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Monday, July 28, 2014

Metropolitan Council - Manager of Public Relations

The Manager of Public Relations is responsible for maintaining, protecting and enhancing Metro Transit’s reputation among customers, stakeholders, opinion leaders and the public by providing strategic planning surrounding the release of information primarily to the news media. The position serves as the principal voice of Metro Transit in delivering public statements that are accurate, fully researched, balanced, forthright and placed in a context that provides the public, stakeholders and the media with the information they need to properly and positively assess the agency’s performance, services and programs. The position also supports employee communications efforts that build morale, esprit de corps and portray Metro Transit as great place to work.

Metro Transit is the largest provider of transit service in the seven-county metropolitan area and one of the country's fastest growing transit systems We operate bus and rail service essential to the region's mobility, and provide resources for carpooling, vanpooling and bike commuting. Metro Transit helps people get to where they're going, makes a dent in the region's ever-growing congestion, and promotes a cleaner environment.

Examples of Duties:

  • Act as Metro Transit’s primary spokesperson with the news media by responding to media inquiries with accuracy and candor to create trust and ensure balanced, fair reporting.
  • Create positive relationships with key journalists, stakeholders and decision makers through professional contacts so that they know Metro Transit’s mission and can comment on the agency accurately and favorably.
  • Work proactively with the media by proposing stories that advance a positive understanding of Metro Transit.
  • Align Metro Transit’s communications agenda and messages with those of the Metropolitan Council by interacting effectively with the Council’s public affairs/media staff to ensure consistency and coordination.
  • Coach and counsel Metro Transit’s senior leaders on their messages and communications style in dealing with the media and other opinion leaders by developing talking points, rehearsing responses and anticipating questions so that Metro Transit’s reputation is enhanced by each interaction.
  • Draft the General Manager’s weekly column and other articles for the employee newsletter in a way that effectively captures the General Manager’s perceptions and comments on key topics so that all employees can benefit
  • Prepare weekly Talking Points for managers and supervisors so they deliver to their workers consistent messages and information during staff meetings, operator room visits and toolbox talks.
  • Develop Powerpoint presentations as needed for tours, meetings, and senior staff.
  • Act as the official Data Practices Request agent for Metro Transit.
  • Ensure employee communications align with Metro Transit's mission, guiding principles, brand promise and key brand messages so employee are properly grounded and enthusiastic about their roles in the organization
  • Write and edit executive correspondence, reports and speeches using consistent and common language to ensure Metro Transit is viewed as friendly, approachable and professional.
  • Monitor coverage of Metro Transit in the news media and other public communications channels (blogs, Twitter, Facebook) so that senior leaders are alert to community perceptions of the agency; develop responses and reactions, as needed, to ensure Metro Transit is treated accurately and fairly.
  • Represent Metro Transit at a variety of meetings such as regional chambers of commerce, Minneapolis Downtown Council and Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District so that Metro Transit’s views are expressed effectively to key community leaders.
  • In concert with the director of customer services and marketing, develop proactive strategies to present the benefits that transit brings to the region in terms of mobility, congestion mitigation, development/redevelopment and economic health.
  • Support and develop initiatives that use technology (website, mobile website, blog, , Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to improve communications with transit customers and other stakeholders. Working closely with others in the Customer Services and Marketing Division, ensure the quality, tone and accuracy of customer communications remain high. Review communications channels for effectiveness by analyzing statistics and survey data and proactively identify new opportunities and strategies. Maintain an active role contributing to Metro Transit’s web core team.
  • Supervises the Public Relations Specialist position.


Education and Experience: Bachelor's degree in Communications, English, Journalism or related field.

Experience: At least five years of related public relations experience including writing for multiple audiences, news media, customers communications, social media, speeches and reports. Two (2) of 5 years of experience must include supervisory experience

Equivalency: (9) years of related education and experience may be substitute on a year to year basis, e.g. additional years of progressively responsible experience or Master’s degree (MA) degree may substitute for on a year for year basis.

Computer Skills : Word, Excel, Powerpoint

Desirable Qualification: Experience with public speaking, social media, business/community organizations and coordinating media responses with other government agencies.

Knowledge, Skill and abilities:

  • Knowledge of the Metropolitan Council/Metro Transit policies and procedures and practices
  • Knowledge of Metro Transit's mission, guiding principles, operations, customer service and fare rules, program initiatives.
  • Knowledge of Federal regulations and state laws governing the provision of transit service.
  • Through knowledge of news media practices and understanding of local media.
  • Understanding of local government, community organizations, opinion leaders and key stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of customer communications technology and practices and ongoing awareness of potential new tools, products and services to improve customer communications.
  • Writing for multiple audiences, including the news media, customers, speeches, reports, understanding that some writing is typically for others so it must reflect their communication style.
  • Public Speaking, presenting Metro Transit's policies, programs and decision actions in a manner that enhances the agency's reputation.

Supplemental Information:

Union : Non-Representative Grade I
FLSA Status : Exempt

Safety Sensitive : No

Work Environment : Position works in an office environment. Ability to work non-standard hours, be required to change scheduled days off and assignments on short notice. Some travel to other facilities is required. Up to one third of the time this position works near moving parts or equipment, exposed to fumes or airborne particles, outdoor weather conditions and moderate noise.

Physical Requirements : Regularly required to sit for long periods, stand/walk occasionally, speak, hear normal conversation and telephone ring tones, operate a computer and other office equipment, must have adequate close vision for reading and computer work.

Assessment Process:
Candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration based on the results of the following assessment process:
  • Training and Experience rating
  • Oral Exam/Selection Interview
Note: All employment offers are conditional upon review and verification of education and employment, as well as passing a pre-employment or transfer drug screen and/or physical.

Offers are also conditional upon passing a criminal background check. Metropolitan Council employees who are applying for positions which are: safety sensitive, supervisory/managerial, are located in Finance, Information Services (IS), Human Resources, or have access to financial records, files/databases, cash, vouchers, or transit fare cards will be required to pass a criminal background check.

Convictions are not an automatic bar to employment. Each case is considered on its individual merits and the type of work sought. However, making false statements or withholding information (misrepresentation) may cause you to be barred from employment or removed from employment.

To check the status of your application through the recruitment process, please visit the following website

Metropolitan Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer of Minorities, Females, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities. If you have a disability that requires accommodation during the selection process, please notify human resources at 612/349-7558.

The responsibilities listed are typical of the positions included in the job classification; however, not all duties are necessarily performed by each specific position or incumbent. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties of the position. Regular attendance is an essential responsibility.

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