PRSA Portland Metro Chapter

The Oregon Department of Forestry is seeking a Public Affairs Specialist 2


Apr 16


Position: Public Affairs Specialist 2 (Public Information Officer)
Location: Salem, Oregon
Job Type: Limited Duration
Department: Forestry-Salem Headquarters
Salary: $4,423.00 – $6,474.00 Monthly
Closing: 5/4/2016 11:59 PM Pacific
More Information on this job available here.


There is currently one limited duration, full-time position with the Oregon Department of Forestry located in Salem. This limited duration position is scheduled to end June 30, 2017. This announcement will be used to establish a list of qualified candidates for this position and may be used to fill future vacancies as they occur. For specific questions regarding this position, please contact Ken Armstrong, Public Affairs Director, at (503) 945-7420.

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s (ODF) Mission is – To serve the people of Oregon through the protection, management, and promotion of a healthy forest environment, which will enhance Oregon’s livability and economy for today and tomorrow. ODF is a multi-programmed, multi-funded public agency chartered and structured to administer the forest laws and policies of the State of Oregon, within the framework of sustainable forests, for the benefit of all Oregonians.

This position exists in the Department’s Public Affairs Office, which is a critical source of information to both internal and external customers of the department. The Oregon Department of Forestry Public Affairs Office has six primary purposes:

  • To create and implement strategies to inform and involve the public and stakeholders, so that they may provide knowledgeable input to the Board and Department of Forestry on policy decisions regarding the uses and benefits of Oregon’s forest resources.
  • To assist the Board of Forestry in carrying out work in priority areas and in conducting its normal business meetings.
  • To help the operating and administrative programs inform the public and other stakeholders about the various challenges and benefits of forests, forest management, and the services provided by the Department of Forestry.
  • To assist in the department’s process to monitor, evaluate, and testify about state legislative proposals.
  • To assist the Executive Team and Leadership Team in developing and implementing strategies and processes for managing public issues and communication, including outreach and internal communication.
  • To provide administrative support to the State Forester and Salem-based members of the Executive Team.


The scope of the program is mostly statewide, but can be regional and national during fire and other emergencies. The work of the program is a key element supporting accomplishment of the Board of Forestry’s policy direction contained in the Forestry Program for Oregon and in supporting the Department’s mission. The program has a director, five Public Affairs Specialist 2s, a Public Affairs Specialist 1, part-time legislative tracking staff, an Office Manager 2, and three Executive Support Specialist 2s. The section supports the Board of Forestry and provides assistance to all Department programs through communication planning and messaging, advising staff on public affairs issues, providing liaison with the news media and responding to public inquiries on forestry issues. The section also provides expertise and guidance on social media, web content development and strategy, video production and other communication technologies and platforms.

The primary purpose of this job/position is to provide public affairs support, mainly in the management of the ODF web page and other media, but also to the Board of Forestry as needed and to the Department as a whole. This support is accomplished with a broad range of tools and techniques, including communication planning, counsel and guidance, message development, media relations, print communication products, and use of the Web and other electronic and social media.

The Oregon Department of Forestry: Serving Oregonians by protecting Oregon’s forests.

Duties & Responsibilities
Major duties include but are not limited to:

ODF external web page management

  • Serves as the agency’s primary point of contact and resource for maintaining the agency’s website as a key part of the agency’s communication and public affairs strategy. This includes planning, designing, and leading the effort, coordinating with, and assisting other web authors, and drafting and monitoring agency policies and guidelines.
  • Updates and maintains currency of external web page.
  • Monitors agency web content for accuracy, consistency with agency key messages, current information, correct technical operation, etc. Notify responsible web authors of any issues with their pages that need to be resolved.
  • Develops and publishes web content in specific program areas, primarily relating to agency leadership and the Board of Forestry, consistent with agency-wide communication goals.
  • Serves as the primary contact person for web information requests. Responds to requests and works with ODF staff on website improvements.

Communication/Public Involvement

  • Develops and implements communication and public involvement strategies and messaging, primarily to support.
  • Works with the Public Affairs staff and/or contractors on communications and outreach campaigns to inform the public and stakeholders on major policy issues or initiatives, and to solicit input. Evaluates the success of communication and outreach efforts, and periodically updates and improves communication plans, strategies and messages as needed. Ensures alignment with agency-wide key messages and communication activities. Assists or leads response to specific public concerns or complaints regarding regulated practices on private forestland, wildfires and State Forests.
  • Uses a full range of tools and practices as appropriate, including media relations, talking points, fact sheets, brochures, newsletter articles, presentations, public meetings and workshops, displays, web or social media content, photos or video, and email list-servs.

Social media program management

  • Serve as the primary strategist and point of contact for the agency’s social media presence, including managing social media policy, platforms, strategies, guidelines and objectives. Ensures alignment of the agency’s key messages and coordination with all agency programs and field offices. Assists agency personnel in contributing to the agency’s social media presence, including during fire season.

Video production and graphic design

  • Serve as the Public Affairs team’s primary strategist and point of contact on video production and graphic design projects. Includes development and implementation of an agency-wide video production strategy, oversight of graphic design projects. Makes recommendations to agency leadership team relative to the strategic use of video and graphics to communicate the agency’s key messages.

Assists with general function of the Public Affairs Program

  • Includes serving in the fire duty officer rotation during fire season, participating in staff meetings, providing content for agency-wide print and electronic communication vehicles, and assisting with development and maintenance of social media platforms and other evolving technologies. In media relations and other venues, speaks on behalf of the agency, its programs and its leadership.
  • Program staff are also expected to respond to requests for information from the public, the media, the Governor’s office, stakeholders, legislators or other policy makers, and representatives of other agencies. Includes informal inquiries as well as formal public records requests.

Other duties and projects as assigned

  • May include writing, editing, reviewing or contributing to budget documents, annual reports or other specialized publications, assisting with staffing of Board of Forestry meetings, crisis response or working as a public affairs expert in support of other divisions, programs or agency-wide initiatives.

Because the Department’s highest priority work is a forest fire emergency, this position may be utilized during those emergencies to provide assistance in a variety of ways. That assistance may be directly aiding the emergency effort in the field or at the Salem headquarters. It also may be in providing backup to fill in for another position that is being used in direct aid to the emergency, or it may be in performing an essential function in some capacity either within this Program or elsewhere in Salem or in the field.


Works in a typical office environment. Requires some out-of-town travel and working outside the normal 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule to attend meetings, public hearings or other events. Requires occasional tours or other work in undeveloped, outdoor, forested settings. On occasion, required to operate state vehicles to attend meetings, travel, and other events.Qualifications, Required & Requested Skills


A Bachelor’s Degree in Business or Public Administration, Public Relations, Marketing, Journalism, the Behavioral or Social Sciences or related degree and two years professional level experience in Public Relations or Affairs


Five years’ experience directly related to the position under recruitment; two of the five years must have been at the professional level.

NOTE: Transcripts are required to be attached to your application if you are using education or coursework to meet the minimum qualifications. Transcripts must clearly show 1) your name; 2) the name and address of the institution; 3) the degree received and; 4) required courses completed with a passing grade. For application purposes, unofficial copies are acceptable; however official or original documents may be requested to validate education. Transcripts must be attached to your application and WILL NOT be accepted as verification of education after the announcement has closed.

NOTE: An Oregon driving record check will be conducted on the top applicants to ensure a valid license and acceptable driving record. If your license is from outside Oregon, you must submit at least a three year three-year court/DMV printout at the time of interview.

ODF Standards for operation of State vehicles is more stringent than State license laws and includes as unacceptable:

  • Conviction of a major traffic offense within the previous 24 months. Which includes reckless driving, driving under the influence, failing to perform the duties of a driver, criminal driving while suspended or revoked, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, felony hit and run, etc.;
  • Felony revocation of driving privileges or felony or misdemeanor license suspension within the previous 24 months;
  • More than 3 moving traffic violations in the previous 12 months;
  • A careless driving conviction in the previous 12 months;
  • A Class A moving traffic violation infraction in the previous 12 months.


  • Strong planning skills and experience in developing and carrying out communication and public involvement plans.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills – including ability to comprehend complex material and express it clearly for a lay audience.
  • Strong working knowledge of public information / involvement processes.
  • Working knowledge of social media, desktop publishing, and web content development/organization and other media production techniques.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work independently or in teams, and to work with groups, stakeholders and members of the public with differing interests and views.
  • Ability to write clearly and professionally, utilizing AP (Associated Press) style.


Complete the work history sections of the job application to clearly show how you meet the minimum qualifications listed in the Qualifications and Desired Attributes section of this announcement. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of your application. Answer the supplemental questions and submit a cover letter (see below).

Cover letter requirement: Please write a cover letter, no more than two pages, that describes your experience or training in:

  1. Why you are interested in the position.
  2. Why you are best suited for this position based on your experience, interests and goals.
  3. How your experience meets the duties/responsibilities described in the recruitment.
  4. How you meet the desired attributes listed in the recruitment.

The screening of candidates will be based on review of the application, supplemental question answers and cover letter. Failure to submit a cover letter with the application will automatically exclude you from the recruitment.Additional Information


To improve communication with all applicants the State of Oregon requires an e-mail address be provided on all applications. If you do not currently have an e-mail address and do not know where to go to get one, please refer to our Applicant Frequently Asked Questions web page to view several links to internet providers where you can get a free e-mail account. The State of Oregon does not endorse any particular provider.

To ensure clear communication, please unfilter emails from and

Please note: The employee in this position will be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and will be subject to all terms and conditions of the collective bargaining agreement. Pay and benefits on all job announcements may change without further notice.

If you require an alternate format in order to complete the employment process, you may call ODF Human Resources at 503-945-7200.

Only complete applications will be considered. Your answers to the supplemental questions must be reflected in the work experience section of your application. Be sure to answer all supplemental questions and attach all required documents. Responses to the supplemental questions will determine if you meet the minimum qualifications, any special qualifications and/or desired attributes for the position. Do not submit a resume in place of completing the Supplemental Questionnaire or the Work Experience section of the application.

Qualified applicants whose responses most closely match the requirements for this position will be invited to interview. Transcripts must be submitted to receive credit for education coursework at the time of application.

Veterans – If you are an eligible veteran and you meet the minimum qualifications, veterans’ preference points will be added to your score. To receive veterans’ preference points you MUST attach to your electronic application the following required documentation:

  • A copy of the DD214/215 for the five (5) point preference;
  • OR A copy of the DD214/215; AND a veteran’s disability preference letter from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the ten (10) point preference.

For more information on veterans’ preference points visit, and select veterans’ preference.

PLEASE NOTE: The Oregon Department of Forestry does not offer visa sponsorships. Within three days of hire, all applicants will be required to complete U.S. Department of Homeland Security form I-9, confirming authorization to work in the United States.




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