Press Secretary

CLASSIFICATION: Press Secretary – G 11/12



Under direction of the National President, the Communications Department serves to: 1) create, implement and manage the Federation's internal and external communications program in support of the goals, objectives and positions of the union for the purpose of informing, educating and motivating members, leadership, potential members, union staff, opinion leaders, political leaders, and the general public; 2) increase overall visibility of the union, our members’ work, and our mission at all levels; and 3) assist and advise the communications efforts of locals, districts, councils and national headquarters departments in support of the Federation's goals and objectives. 

Required Duties and Responsibilities 

  1. Advise Communications Director on overall media strategy/tactics, including message development, media collateral production, content placement, and data measurement. 
  1. Advise Communications Director on strategic message development through extensive messaging research/testing and adherence to best practices. 
  1. Cultivate productive relationships with reporters, columnists, and editors in trade, local, and national media. Closely monitor current events and identify opportunities. 
  1. Coordinate closely with principals and staff at AFGE Districts, Councils, Locals and allied groups to increase visibility of key AFGE media placements and programs. 
  1. Draft op-eds and letters to the editor and secure placement in key trade, local, and national publications. 
  1. Write and distribute press releases, media advisories, and pitch letters on key AFGE initiatives, issues and events. 
  1. Promote and successfully execute press conferences, telepress conferences, and interviews with key AFGE leaders and key media. 
  1. Develop talking points for leaders and activists and prepare speakers for interviews.
  2. Develop and maintain media lists of reporters in AFGE’s primary issue areas and maintain and grow AFGE’s speakers bureau.
  3. Provide media training to AFGE leaders, activists, and staff. 

Education and Experience 

  • Graduation from an accredited four-year college or university with a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, or closely related field. 
  • At least 3-5 years of combined work experience in public relations at a public relations firm, political campaign/office, newsroom, or issue advocacy organization. 
  • Demonstrated experience developing and deploying large-scale strategic PR campaigns, including message development, diverse collateral production, and successful placements. 
  • Demonstrated experience collecting, testing, and synthesizing messaging data and deploying in furtherance of an organization or cause. 
  • Demonstrated experience securing mentions in all journalistic mediums including web, print, television, and radio. 
  • Extensive, demonstrated experience drafting press releases, op-eds, letters to the editor, media advisories, and other media collateral. 
  • Experience with Vocus/Cision and PRNewswire public relations platforms strongly preferred. 
  • Experience implementing public relations initiatives in the context of a diverse, multi-platform, national media program. 
  • Deep knowledge of the legislative process and national politics. Familiarity with the labor movement desired. 
  • Proactive, go-getter attitude and strong people skills are a must.
  • Works well in a team environment. 

Physical Demands of the Position 

  • Employee must be able to work in a stationary position for extended periods of time. 
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate information by talking and listening on a telephone and/or telephone conference call.  Must be able to understand questions posed by members of the media and exchange accurate information with them and AFGE membership. 
  • Close vision ability to look at a computer screen for long periods of time is required. Constantly operates a computer and a computer printer.  

Work Environment 

  • Work is generally in an office setting. Periodically long hours are required. 
  • Employee experiences constant interruptions and inflexible deadlines. The noise level in this environment is quiet to loud. 
  • Duties are performed primarily indoors. 
  • Travel is required and position may occasionally require longer periods of travel. 


Applicants must submit a resume, brief cover letter, writing samples, and references. Examples of placed op-eds, news clips, press releases, and pitch letter are preferred. 

Controls Over Work      

Incumbent will work under the day-to-day supervision of the Communications Director. 


GS 11 

Candidate has a minimum of 3 years of combined work experience in the production and dissemination of public relations collateral, maintenance of media and speaker lists, delivering media training, and building productive relationships with members of the media. Some experience developing and executing strategic media plans.  

GS 12 

Candidate has a minimum of 5 years of combined work experience in the production and dissemination of public relations collateral, maintenance of media and speaker lists, delivering media training, and building productive relationships with members of the media. Deep experience developing and executing strategic media plans and advising principals on strategic considerations. 

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