9252 Communications Specialist

Recruitment #PBT-9252-108539


4/16/21: Announcement close date extended to expand candidate pool. 

This is a Position-Based Test conducted in accordance with CSC Rule 111A.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient, and reliable water, power, and wastewater services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.

The Team

SFPUC is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care.

External Affairs is a talented and diverse group of people responsible for local, state, and federal legislative and policy activities, communications/marketing and customer engagement, community benefits and environmental justice programs, agency-wide strategic planning, sustainability, and strategic initiatives. This team supports multiple business units and projects. 

SFPUC Communications is an arm of External Affairs made up of a six-pronged team including, Product, Content Marketing, Programs, PR and Executive Communications and Internal and Employer Branding. The goal is to build trust and engagement among our employees, partners, customers, and the communities we serve through open, timely and innovative communication.  

Position Description(s): 

The SFPUC is currently hiring two (2) 9252 Senior Communications Specialists in the Communications/External Affairs Division. Additional positions in External Affairs may be filled with this recruitment. 

Communications Specialist, Web, Analytics, and Insights 
The 9252 Communications Specialist develops product improvement roadmaps for the SFPUC’s external-facing web and digital products (e.g. sfwater.org, sfpuc.org, cleanpowersf.org, sfpucnewsroom.com, video, emails) through collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative metrics, providing customer insights that inform product enhancements, opportunities, and recommendations to better engage with target audiences.

Communications Specialist, Water
The 9252 Communications Specialist, Water, works closely with Water Enterprise staff and construction teams to raise awareness of, and build support for, ongoing Water Enterprise Programs and construction projects throughout the Bay Area, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada portions of our system.  

Essential Functions:

Web Analytics:
  • Manages and administers all Department websites and communication applications, including all creative, technical, and content-related issues regarding the site or application, to ensure they are accurate, timely, functioning, and fresh.
  • Maintains and monitors communications products and its enhancements; manages consultants and vendors; ensures that all content is in compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations; and may serve as backup newsroom editor. 
  • Maintains and monitors consistency in creative direction and content of the Department’s website; works with technical support staff to ensure functionality of the site; prepares management and administrative reports relating to trends, site usage, improvements; assists in policy development and long-range planning and development and implementation of projects for the website. 
  • Develops and coordinates a system for communication with website end-users to ensure site interactivity reflects the Department’s commitment to customer service; provides assistance, direction and support to social media messaging; conducts website and mobile applications analytics to identify trends for potential design improvements; maintains the security of the website; updates dynamic and static content; and ensures hyperlinks are refreshed and updated.
  • Researches and analyzes industry practices and procedures, pertinent legislation, and issues dealing with the community; prepares proposals for improvements related to community interests and issues.
  • Serves as liaison between Department staff and community groups, providing accurate public, stakeholder, and community information; manages crises communications; represents directors in their absence at various community, organizational, and governmental meetings; and manages daily office operation as required. 
  • Responds to complaints or requests for information; responds to constituent inquiries. 
  • Develops public relations and digital marketing programs that support the Department’s brand strategy objectives, engage the public, and identify innovative methods to bring targeted messages to market. Advises on these areas based on customer insight and metrics.
Both Positions:
  • Creates and develops informative, user-friendly, customer-focused, and visually compelling content across all distribution channels (i.e. websites, social media, and print marketing collateral) for internal and external communications. 
  • Contributes to the development and implementation of project strategy and work plans for future expansion of all communication channels by managing promotional activities including, but not limited to the message copy and on-going implementation of communications campaigns, customer service messaging, and department services campaigns; monitors communication campaigns for effectiveness and information on projects and special events with the goal of developing and maintaining positive community and internal employee relations; works with departmental programs and sections to coordinate informational activities.
  • Creates, proofs, and edits content including: writing stories and articles, creating and editing digital images and video, managing the digital asset library, and creating and managing the master content calendar for all sites; prepares and issues press releases and articles concerning the Department’s role in the community, current issues and relevant legislation through various mediums; and maintains consistency in the website and print material design.
  • Provides assistance, direction, and support to the communications program as directed.
  • Class 9252 Communications Specialist performs other related duties as required.
The 9252 Communications Specialist: 
  • May serve as part of the Communications weekend and/or after hours on-call team on a rotational basis.
  • May be called to serve as a Disaster Service Worker. 
Equal Employment Opportunity: The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Journalism, Communications, Public Administration, Business, or a related field.

Three (3) years of professional experience working in the field of internal communications, public affairs, public information, or public relations unit. Experience must include one (1) year of professional experience in social media, digital engagement or web content management.

Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis (up to a maximum of two (2) years). Thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units equal one (1) year.

Desirable Qualifications:
  • Proven experience working with public agencies and/ or utilities
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrated ability in collaborative processes
  • Experience in constituent relations and community engagement around challenging situations 
  • Proven experience in leveraging analytics and insights to develop actionable strategies and tactics to support communications and marketing efforts across diverse audiences
  • Competency in Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and/or Cantonese), or Filipino, or another language commonly spoken in the Bay Area
The stated desirable qualifications may be considered at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted. All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included in the “Education” and “Training and Employment Record” sections of the City and County of San Francisco online application by the filing deadline. A resume does NOT substitute for this section of the City application and will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process.

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco.

If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at http://sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=456.

Verification of required work experience typically must be on the employer’s letterhead, and must include the applicant’s name, job title, description of job duties, dates of employment, hours per week, and signature of the employer, supervisor, or appropriate representative.  

Employees of the City and County of San Francisco may submit performance evaluations showing duties performed to verify qualifying City experience. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee's class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of Civil Service Commission Rules. CCSF employees will not receive credit for experience obtained outside of their classification unless recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Rule 110.9.1/111A.11.2.

Experience claimed in self-employment will only be accepted if supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to minimum qualifications above. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupation and total earnings must be submitted.

Verification of required valid licensure/certification typically must be a photocopy of the license/certificate including the name of the issuing agency as well as the name of the license/certificate holder, license/certificate number, and expiration date.

How To Apply

Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit www.jobaps.com/sf to register an account (if you have not already done so) and begin the application process.

  • Select the desired job announcement
  • Select “Apply” and read and acknowledge the information 
  • Select either “I am a New User” if you have not previously registered, or “I have Registered Previously”
  • Follow instructions on the screen 
In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice.  As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement. 

We communicate by email.
You may be contacted by email about this announcement and, therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that your registered email address is accurate and kept up-to-date.  Also, you must ensure that email from CCSF is not blocked on your computer by a spam filter.  To prevent blocking, you should set up your email to accept CCSF mail from the following addresses: @sfgov.org, @sfdpw.org, @sfport.com, @flysfo.com, @sfwater.org, @sfdph.org, @asianart.org, @sfmta.com, @sfpl.org, @dcyf.org, @first5sf.org, @famsf.org, @ccsf.edu. You will receive a confirmation email that your online application has been received in response to every announcement for which you apply.  You should retain the confirmation email for your records.  Failure to receive the email means that the online application was not submitted or received.

Word of advice:
All work experience, education, training and other information substantiating how you meet the minimum qualifications must be included on your application by the filing deadline.  Information submitted after the filing deadline will not be considered in determining whether you meet the minimum qualifications.
Applications completed improperly may be cause for ineligibility, disqualification or may lead to lower scores.

Have questions about the application process?
If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact the exam analyst, Monica Guzman, by telephone at 415-554-1628, or by email at jobs@sfwater.org. 

Selection Procedures

Minimum Qualifications Supplemental Questionnaire (MQSQ - Qualifying) 
Applicants will be prompted to complete a Minimum Qualification Supplemental Questionnaire as part of the online application process. All applicants must complete the Supplemental Questionnaire and it must be submitted with the application by the final filing deadline. The information provided on the Supplemental Questionnaire must be consistent with the information on the application and is subject to verification. Applicant responses to the Supplemental Questionnaire will be used to assist in determining if applicants meet the minimum qualifications for the position. 

Supplemental Questionnaire Exam (100%)
Applicants will be prompted to complete a Supplemental Questionnaire Exam (SQE) that must be submitted during the online application process. All applicants must complete the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam. The purpose of the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam is to evaluate the experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that candidates possess in job-related areas, which have been identified as critical for this position and include, but are not limited to: knowledge of communications principles and practices; ability to exercise independent judgment; knowledge of industry regulations; interpersonal skills; written and oral communications ability.

A passing score must be achieved on the Supplemental Questionnaire Exam in order to continue in the selection process and be placed on the eligible list.

Candidates will be placed on the eligible list in rank order according to their final score. Candidate scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director. 

The department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions. 

Candidates scores on this examination may also be applied to other announcements involving other job titles, when directed by the Human Resources Director. 

Certification Rule: 
The certification rule for the ranked eligible lists resulting from this examination will be Rule of The List. The department may administer additional position-specific selection procedures to make final hiring decisions. 

Eligible List/Score Report:
A confidential eligible list of applicant names that have passed the civil service examination process will be created and used for certification purposes only. An examination score report will be established, so applicants can view the ranks, final scores and number of eligible candidates. Applicant information, including names of applicants on the eligible list, shall not be made public unless required by law. However, an eligible list shall be made available for public inspection, upon request, once the eligible list is exhausted or expired and referrals resolved. The eligible list/score report resulting from this civil service examination process is subject to change after adoption (e.g., as a result of appeals), as directed by the Human Resources Director or the Civil Service Commission. 

The duration of the eligible list resulting from this examination process will be six (6) months, and may be extended with the approval of the Human Resources Director. 

Upon approval of the Human Resource Director (see Civil Service Rule 111A.26.5), the eligible list/score report resulting from this announcement may be used by other departments that also use this classification or a similar classification. To find other Departments which use this classification, please see https://sfdhr.org/sites/default/files/documents/Forms-Documents/Position-Count-by-Job-Codes.pdf 

Conviction History

As a selected candidate for a job, you will be fingerprinted, and your fingerprints will be sent to the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The resulting report of your conviction history (if any) will be used to determine whether the nature of your conviction (or arrest, in limited circumstances) conflicts with the specific duties and responsibilities of the job for which you are a selected candidate. If a conflict exists, you will be asked to present any evidence of rehabilitation that may mitigate the conflict, except when federal or state regulations bar employment in specific circumstances, such as:
  • Candidates for positions with the Unified School District and the Community College District may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under the California Education Code.
  • Candidates for positions with the Recreation and Park Department may be disqualified from consideration should their conviction history not meet the standards established under California Public Resources Code 5164.
Having a conviction history does not automatically preclude you from a job with the City.

If you are a selected candidate, the hiring department will contact you to schedule a fingerprinting appointment.

Disaster Service Workers

All City and County of San Francisco employees are designated Disaster Service Workers through state and local law (California Government Code Section 3100-3109). Employment with the City requires the affirmation of a loyalty oath to this effect. Employees are required to complete all Disaster Service Worker-related training as assigned, and to return to work as ordered in the event of an emergency.


Terms of Announcement and Appeal Rights:
Applicants must be guided solely by the provisions of this announcement, including requirements, time periods and other particulars, except when superseded by federal, state or local laws, rules or regulations.  Clerical errors may be corrected by the posting the correction on the Department of Human Resources website at www.jobaps.com/sf.

The terms of this announcement may be appealed under Civil Service Rule 111A.35.1. The standard for the review of such appeals is ‘abuse of discretion’ or ‘no rational basis’ for establishing the position description, the minimum qualifications and/or the certification rule.  

Appeals must include a written statement of the item(s) being contested and the specific reason(s) why the cited item(s) constitute(s) abuse of discretion by the Human Resources Director.  Appeals must be submitted directly to the Executive Officer of the Civil Service Commission within five business days of the announcement issuance date.

Reasonable Accommodation Request: Applicants with disabilities who meet the minimum eligibility requirements for this job announcement can find information on requesting a reasonable ADA Accommodation at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#applicantswithdisabilities

Veteran’s Preference: Information regarding requests for Veterans Preference can be found at: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#veteranspreference

General Information concerning City and County of San Francisco Employment Policies and Procedures: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20

Copies of Application Documents: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#copies  

Right to Work: http://www.sfdhr.org/index.aspx?page=20#identification. 

All persons entering the City and County of San Francisco workforce are required to provide verification of authorization to work in the United States.

Exam Type: Entrance
Issued: March 30 2021
Carol Isen, Human Resources Director 
Department of Human Resources 
Recruitment ID: 01071179, 01022624


All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 will be required (pursuant to San Francisco Charter Section A8.432) to contribute 2% of pre-tax compensation to fund retiree healthcare. In addition, most employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, ranging from 7.5%-13.25% of compensation. For more information on these provisions, please contact the personnel office of the hiring agency.

For more information about benefits, please click here.


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