THE POSITIONGuilford County is a high-performing local government organization that Empowers Successful People to thrive in a Strong Community supported by Quality Government.
Dedicated to an internal and external communication strategy that is well-aligned with the County’s core values and advances the County’s purpose, the Communications and Public Relations Director will oversee Guilford County's comprehensive public relations and communications strategy to tell the County’s story.
The Director will build strong internal and external partnerships, cultivate community engagement and high visibility for the County with a consistent voice, and maximize media value for the County.The
Communications and Public Relations Director
is responsible for providing oversight for Guilford County’s communications and public relations strategy, efficiently disseminating information on County services and initiatives to the public and employees.
The Director creates, implements, and oversees County-wide initiatives to support external and internal communication needs to advance and enhance County goals.
Communications Department activities include assessing and strengthening the County’s and departments’ communication and public relations practices and strategies; crafting external and internal communications and related campaigns; proactively and effectively engaging with our media partners; preparing news releases, annual reports, website and social media postings; and creating and managing community relations and public information campaigns through all media forms on behalf of the County and its departments. The Communications and Public Relations Director is the media relations contact, sharing information with community partners and residents, and leads the County’s communication efforts during times of crisis and emergencies.The new Director will continue the development of a comprehensive Communications and Public Relations Department first established by the Board of Commissioners in June 2021.
The Directors work will support the following goals and initiatives:
External Communications and Public Relations Support:
Communicate purpose and vision to the public with a common voice.
Design inclusive messaging and materials to spotlight and promote services and events to raise awareness of county programs and encourage participation.
Assist departments in gathering community feedback about County services and programs to inform communication strategies.
Define, develop, and unify County branding to help with resident engagement and economic development.
Create and implement a comprehensive social media strategy.
Build strong relationships with and enhance collaboration among communications and public relations stakeholders and partners across the County.
Oversee the development of a new County website that is responsive to community and resident needs, accessible and easy to use, and supports the County’s purpose and core values.Internal Communications and Public Relations Support:
Celebrate department successes.
Develop staff media relations training.
Enhance and coordinate internal communication for employees.
Partner with County departments to assess and evaluate current internal and external communication practices while strategizing about future communication needs and ways to address those needs.
potlight and promote services and events across departments to encourage cross-departmental collaboration.
Enhance the County’s critical information and emergency communications programs.
Support department and individual efforts to live the County’s purpose and core values.
Guilford County is a high-performing local government organization that Empowers Successful People to thrive in a Strong Community supported by Quality Government.
Our organization and its dedicated and diverse teams are guided by a strong set of core values that support our purpose.Adherence to our purpose and core values gets Guilford County noticed.
Guilford County is one of about 50 counties nationwide to earn the highest credit ratings from all three major credit rating agencies; it has received national awards for its services, including its innovative work to reduce racial disparities in infant mortality; and has turned heads with its OneGuilford approach to collaborative and transformational solutions to address community needs, such as implementation of a $2 billion school bond program - one of the nation’s largest school facility improvement initiatives.The County operates as a Council-Manager form of government, with the Board appointing a professional County Manager to administer a variety of County functions. The County Manager's office provides professional management and leadership for the County government by directing and supervising all County offices, departments, and agencies under the general control of the Board of Commissioners. The Manager is the Chief Administrator of the County government and is appointed by the nine-member Board of Commissioners. Under the County Manager are three Assistant County Managers overseeing
service areas. Assistant County Managers are responsible for assisting the County Manager in directing operations; preparing and administering an annual budget and capital improvement program; advising the Board on fiscal and policy matters; and equitably administering the policies, laws, ordinances, and other directives and goals of the Commissioners.
The County has adopted a total budget (all funds, net) of $932 million for fiscal year 2023-2024. The adopted budget for the Communications and Public Relations Department is $1.19 million, including funds for the overhaul of the County’s website and four full-time positions.
Guilford County employs personnel in more than 2,900 permanent positions. The budget includes specific new investments in the Guilford County Schools and Guilford Technical Community College, public engagement and communication, data analytics, school medical services, and initiatives to address health disparities and support equitable access to services. Guilford County spends most of its generated revenue on Education, followed by Law Enforcement, Social Service, Public Health, and Emergency Services.
Click here for the brochure.Click here for the FY2024 Adopted Budget.THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATEThe next Communications and Public Relations Director has demonstrated knowledge of community, public, and media relations principles and practices, paired with successful experience managing internal and external communications strategies and operations. The successful Director has considerable experience working in local, state, or federal government organizations and has demonstrated success proactively working with internal departments and external partners to build diverse and inclusive relationships that advance common goals and support success for the entire community. The ideal Communications and Public Relations Director has the consultative expertise necessary to nurture innovation capacity and help departments enhance their communication strategies. The new Director remains calm and thoughtful under pressure, is politically savvy, and maintains objectivity in working with elected officials.
With demonstrated success building teams, the Communications and Public Relations Director is adept at assessing needs, building staff profiles, and empowering employees. The ideal candidate believes in supporting the professional development, growth, and retention of staff. The Director is a strategic systems thinker with strong leadership skills necessary for managing change in support of a growing and evolving department. With strong emotional intelligence and well-defined leadership skills, the Communications and Public Relations Director values diversity of thought, builds a strong understanding of equity, and serves as a catalyst for broad, Countywide change. The preferred candidate understands the importance of balancing the overall vision with day-to-day activities.
The Communications and Public Relations Director has the ability to deliver sensitive and controversial information appropriately, can discern between information appropriate for public consumption and information that should remain internal, and has experience managing communications and serving as the corporate spokesperson during times of crisis and emergencies. With a willingness to dig into the details, the successful candidate recognizes trends hindering progress, identifies opportunities for improvement, and develops and implements better practices to drive necessary change. The Director has robust interpersonal skills and builds strong and effective working relationships, quickly establishing trust and rapport in order to partner with different levels of the organization to achieve desired results.
Click here for the detailed job description.
First review of applications will take place on March 5, 2024. All applicants should attach a cover letter highlighting how they meet the qualifications.Minimum QualificationsBachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, or a related field;
and ,Eight (8) years of progressive experience overseeing public relations and communications functions in a complex local government or similar public service-oriented organization;
including ,Three (3) of those years in a supervisory capacity.Valid driver license.Preferred QualificationsMaster’s degree in a field closely related to public relations and communications.Successful experience working in a leadership role in local, state, or federal government public communications.A track record of successfully applying systems-thinking approaches and cross-sector collaborations to improve services and resident outcomes.Experience leading and developing a communications team that delivers both internal and external communication services.Demonstrated experience with brand development, website content and management, multi-media communication, and the ability to reach multicultural audiences.Note
: This position is open until filled, with a first review of applications on March 5, 2024.
CompensationThe minimum to market expected hiring range is $111,509 - $142,174, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package. To view many of our benefit details,
click here .
QuestionsPlease direct questions to Graham Rothrock at 336-641-3324.
Founded in 1771, Guilford County is the third-most populous County in North Carolina. Guilford County was named after Francis North, the first Earl of Guilford, and was formed from parts of Rowan and Orange Counties to centralize government and Courts of Guilford. The Guilford Courthouse became the location of General Nathanial Greene and Lord Cornwallis’ famous battle that was a turning point in the war and is still reenacted today. Guilford County, part of the beautiful Piedmont Triad area of north-central North Carolina, includes the cities of Greensboro and High Point and several towns and smaller communities. The County historically served as one of the major manufacturing and transportation hubs of the Southeast, most notably for textiles and furniture, and to this day has the largest furnishings trade show in the world, the High Point Furniture Market.
With a rich history of anti-slavery activism, Guilford County is a stop on the historic Underground Railroad, a nationally known landmark within the civil rights movement. Abolitionist Levi Coffin noted Guilford College Woods (historically called New Garden Woods) as a refuge for the Underground Railroad, now a protected area. Additionally, historic segregation protests in 1960 happened at the then white-only lunch counter at the Woolworth store in downtown Greensboro, helping to fuel similar efforts across the nation. The former Woolworth store location is now the site of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
The County is presently home to historical sites and institutions, as well as the host of notable recreational and cultural events such as the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, the North Carolina Folk Festival, the Wyndham Championship Golf Tournament, the Greensboro Grasshoppers and High Point Rockers baseball teams, Carolina Core FC soccer team, and a variety of collegiate events. Residents and visitors enjoy multiple regional parks within Guilford County, as well as opportunities for camping, fishing, golfing, and other outdoor recreation activities.
Guilford County residents benefit from strong educational programs. The County is home to many higher educational institutions, including North Carolina Agriculture & Technical University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, High Point University, Bennett College, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Elon University School of Law, and Guilford Technical Community College. Guilford County Schools is the third-largest school district in North Carolina and serves 67,000 K-12 students at more than 120 schools with nearly 10,000 employees.
Guilford’s cities and town
s boast friendly, walkable neighborhoods, vibrant social scenes, plenty of cultural attractions, and a central location perfect for enjoying the abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation. A three-hour drive east brings you to the beautiful North Carolina coast, while a three-hour drive west places you on Mount Mitchell in the magnificent North Carolina mountains, the highest point east of the Mississippi River.
Quick FactsPopulation: 546,101 | Median Household Income: $63,475 | Median Home Value: $246,500 | Median Age: 37.2All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Physical Demands and Work ConditionsMust be able to physically perform the basic life operational functions of standing, walking, pushing, pulling, lifting, fingering, grasping, talking, and hearing. Must be able to perform light work exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. Must possess the visual acuity to prepare data and statistics, operate a computer terminal and audio-visual equipment, and do extensive reading.
Some positions in this class require the operation of a motor vehicle to go to various agency sites and locations.Driving is Essential
Driving is an essential requirement of this position whether driving a County owned or personal vehicle to conduct county business.
Motor Vehicle Reports may be verified for valid driver’s license and that the driving record is compatible with the county’s driving criteria.If a personal vehicle is operated for county business proper insurance is maintained as per Guilford County’s vehicle use policy.Special Note
- This generic class description gives an overview of the job class, its essential job functions, and recommended job requirements.
However, for each individual position assigned to this class, there is available a completed job description with a physical abilities checklist which can give further details about that one specific position.
Those documents should be reviewed before initiating a selection process.
They can provide additional detailed information on which to base various personnel actions and can assist management in making legal defensible personnel decisions.