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Career Opportunity

Public Relations Officer (1314) - Department of Public Health

Recruitment: REF27549N

Published: July 27, 2023


Diane Zhou -

Apply using SmartRecruiters, the City and County of San Francisco's application portal Learn More

Department: Public Health
Job class: 1314-Public Relations Officer
Salary range: $109,434.00 - $143,234.00
Role type: Temporary Exempt What does this mean?
Hours: Full-time


The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Communications Office is accepting applications for two (2) 3-year temporary exempt positions in class 1314 Public Relations Officer to help the meet the urgent need to support, strengthen, and improve the continually growing external and internal communications needs of San Francisco’s largest City department. The positions support DPH’s Central Office in Department-wide efforts, including core functions on the DPH media desk, digital communications and topic and issues management. 

Application Opening – Friday, May 26, 2023
Application Deadline – Continuous; May close at any time - Interested applicants are encouraged to apply immediately.
Shifts: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm with some nights and weekends
Compensation: $104,416.00 - $136,682.00 Annually; $50.20 - $65.7125 Hourly
Appointment Type: Temporary Exempt 

The Department of Public Health prioritizes equitable and inclusive access to quality healthcare for its community and values the importance of diversity in its workforce. All employees at the Department of Public Health work to advance equity, inclusion, and diversity with a specific lens and focus on race, ethnicity, gender, sex, sexuality, disability, and immigration status. 

The Mission of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is to protect and promote the health of all San Franciscans. SFDPH strives to achieve its mission through the work of two main Divisions - the San Francisco Health Network and Population Health. The San Francisco Health Network is the City’s only complete system of care and has locations throughout the City, including Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, and over 15 primary care health centers. 

Role description

The positions are located at DPH’s Central Office at 101 Grove Street to assist with Department-wide efforts and reports directly to the DPH Director of Communications. The COVID-19 pandemic as well as Monkeypox and other infectious diseases has greatly expanded the need for public health information and outreach to a large and diverse population in order to prompt rapid action and behavior change to save lives and slow the spread of infections. At the same time, the public, media and policy makers have increased expectations around communication, timely access to information, and quality of care. These needs will continue and as many other pressing public health needs are elevated and necessary to address, including behavioral health issues, environmental health issues, and others.

Public Relations Officers are embedded within the DPH communications team and must flexible, quick thinking, organized and able to develop reputation-building content, campaigns and programs.

They develop a working understanding of the City’s multi-faceted health services as well as a comprehensive understanding of the department’s many interconnecting services, priorities, programming and areas of expertise to be able to identify where the communications opportunities are to enhance outreach and public understanding.

The positions will support media desk operations, digital media, public relations campaigns and other communications responsibilities as they arise by obtaining public health information and health officer guidance, identifying appropriate channels for dissemination of information, and assisting with the production of communications materials that may need coordination with the many DPH divisions and across City departments. 

The Public Relations Officer positions plan key announcements, launches moments and identifies storytelling opportunities; drafts press releases, newsroom posts, statements, messaging guides, and other communications materials; prepares and reviews news releases, newsletters, talking points, executive communications, internal communications, website content and articles. They may produce digital communications content to promote DPH activities, programs, and personnel; supports cross-functional activities including videos, social media campaigns, website refreshes, presentations and annual report.

This is an opportunity to work in a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment, where timely and accurate dissemination of information is critical to maintaining public trust and matters greatly to the public’s health and wellbeing. Experience health communications at its best with an enthusiastic, supportive, and dedicated team of public health communicators and leaders. Fluency in Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin languages is especially desired. The Public Relations Officer may perform other duties as assigned.

How to qualify


Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in public relations, journalism, English, mass communications, public administration, public policy or a closely related field; AND

Four (4) years of verifiable full time professional experience in editorial, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, public relations, social media, digital engagement, or advertising. This experience must be equivalent to job code 1312 Public Information Officer for the City and County of San Francisco and must include at least one (1) year of experience in planning and conducting a public relations, public information, or public education program.


  1. Additional experience as described above may be substituted for the required degree on a year-for-year basis (up to a maximum of 2 years). Thirty (30) semester units or forty-five (45) quarter units equal one year.
  2. Possession of a Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in public relations, journalism, mass communications or a closely related field may substitute for up to one (1) year of the required experience.

Applicants must meet the minimum qualification requirement by the final filing date unless otherwise noted.

Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point during the recruitment and selection process. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at here.

One year of full-time employment is equivalent to 2,000 hours (2,000 hours of qualifying work experience is based on a 40-hour work week). Any overtime hours that you work above 40 hours per week are not included in the calculation to determine full-time employment.

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.

Desirable Qualifications: The stated desirable qualifications may be considered at the end of the selection process when candidates are referred for hiring

  • Proficiency in Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mandarin languages is highly desired
  • Experience in planning and coordinating effective media relations program; coordinating public communications/relations activities across multiple divisions and departments.
  • Proven ability to take direction and input and to develop effective and engaging communications that achieve organizational goals
  • Excellent time management, project management, organizational and communications skills, ability to influence and coordinate the efforts of multiple divisions and leaders in support of communications initiatives
  • High level of verbal and written communications skills, ability to present and propose ideas effectively
  • Demonstrated success with media relations including proactively sourcing and pitching stories around programs and activities, and fielding inquiries from reporters.
  • Superior writing skills; ability to understand complex concepts and translate them into clear and compelling narratives. 
  • Experience overseeing the development and execution of public relations and public information campaigns (e.g., pitching stories to media, designing communications for local and state elected officials), events (e.g., staff informational meetings, develop presentations) and digital communication (e.g., website and social media)
  • Demonstrated experience in issues management and/or emergency response
  • Knowledge of public health principles, including the incorporation of equity as a priority
  • Demonstrated experience working in a complex environment with several cross-functional teams.
  • Successful at translating technical information for a lay audience (e.g. clinical guidance, legal health orders)
  • Ability to consult effectively with the department head, division chiefs, auxiliary organizations and others regarding immediate and long-range publicity and public information plans and public service programs
  • Experience representing an organization by attending meetings and conferences
  • Ability to supervise the design and production of publicity for departmental activities
  • Working knowledge of the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)

What else should I know?


Applications for City and County of San Francisco jobs are only accepted through an online process. Visit and begin the application process. 

Our e-mail communications may come from more than one department so please make sure your email is set to accept messages from all of us at this link. 

Applicants may be contacted by email about this recruitment therefore, it is their responsibility to contact the Analyst if they update their email address. 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email that their online application has been received in response to every announcement for which they file. Applicants should retain this confirmation email for their records. Failure to receive this email means that the online application was not submitted or received. 

DPH Health Critical Requirements and Information: Please review the following policies regarding DPH employment requirements that safeguard yourself and others. 

Additional information regarding Employment with the City and County of San Francisco: 

If you have any questions regarding this recruitment or application process, please contact Diane Zhou at or (628) 271-6703.

We may use text messaging to communicate with you on the phone number provided in your application. The first message will ask you to opt in to text messaging.

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. Someone is fully vaccinated when 14 days have passed since they received the final dose of a two-shot vaccine or a dose of a one-shot vaccine. Any new hire must present proof of full vaccination status to be appointed. Any new hire who will be routinely assigned or occasionally enter High-Risk Settings, must provide proof of having received a COVID-19 booster vaccine by March 1, 2022, or once eligible.

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.