Public Affairs taking pictures

Public Affairs

GS-1035

Position Overview

Public Affairs Specialists strengthen DOI’s interactions with the people it serves.  They help the agency both listen to and inform its many stakeholders effectively.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Bureau of Reclamation
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
Department of the Interior Offices
National Park Service
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
U.S. Geological Survey

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate has more than just superb interpersonal and written communication skills; she or he is persuasive, adaptable, and remains calm under pressure.

Work Environment

Most work is performed in office settings but site visits to DOI locations may be necessary to meet people, take photos or gather information.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Administrative and Management Group Qualification Standard on the OPM website.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Prepare issue papers on topics for awareness
    • Research and summarize news reports or social media trends
    • Draft news releases
    • Assist with preparations for public meetings or special events

  • Mid:

    • Answer questions from media representatives on agency initiatives
    • Draft a variety of communication products and materials such as speeches, correspondence or web/social media content
    • Assist agency staff preparing for media interviews
    • Develop portions of strategic communications plans

  • Journey:

    • Analyze complex, sensitive issues and develop effective communication strategies to positively address them
    • Advise program leaders on the public involvement process
    • Serve as spokesperson with media
    • Proactively reach out to stakeholder groups to promote understanding, support and cooperation

  • Senior:

    • Serve as Team lead or Supervisor for a group of Public Affairs/Communications specialists
    • Plan and direct a Public Affairs program in Bureau sub-office
    • Host site visits, tours and public events for high level officials
    • Develop and implement communications plans on the most visible, controversial, and complicated initiatives

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Strengths by Level

Entry 7
Mid 9-11
Journey 12-13
Senior 14-15
  • Accountability
    Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Attention to Detail
    Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Creative Thinking
    Uses imagination to develop new insights into situations and applies innovative solutions to problems; designs new methods where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or are unavailable.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Customer Service
    Works with clients and customers (that is, any individuals who use or receive the services or products that your work unit produces, including the general public, individuals who work in the agency, other agencies, or organizations outside the Government) to assess their needs, provide information or assistance, resolve their problems, or satisfy their expectations; knows about available products and services; is committed to providing quality products and services.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Decision Making
    Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • External Awareness
    Identifies and understands economic, political, and social trends that affect the organization.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Flexibility
    Is open to change and new information; adapts behavior or work methods in response to new information, changing conditions, or unexpected obstacles; effectively deals with ambiguity.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Influencing/Negotiating
    Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Information Management
    Identifies a need for and knows where or how to gather information; organizes and maintains information or information management systems.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Legal, Government, and Jurisprudence
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, legal practices and documents, Government regulations, Executive orders, agency rules, Government organization and functions, and the democratic political process.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Listening
    Receives, attends to, interprets, and responds to verbal messages and other cues such as body language in ways that are appropriate to listeners and situations.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Oral Communication
    Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Organizational Awareness
    Knows the organization's mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them; this includes the programs, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations of the organization.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Partnering
    Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Political Savvy
    Identifies the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Teamwork
    Encourages and facilitates cooperation, pride, trust, and group identity; fosters commitment and team spirit; works with others to achieve goals.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Technical Competence
    Uses knowledge that is acquired through formal training or extensive on-the-job experience to perform one's job; works with, understands, and evaluates technical information related to the job; advises others on technical issues.
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    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15
  • Writing
    Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 7
    Mid 9-11
    Journey 12-13
    Senior 14-15

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