This position reports directly to the General Manager and is responsible for understanding the District’s policy positions, advocating with customers and key stakeholders, developing and maintaining key relationships, and identifying and promoting District priorities. The position has responsibility for customer engagement activities, acts as a liaison with public entities, and is responsible for developing and implementing lobbying efforts at all levels to protect and enhance the District’s mission, vision and values. Works closely with and at times takes a lead position in working with other community, legislative and public agencies. Responsible for the development and implementation of the District’s external and internal communication strategy ensuring that the information needs of a diverse customer base are met. Direct management responsibility for District communications and supervision of Public Affairs personnel.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:
Responsible for the development and implementation of customer engagement strategies that protect and further the mission of the District. Develops and maintains key stakeholder relationships, monitors changes in customer expectations, develops effective strategies and utilizes technology and traditional means of communication to meet the needs of diverse customer groups.
Develops, coordinates, and implements strategies and means to obtain valid customer feedback on the District’s services to ensure customer needs are met.
Builds, maintains and enhances successful relationships with the District’s commercial, industrial, irrigation and other public sector customers by leading the Key Accounts program. Acts as liaison and resource for customers by being knowledgeable in all aspects of utility operations and is up-to-date on both District and customer issues
Fosters effective working relationships with local, state and national organizations and representatives. Ensures the District’s legislative interests are represented by actively being involved in state, regional and national industry meetings as needed.
Recommends and oversees public participation in District activities, also ensures that the management leadership team and District employees are actively engaged in programs that help the District develop strong and supportive customer relationships.
Plans, coordinates and directs community and media relations activities, including the release of information related to the District and/or departmental activities throughout various media such as newspaper, radio, television, special publications and social media. Prepares and develops communication releases, utilizing video, print, social media, the District website and online app’s to fully reach and educate the District’s customer base. Prepares brochures, handouts and other pertinent materials to support internal and external customer satisfaction and effective communication.
Serves as the District’s primary spokesperson, provides training and relative information to all employees and District Commissioners on dealing with media, bloggers and customers who may be posting on social media. Prepares and makes presentations to media and public audiences to foster a positive public image.
Manages the District’s participation in community events and tradeshows. Coordinates the District’s participation in other special events and educational activities for students and adults. Works directly with the District’s Safety Manager to ensure community safety training objectives are being met.
Works closely with the Management Leadership Team to establish an internal communication strategy. Ensures organizational initiatives and projects are successfully communicated to employees. At times may act as lead on development, implementation and communication of internal District communication brochures, handbooks, intranet content, memos and emails.
Supervises, coordinates and directs all work done by the Communications Specialist. Works with all departments to meet communication needs.
Responsible for development, monitoring and execution of the Public Affairs department annual budget.
Understands and follows District/supervisor expectations regarding appropriate dress, attendance, punctuality, scheduled and unscheduled time off, and the appropriate use of District time, equipment and resources. Sets an example by displaying a spirit of cooperation.
Contributes to setting the direction of the District as a member of the Management Leadership Team. Participates in the development and implementation of the District’s operating plans. Exhibits District Mission, Vision, and Values in all aspects of job duties.
In the absence of the General Manager and Assistant General Manager, assumes the daily duties of that position, within the guidelines of the Succession of Authority policy, to effectively continue the business of the District.
Directs and oversees other customer engagement strategies and performs other duties as assigned which may include working extended hours as needed to ensure meeting schedules and deadlines.
Education and Experience: A Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communications, Marketing or other related discipline. Requires a minimum of eight years of progressive experience and working knowledge in all aspects of Communication, Government Relations, Customer Service and web based communications, video and audio production and editing, and four years of supervisory/mentoring experience. Understanding and ability to utilize analytical data to evaluate and adjust strategy quickly based on outcomes. An equivalent combination of education and experience that would provide the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job may be substituted. Bi-lingual in Spanish/English is preferred.
Knowledge, skills and abilities: Federal, state and local laws and regulations related to Public Utility Districts strongly desired. Advanced skills and the ability to: a) communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; b) work proficiently with Microsoft Office applications, and presentation programs; c) ability to listen, record and transcribe and interview; d) operate basic office equipment, including PC, related software and copiers; e) skilled writing and speaking styles for varied audiences; f) exercise independent judgment and thinking; and g) organize tasks and perform them concurrently. Demonstrated ability to problem solve; act, organize and think strategically; and demonstrate flexibility. Demonstrated ability to effectively work under stress. Ability to stay informed of advancements in communications technologies and incorporate them as appropriate. Extensive travel is required to attend local and regional meetings which may be held outside the normal work day.
Sits or stands for extended periods of time.
Frequent ability to travel by car, air or other public transportation on a regular basis to attend meetings and trainings.
Extensive walking is required when engaged in legislative and government, regional, and national meetings.
Possesses finger dexterity to operate office machines, including personal computer, laptop computer, calculator, copier, and telephone.
Possesses visual abilities necessary to discern images on computer screen.
Possesses hearing and speaking abilities necessary to communicate effectively in person and on the telephone.
Lifts, carries, pushes and pulls up to 25
Additional Salary Information: Depends on Qualifications