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Communications Specialist (Syracuse City School District)
03950
(Competitive)


Distinguishing Features of the Class

The work involves assisting in development and implementation of effective communications strategies that will promote a positive image of the Syracuse City School District. The position will report directly to the Districtís Coordinator of Communications. The work involves writing, editing, designing and disseminating materials that are timely, accurate and easily understood. These materials include district newsletters, news releases, Web site releases and other district publications. This position will also be trusted with confidential information regarding the operation of schools in the district. The work also includes collecting information which will result in policy determinations by the Superintendent of Schools, department heads and other district officials. This position does not supervise staff. Does related work as required.

Typical Work Activities

Coordinates the release of news items to the press and advises district officials on the methods of handling news stories.
Works district officials to determine opportunities to present the Syracuse City School District in a positive way in the media.
Prepares news releases, newsletters and other district publications.
Reviews and edits media material prepared by staff in all school district departments before release to the press.
Gathers confidential data and other information as needed and requested by the Superintendent of Schools and other district officials.
Writes, edits and reviews drafts and final texts of speeches, presentations and other communications made by the Superintendent and other district officials.
Prepares written and oral presentations as needed by the Superintendent and other district officials.
Responds verbally and in writing to requests for information from individuals and groups on behalf of the Superintendent and other district officials.
Prepares and reviews information to be posted on the District Web site and coordinates with the information technology department to ensure the information is presented in an appropriate manner.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics

Good knowledge of the principles and practices of public relations.
Good knowledge of the techniques and practices of verbal and written communications.
Good knowledge of writing style, vocabulary, spelling and grammar.
Good knowledge of newsletter design.
Working knowledge of the functions, goals and programs of school district departments and schools.
Ability to research and verify information.
Ability to develop and maintain working relationships with all district staff, media personnel, district parents and students, community groups and community organizations.
Ability to proofread prose and graphic materials and edit the written work of others.
Ability to use good judgment and maintain confidentiality when necessary.
Ability to maintain composure under pressure.
Working knowledge of the importance of public education in a democratic society.
Working knowledge of media relations and practices (TV, radio and print)

Minimum Qualifications
A) Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Masterís degree and three (3) years of experience, or its part-time equivalent, working with or in the media or a community outreach program; or,

B) Graduation from regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents to grant degrees with a Bachelorís degree and five (5) years of experience, or its part-time equivalent, working with or in the media or a community outreach program.

8/2014 Revised