GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
The PUBLIC INFORMATION ASSISTANT gathers, packages and distributes general or special interest information about
programs, projects, or activities of a division or unit of State government.
This is the first level of a three-level series of classes. More direct supervision and guidance distinguish
it from the higher level. Employees also have less frequent opportunity and latitude to respond to media or public
inquiries about agency programs and activities.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The duties listed below are not inclusive but characterize the type and level of work associated with this class.
Individual positions may do all or some combination of the duties listed below as well as other related duties.
- Information Gathering. Review agency documents or files to gain background information on assigned topic.
Search photo, video, or audio files for relevant illustrations. Gather additional information through public library
research. Interview agency management or staff to obtain information about the subject. Record interviews on videotape
or tape recorder. Take still, motion picture, or video pictures. Travel to specific job sites for firsthand observations
about topic. Attend public meetings to observe and record public interest and response. Prepare and use questionnaires
or surveys to learn about employee or public interest in, understanding of, or response to subject activities.
- Production. Design, write, edit, and produce publications (e.g., brochures or newsletters). Design and
edit product materials for specific target audiences. Prepare material for publication by overseeing or doing cut
and paste techniques to layout text and graphics. May assign and review tasks and provide guidance to student employees
or interns. Submit product to supervisor or program staff for review and approval. Make recommended or required
changes in product material. Produce or oversee production of final product. Coordinate production standards and
schedules with editors, printers, artists, photographers, etc. Assure periodic reproduction of print, video or
audio materials. Assure product distribution. Draft news releases or special interest stories for media release.
Write radio, television, or motion picture scripts for spot announcements, training, or informational productions.
Prepare audiovisual presentations including scripting voice-overs and sequencing and synchronizing slides and graphics.
Edit and reproduce film, video and audiotapes. Maintain resource files of persons, groups or organizations able
to give general information related to program and activities. Maintain lists of technical resources able to help
with information analysis and interpretation. Maintain distribution lists and production resources.
- Public Relations. Give general information orally or in writing in response to public or media inquiries.
Make public presentations related to programs, policies and procedures. Refer technical or potentially controversial
questions to supervisor or appropriate staff.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Employees in this class have frequent in person, telephone and written contact with agency staff and management.
These contacts are to obtain information about specific aspects of agency activities, programs, policies and procedures
for use in a public information program. There is frequent telephone, in-person or written contact with printers,
editors, designers, photographers, etc. to coordinate production of information materials. There is occasional
telephone or in-person contact with members of the media or public to respond to general inquiries about agency
or unit activities, policies or procedures.
Employees in this class receive specific assignments from a unit supervisor or manager. Work review occurs in
progress or upon completion, depending on the intricacy of the assignment. A superior reviews work for accuracy,
timeliness and effectiveness in promoting or explaining agency or program goals, policies and procedures. Consultation
with the supervisor or technical resources and agency statutes, goals, policies
Positions occasionally require irregular hours and statewide travel.
- Two years of experience gathering information, writing and/or producing materials, and presenting materials
to selected audiences; OR
- A Bachelor's degree in Journalism, Communication, or a closely-related field.