Public Information Officer (1312) - Department of Public Health

  • Full-time
  • Job Code and Title: 1312-Public Information Officer
  • Fill Type: Temporary Exempt

Company Description

**This job announcement was updated on 9/21/2023 to reflect updated minimum qualifications.**

The San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Communications Team is accepting applications for temporary exempt full-time position in Class 1312 Public Information Officer.

The role will fill specialized functions within the DPH Communications Team to meet the urgent need to support, strengthen and improve the continually growing external and internal communications needs. The Public Information Officer will require occasional local travel to programs and locations throughout San Francisco

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: $87,594.00-$106,444.00 Annually; $42.1125 - $51.175 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. 

Job Description

The Public Information Officer reports directly to the DPH Director of Communications and makes recommendations to the Director of Communications or to the Communications Manager.

Public health is in the midst of  transformation. While COVID-19 and the citywide pandemic response have expanded the need for public health information and outreach, the pandemic has also amplified overlapping public health crises in overdose deaths, mental health and substance use disorders that also require urgent action. At the same time, the public, media and policy makers have increased expectations around communication, timely access to information, demonstration of data-driven outcomes, and quality of care. The Department of Public Health needs up-to-date, responsive and clear information to equitably serve all San Franciscans, and to continue to distribute information to our clients, all San Franciscans who use our services, and all San Francisco residents and visitors.

The Public Information Officer will work directly within the DPH Communications Team to ensure that it provides the necessary support and communications guidance, identifying appropriate channels for dissemination of information and assisting with the production of communications material that may need coordination with other City departments and partner organizations. The Public Information Officer will perform the following essential duties:

  • Participate in the development and execution of public information campaigns to support that support a range of topics that include public and community health, environmental health, overdose response, mental health and substance use services, among others. Work on all aspects of campaigns, from planning, information gathering, message development, collaborating with other City agencies and with community organizations, writing campaign documents, staffing presentations and community meetings, conducting press conferences and writing press releases and public materials.
  • Formulate, prepare and distribute content for the department programs including, publicity releases for print, broadcast, and online media; presentations and talking points for community meetings and events; social media, blog, newsletter content and departmental websites. Edit marketing and communications collateral and content.
  • Maintain effective communication and information sharing with DPH divisions and program leads. Process complex issues and create easily digestible public facing materials.
  • Maintain a master content/event/ milestone/campaign calendar and provide timely and accurate reports for communications content.
  • Support the management of public records requests. Coordinate and respond to detailed requests by gathering information within deadline from throughout the Department and coordinating as needed with other departments.
  • Internal communications. Responsible for collecting and providing content for internal Department communications, including: guidance for City employees, guidance for health workers, guidance for partner organizations, highlighting internal events and milestones, building morale, and identifying ways the Department can demonstrate high-level compliance to set a standard for other Departments and City employees to follow.
  • Attends meetings of the commission, executive staff and division programs; Reports on the discussions involved, highlighting issues, communications, or proactive outreach that may need to occur.

Positions in Class 1312 Public Information Officer may perform other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications (required):

Education: Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; AND

Experience: Two (2) years of professional experience in public affairs, public information, editorial, newspaper, magazine, radio, television, public relations social media, digital engagement, advertising or similar work involving collection and dissemination of news and information wherein the preparation or direction of informational material for mass media on the development of public information program was a major part of the position.


  • 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.
  • 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 one (1) year of the required experience.

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
  • Demonstrated success with media relations (press releases, press conferences, response to inquiries and breaking news, pitching stories)
  • Experience with communications planning and message development
  • Experience with public information campaign development and support (including digital platforms)
  • Ability to develop and execute external public relations and communication programs including media, stakeholders, and community members and organizations
  • Ability to develop and execute internal communications, including DPH publications and materials to share pandemic updates and citywide reopening news and information with staff (e.g. Director’s Report, Director’s Messages, website copy)
  • Knowledge of public health principles, including the incorporation of equity as a priority
  • Experience in message development, strategy and preparation for presentations, interviews, events
  • 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)
  • Well organized and diligent, able to multi-task and adjust to shifting priorities.
  • Experience representing an organization by attending meetings and conferences
  • Ability to supervise the design and production of publicity for departmental activities

Additional Information


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 [email protected] 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.

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.

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