Communications Director

Website Pitkin County

Under administrative direction, serves as the County’s public relations and community engagement specialist, with responsibility for planning and implementing the County’s internal and external communications initiatives and media information programs which directly support the mission, strategies, goals and objectives of the County and the collaborative efforts of County departments. Duties may vary according to job assignment.



Essential functions, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act, may include any of the following representative duties, knowledge, and skills. This is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and duties performed by incumbents of this class; employees may be assigned duties which are not listed below; reasonable accommodations will be made as required.  The job description does not constitute an employment agreement and is subject to change at any time by the employer. Essential duties and responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following:



·       Develops and implements a comprehensive and strategic communications and community engagement plan directly in line with the County’s mission, strategies, goals, and objectives; conceptualizes and implements community engagement programs to support the strategic communications plan.

·       Provides assistance and consultation to Senior- and/or Elected Officials, and serves as liaison for interdepartmental initiatives of the County, for the purpose of developing long-term strategic plans for public communications and media outreach.

·       Establishes and maintains strong working relationships with news media, community groups, elected officials, other governmental agencies, and departmental stakeholders.

·       Attends Board of County Commissioners meetings and tracks Board’s strategic priorities and initiatives; provides oversight of messaging for cross-departmental initiatives.


Community Engagement/Outreach/Special Events                              

·       Expands and deepens the County’s community outreach and partnership efforts, identifying key areas of need through meaningful, thoughtful, and inclusive engagement strategies.

·       Proactively seeks and brings attention to the intersection of County and community interests and needs, encouraging and supporting effective cross-department collaboration to address strategic priorities and goals.

·       Performs a variety of professional media, communications and community outreach-related activities/campaigns in support of strategic initiatives, including those involving organizational branding, social media, graphics, audio/visual projects, public information, and content for official websites.

·       Represents the County at community meetings, public events, and on committees and task forces as assigned; facilitates creative ways to provide citizen opportunity for early involvement and meaningful voice in identifying community needs, shaping solutions, and understanding how government works.

·       Coordinates recurring and annual community events (e.g., Pitkin County Community Survey, Pitkin County Cares Volunteer Service Awards).


External Communications (Social Media, Media Relations)

·       Develops and executes a proactive media relations strategy; builds relationships with local media and responds to media inquiries appropriately.

·       Assists with management and cultivation of the County’s audience on social media platforms; upholds and assists with enforcement of the County’s social media standards internally and externally; develops social media content in coordination with other departments as needed.

·       Follows multiple governmental social media sites; stays abreast of social media technology; champions the use of social media County-wide.

·       Reviews external communications to ensure common messaging, informed by both self- created content and content developed by others.

·       Assists with composing speeches and/or manages speech preparation and other presentation materials for Senior- and/or Elected Officials.

·       Develops and manages the County’s website, including but not limited to the technology and content, for it to serve as a trusted, reliable and comprehensive portal of County information and governance.

·       Serves as Public Information Officer (PIO) when necessary; leads ESF 15 (Emergency Support Function) volunteers; maintains necessary Emergency Management/Incident Command training for this function.


Internal Communications

·       Writes, edits, and contributes content to a variety of internal communications; coordinates with other department staff to assure effective communications, including providing assistance with editing, as requested. Partners with all internal departments in planning and creating communications and marketing strategies, as well as advises on brand integrity and consistency.

·       Prepares and/or assists with marketing and communications campaigns for departments and projects, including monitoring of expenditures.



·       Develops and manages departmental budget; ensures compliance and addresses any variances and other budgetary concerns.

·       Supports the relationship between Pitkin County government and the general public by demonstrating courteous and cooperative behavior when interacting with citizens, visitors, and County staff; maintains confidentiality of work-related issues and County information; performs other duties as required or assigned.

·       Maintains regular and reliable attendance




Education and Experience:

Bachelor’s Degree; AND five years’ related experience in public relations/community engagement, journalism or marketing; OR an equivalent combination of education, training, and experience. Must possess a strong bias for thoughtful action; is highly relationship-oriented. Demonstrated strong skills and experience working effectively and empathetically with diverse communities. Bilingual English/Spanish language capability required; American Sign Language (ASL) highly preferred.

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