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University of Washington
Professional Staff Payroll Title Series Descriptor
Human Resources Compensation Office

Payroll Title Public Information Specialist
Typical Responsibilities

Writes and edits communications material requiring special knowledge, initiative, and judgment for use in communicating about the University's programs, accomplishments and point of view. Consults with clients and/or meets with subject matter experts to gather information for use in communications.Examples of responsibilities: - Content development (written, oral or electronic), - Marketing and communications plan development and implementation, and - Media relations.

Supervisory Responsibility

Positions in this series are not required to supervise staff.

Overtime Eligibility

FLSA overtime status is based on the position's duties and responsibilities, and whether or not the position's gross salary is less than the federal FLSA salary basis test or the Washington state salary basis test, whichever is higher. Please visit the Compensation website for current information on FLSA overtime eligibility.

Professional Staff Exemption

Public Information: Managerial or professional level positions having substantial responsibility for planning and directing the development and communication of information designed to keep the public informed of the institution's programs, accomplishments, and point of view. Individuals exercise discretion in determining content of written copy. Other duties may include creating ideas, laying out artwork, contacting media representatives, and representing the institution directly before the general public.

Sample Working Titles

Communications Coordinator, Communications Representative

Alternative Payroll Titles

If the primary focus of the position is editing and overseeing the publication process, Editor may be a more appropriate payroll title.If the primary focus is on the presentation of information on the internet, then Web Information Specialist may be more appropriate.If the position requires a BA of Graphic Arts degree or equivalent, then a payroll title under the Graphic Arts and Communications exemption may be a better fit for the position.


Positions in this payroll title series focus on external UW communications, not internal department or college/school communications and publications.Positions in this series whose primary responsibility is reporting, documenting straight forward accounts of information or events, or whose product is subject to tight managerial control are typically FLSA overtime eligible. Positions that prepare communications that require interpretation of complex information, editorial opinion or creative commentary, that have substantial input to communication strategy, and/or provide expert advice to administrators regarding communication strategy are typically FLSA overtime exempt.

Payroll title descriptors provide a general idea of the type of work performed by jobs assigned to payroll titles in a series. Descriptors do not and are not intended to represent all possible positions in the payroll title series. Payroll title and grade assignments for a professional staff position are based on its position-specific job description (see Professional Staff Position Description form).

Descriptor version date: 3/30/2011 5:09:20 PM