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Public Affairs Specialist

Washington DC

Rare opportunity for an experienced communications professional to gain valuable Smithsonian art museum experience in a supportive, team environment.


As a member of the museum’s public affairs team, the Public Affairs Specialist supports the achievement of strategic communications goals for SAAM and the Renwick Gallery during an exciting moment in which there are a number of high profile art exhibitions opening or already underway. Under the general supervision of the Public Affairs staff, serves as media contact, responds to requests for information, and proposes and drafts informational materials such as press releases, media advisories, fact sheets, feature articles, and online content. Recommends and executes media plans for assigned museum exhibitions, initiatives, and programs. Works with museum staff to select appropriate visual materials for distribution to the media. Makes arrangements for photo shoots and film crews with news outlets, production companies, and Smithsonian photographers and videographers.

Coordinates, hosts, and oversees media events including VIP tours, press previews, and exhibition previews. Coordinates production and distribution of press materials. Maintains positive and productive relationships with subject matter experts as well as a large spectrum of local and national media, informing them of the wide range of the Museum’s activities. Seeks new press contacts, introducing them to the museum, and asking them to incorporate material about the museum in their reporting and features.


Extensive skills and knowledge of written and oral communication with print, broadcast, and digital media, and significant, paid work experience applying these skills and knowledge in support of communications and public affairs programs.Knowledge of art museums, especially American art, and the Washington, D.C. cultural scene.Skills and experience in interacting with artists, curators, museum professionals, and a variety of subject matter experts engaged in visual arts and culture.Skills and experience in building and maintaining effective relationships with local and national media to achieve desired outreach and promotional goals. Has existing strong relationships with arts media and Washington, D.C. media. Skills and experience in the computer programs used to develop informational documents and presentations, including a PC computing environment and Microsoft Office suite.Experience in accomplishing objectives in a team environment.


Full time, temporary, 6-month appointment to Smithsonian Trust IS-9 ($56,233/year) with benefits.


Please submit your application by email to SAAM-ExtAffJob[@] (subject line: Public Affairs Position) by Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Be sure to include:

  • A cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position, and why you are qualified
  • A résumé, including details of experience related to the Qualifications listed above
  • At least two writing samples which demonstrate your skills
  • Contact information and details of availability for an interview

The Smithsonian is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Posted March 6, 2018

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