Job Summary: The “Special Assistant for Communications and Media” works directly with the Mayor, who is the Chief Elected Official, and members of the City’s senior leadership team. The Special Assistant for Communications and Media is a pivotal role as it oversees all public relations for the Mayor’s Office and the City of Stamford. This position owns the responsibility for providing the most important and vital communications to the public. The assistant creates proactive strategies that promote the administrations initiatives and alert the public to changes and events in the City that could affect their lives. The Assistant also manages all city communications tools and decides the best ways to use them to ensure the greatest possible public awareness.
- Establish a positive professional relationship with local, regional, and state reporters and other media outlets.
- Proactively promote important stories to the media regarding City activities both current and planned.
- Respond to published media stories to promote the City in a positive light and positively influence the type of stories being published as well as the content and timing of articles.
- Identify and use best practices that lead to better messaging from the administration to citizens so they understand and support plans and actions of the City.
- Coordinate with outside agencies on public events including the Governor’s Office, and other state and federal elected officials, as well as local organizations.
- Maintain a list of all community groups/associations and their leaders and build relationships with the most impactful ones.
- Schedule community meetings for January – March. These are events where the Mayor presents the State of the City presentations, similar to the Senior Men’s event done in January.
- Respond to resident questions and inquiries over social media by coordinating with various City departments.
- Manage a weekly newsletter sent to over 5,000 residents about updates to Stamford’s community, news from the Mayor’s Office, news from the Governor’s Office, updates to City services, updates from public schools, and local events/municipal meetings.
Create a strategy to quickly and effectively communicate with discrete segments of the community, including:
- Actively monitor major topics of discussion
- Identify key influencers in the social media scene
- Enable the administration to use social media for predictive modeling to anticipate the needs of the community
- Identify and respond to the concerns of the community
- Organize an editorial calendar of social media posts in coordination with Mayor’s Office, announcements and local events/occasions (such as holidays or important days).
Monitors and develops material for various online platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other governmental and industry online and print platforms.
Mayor Public Appearances – after reviewing the mayor’s weekly calendar, draft fact sheets for each major event where the Mayor will be speaking, include the following on the sheets:
- Name(s) and photo, short profile of the person(s) who extended the invitation to the event or is leader the event.
- Given the occasion, draft key talking points and statements for the Mayor to make (e.g. a new business opening).
- Citywide Communications from the Mayor’s Office – draft documents which are required to be released by the Mayor’s Office:
- Budget cover letter (due in February)
- Tax letter (due in June)
- State of the City presentation (April – Chamber of Commerce, July – Board of Representatives)
- City Managers Meeting presentation
For public and internal city meetings hosted by the mayor, create the initial draft presentations and be responsible for final presentation document.
Provide drafts of press releases, declarations, talking points, and quotes for the Mayor of Stamford. Oversee the iteration process and keep the office aware of deadlines and timeliness of items. Prevent wasted effort on releases that is not approved past their point of relevance.
Maintain close relationship with communication and media contacts in the offices of the Governor, Federal delegation (i.e. Senators and Congressman), key State agencies and peer Cities of Stamford
Identify and seek out work that is occurring in the various departments that is “newsworthy.”
Periodically interview department managers to learn what they are doing that the public should know about, then convert into news articles.
Assist the Director of Economic Development and staff in preparing marketing material to promote the city’s development assets.
Create visual graphics consistent with the City of Stamford’s style and branding to use for social media content.
Take photos and maintain a catalog of public events and speaking events with City officials.
Research other municipalities or comparable organizations and provide strategic suggestions for how Stamford can improve its image to the public. Draft internal memos for supervisors and management outlining pros and cons of any decision and allow for clear executable decisions or points of discussion.
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- Superior ability to write in a journalistic style that is customary for internal and external print and online publications.
- Ability to offer sound media relations advice to the Mayor and senior leadership.
- Ability to coordinate efforts of various departments and teams in order to present a coherent message.
- Openness to dive into new ideas and use new approaches to achieve better results.
- Excellent planning and organizational skills.
- Interpersonal and analytical skills.
- Strong work ethic.
- Working knowledge of social media marketing.
- Ability to proofread/edit written and visual content for errors.
- Proficient with Adobe products including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Premiere.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite or related software.
Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree in English, Communications, Public Relations, Journalism or a related field. Progressively responsible experience in marketing and communications, public information, or a related field. Experience writing in an official capacity including newspapers, journals, or magazines, business social media account, social media manager, or other professional level writing experience.
Preferred: Experience working in local government, community advocacy, or political support.
All employees must wear masks in the workplace; temperature scan is done upon entering the building; protective shields installed in work areas. Works areas are cleaned periodically throughout the day.