Promoted content

Departmental Communications Officer

The County of Santa Cruz job header
(The County of Santa Cruz)

JOB TYPE: Open and Promotional

CLOSING: Friday, January 20, 2023

SALARY: $7,200 – $9,648 per month

JOB SUMMARY: The County of Santa Cruz is seeking creative individuals looking for an opportunity to enhance relations with the community, employees, and media. Three departments are hiring Departmental Communications Officers who will plan, manage and coordinate community and media relations activities. These positions will also be responsible for developing policies, standards, and guidelines for collection, review, and presentation of information to be communicated to the public and media. The list established from this recruitment will be used to fill the current vacancies and any future vacancies during the life of the list. The option for remote work may be available based on the type of work and operational needs.

Community Development and Infrastructure (CDI): The Community Development and Infrastructure position will be responsible for keeping the community and staff updated regarding CDI projects, building and maintaining the department web/social media presence, and will build relationships with media circles.

Health Services Agency (HSA): The Health Services Agency position will focus on agency-wide marketing and branding, create and maintain a social media presence, work on overhauling the department website, and will provide communication to staff and the community regarding HSA updates.

Human Services Department: The Human Services position will be located in the Housing for Health division, and will be responsible for proactive department-wide and community communications regarding homelessness and other human services topics, manage related websites, respond to media and Public Records Act requests, and will be engaged in community meetings and events.

THE REQUIREMENTS: Any combination of training and experience that would provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain these knowledge and abilities would be:

  • Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in public relations, communications, journalism, business, public administration or related field. AND
  • Two years of increasingly responsible experience in public affairs, community engagement, media relations, journalism or a related field. Emergency Management and response experience is highly desirable.

Special Requirements:

License Requirements: Possession of a valid California Class C Driver’s License or the employee must be able to provide suitable transportation which is approved by the appointing authority.

Other Special Requirements: Availability to respond to emergencies as needed on a 24-hour basis, which may include evenings, weekends and/or holidays.

Knowledge: Thorough knowledge of the principles and practices of public information, media relations, and community outreach and engagement project and program development; methods and techniques for the development of press releases, talking points, newsletters, presentations, business correspondence and information distribution; research and reporting methods, techniques, and procedures; core social media communications platforms, as well as best social media communications practices, methods, and customs; and English usage, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and punctuation. Working Knowledge of modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment and applications related to assignment; techniques for providing a high level of customer service by effectively dealing with the public, agencies, and County staff; principles and practices of skilled written and oral communication; and basic research and analysis methodology and techniques.

Ability to: Communicate strategically and effectively through engaging and concise language; prepare and present organized and accurate oral reports, statements, and presentations; effectively serve as the Department’s spokesperson and represent the Department professionally; communicate technical information in a manner that is appropriate for the intended audience; work effectively in time-sensitive situations and meet deadlines; coordinate multiple projects and complex tasks simultaneously; operate modern office equipment including computer equipment and specialized software application programs; collect, evaluate and interpret varied information and data, either in statistical, narrative or verbal form; and establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work.

THE EXAMINATION: Your application and supplemental questionnaire will be reviewed to determine if you have met the education, experience, training and/or licensing requirements as stated on the job announcement. If you meet these criteria and are one of the best qualified, you may be required to compete in any combination of written, oral and/or performance examinations or a competitive evaluation of training and experience as described on your application and supplemental questionnaire. You must pass all components of the examination to be placed on the eligible list. The examination may be eliminated if there are ten or fewer qualified applicants. If the eligible list is established without the administration of the announced examination, the life of the eligible list will be six months and your overall score will be based upon an evaluation of your application and supplemental questionnaire. If during those six months it is necessary to administer another examination for this job class, you will be invited to take the examination to remain on the eligible list.

HOW TO APPLY: If interested, please submit an online application here or mail/bring an application and supplemental questionnaire to: Santa Cruz County Personnel Department, 701 Ocean Street, Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. For information, call (831) 454-2600. Hearing Impaired TDD/TTY: 711. Applications will meet the final filing date if received: 1) in the Personnel Department by 5:00 p.m. on the final filing date, 2) submitted online before midnight of the final filing date.

Women, minorities, and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. If you have a disability that requires test accommodation, please call (831) 454-2600.

To comply with the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, Santa Cruz County verifies that all new employees are either U.S. citizens or persons authorized to work in the U.S. Some positions may require Fingerprinting and/or Background Investigation.


  • ANNUAL LEAVE - 22 days first year, increasing to 37 days after 15 years of service. Available for vacation and/or sick leave.
  • HOLIDAYS - 14 paid holidays per year.
  • BEREAVEMENT LEAVE – 3 days paid in California 5 days paid out-of-state.
  • MEDICAL PLAN - The County contracts with CalPERS for a variety of medical plans. For most plans, County contributions pay most of the premiums for employees and eligible dependents.
  • DENTAL PLAN - County pays for employee and eligible dependent coverage.
  • VISION PLAN - County pays for employee coverage. Employee may purchase eligible dependent coverage.
  • RETIREMENT - Pension formula 2% at age 60 or 2% at age 62 as determined based on provisions of the CA Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013(PEPRA). Pension benefit determined by final average compensation of three years. County participates in Social Security.
  • LIFE INSURANCE - County paid $20,000 term policy. Employee may purchase additional life insurance.
  • DISABILITY INSURANCE - Employees in the General Representation Unit participate in the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. This program is funded 100% by employee payroll deductions.
  • DEPENDENT-CARE PLAN - Employees who make contributions for child or dependent care may elect to have their contributions made utilizing “pre-tax dollars.”
  • H-CARE PLAN - Employees who pay a County medical premium may elect this pre-tax program.
  • HEALTH CARE FLEXIBLE SPENDING ALLOWANCE (HCFSA) - Employees may elect this pre-tax program to cover qualifying health care expenses.
  • DEFERRED COMPENSATION - A deferred compensation plan is available to employees.