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Press Secretary

Press Secretary
Organization: Partnership for Public Service
Location: Washington, DC
Date Posted: 05/06/2024


The Partnership for Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy. We believe that our future and our democracy depend on our ability to solve big problems—and that we need an effective federal government to do so. For more than 20 years, we have helped make this vision a reality, helping our government—the public institution most fundamental to our democracy—address current and future challenges.

Our staff is diverse in experience and perspective, but at our core, we share a lot of the same traits. We are mission-driven, creative, collaborative, optimistic and inclusive.

Our work is strategic, fast-paced and guided by our values:

  • Passion for public service and our work toward a more effective government
  • People who promote a culture of learning, leadership, collaboration, inclusion and respect
  • Persistence to drive change, take strategic risks and deliver results
  • Promise to be trustworthy, nonpartisan and fiscally responsible

We hire smart and friendly people who are great at what they do and good to one another in the process.

Position Overview

The Partnership for Public Service seeks a Press Secretary to help develop and execute creative earned media strategies to communicate the Partnership’s mission, programs, research, activities and priorities. As the only nonprofit dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy, this position will play a key role in advancing the Partnership’s efforts to strengthen democracy, including ensuring a peaceful and effective presidential transition, restoring public trust in government and supporting a professional, nonpartisan civil service.

Reporting to the Senior Media Relations Manager, this person will maintain and develop relationships with the media; write supporting materials that include email pitches, talking points, press statements, media advisories and news releases; prepare key members of the organization for interviews; evaluate and report on the success of outreach; and other duties related to proactive media relations. This person will also work closely with the Senior Media Relations Manager on building and cultivating media relationships in the good government space, traditional media and nontraditional media; and with a wide variety of Partnership teams on discrete projects such as report releases.

The Press Secretary will work as part of an interdisciplinary communications team of marketing, graphic design, social media, editorial, media, and events staff, and as a result should be able to collaborate with others and contribute ideas. This person must be able to manage relationships and lead assigned projects from start to finish.

Essential Functions/Primary Responsibilities

  • Work with the Public Relations Director and Senior Media Relations Manager to contribute to the overall communication strategy and direction for the organization and position the Partnership as a thought leader on government reform issues.
  • Cultivate and strengthen the Partnership’s long-term relationships with traditional media and seek new opportunities to engage with nontraditional and emerging media.
  • Support the Senior Media Relations Manager in developing and executing media outreach plans to proactively promote the Partnership’s mission, strategic priorities, advocacy agenda and key programs, including the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals®, the Center for Presidential Transition®, Best Places to Work in the Federal Government®, and others.
  • Serve as the lead media relations strategist for the Partnership’s rebuilding trust in government initiative as well as its growing work around AI and government.
  • Collaborating with the Senior Media Relations Manager, identify and employ creative tactics to help the Partnership’s mission, programs and nonpartisan perspective break through and compete in a crowded and partisan media space.
  • Proactively track the news cycle and trends to help identify ways to insert the Partnership into story opportunities in strategic and culturally relevant ways, especially with respect to standing up for the career civil service, improving public trust in government and ensuring a peaceful transition of power.
  • Write media collateral, including email pitches, media advisories, news releases, public service announcements and talking points, among others.
  • Collaborate with the Senior Media Relations Manager on day-to-day media outreach. Serve as the primary point of contact for all good government and nontraditional media outlets; respond in a timely manner, arrange for and attend interviews with appropriate Partnership staff and provide background materials or referrals, as needed.
  • Arrange and prepare staff for critical interviews; serve as a resource for journalists seeking to write about the federal government.
  • Help manage media interviews for Partnership sponsors, including incorporating sponsors/partners in media strategies; serve as liaison to sponsors’ communications teams.

Key Competencies

  • Superior written and verbal communications skills, with the ability to quickly learn and stay within the Partnership’s voice.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment, juggle multiple projects, work efficiently and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to quickly conceive, organize and compose public messages, and to translate complex policy issues into everyday but compelling language.
  • Passion and affinity for proactive media pitching.
  • Very strong eye for detail and attention to quality.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Flexibility, a can-do attitude and willingness to pitch in.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a proven track record collaborating on projects in a team environment.
  • Strategic and creative thinking.
  • Critical thinking, outstanding news judgment and political savvy.
  • Commitment to the values of public service, diversity, equity and inclusion, and the mission of the Partnership for Public Service.

Required/Preferred Education and Experience

  • Five to seven years of progressively more responsible experience in media relations.
  • A bachelor’s degree in marketing, public relations, communications or similar field or combination of experience and education in professional work or military experience.
  • Proven track record of earning national and trade media coverage.
  • Strong, established relationships with journalists, especially in Washington D.C. preferred.
  • Familiarity with AP style preferred.

Supervisory Responsibility/Reporting Structure

This position reports to the Senior Media Relations Manager. The position may supervise junior staff.

Work Environment

This job operates in a hybrid (remote + office) environment in Washington, DC, and requires the candidate to be a permanent resident in the Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia area. The person in this role is expected to work in the office, on average, two days per week. This position requires consistent use of office equipment such as computer, telephone, printer/scanner and MS Office.

In assessing employee performance at the Partnership, we consider collaboration, results, demonstration of our values and a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Our performance review process runs the calendar year; we conduct a performance check-in at mid-year and complete a formal full-year assessment at year end. Salary increases are based on the full-year performance assessment.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time exempt position with regular work hours Monday-Friday, 9 am to 6 pm. Additional work hours and evening or weekend activities may be required.


Local travel to various federal agencies and media outlets will be required. Some out-of-state and/or overnight travel may be required.

Salary and Benefits

The starting salary range for this position is $70,000-$95,000. The Partnership offers a compensation package that includes a competitive salary; medical, dental and vision coverage; life insurance; long- and short-term disability insurance; a 401(k) program with a 4 percent employer match; opportunities for training and development; commuter benefits; 15 days of annual leave per year, 10 days of sick leave per year, plus all federal holidays and the day after Thanksgiving off; and use of an on-site exercise facility.

AAP/EEO Statement

The Partnership is an inclusive organization that fosters learning, collaboration and respect. We actively recruit for diversity in our workplace, believing that a range of backgrounds, perspectives and experiences contributes to our mission of revitalizing government. The Partnership for Public Service is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any applicants for employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, caste, national origin, citizenship, immigration status, veteran status, disability; or on any other basis prohibited by law.

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