A public information officer is an individual who may be hired by government agencies or private organizations who want some part of their information to be made public for various reasons. These individuals play the part of company spokespersons, ensuring that information is properly communicated to the masses, and that any questions or queries are responded to in a swift and appropriate manner.
Education requirements to work as a public information officer include a bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field. The ability to effectively develop promotional materials and establish and maintain contact with media, professional and civic organizations is important in this work. Moreover, it is imperative for people hoping to qualify as public information officers to possess great insight and experience in public relations, technical writing and digital media, as they will be working extensively in these areas.
Working as a public information officer means that you will be in constant contact with people from diverse backgrounds. To be able to reach out to them, and provide information that will help them, you will need to be articulate, thorough and clear. Ability to develop and implement media outreach programs, conduct public meetings, and organize and conduct special events are also preconditions of working as a public information officer. A list of duties particular to this position is given below for your reference:
• Lead the development of communication risk mitigation plans, which include both communications preparedness and planning
• Proactively collaborate with internal business unit leaders to ensure that the organization’s messages, programs and products are in sync
• Develop, implement and maintain effective social media strategies that continuously keep customers in loop and enhance the overall customer service experience
• Develop metrics to evaluate efforts and results within media outreach and social media communications circles
• Plan and coordinate community relations events, such as open houses, exhibits, press conferences and recruitment fairs
• Assist in the preparation of print and electronic promotional materials for community outreach purposes
• Develop and impart presentations and speeches to promote the message of the organization or program
• Create, write, edit and publish print and electronic news, social media and web content including marketing, promotional and educational materials
• Maintain daily contact and ensure continual development of working relationships with print and electronic media outlets
• Respond to requests for information including public records requests from the media and public
• Develop, implement and maintain public outreach programs and organize and conduct special events such as groundbreaking ceremonies