Public Information Officer (PIO)/Senior Writer

Apply now Job no: 527755
Work type: Staff
Location: Sacramento
Categories: Unit 9 - CSUEU - Technical Support Services, Administrative, Probationary, Full Time, On-site (work in-person at business location)

Working Title: Public Information Officer (PIO)/Senior Writer

Classification Title: Pub Affairs/Comm Spec 12 Mo

Posting Details

Priority Application Date (Posting will remain open until filled): Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at 11:55pm PST

Hiring Preference

Eligible on-campus applicants in California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) Bargaining Units 2,5,7, and 9 will be given first consideration in the recruitment.

Position Summary

Under the direction of the Director of News and Communications, the Public Information Officer (PIO)/Senior Writer facilitates day-to-day, routine-to-complex media and public relations, which includes providing University contacts and information to media as well as helping disseminate information from campus to other external audiences.

Working with staff writers, writes and edits media advisories to vigorously share information/stories about University programs, honors, issues, and achievements with general and specialized media, ensuring widest possible distribution and impact. 

The PIO/Senior Writer maintains and updates a robust list of campus experts to respond to media requests for interviews and information about specific issues, topics and events; and utilizes these experts to promote and support University initiatives, accomplishments, and advances.

The PIO/Senior Writer provides support to the Director of News and Communications in developing communication and public relations plans to support short-term and long-term objectives, to increase the visibility of the University and helping to ensure consistency of University messaging. The PIO/Senior Writer carries out assignments from the Director that support development of crisis communications, and participates as a member of the Communications team in strategy sessions relative to key/critical issues as assigned.

FLSA: Exempt (Not eligible for overtime compensation)

Anticipated Hiring Range: $4,391 per month - $6,289 per month commensurate with candidate's education, experience, skills, and training

CSU Classification Salary Range: $4,391 - $7,945 per month

Best-in-class Benefits: Click here to learn more

CSU Total Compensation: Click here to learn more

Salary Grade/Range:  3

Recruitment TypeRegular

Time BaseFull-Time

Pay Plan 12 months 

Work Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. Ability to respond to crisis/critical communication issues on nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.  

Department Information 

The Office of University Communications works to raise awareness and tell the Sac State story on campus, in the region, and beyond. In
support of the University’s strategic priorities, we partner with campus colleagues to showcase academic success, inclusive excellence, and
robust community engagement via a wide range of communication platforms. We oversee news and media relations, crisis communications, social media and multimedia, marketing and branding, and strategic publications.

or more information regarding the department, please visit:

Minimum Qualifications 

Entry to the first level within this classification requires knowledge of the fundamentals of public affairs and/ or media relations, and/or some exposure to marketing and marketing research. This background normally is obtained through a college degree, which includes relevant coursework in the field, and up to two years of related professional or technical experience. In addition, strong written and verbal communication skills with a solid foundation in grammar, spelling, and the composition of various communication vehicles are essential to initial entry to this classification.  

Required Qualifications 


1. Bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications-related field, which included relevant coursework in the field, and at least two years of related professional or technical experience (e.g. in a professional news/communications setting).

2. Experience writing and disseminating news advisories/press releases.

3. Experience responding to media inquiries.

4. Experience writing for general media publications, broadcast, or public relations agencies.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

5. In-depth knowledge of media relations and/or public affairs/public relations fundamentals and theory.

6. Excellent communication and editorial skills with solid foundation in grammar, spelling, and composition.

7. Ability to effectively work with internal and external constituents and the media, and to act as initial contact for media, including on weekends and after hours as needed.

8. Ability to help conceive, develop, and execute media strategies to enhance University Communications' effectiveness in disseminating University news and information, including utilizing less traditional and creative outlets such as blogs and other niche publications/newsletters.

9. Ability to recognize content, issues, and accomplishments that will resonate with media and the public in support of University mission, goals, and initiatives and assist in raising the University’s positive profile.

10. Ability to initiate media contact and effectively generate interest on behalf of University stories, accomplishments, initiatives, and critical issues, as well as serve as a University spokesperson as needed.

11. Ability to research, report, and produce professional-level written materials.

12. Ability to plan and execute media events, collaborating with campus/organization partners as needed.

13. Possess strong organizational skills with the ability to manage multiple tasks/projects and meet deadlines.

14. Proficient in use of standard personal, office, and media technologies, as well as social media platforms.

15. Using available measurement tools (such as Cision), ability to find and aggregate relevant information about department's communication effectiveness and impact, and utilize that information to produce monthly reports.

16. Working knowledge of Associated Press editorial style.

17. Ability to respond to crisis/critical communication issues on nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.

Preferred Qualifications 

18. Familiarity with working in a higher-education environment.

19. Experience in or working knowledge of basic news photography, videography, and in recording podcasts.

Conditions of Employment

  Ability to successfully complete a background check.

Required Licenses/Certifications 


Documents Needed to Apply

Resume, Cover Letter and Minimum of 3 professional writing samples such as press releases or published articles 

Failure to upload required documents to the online application may result in disqualification.

About Sac State

Sacramento State is located in the heart of California’s capital city, five miles from State Capitol. The lush, 300-acre campus is situated along the American River, close to numerous bike trails and other recreational areas. Sacramento, also known as the “Farm-to-Fork Capital,” is one of the most ethnically diverse and livable cities in the country, with a population of half of a million. Sacramento State’s 31,000 students come not only from the Greater Sacramento Region, but also from across the state, country, and world. Our 1800 faculty and 1,500 staff are committed to meeting our mission: “As California’s capital university, we transform lives by preparing students for leadership, service, and success. Sacramento State will be a recognized leader in education, innovation, and engagement.” As the regional hub of higher education, Sac State is dedicated to student successdiversity, equity and inclusioncommunity engagementphilanthropy, and campus safety.  

As evidenced by the values embedded in our Hornet Honor Code, Sacramento State is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all faculty, staff, students, and guests are welcome and valued.  Our commitment is more than simply ensuring that our campus is free from bias and discrimination, but is one devoted to celebrating many diverse identities, life experiences, and perspectives that enrich our community, teaching and learning.  

To learn more about why you should join the Hornet Family, please visit the Why Sac State? page.

Background Check Disclaimer  

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with California State University, Sacramento. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current California State University, Sacramento employees who apply for the position. One variation of background check required could be a LiveScan screening, which involves submitting fingerprints at a certified LiveScan Service Center.

COVID-19 Vaccine Certification Information:

CSU requires faculty, staff, and students who are accessing campus facilities to be immunized against COVID-19 or declare a medical or religious exemption from doing so. Any candidates advanced in a currently open search process should be prepared to comply with this requirement. The systemwide policy can be found at and questions may be sent to

Out of State Employment Policy

Sacramento State University, as part of the CSU system, is a State of California Employer. As such, the University requires all employees (up)on date of hire to reside in the State of California.

As of January 1, 2022 the CSU Out-of-State Employment Policy prohibits the hiring of employees to perform CSU-related work outside the state of California.

Equal Employment Opportunity

California State University, Sacramento is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. We consider qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy, genetic information, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, or disability. Sacramento State hires only those individuals who are lawfully authorized to accept employment in the United States. 

It is the policy of California State University, Sacramento to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities who are employees or applicants for employment. If you need a disability related reasonable accommodation as part of the application and/or interviewing process, visit

The University is committed to creating an education and working environment free from discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. For more information on mandatory training for new employees, visit

Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act and Campus Fire Safety Right-To-know Act Notification: 

Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the current Annual Security Report (ASR) is available for viewing at . 
The ASR contains the current security and safety-related policy statements, emergency preparedness and evacuation information, crime prevention and sexual assault prevention information, and drug and alcohol prevention programming. The ASR also contains statistics of Clery Act crimes for Sacramento State for the last three (3) calendar years. Paper copies are available upon request at the Police Service Center located in the University Union.

Eligibility Verification  

Selected candidate must furnish proof of eligibility to work in the United States. California State University, Sacramento is not a sponsoring agency for staff and management positions (i.e. H-1-B Visa). 

Note to Applicants:

Possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee an interview unless required by collective bargaining agreement.


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