be considered for the initial screening, please submit an application on or before May 5, 2021. The agency reserves the right to make an appointment any time after the initial screening date.
There are multiple ways to qualify for this position:
Option 1: A Bachelor’s degree involving a major study in, journalism, communications, public relations or closely allied field AND four years of experience in Information, journalism, communications, public relations or closely allied field.
Option 2: Applicants will meet the required qualifications if they possess a combination of 8 years of professional-level experience and/or education, as detailed above. See chart below:
Additional experience and education combinations that meet the requirements for this position: Possible Combinations
College credit hours or degree
Years of required experience as listed above.
No college credits or degree
8 years of experience
30-59 semester of 45-89 quarter credits
7 years of experience
60-89 semester of 90-134 quarter credits (AA degree)
6 years of experience
90-119 semester or 135-179 quarter credits
5 years of experience
4 years of experience
We highly encourage you to apply even if you do not have some (or all) of the desired experience below.
- At least 3 years of experience as a supervisor, manager, or team leader for professionals in communications, public relations, public affairs, news media or closely allied field.
Note: Having some (or all) of this desired experience may make your application more competitive in a highly competitive applicant pool.
Why work for Ecology?
Joining Ecology means becoming a part of a team committed to protecting and restoring Washington State’s environment.
A career in public service allows you to help solve some of the most challenging problems facing our state, while keeping the health and financial security of you and your family a priority. We combine one of the most competitive benefits packages in the nation with a strong commitment to work/life balance.
Ecology employees may be eligible for the following:
Medical/Dental/Vision for employee & dependent(s), Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), Vacation, Sick, and other Leave*, 11 Paid Holidays per year*, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Tuition Waiver, Long Term Disability & Life Insurance, Deferred Compensation Programs, Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP), Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Employee Assistance Program, Commute Trip Reduction Incentives (Download PDF reader), Combined Fund Drive, SmartHealth
Student debt and how working for Ecology can help
Employees may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, which forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. See https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service for more details.
*See the Benefits tab in this announcement for more information
Please complete the short on-line application, supplemental questions and upload:
- Your current chronological resume.
- A cover letter explaining how you fit the requirements of the position.
- Three professional references with current contact information.
- A professional writing sample. I.E. Process, Proposal or Recommendation, or an original published paper or article.
When attaching documents to your application (Resume, Cover Letter, Transcripts, DD-214, etc.):
- Please be sure to remove private information such as your social security number, date of birth, etc.
- Do not attach documents that are password protected as these documents may not be reviewed and may cause errors within your application when downloaded.
Please to do NOT include your salary history. Wage/salary depends on qualifications or rules of promotion, if applicable.
It is in the candidate’s best interest to submit all of the documents requested above. Applications without these documents may be declined.
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 www.careers.wa.gov to access the online recruitment system. Click on “Look for Jobs” and select Dept. of Ecology under the “Department” search list. Click “Apply Search.”
If you need assistance applying for this job, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
If you have specific questions about the position, please email Mary Verner at: email@example.com. Please do not contact Mary to inquire about the status of your application.
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 is a position covered by a bargaining unit for which the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) is the exclusive representative.
This recruitment may be used to fill other positions of the same job classification across the agency. Once all the position(s) from the recruitment announcement are filled, the recruitment may only be used to fill additional open positions for the next sixty (60) days.
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, military spouses 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.