Public Safety Public Information Officer (PSPIO)

City of Fargo   Fargo, ND   Full-time     Law Enforcement / Security
Posted on July 5, 2024
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The Public Safety Public Information Officer (PSPIO) fosters media relationships, curates social media content, serves as an inter-departmental consultant, engages the community, creates communication collateral, optimizes website operations, responds to emergencies, leads the departmental responses to media inquiries and coordinates press conferences/media interviews during emergency situations. The PSPIO's intended audience includes residents, members of the media, City employees and community groups.The PSPIO is responsible for a broad range of tasks, including implementation of internal and external communication efforts. This individual acts with an elevated level of autonomy and is directly responsible for the quality and accuracy of their own work. Under the direct supervision of the Public Information Manager and in close collaboration with the Police Chief's Office and Fire Chief's Office, the PSPIO performs duties for both the Police and Fire Departments.

The PSPIO performs tasks independently under general supervision. The PSPIO is expected to engage in critical thinking, creative writing and designing, all while exercising strong initiative and judgement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities :
  1. FOSTERING MEDIA RELATIONSHIPS - Advance and leverage operational relationships with members of the media to further departmental goals.

  2. CURATING SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT- Serve as a social media editor and content contributor across all social media channels of public safety departments.
    1. Monitor social activities to ensure compliance with City of Fargo policies.
    2. Engage in social listening to identify potential emerging issues.
    3. Collaborate with other City resources to create short video clips for social media consumption, as well as broadcast events live over social media channels.
    4. Maintain the framework to respond timely to feedback generated from the public safety departments' followers across social media platforms.
    5. Triage comments received which affect the organization (but not necessarily an individual department) to the appropriate personnel within the City.

  3. SERVING AS AN INTER-DEPARTMENTAL CONSULTANT- Function as a critical asset to Fargo Police Department (FPD) and Fargo Fire Department (FFD) leadership teams in decision-making processes for the departments.
    1. Assist and coach departmental staff members on public speaking engagements.
    2. Review staff presentations and provide feedback on content and layout to implement successful storytelling techniques.
    3. Provide input and review materials (such as articles and website content) prepared by staff.
    4. Set communications precedent within limits that can impact the morale and performance of the public safety agency teams.

  4. ENGAGING THE COMMUNITY- Develop educational, informative and persuasive messaging for dissemination to the public with sensitivities towards diversities of culture, race and demographics.
    1. Identify opportunities, establish contact and maintain partnerships with various organizations and community groups to advance departmental objectives.
    2. Synthesize efforts with other departmental and City staff to respond to citizen requests, comments or questions in a timely and efficient manner.
    3. Assist in the planning of departmental events within the organization and community.
    4. Develop and nurture the departmental and City-wide brands throughout the metro area.
    5. Communicate in a courteous, compassionate, empathetic and professional demeanor to create/maintain relationships in execution of all job functions.
    6. Review, interpret and humanize information on crime and fire analysis and trends.
  5. CREATING COMMUNICATION COLLATERAL- Possess the ability to produce and disseminate marketing materials that are visually appealing and impactful for use on multiple platforms.
    1. Drive external communication efforts, including multimedia promotional campaigns.
    2. Develop and execute public outreach plans, ranging from simple to complex.
    3. Distill complex topics and information into consumable collateral.
    4. Create web content, infographics, various print materials and presentations.
    5. Conduct intermediate videography for the departments.
    6. Purchase advertising space and/or media time to promote campaign objectives, including the utilization and incorporation of negotiating strategies.
    7. Liaison with and supervise the work of external consultants in the creation of educational materials and ads for public consumption.
    8. Collaborate with the Communications & Governmental Affairs' Divisions of Broadcast Services, Community Engagement, Creative Services and Public Information whenever necessary for large-scale departmental projects.

  6. OPTIMIZING WEBSITE OPERATIONS- Assist with managing the department's online presence, including content development, curation and optimization.
    1. Receive and assess applicability of departmental requests for minor website structure modifications.
    2. Independently publish routine updates of the departmental website.
    3. Assist in the creation and maintenance of a publication calendar for departmental content and events.
    4. Educate designated departmental employees on the proper use of the website's content management system (CMS) to design and post relevant information to pages.
    5. Routinely evaluate the website's various departmental main pages and sub-pages to ensure web navigation, presentation and contents are integrated with the City's overall communication initiatives. This involves ensuring that web service standards are being utilized, including global graphical and operational consistencies.
    6. Collaborate with the Community Engagement Strategist on website reorganization and optimization strategies. This involves review of analytic data and peer agency benchmarking.

  7. RESPONDING TO EMERGENCIES- Serve as a versatile and strategic communicator during unplanned events.
    1. With the exception of vacations, the PSPIO will be on-call at all times during weekdays and serve on a team of six Communications and Governmental Affairs employees who share weekend on-call duties on a rotational basis. During times of emergency, this individual is expected to be responsive during developing situations. This requires an established family contingency plan to be in place in the event of activation.
    2. Handles highly sensitive departmental information with the utmost discretion as a trusted partner of the Police and Fire Departments to ensure that legally-required information is released to the public and media to protect individuals' rights (both suspects and victims).
    3. Possess a working knowledge of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) for emergency preparedness and has completed the courses required for their job.
    4. Fulfill roles within the Department's Emergency Operations Plan as determined by City Administration, Emergency Management, Police Department and Fire Department staffs.
    5. The PSPIO may be asked to serve in a coordination role within the Department of Communications & Governmental Affairs Public Information Rapid Response Team.

  8. COLLABORATION BUILDING- Communicates courteously and professionally while maintaining successful working relationships with others in carrying out job functions.
    1. Frequently interact with the public, vendors and across departments to exchange detailed and/or technical information.
    2. Responsible for maintaining relationships that are key to the function or the City.
    3. Plan and carry out communications at a level that can impact the morale and performance of a major work unit.
    4. Engage in routine interactions to negotiate solutions to challenges. This requires considerable tact, an impeccable sense of timing, the appropriate tone and the ability to create trust, all while exercising a sensitivity to diverse audiences.
    5. Serve as a key advisor in guiding or executing public communications affecting the public reputation of the City with the broad base of all of its constituents.

  9. PRIORITIZING SAFETY- Perform all job duties in compliance with safety guidelines and with an ongoing awareness of safety practices.
    1. Know and follow department and City rules as well as sound work and safety practices in order to accomplish the job objectives and avoid injury or loss.
    2. Wear proper protective equipment when policy requires or conditions indicate a need exists and utilize proper body mechanics and ergonomics while performing work.
    3. When potentially unsafe conditions are observed, make an effort to avoid or correct them if they are controllable and draw them to the attention of the responsible supervisor or safety representative in a timely manner.

  10. ADAPTING - Perform other duties and activities as assigned.
This position requires graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, marketing, public administration, business administration, criminal justice, fire science or a closely-related field; at least four (4) of professional experiences or internships, or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job. A valid driver's license or evidence of equivalent mobility is also required.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities should include:
  • Excellent written communication skills across a variety of genres (press releases, advertising copy, digital media, etc.) are essential.
  • Skills in interpersonal communication to facilitate high-level discussions with co-workers, supervisors, the general public and others sufficient to exchange or convey information, resolve disputes and receive work direction.
  • Proficiency in the practices and principles of public and media relations.
  • The ability to handle multiple tasks with adherence to deadlines in stressful or difficult situations.
  • Receptiveness to coaching, guidance, extensive review processes and modifications on drafts of work to ensure highest quality of work and consistent messaging adhering to departmental standards.
  • Skills in developing and interpreting data.
  • Project management experience.
  • The capacity to work as part of a team.
  • Precise accuracy with a high attention to detail.
  • Strong troubleshooting and problem resolution capabilities.
  • The ability to quickly demonstrate effectiveness, credibility, thoroughness and collaborative skills in adhering to and advancing The City of Fargo's organizational brand.
  • Training or experience in utilizing modern graphic design techniques.
  • Social media engagement optimization concepts and strategies.
  • Fluency in computer applications used by the Communications & Governmental Affairs office, including the Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite and Content Management Systems (CMS).
  • Proficiency in Associated Press (AP) writing styles.
  • Experience with photography and/or videography.
  • Familiarity of federal, state and local laws regarding information dissemination and freedom of information request requirements.
Most work is performed in a normal work environment. Work is generally light with considerable variety. Extensive use of computer, telephone and other office equipment is required. Daily work often involves moving between rooms. There is considerable attention to detail and deadlines. Intermittent driving is required to attend meetings. Occasional overnight travel may be required. The person in this position will be required to be on-call during some evenings and weekends. In an emergency situation, the person may be required to be on-site for a prolonged period of time at a designated facility.

Activities include stooping, kneeling, crouching, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, digital dexterity, grasping, feeling, talking, hearing/listening, seeing/observing and repetitive motions.

Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 25 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects, including the human body. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if walking and standing are required only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Some requirements in this job description may exclude individuals who pose a direct threat or significant risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees. All requirements are subject to modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Requirements are representative of minimum levels of knowledge, skills, and experience required. To perform this job successfully, the worker must possess the abilities and aptitudes to perform each duty proficiently.

This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an "at-will" employment relationship. The City Administrator retains the discretion to add duties or change the duties of this position at any time.

City of Fargo

Fargo , ND