Occ. Code 2211100






New York State Department of Civil Service

Classification Standard


          Public Information Specialists draft, edit and disseminate written materials; and develop content concerning the programs and activities of an agency for website, print and electronic publications, and digital and social media. They also respond to media inquiries regarding agencys initiatives, programs, and services.

          Public Information Specialists are classified in various State agencies.


          The level and number of Public Information Specialists classified is dependent on factors such as the presence of other professionals performing such work, degree and sophistication of public information activity, and reporting relationship. Agencies with large and active public information offices may support multiple positions at each of the two levels.

          PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST 1: full performance level; Incumbents work independently and perform the full range of public information activities. They may oversee all such activities in an agency with a small public information unit or a segment of a large program. Incumbents may act as spokesperson for an agency to the news media and to individuals who inquire regarding the agencys activities. They may supervise administrative support, and lower level creative and information technology staff.

          PUBLIC INFORMATION SPECIALIST 2: advanced performance level; incumbents direct and evaluate a public information program or a major segment of a large program. They may supervise administrative support, and lower level creative and information technology staff.


Drafts informational materials concerning agency activities.

Writes, edits, and distributes informational materials such as press releases, brochures, and other publications.

·        Drafts news releases, scripts, and other informational materials.

Participates in various activities related to or in support of an agencys public information program.

·        Coordinates public appearances for agency staff to explain programs and initiatives and to gain stakeholder support for agency activities.

Maintains an agencys website content and social media channels.

·        Establishes and manages social media presence by creating, publishing and maintaining content (text, images, video, etc.).

·        Creates content for and maintains an agencys website using content management software.

·        Coordinates agency responses to inquiries received through various channels, including social media.

·        Monitors and tracks feedback related to agency programs and initiatives in digital environments and posts appropriate response. 

·        Captures and analyzes social and digital media metrics and assists in addressing issues.

May supervise lower level employees including support, creative, and information technology staff.

·       Establishes and maintains work and production schedules.

·       Assigns work to subordinate employees, suggesting topic and format and providing technical assistance.

·       Reviews work in progress and upon completion for adherence to instructions, appropriateness of style and treatment, accuracy of content and grammar.

·       Trains subordinate staff in writing, public relations techniques, and interacting effectively with news media.

·       Evaluates staff performance against acceptable standards.

Assists supervisor and other agency officials in planning, executing and evaluating the public information program.

·       Proposes public information policies for the agency, or changes in policies, on such matters as handling inquiries from the news media and releasing material under Freedom of Information legislation.

·       Suggests changes in the agencys public information objectives or new techniques for accomplishing objectives.

·       Periodically reviews materials issued by the agency and recommends changes in subject matter, format and distribution method.

·       Advises agency officials on the most effective methods of preparing and disseminating materials for existing and new policies, programs and activities.

Work with supervisors or program staff to evaluate the effectiveness of communications; may analyze internal agency input or external customer input collected through surveys, focus groups, or interviews.


          Public Information Specialists have frequent verbal and written communications with various individuals. Within the agency, they interview program staff to collect and confirm information for use in various documents or responses. Some of this information may be technical or scientific in nature.  They also communicate with the public by responding to requests for information. Tours of State facilities may also be arranged for and led by incumbents for the public, at which time the agencys programs and facilities are described and questions related to such programs and facilities are answered.




Open Competitive: Bachelors degree in media, communications, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, or related field; and two years of experience in public or governmental relations,  and/or in writing or producing content for various media; or six years of such experience. 


Promotion: one year of service as a Public Information Specialist 1.

Open Competitive:  Bachelors degree in media, communications, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, or related field; and three years of experience in public or governmental relations, and/or in writing or producing content for various media; or seven years of such experience.

Date:  8/16



NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualifications for appointment or examination.