Communications Specialist

Oregon Sea Grant (Newport, Oregon)

Posted 10 months ago

The communications specialist is a full-time, 12-month professional faculty member with Oregon Sea Grant’s (OSG) communications team and reports to OSG’s communications manager. This position assists OSG leadership and OSG-funded faculty, researchers, Extension agents and scholars – including staff at the Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon – with the development and promotion of communications products that meet their needs and those of their audiences.

This position writes and edits a variety of content for digital and print uses; manages Oregon Sea Grant’s social media; and performs other duties as assigned. This position proactively seeks out news that tells the story and impact of OSG’s work and ultimately aids and expedites OSG’s annual reporting. The successful candidate must be a detail-oriented, initiative-taking wordsmith who can accurately translate complex science into lay terms and make OSG’s publications and other content understandable to a range of audiences, including reporters, fishermen, government officials and coastal residents.

The anticipated starting salary range is $52,000 – $62,000.

Deadline to apply is Feb. 13, 2020.

Oregon Sea Grant has been based at Oregon State University in Corvallis since 1971. It is one of 34 Sea Grant programs in the United States under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. OSG funds research and scholarships, helps coastal communities, operates a K-12 marine education program, and manages the public education wing of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Position Duties

30% Writing

  • Writes text for a variety of uses including, but not limited to, the following: news releases, Confluence newsletter, exhibits at the Hatfield Marine Science Center’s Visitor Center, impact statements, marketing materials, flyers, blog posts, video scripts, photo captions, and the websites of OSG, the Visitor Center and the national Sea Grant office.
  • Attends and writes about events, including field research and marine education activities and trainings at the Hatfield Marine Science Center and other places, to produce compelling stories that show the impact of OSG’s work.
  • Reads scholarly articles, and reports on their findings.
  • Interviews sources.
  • Adheres to The Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Seeks to represent in written content the diverse range of identities of OSG’s staff, researchers, scholars and clients.

30% Editing

  • Edits a variety of content including, but not limited to, the following: publications that appear in the OSG catalog, marketing materials, website content, exhibits for the Visitor Center, video scripts, brochures and impact statements.
  • Project manages full editorial production of Confluence newsletter, including story conception, editing and photo acquisition.
  • When necessary, uses substantive editing. Ensures that content, tone and vocabulary are appropriate for the targeted audiences.
  • Collaborates with graphic designers.
  • Reviews older items in OSG’s catalog, identifies publications that need updating, finds authors to revise them, oversees revision process, and serves as liaison between graphic designer and author.
  • Embraces opportunities for digital publishing, such as e-books and interactive content.
  • Edits text on OSG website for grammar, spelling, clarity and conciseness.

30% Social Media

  • Manages social media accounts, including OSG’s current Facebook and Twitter accounts and others that OSG might adopt in the future such as Instagram.
  • Implements and adheres to OSG’s social media strategy and guidelines.
  • Monitors and reports on analytics. Uses this data to make decisions regarding social media strategies and assesses this data against goals.
  • Trains OSG staff to help them implement and adhere to OSG’s social media strategy and guidelines.
  • Works to ensure that posts and photos represent the diverse range of identities of OSG’s staff, researchers, scholars and clients and that, when applicable, content is shared with underrepresented groups and individuals.

5% Other Duties

Assists with other duties as assigned, which may include:

  • shooting photos, editing and captioning them and posting them on Flickr or other digital asset management system
  • designing and laying out publications and other materials
  • participating in conference calls with national Sea Grant network
  • distributing OSG-related content to media, university faculty and others
  • attending conferences and OSG’s program-wide meetings
  • monitoring media coverage
  • tracking impacts of this position’s work
  • providing oversight of projects requiring outsourcing or external collaboration
  • collaborating with lead scientists and OSG personnel to develop outreach and engagement aspects of grant proposals

5% Professional Development

  • Identifies and participates in educational opportunities that enhance this position’s ability to perform its duties. This includes not only technical trainings in communications-related subjects, but also opportunities that support a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Participates in network of communications professionals at Oregon State University, attending events that enhance the spirit of collaboration.
  • Stays abreast of new social media technologies.

Minimum/Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, English, journalism, writing, public relations, science or other related field.
  • Minimum of two (2) years of post-college work experience as an editor, reporter, communications specialist, multimedia specialist, public relations specialist or similar role that required excellent writing skills.
  • Experience managing at least one social media account, such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • Familiarity with The Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Excellent writing and substantive editing skills, demonstrated in accurate, concise, error-free, easy-to-understand copy.
  • Evidence of ability to accurately interpret and summarize technical, specialized or complex information for public understanding.
  • A commitment to promoting and enhancing diversity.
  • Demonstrable experience managing multiple projects in a collaborative environment.
  • The incumbent must successfully complete a criminal history check and be determined to be position qualified as per OSU Standard 576-055-0000 et seq. Incumbents are required to self-report convictions.
  • The incumbent must successfully complete a motor vehicle history check and possess and maintain a current, valid driver’s license in their state of residence.

Preferred (Special) Qualifications

  • Substantial post-college work experience (4 or more years) as an editor, reporter, communications specialist, multimedia specialist, public relations specialist or similar role that required excellent writing skills.
  • Advanced social media skills, including using social media management tools (e.g., Hootsuite); using/creating groups, ads, events, stories and tags on Facebook to strategically reach desired audiences; using Facebook Live; and using lists and tags on Twitter.
  • Familiarity with marine subjects, particularly on the West Coast.
  • Familiarity with the nature, style and format of academic publications.
  • Experience writing about research for a non-academic audience.
  • Experience filming and editing videos, shooting photos and using photo editing software.
  • Experience performing graphic design work.
  • Experience working with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.
  • Experience using MailChimp, WordPress and Drupal.

When applying you will be required to submit the following:

1.) A resume/CV.

2.) A cover letter indicating how your qualifications and experience have prepared you for this position.

3.) The names of at least three professional references, their e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.

4.) A statement of no more than 200 words describing two of your successful social media posts. Include why they were successful, who the audience was and links to the posts, if available.

5.) Links to or PDFs of three published, journalistic-style stories that demonstrate an ability to successfully fulfill this position (or link to an online portfolio where these three samples are identified). At least two of the three examples must show an ability to interpret and translate a complex issue for a lay audience.

Finalists will be asked to complete an editing assignment, compose some sample social media posts, and write a news story based on a paper in a journal.

Apply here.

For additional information, please contact: Tiffany Woods at or 541-737-0756.

OSU commits to inclusive excellence by advancing equity and diversity in all that we do. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.

Job Features

Job CategoryCommunications