View All Class Specifications

Public Information Specialist

Category: Classified/Excluded
Pay Grade: C24
Job Code: 07550

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform the essential job functions satisfactorily.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the primary job functions herein described.  Since every duty associated with this position may not be described herein, employees may be required to perform duties not specifically spelled out in the job description, but which may be reasonably considered to be incidental in the performing of their duties just as though they were actually written out in this job description.


Performs professional and administrative position responsible for the dissemination of public information through communication with the media and public outreach activities used to support the functions and activities of Pinellas County Government; establishes two-way communication with the media and public, creation of and participation in public outreach programs, ongoing measurement and consolidation of public opinion, and dissemination and coordination of public information through direct contact with the public.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS (examples, not all inclusive)

  • Directs, plans, and coordinates public outreach activities including speakers, presentations, research, website use of surveys and public opinion polls, public forum programs on PCC TV, and ongoing coordination of the Pinellas Citizen University;
  • Develops work plans to maintain and improve quality standards and work performance;
  • Acts in a liaison capacity with community leaders, tour groups, other governmental agencies, and community groups requesting information on government related activities;
  • Works with the media to gather information and arranges interviews;
  • Plans and promotes programs for, and consolidates public opinion from, public information meetings and other community forums as required;
  • Develops plans and monitors advertising and public relations budgets for departmental projects related to community outreach, develops contract specifications, and hires and oversees contract labor where applicable;
  • Promotes a variety of County issues, including hurricane preparedness, through public speaking, conducting tours, and providing information to citizen’s groups and the public at large;
  • Creates PowerPoint, collateral, and video materials to support public outreach campaigns;
  • Liaisons with the media in preparing press releases, planning public events, and performing interviews;
  • Attends various meetings;
  • Performs other related job duties as assigned.


Education and Experience:

Six (6) years of experience in professional public relations, journalism, communications, public administration, or related field; or an Associate’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, public administration, or related field plus four (4) years of professional experience; or a Bachelor’s degree and two (2) years of professional experience as described above; or an equivalent combination of education, training, and/or experience.  

Special Qualifications (May be required depending on area of assignment):

  • Florida Driver’s License or Florida Commercial Driver’s License and endorsement, if any.
  • Assignment to work a variety of work schedules including compulsory work periods in special, emergency, and/or disaster situations.
  • Expected to be on-call and respond to emergency call-outs.
  • Must be able to manage responsibilities for community outreach activities beyond regular County business hours including extended work days, evenings, weekends, and holidays.
  • Other knowledge, skills, abilities, and credentials required for a specific position.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of County government organization and functions;
  • Knowledge of the principles of public administration and management;
  • Knowledge of the practices and principles of public information, public relations, and marketing;
  • Knowledge of news writing and AP style;
  • Knowledge of emergency public information policies, methodologies, and procedures;
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices, and methods of social media;
  • Knowledge of effective use of alternative media presentation and format;
  • Knowledge of recent developments and advancement in communications methodologies and technologies;
  • Knowledge and skill in the use of office automation, desktop publishing, and A/V presentation equipment;
  • Skill in producing print and video mediums;
  • Skill in public speaking;
  • Skill in photography;
  • Ability to apply computer applications and software;
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in analyzing situations and making decisions;
  • Ability to apply independent judgment and discretion based on knowledge of the County’s functional and structural organization.


This work requires exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body.  Additionally, the following physical abilities are required:

  • Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing, or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with the whole hand as in handling.
  • Visual ability: Sufficient to effectively operate office equipment including copier, computer, etc.; and to read and write reports, correspondence, instructions, etc.
  • Hearing ability:  Sufficient to hold a conversation with other individuals both in person and over a telephone; and to hear recording on transcription device.
  • Speaking ability: Sufficient to communicate effectively with other individuals in person and over a telephone.
  • Mental acuity: Ability to make rational decisions through sound logic and deductive processes.
  • Talking: Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word including those activities in which they must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately, loudly, or quickly.
  • Repetitive motion: Substantial movements (motions) of the wrist, hands, and/or fingers.
  • Walking: Moving about on foot to accomplish tasks, particularly for long distances or moving from one work site to another.


Work is performed in a dynamic environment that requires sensitivity to change and responsiveness to changing goals, priorities, and needs.