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Smithsonian Institution Public Affairs Specialist in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Summary The Public Affairs Specialist is responsible for managing the public engagement and reputation of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian with emphasis on media relations and external communication. This includes crafting and executing media strategies to win high-profile favorable coverage of projects and personnel, writing and editing news and informational material about CfA science, and proactively developing and leveraging relationships with key media stakeholders. Responsibilities Media Relations Plans, develops, strategizes, and executes full-scale media relations strategies and communication plans concerning the organization's research and discoveries. Determines topics to emphasize and targets top-tier media to reach key audiences. Develops and distributes original media pitch ideas for relevant, newsworthy science and feature stories that highlight the CfA’s work. Writes, edits and disseminates news releases to local, regional, national and international media representatives. This includes meeting regularly with CfA scientists to gather information and news items as soon as they develop, conducting background research and interviewing subject matter experts, and assimilating collected information into a written product aimed at reaching target audiences. Identifies other opportunities for media coverage and pitches stories or outside commenters to media contacts. Plans for and manages crisis communications. Advises CfA Director and senior leadership on handling problems and incidents related to the organization's programs and research. Coordinates closely with Smithsonian Central Offices at times of heightened media attention. Protects the CfA brand and external reputation. Content Development Writes and creates original content in addition to/conjunction with press releases that are scientifically accurate and compelling for use across owned and earned channels. Works with scientists to develop, approve and finalize all written content for the CfA to be used on the CfA’s website, social media channels, proposals and correspondence, and elsewhere. Serves as the final edit for all CfA content reviewing for accuracy of science, style, grammar, etc. Works with outside contractors and CfA staff to evaluate, create and expand organizational web and video presence. This includes developing web and social-based media relations strategies and content and creating new video/web-based media projects and sites aimed at a variety of target audiences while ensuring that all work is both visually compelling and scientifically accurate. Oversees outsourcing of artwork/illustration and video production services. This includes selecting vendors, managing business relationships, and monitoring quality of services provided while ensuring that all work is visually attractive as well as scientifically accurate. Community Outreach Oversees the preparation and distribution of information in response to inquiries from the general public concerning CfA programs, astronomy and astrophysics. This includes distributing materials as well as responding orally or in writing, as appropriate, to mail, e-mail, and telephone inquiries from the general public. Requirements Conditions of Employment Direct Deposit/Elect Funds Transfer required for salary payment. A pre- and post-employment background investigation may be required. May be required to serve a one-year probationary period. Requires working at unusual times, e.g., evenings and weekends. U.S. citizenship Males born after 12/31/59 must be registered with Selective Service. You must have 1 year of specialized experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience for this position includes: experience developing and implementing a comprehensive public affairs program that involves public information, internal information, media relations and community relations communication strategies for internal audiences that required a wide range of knowledge of communication requirements. This knowledge is generally demonstrated by assignments where you analyzed a number of alternative approaches in the process of advising management concerning major aspects of the public affairs program including exploring the target audience and creating messages to reach them using the appropriate channel(s). Qualifications Your resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience at or equivalent to the GS-13 grade level or equivalent experience in the private or public sector. Specialized experience must demonstrate the following:Coordinating and implementing strategic communications, developing communication plans, assigning and proactively seeking out media coverage; preparing speeches and briefings, writing and disseminating articles and press releases; identifying and resolving a variety of complex public affairs issues and providing advice and guidance to senior leadership on all public affairs and communication issues. NOTE: Applicants must meet all the required qualification requirements, including education, and any selective placement factors by the closing date of this announcement. Education Education can not be used as a substitution for specialized experience at the GS-14 level. Additional Information The Smithsonian does not pay for relocation expenses. The Smithsonian embraces diversity and equal employment opportunity. A recruitment bonus may be paid.