Communications Specialist (Req 1243991)

01 Oct, 2020


Communications Specialist (Req 1243991)

Scientific Consulting Group
Bethesda, MD

Benefits Offered

401K, Dental, Life, Medical, Vision

Employment Type


The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc. is looking for a full-time Content Writer/Editor to be based on-site at our client facility located in Bethesda, MD.

I. Introduction. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) has undertaken an effort to strengthen the current enterprise branding and communications strategy and to revise, develop, and implement long-term strategic plans and immediate tactical recommendations to create greater awareness, impact, consistency, and results in EDI’s future communications and outreach across all channels and audiences.

In order to fully implement the new EDI brand and communications tactics in support of EDI’s goals, the Contractor(s) shall provide the services described under this task order.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has tasked EDI’s Technology, Marketing, and Communication (TMC) group with providing superior service and information to the NIH workforce by enhancing customer-facing processes and improving the customer experience. EDI will achieve this by supporting efforts to simplify processes at critical touchpoints and creating a logical digital path for consumers to access EDI resources. Since our target audiences turn to the web first to get information and answers to questions, we need to be ready for them.

  1. Content Writer/Editor to provide expert support for product development of but not limited to; Policy Guidance Memos, Director’s Messaging, Campaign messaging reviews, blog reviews and creation.

II. Scope. The Contractor shall provide the following services.

A. Content Writer/Editor  A full-time communications professional shall be responsible for providing a range of internal or external communication activities that include, but are not limited to: create, write, edit, and manage information for posting on the EDI website and the EDI intranet. This person would work closely with TMC communications team members and communications and other staff in the various offices within EDI to develop communications planning; research and program evaluation; promotion of EDI and its activities. As a Writer-Editor, this person must have the ability to assess, plan and manage information based on communications industry best practices. The successful candidate is responsible for ensuring all information on the site is up to date, meets AP Style requirements, web industry best practices, and TMC, EDI, and NIH brand standards.

a. To produce, distribute and track communications materials designed to expand EDI’s outreach efforts, the Contractor shall:

i. The Writer-Editor will identify areas in the EDI intranet for needed improvements, find and correct errors, and work with technical staff (SharePoint developers) to ensure implementation of requests.

1. Creating and providing information resources for EDI staff, including standard operating procedures, resource documents, fact sheets, and point of contact resources for websites, implementing or crafting web site promotions, email newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, and user experience and adoption.

2. Associated tasks include collaborating with EDI staff on communications efforts, interviewing EDI staff, writing up summaries of user input and/or content analysis, drafting new and updated content, creating templates in Word documents, mocking-up designs (e.g., wireframes) of where things should appear on the intranet or website, and working with developers on implementation.

b. Task List for Communications Contractor

i. Serve as a technical communications expert within the TMC communications team.

ii. Develop and provide information resources for the variety of staff within EDI.

iii. Ensure compliance with and execution of EDI and NIH policies, plans, and strategies for internal and external communications.

iv. Support the provision of centralized communications services for, and coordinate communications activities within, EDI by providing technical writing and support to the communications staff.

v. Manage and provide oversight for content on web, intranet, and microsites. This includes creating mock-ups, writing original content, and editing submissions provided by other offices.

vi. Consistently apply technical communications best practices and brand standards in all writing, editing and reviews of work.

vii. Check PDFs and other documents for 508-compliance.

viii. Apply technical communications standards to correct the organization of the content in SharePoint libraries which were mixed-up by the developers who were unfamiliar with standard communications practices.

ix. Implement or craft web site promotions, email newsletters, PowerPoint presentations and user experience and adoption strategies.

x. As requested, help identify interested collaborators within EDI, conduct interviews, and prepare technical communications analyses and summarize interview results on user input, as needed.

xi. Communicate and work collaboratively with developers on all implementation efforts.

III. Details of Required Services

A. Content Writer/Editor

1. Duties to support the team include, but are not limited to the following:

i. Write content for digital and print materials, including news articles, press releases, websites, newsletters, presentations, and other products to communicate about the division activities.

ii. Work independently and in collaboration with scientific and technical experts to conduct background research and generate original ideas for print and digital products.

iii. Manage the writing, editing and clearance processes to meet stringent deadlines and to ensure the highest quality materials.

iv. Copyedit own work and the work of others to ensure consistency with HHS/NIH/OD/EDI/GEM/TMC writing, editing, and style specifications and standards.

v. Work with team to select photos and generate graphics used in combination with written materials, infographics and related products.

vi. Ensure proper clearances through the division, Office, NIH, and Department of Health and Human Services, in accordance with established guidelines.

IV. Deliverables and Timelines

(A.) Content Writer/Editor Support Deliverables/Timeframe




Meeting agendas

Generated and distributed to participating staff prior to meetings


Meeting minutes

Minutes and notes from individual staff interviews and meetings conducted with leadership and staff sent to Project Manager (PM)


Project status reports

Weekly project status reports provided to COR and outlining efforts, progress, and roadblocks


Content Audit

Assessing the TMC content provided to the contractor by the Communications Specialist, Branch Chief or Program Manager.

First Month of Period of Performance

Master list of content production schedule

Spreadsheet of TMC communications ranked by priority, provided by the Communications Specialist and Branch Chief or Program Manager, including but not limited to the following metadata:

– Key stakeholders, systems involved, time, audience segmentation (internal/external), impact, internal SMEs

Second month OPOP

Organize the content in the previous established SharePoint libraries and Box information repository

Content containing previous drafts and final versions of content created for dissemination that needs to be updated and reviewed for evergreen use.

End of Process Mapping Task Phase

Provide an audience segmentation analysis for the content previously released and currently scheduled

A critical review and analysis of our audience size per communication vehicle needs to be completed to ensure we are investing in the right communication efforts for the written content EDI is creating.


Content Resource Index

Create an index of where each type of content is stored within the EDI environment, and definitions of what the communications are so we have a reference for what is used and why and under what circumstances it should be used.


Communication Plan Development

Develop a communications plan for disseminating event announcements and news items targeting audiences that utilizes various communications platforms, including traditional and newly emerging channels.

End of Process Mapping Task Phase

Systems management

The contractor may also be asked to maintain and update systems for communications among NIH and contract staff to facilitate the efficient flow of information relating to projects and program activities.

End of Period of Performance

V. Personnel Requirements

A. Content Writer/Editor

Professional communications skills and experience

§ Bachelor’s Degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations, public affairs or a directly related field OR an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above

§ Two years of job experience in communications or communications related areas required

§ Government communications experience required; DHHS and NIH experience a plus

§ Demonstrated ability to copy edit, use plain language, and adhere to top communications and brand standards

§ Familiar with, understands, and can successfully apply the principles of Plain language

§ Knowledge and experience in writing, public health topics and biomedical research a plus

§ Expertise in communications best practices, including tailoring messages and tools to target audiences

§ Excellent communication skills, both verbal and writing.

Writer, Editor and Content Management Skills

§ Expertise and experience as a content editor and writer for web sites and/or intranets

§ Skills and training as a content writer and editor focusing on the user experience for targeted audiences

§ Familiarity with website usability, standards and best practices

§ Experience with and understanding of how to apply Google analytics and other metrics

§ Familiarity or experience working with content and editing in Drupal environment or other content management system (CMS).

§ Ability and experience in working with SharePoint technical staff. Enough familiarity and knowledge in SharePoint to successfully and clearly communicate with technical staff about content management, organization, and design needs.

General Professional Experience and Team Skills

§ Understand and have experience with working at various levels of government and leadership within government, including familiarity with the nuances of government practices and processes

§ Organized and detailed-oriented; ability to manage multiple ongoing projects and meet deadlines under pressure

§ Excellent interpersonal communications skills

§ Experience with Project management

§ A self-starter and able to take initiative

§ An excellent team player with demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with team members and a willingness to learn

§ Expertise in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook).

Ideal candidate would have the following experience and skills:

§ Experience writing for different audiences, including scientists, health professionals, various educational levels, and the general-public and ability to adapt writing style and voice for different needs and audiences.

§ Ability to write about potentially sensitive topics with judgment and skill, and successfully navigate the content clearance process in the same way.

§ Experience using content management systems, such as Drupal, including familiarity with search engine optimization principles.

Interested candidate should submit resume and cover letter stating salary requirements and explaining how you would be an asset to our team.

SCG is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

About The Scientific Consulting Group, Inc.:

SCG is a small, woman-owned company established in 1991 that specializes in communicating scientific information to improve the quality of our lives and the environment in which we live. We adhere to seemingly simple principles—we listen to our clients’ needs, develop creative approaches to meet those needs, and implement our strategies cost effectively with unsurpassed passion and dedication to excellence.

To apply, candidates should send resumes to

Job posted: 2020-10-01