Communications & Public Affairs Specialist/Sr Specialist

23 Oct, 2020


Communications & Public Affairs Specialist/Sr Specialist

Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB)
Alexandria, VA

The mission of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) is to advance and transform public health practice by championing performance improvement, strong infrastructure, and innovation.  PHAB is the accrediting body for Tribal, state, local, and territorial governmental public health departments in the U.S. Accreditation provides a means for a public health department to identify performance improvement opportunities, to improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with members of the community.

Position Overview – Your job will be to inform and execute a strategic communications plan to extend the reach, influence, and impact of the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) and the State, Tribal, Territorial, Local and U.S. Army health departments that it accredits. You will work with PHAB’s CEO and its Vice President of Strategic Initiatives to collaboratively implement an impactful communications plan and support advocacy efforts of the CEO. The Communications Specialist/Senior Specialist will be directly involved in development and execution of all the organization’s communications, including, but not limited to, earned, digital, and social media; website content and management; writing and editing of issue papers, reports, blog posts, op-eds, press statements, and other materials. You will be expected to remain current on evolving policies and practices in governmental public health and closely related fields and use this knowledge to recommend strategies and develop content that advances PHAB’s goals and mission.


Your day-to-day work will include activities like:

Strategic Communications: Lead the implementation of the strategic communications plan with audiences, goals, tactics, and metrics to enable PHAB to build on its past progress and expand its reach and influence.

Public Policy: Work directly with the CEO in development and implementation of all communications aspects of public policy and legislative advocacy for PHAB.

Relationship Management: With three primary funding partners and nearly 300 health accredited health departments, coordination and information dissemination is critical. This will include leading regular communications calls with partners, working directly with subject matter experts and governmental relations professionals, and managing the review process for all public materials.

Writing: Write, edit, and proofread print and digital content including website content, blog posts, issue briefs, program overviews, case studies, and media materials, such as press statements and supporting documentation. Lead the development of the annual report and other publications.

Collaborate with Contractors: Under the direction of the VP, collaborate with communications contractors such as web designers, graphic designers, and agency staff.

Website/Social Media: Lead content strategy and engagement for PHAB’s social media channels. Develop and implement an editorial calendar, post and update content on the website, and track and report on web and social analytics.

Media Relations: Define media goals and targets for proactive outreach (announcements, reports, promoting the leadership of accredited health departments, etc.) and reactive activities (responding to reporter inquiries, emerging issues, legislative developments, etc.). Cultivate relationships with media to help position PHAB as a go-to resource. Facilitate and garner earned media, including targeted media lists, story angles, and supporting media materials. Draft and edit op-eds for placement in traditional and online outlets.

Project Management: Develop and implement editorial calendars for web and social media content. Oversee vendors and consultants, possibly including communications agencies, digital consultants, website developers, designers, printers, photographers, videographers, and others.

Creative Development and Technical Tasks: Create or work with designers to create graphics for print, web, and social media. Oversee PHAB’s branding guidelines (logo, colors, fonts, etc.).

Who You Are:

You have experience in public affairs/advocacy and communications, media relations, and digital communications. You are be able to juggle multiple priorities, take initiative, and thrive in a fast-paced environment. Due to PHAB’s national reach, you recognize that work sometimes happens outside of routine business hours within your time zone and you are able to flex your hours. You are comfortable working independently and as part of a team. You have knowledge of national and local policymaking, healthcare, innovation and public health.

You Excel in These Areas:

Mission-driven: You want to make a difference and have experience in advocacy-related, cause-driven communications.

Hands-on: You are strategic and enjoy contributing ideas and are equally eager to execute.

Detail-oriented: You are enthusiastic about grammar and spelling and take pride in being the final set of eyes for reports, newsletters, digital content, and other communications.

Ownership: You care deeply about doing what it takes to achieve results and can manage your own projects (or pieces of larger ones). You drive work forward with a sense of urgency, anticipate problems, and course-correct when needed, with limited oversight.

Initiative: You are eager to use your role to advance PHAB’s mission and look for ways to help beyond your own core responsibilities. That said, no job is too small for anyone on the team, and your attitude reflects that.

Relationship management: You have a good sense of how to manage relationships with customers, co-workers, and partners and how to build new relationships. You handle confidential information sensitively and use discretion about what information you share with members and partners.

Policy or advocacy experience: You have experience working with non-profits in advocacy.

Confident & imaginative: Able to work and think independently with confidence, and in teams, to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to novel and innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work towards achieving team goals; and to be tolerant of ambiguity and differences in grantmaking approaches.

Intellectually curious: You seek out new information and insights and able to apply your learning to work responsibilities.


The Communications and Public Affairs position may be filled by a Specialist or a Senior Specialist. The applicant for a Specialist position will fully meet the minimum requirements below while a Senior Specialist will exceed the minimum requirements in years, variety and depth of experience.

Education: Master’s degree in Public Health or Public Policy or closely related field, or a bachelor’s degree and two (2) years of related experience in public health, public policy, or a related health, behavioral, or social science field.

Experience: A minimum of 3 years of experience in strategic communications, preferably including public affairs/advocacy communications. Exceptional writing, editing, and proofreading skills. Ability to translate complex subject matter for a general audience. Experience developing and implementing editorial plans, including social media content. Comfort and hands-on experience with digital systems and tools. These systems and tools may include WordPress/Squarespace, Google Analytics, Constant Contact and/or MailChimp, Photoshop and/or other photo-editing software, project management systems, and advertising (Google Adwords, SEO, social media marketing, etc.). Experience managing live and digital events.

Able to travel as required.


Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Your cover letter and resume should be sent to: and all applicants must indicate if they wish to be considered for the position as a Specialist or Senior Specialist.

DISCLAIMER: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

EEO STATEMENT: PHAB is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities.

Job posted: 2020-10-23