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Community Relations Specialist

Job Location

Santa Rosa, CA


Type of Job



$89,099.15 - $108,279.79 Annually

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Oct 25, 2022

About the job

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The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space) permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource, and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations.

Ag + Open Space invites applications for the Community Relations Specialist position. The ideal candidate will have a talent for engaging with the public, partners, and media, as well as excellent organizational, writing, and presentation skills. The ideal candidate will also possess excellent project management capacity and will serve in a critical role supporting the organizational goals and objectives of Ag + Open Space.

In collaboration with others, the Community Relations Specialist will coordinate the organization’s communications and public relations activities. Primary duties will include media relations and outreach; coordinating marketing and advertising activities; managing branding, messaging, and collateral development; overseeing apparel and signage; creative asset development and management; and pursuing partnership and sponsorship opportunities. This position will also serve as a spokesperson for community groups, civic groups, public agencies, and private organizations. This position will work with staff across the organization to increase community awareness of the impact and benefits of the land conservation work of Ag + Open Space by highlighting priorities, programs, and projects frequently and compellingly. This is a full-time position.

The ideal candidate will be a positive leader, mentor, and team player, and have excellent communication and collaboration skills – both internally and with external partners and the community. The ideal candidate will also be a strategic problem solver with the ability to identify opportunities for improving processes and protocols to enhance organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Other key attributes include:

  • A passion for conserving natural and agricultural land for the benefit of future generations
  • Experience working with public agencies and/or non-profit organizations in land conservation, land use planning, and natural resource conservation
  • Experience writing press releases, pitching stories, and proactively working with media to secure coverage of key programs and initiatives
  • Experience coordinating print, broadcast, and online advertising
  • Understanding of emerging issues affecting land use and land preservation, including habitat protection, water resources and watershed management, sustainable agriculture, and climate change
  • Strong work ethic, consistently delivers high-quality work products, ability to work independently and with others
  • Effective coordination of teams to complete projects on deadlines, consistent with adopted workflow procedures
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to build and maintain effective relationships with staff, local agencies, community groups, and the public
  • Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to exercise initiative, good judgment, and tact
  • Ability to make effective and engaging presentations before boards, committees, and citizen's groups

Please visit our website to learn more about Sonoma County Ag + Open Space. This position is in the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, which is a separate entity from the County of Sonoma, and not within the County of Sonoma Civil Service System.

This employment list may also be used to fill future full-time, part-time, or extra-help (temporary) positions as they occur during the active status of the list. The employment agreement for this position is the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 Memorandum Of Understanding (SEIU MOU) and additional information regarding employee health and wellness benefits can be found in the Employee Benefits directory.


Minimum Qualifications

Education and Experience: Any combination of education and work experience which would provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and abilities listed herein. Normally, this would include a Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, in communications, journalism, public relations, public administration, business administration, or a related field and two years of professional experience in public relations and/or communications which includes serving as a liaison with the media and representatives from community and civic groups, public agencies, and/or private organizations.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including special endorsements, as required by the State of California, may be required depending upon assignment to perform the essential job functions of the position.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Working knowledge of: principles, techniques, and methods of communication and community relations related to organizational outreach activities; written and oral communication including English grammar, vocabulary, mechanics, syntax, composition; editing and publishing procedures; marketing concepts and practices; graphic techniques and tools, including software programs, used in multimedia and web applications; principles and practices in web content management and social media coordination; principles and practices of project management.

Knowledge of: federal, state, and local environmental, conservation, and land use government programs and regulations; District and County government programs, services, activities, regulations, and administrative procedures; Request for Proposal process; principles of contract development, negotiation, and administration; modern office administrative practices and procedures including the operation of computers, software, and standard office equipment.

Ability to: implement and coordinate an effective and responsive local government community relations and media liaison program; plan, organize, direct, and monitor the work of consultants; read, understand, and apply applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, and regulations; collect, organize, synthesize, and evaluate data and information from a variety of sources; understand and effectively communicate the District's mission, programs, projects, initiatives, and activities in an understandable format; manage District website and social media content; track relevant social, economic, and governmental trends and issues that may affect the District's program; write, edit, and direct the preparation of publications; handle a variety of public contact with courtesy and tact; respond to inquiries and concerns from public; organize, prioritize, and coordinate projects involving District staff and consultants, contractors, vendors, and/or regulatory agency staff to ensure timely and accurate project completion; prepare a variety of written analyses, evaluation summaries, recommendations, speeches, scripts, correspondence, and reports; effectively use spreadsheet, database, word processing, and PowerPoint applications; communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing; use initiative, prudence, and independent judgment within District policy, procedural, and legal guidelines; adhere to deadlines and short time constraints; maintain confidentiality of sensitive information.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

The selection procedure will consist of an application with supplemental questionnaire evaluation and interviews. Applicants should list all employers and positions held within the last ten years in the work history section of the application and be as thorough as possible when responding to the supplemental questions. You may include history beyond ten years if related to the position. Each application and supplemental questionnaire will be thoroughly evaluated for satisfaction of minimum qualifications and relevance of educational coursework, training, experience, and knowledge and abilities; which relate to the position. Candidates possessing the most appropriate job-related qualifications will be invited to an interview.



A background investigation may be required prior to employment. Candidates referred to departments for a selection interview are typically required to sign authorization and release forms enabling such an investigation. Failure to sign prescribed forms will result in the candidate not being considered further for that vacancy. Reference information will not be made available to applicants.

Additional requirements, such as successful completion of a physical exam, drug screen, etc., may apply, depending on the duties and responsibilities of the position. If you receive a conditional job offer for the position, the requirements upon which the offer is contingent will be outlined in the conditional job letter. You may also review the Job Classification Screening Schedule to determine the requirements for this position.


Applications are accepted online at Paper applications may be submitted by person, fax (707-565-3770), email, or through the mail. All applications including the answers to the supplemental questions as outlined in the job bulletin must be RECEIVED by the time and date specified on the first page of this job announcement. Applications received after the recruitment closes will not be accepted.

The District values diversity and is dedicated to creating a workplace environment that provides individuals with a sense of belonging. We are committed to having a diverse workforce that is representative of the communities we serve. The District is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer where all aspects of employment are based on merit, competence, performance, and business need.

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