Classification Description

TITLE: Public Affairs Communications Specialist

CLASS: Academic Professional




Under the direction of the Public Affairs Manager, promotes the College through internal publications, external communications and interactions with the media and other education and government agencies. In consultation with College Advancement team, plans and executes a comprehensive program of media relations and internal communications for all stakeholders and functions as a key member of the team responsible for implementing the college’s marketing plan. Works to advance the College's mission and goals with the community, government and media, in conjunction with Public Affairs, Marketing and the Foundation.


  1. Serves as a member of the editorial team for the college magazine, PCC Communities. Researches and writes articles and takes photos for magazine. Responsible for crafting PCC’s message in the community regarding degree programs, Community Education programs and all other facets of the college mission, including coverage of public events taking place on the campuses and in the community. Edits stories by other community relations staff.

  2. Serves as a key member of the editorial staff for the college’s website home page. Researches and writes stories for Responsible for selecting stories, arranging interviews and taking the majority of photos. Ensures that key messages, including Foundation and any public efforts such as bond campaigns, are conveyed to the metropolitan area.

  3. Writes press releases for local and national media. Finds own stories and arranges interviews. Takes the majority of photos for the stories. Pitches stories to reporters and editors. Primarily responsible for maintaining relationships with a group of area weeklies known as Community Newspapers, Inc. Helps maintain relationships with other media as well. Assists journalists with stories on their agenda. 

  4. Assists in liaison work with the Legislature, Governor’s office, state and federal agencies and institutes of higher education.

  5. Serves as one of two designated public information officers for the college, dealing with print, radio and television. In the event of a crisis, serves as a member of the Public Information team through the Incident Command System. One of three people serving as the "on call" person in the event of a crisis, ranging from a snow day to an active shooter. For one out of every three weeks, incumbent is on call 24 hours per day and carries a pager at all times.

  6. Represents PCC with the Oregon association of public relations professionals.

  7. Assists in speech writing for the district president and assists with special event planning.

  8. Performs other related duties as assigned.


Work is generally performed in an office environment with frequent interruptions and irregularities in the work schedule. Frequent in-district and state travel is required. Working hours may vary and occasional evening and weekend work is required.


Learned physical skill is required to perform keyboarding functions. No special coordination beyond that used for normal mobility and handling of every day objects and material is needed to perform the job in a satisfactory manner.


Bachelor's degree in journalism, political science, marketing, public relations, communications or related field. Relevant experience may substitute for the degree requirement on a year-for-year basis. Three years of experience performing professional-level writing, preferably for a newspaper or other publication is required.


  • Considerable knowledge of electronic publishing and Web page development and maintenance.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of technical and creative writing techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and competency in writing news releases using Associated Press style, feature writing, editing.
  • Skill in designing, writing and editing a variety of communications.
  • Skill in researching complex issues and turning research into easily understood stories.
  • Skill in project management and independent problem solving.
  • Skill in operating a computer and various software packages.
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure of tight deadlines.
  • Ability to build credibility, develop and maintain positive relationships with the community and media.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both in oral and written form.
  • Ability to deal with diverse issues and people.
  • Ability to take photos for magazine articles and news stories.

REVISED: 04/08

REPLACES: Communications Specialist: 01/07