Class Code:
Occupational Area:
01 Professional
Probationary Period:
12 mo.
Effective Date:
Last Action:

Public Information Associate

Function of Job

Employees in this classification perform duties involved in the dissemination of information about or affecting university activities, programs, or events to news media, social media, the public, or university community. They plan, coordinate, and manage the activities of (a) a division (such as radio and television, news bureau, social media, or campus affairs) of a large centralized, multi-unit public information operation or (b) all activities of a smaller, independent public information operation, including, in either instance, serves as a lead worker or supervises subordinates and clerical support staff. They work under administrative supervision/direction of a designated supervisor.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities

A(n) Public Information Associate typically -

  1. researches and gathers information about university activities, programs, policies, events or external actions affecting the university (such as new legislation or governmental regulations); maintains a database of such information;
  2. plans, compiles, verifies, composes, and/or edits informational materials; collects, prepares, interprets, and communicates informational material to support and/or promote university programs and services;
  3. plans and coordinates informational and public relations activities and researches media markets to determine proper audience;
  4. serves as liaison between campus news sources and outside media and partners with public relations groups in responding to inquiries from the news media and the public concerning university activities, programs, or events;
  5. determines method of dissemination regarding information provided to local, regional, state, and national media and multimedia sources; researches, compiles, and/or disseminates information with regards to Freedom of Information Act requests;
  6. provides leadership, project support, and counsels university staff officials in the planning, design, development, and management of strategic internal and external communication projects, initiatives, and events; analyzes and evaluates the assigned informational program and recommends changes;
  7. establishes and maintains media and public information contacts; records, edits and produces multimedia content for university events;
  8. develops, coordinates, and implements press conferences, photo sessions, and/or other press and media events, to include executive and corporate communications materials; represents the university through public presentations, informal speaking engagements, etc.;
  9. manages web, photo, and video communication projects;
  10. coordinates and supervises internal and external branding; serves as liaison with university and media, graphic contacts and/or external stakeholders;
  11. manages and monitors the university’s online presence; develops and manages social media strategies; creates and launches geo-targeted and paid social media campaigns; creates and administers content for various campaigns across multiple social media platforms; organizes and manages live online events;
  12. measures and tracks university social media growth, campaigns and advertisements for communications, recruitment, and expansion; recommends changes in social media strategy; works with other university social media communicators in order to advise best practices, provide content, troubleshoot, and coordinate and execute campaigns;
  13. formulates, initiates, implements, and interprets policies relating to utilization of social media resources;
  14. oversees emergency response; develops and manages communication material and strategies for handling communication around issues and crises, as well as emergencies; develops and implements communication protocols for use in specific crisis situations; works with outside communications counsel;
  15. hires, trains, evaluates and supervises public information, clerical, technical, and/or student employees;
  16. coordinates the work of subordinate writers; establishes work flow for requesting, creating, editing, publishing, and retiring content;
  17. prepares and manages the communications budget;
  18. performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Acceptable Qualifications


  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, radio/television broadcasting, web/digital media, or a related field.
  2. One (1) year (12 months) of professional work experience in public relations, journalism, social media communications, newspaper reporting, radio/television broadcasting with emphasis on production, or web/digital media.
  3. Based on position requirements, additional education, training, and/or work experience in the area of specialization inherent to the position, may be required.

Note: Master’s Degree in an area consistent with the duties of the position may be substituted for one (1) year (12 months) of work experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

  1. Knowledge of media production, including social media platforms and efficiency of use, social media analytics and publishing tools, communication, and dissemination techniques.
  2. Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  3. Knowledge of Associated Press (AP) Style.
  4. Knowledge of public relations techniques and tactics.
  5. Knowledge of computer hardware and software, including applications and programming and for setting up functions, entering data or processing information.
  6. Knowledge of professional applications of research and writing skills.
  7. Skill in public speaking and delivering presentations to individuals and groups.
  8. Skill in time management, organizing work assignments, and responding quickly and effectively to challenges.
  9. Skill in creating and launching geo-targeted social media campaigns.
  10. Skill in organizing and managing live online events (Facebook Live, Twitter Q&A’s, Reddit AMA, etc.)
  11. Ability to interpret, condense, and edit information for various media formats.
  12. Ability to establish long-range objectives and specify the strategies and actions to achieve them.