Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Public Affairs Assistant Internship

Summer Internship
Public Affairs Assistant
Deadline: May 11, 2012


This position serves as assistant to the National Volunteer Coordinator and Iowa State Public Affairs Specialist of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  The incumbent assists in the development, coordination and implementation of public affairs programs.  The incumbent works directly with individuals and NRCS staff at all levels, agricultural and environmental organizations and others to promote the services offered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.  


  • Assists in developing plans for information program and projects.  Obtains basic information and develops specific subject matter.
  • Organizes information materials and equipment available in such a manner that it is easily accessible to those who need it.  Assists staff in identifying and developing materials that has strong national adaptability.
  • Assists with the coordination and service requests for assistance in developing feature articles, brochures, exhibits, TV and radio presentation and other information activities.  
  • Assists with drafting news releases and stories for review by the team lead and Iowa State Public Affairs Specialist.  
  • Assists with drafting pamphlets and brochures from information furnished by staff members that are designed primarily to further and promote the Agency.  
  • Prepares and assist in the preparation of special reports and exhibits for use in information programs.  
  • Assists in planning the visual aspects of publications, exhibits, or presentations.  This may include photographic slides, overhead transparencies, posters, brochures, manuals, etc.  Obtains and selects photos, illustrations or other visual materials as necessary.  
  • Performs related duties as assigned.
  • Actively supports the civil rights program and communicates this support to colleagues.  Ensures equality in all activities and assigned program functions and provides program assistance to individuals, groups, and the general public without regard to race, religion, sex, or national origin.


Knowledge Required by the Position

  • Knowledge of the practices and techniques of oral communication in developing briefings to newspapers, radio and television stations.  
  • Skill in drafting news releases and feature articles for publication using established written communication principles, methods, techniques, and analytical methods.
  • Knowledge of a variety of principles, methods, techniques, and materials of visual design and the use of common art media to plan, produce and reproduce aesthetically composed visual products in a timely manner.  
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with interested groups and organizations in order to promote conservation.
  • Ability to develop and present oral and written materials that can be used nationally to stimulate voluntary public participation in conservation.
  • Ability to interact with government officials, vendors, and suppliers in order to coordinate activities and services.

Supervisory Controls
The position is supervised by the National Volunteer Coordinator and the Iowa State Public Affairs Specialist.  The supervisors make assignments by establishing program objectives, priorities and time-frames for completion of projects and assists incumbent in interpreting and adapting policies as they relate to assignments.

Incumbent plans and carries out the development and implementation processes of informational and promotional materials, resolving problems or deviation encountered in accordance with instructions and policies.  Completed work is reviewed for accuracy, completeness, compliance with established policies and appropriateness developed by the incumbent.

Guidelines are available in the form of policies, directives, and precedent situations and information campaigns, which directly apply to some aspects of the assignments and projects.  

Incumbent assists in the planning and development of processes that will be utilized to insure that the highest level of customer service is achieved.  Decisions require the analysis of events, objectives and program activities in identifying the most appropriate audiences, understanding the characteristics of the customers/groups and assisting in the design of informational packets to assure effective communications with customers.

Scope and Effect
The purpose of the work is to inform various publics on a variety of services and programs offered, and obtain public support for agency programs.

Personal Contacts
Contacts are with NRCS personnel at all levels, other federal agencies, state governments, nonprofit organizations, private sector organizations and groups and representatives of the news media.

Purpose of Contacts
Contacts with agency officials, other federal, state, and private organizations are for the purpose of exchanging information, arranging interviews, etc.  Public contacts are to answer questions, etc.

Physical Demands
Work is normally performed in an office setting at a desk or computer work station, in meetings, etc.  Position requires some walking and standing as well as lifting moderately heavy (40 pounds) packages, pouches and bags.

Work Environment
Work is generally performed in an office setting.  Occasional trips may include some walking over rugged terrain or exposure to inclement weather.

To apply, download the application. The deadline is May 11, 2012.

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