USPSC Senior Online Communications Specialist

USAID/ Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Government
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Apply by
    Mar-06-2018
  • Posted
    Feb 08

Position description

Position Title:              Senior Online Communications Specialist

Solicitation Number:   720FDA18B00021

Salary Level:               GS-13 Equivalent: $96,970 - $126,062

Issuance Date:             January 16, 2018

Closing Date:              March 6, 2017

              

Closing Time:              12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

 

Dear Prospective Applicants:

 

The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is seeking applications from qualified U.S. citizens to provide personal services as a Senior Online Communications Specialist under a United States Personal Services Contract (USPSC), as described in the attached solicitation.

 

Submittals must be in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified. Applicants interested in applying for this position MUST submit the following materials:

 

  1. Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your application, your resume must include: 

 

(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.

(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.

(c) Names and contact information (phone/email) of your current and/or previous supervisor(s). Current and/or previous supervisors may be contacted for a reference.

(d) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments.

(e) U.S. Citizenship

(f) Optional:  How did you hear about this opportunity? (FedBizOps, OFDA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

 

Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation.  This information should be clearly identified in your resume.  Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration. 

 

  1. Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) shown in the solicitation.

 

  1. USPSC Application form AID 302-3. Applicants are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

 

NOTE ABOUT THE DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM/SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS

 

All USPSCs with a place of performance in the United States are required to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database prior to receiving an offer. You will be disqualified if you either fail to comply with this requirement or if your name appears on the excluded parties list. The selectee will be provided with guidance regarding this registration. 

 

Additional documents submitted will not be accepted. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. OFDA reserves the right to select additional candidates if vacancies become available during future phases of the selection process.

 

Applicants can expect to receive a confirmation email when application materials have been received. Applicants should retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their applications. Your complete resume and the supplemental document addressing the QRFs must be emailed to:

 

            OFDA Recruitment Team

            E-Mail Address: [email protected]

            Website: www.OFDAjobs.net

 

Any questions on this solicitation may be directed to OFDA Recruitment Team via the information provided above.

 

 

 

                                                            Sincerely,

                                                           

 

 

Renee Newton

Contracting Officer

 

 

Solicitation for USPSC Senior Online Communications Specialist

 

1.  SOLICITATION NO.: 720FDA18B00021

 

2.  ISSUANCE DATE: January 16, 2017

 

3.  CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS: March 6, 2018 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

 

4.  POSITION TITLE: Senior Online Communications Specialist

 

5. MARKET VALUE:

GS-13 equivalent ($96,970 - $126,062- includes locality pay).  Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate’s past salary, work history and educational background.  Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.  Candidates who live outside the Washington, D.C. area will be considered for employment but no relocation expenses will be reimbursed.

 

6.  PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE:  Two (2) years, with four (4) one-year options

 

7.  PLACE OF PERFORMANCE:  Washington, D.C.

 

8.  STATEMENT OF WORK

 

POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

BACKGROUND

 

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the office within USAID that is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters.  OFDA is part of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and is organized into six divisions.

 

The Africa (AFD) Response Division and the Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East (ALE) Response Division are responsible for the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance through a grants mechanism to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations including United Nations (UN) agencies and to other partners to ensure the implementation and delivery of this assistance.  These divisions also oversee OFDA’s non-response efforts in disaster risk reduction and resilience.  AFD and ALE Response Divisions also coordinate with other organizations for the provision of relief supplies and assistance. They devise, coordinate and implement program strategies for a variety of natural and complex disaster situations. Both Divisions encompass groups of operations specialists who provide technical expert capability in assessing the quality and strategic function of disaster response and risk reduction activities. The AFD Response Division is divided into two teams: East and Central Africa (ECA), and Southern, West, and North Africa (SWAN). The ALE Response Division is divided into four teams: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and South Asia.

 

The Operations (OPS) Division develops and manages operations for OFDA’s disaster responses by readying people and systems; projecting U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian capacity quickly into the field; and delivering material and technical assistance.  The OPS Division maintains readiness to respond to emergencies through several mechanisms, including managing Urban Search and Rescue Teams, coordinating, staffing, training, and equipping Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), and Washington-based Response Management Teams (RMTs), and stockpiling emergency relief commodities in key locations around the globe to ensure OFDA’s capacity to execute and coordinate USG humanitarian assistance and response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. The OPS Division provides technical guidance and expertise in Disaster Logistics, Urban Search and Rescue, Operations Center management, activation/readiness, Civil-Military Liaison, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Consequence Management.  It also provides overseas support to OFDA offices and personnel and to other sectors necessary to ensure OFDA’s capacity to execute and coordinate USG humanitarian assistance and response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. The OPS Division is divided into four teams: the Disaster Assistance Support Program (DASP), Military Liaison Team (MLT), Operations Support Team (OST), and Overseas Administration Team (OAT). 

 

The Program Support (PS) Division provides operational management support, including general administration, budget and financial services, procurement planning, information technology, human resources management including staff care, and contract and grant administration support to OFDA.  The PS Division supports OFDA's mandate by providing innovative solutions in the areas of Information Technology, staffing, funds control, budgeting, human resource management, and procurement to facilitate timely disaster responses. The PS Division is divided into four teams: the Award Change Control Group (ACCG), Human Resources Management Team (HRM), Budget, Finance, and Information Technology (BFIT) Team, and the Acquisition and Management (ACQ) Team.  

 

The Preparation, Strategic Planning and Mitigation (PSPM) Division is responsible for the technical oversight of all OFDA response and mitigation programs, as well as preparation for response, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction activities. The PSPM Division houses technical experts in all sectors potentially affected by disasters, and leads the Agency in developing and promoting best practices for programming in these specific sectors. In addition, PSPM will be the focal point for technological innovations for humanitarian assistance in areas such as monitoring and evaluation, assessment, and information management. The PSPM Division is divided into four teams: Cross-Cutting Sectors Team, Natural Hazards Team, Health Team, and Livelihoods Team.

The Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement (HPGE) Division assists the DCHA front office, the OFDA Director and OFDA Deputy Director with tracking trends and policy developments in the humanitarian assistance field.  It engages in policy dialogue with other parts of USAID, the USG interagency, other donors, multilateral agencies, and NGO partners; recommends strategies for action to DCHA; initiates development of policy and internal guidance for OFDA; maintains global relationships with implementing partners, other donors, and the broader humanitarian architecture; and engages with the UN to advance USG humanitarian policy objectives and promote humanitarian principles within the USG and internationally.   The HPGE Division leads OFDA's communications and social media outreach to effectively communicate OFDA’s story to a variety of strategic audiences.  It serves as the office’s primary interlocutor on strategic issues with other federal partners to provide guidance to OFDA on policy issues pertaining to the interagency, and to improve USG humanitarian coordination and response during large-scale crises. The HPGE Division staff manages global programs, policy and outreach, strategic communications, and interagency training and engagement. HPGE is divided into seven teams: Policy Team, Global Programs Team, Strategic Interagency Team, Strategic Communications Team, Interagency Training Team, Public-Private Engagement Team, and the United States Mission to the UN (USUN). 

INTRODUCTION

 

OFDA is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. OFDA’s Strategic Communications Team manages critical public outreach and messaging issues pertaining to OFDA’s lead role in international disaster response and humanitarian assistance.  As the lead federal coordinator of international disaster response, OFDA has a responsibility to effectively and efficiently articulate USG activities to USAID staff, our interagency colleagues, the White House and the American public in a timely manner. As a result, OFDA recognizes there is a rapidly growing need for a focused and strategic approach to public outreach and messaging issues related to humanitarian assistance.

 

The Senior Online Communications Specialist position serves as an integral part of the Strategic Communications Team and HPGE Division, closely coordinating with other parts of the U.S. Government community on humanitarian and online messaging issues. The position will be responsible for providing overarching communications and messaging support for online platforms for OFDA.

 

OBJECTIVE

 

OFDA requires the services of a Senior Online Communications Specialist who is Washington-based to lead OFDA’s outreach efforts online and on social media.

 

9.  CORE FUNCTIONAL AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

The Sr. Online Communications Specialist will be responsible for overseeing and growing OFDA’s online and social media equities. As a member of the Strategic Communications Team, which is housed within OFDA’s Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement Division (HPGE), the Sr. Online Communications Specialist will manage and message of OFDA’s disaster response activities online, overseeing the creation of and generating new online content and campaigns, maintaining web pages, and expanding OFDA’s social media following. In addition, this individual will work closely with other members of the Strategic Communications Team and OFDA staff to develop and implement strategies to increase awareness of and appreciation for the office. The Specialist will report to the Strategic Communications Team Leader but work closely with OFDA’s Information Support Unit (ISU), the OFDA web team, and the web development team with USAID’s Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA).  Specific responsibilities include:

 

Online Outreach and Maintenance

  • Lead the development of new web pages and online content on USAID.gov—and/or the reorganization of existing web pages—to better communicate OFDA’s mission and impact to the public.
  • Conceptualize and implement new ways to use existing OFDA public information products more strategically to reach more people online.
  • Populate USAID website with OFDA information and materials, including public fact sheets, situation reports, alerts, news items, graphics, multimedia content, and articles.
  • Maintain and develop content for all OFDA online properties.
  • Identify key outreach opportunities to advance strategic OFDA messages online or on social media.
  • Produce website content that is in line with OFDA and USAID communications strategies.
  • Draft and/or facilitate the posting of blogs on behalf of OFDA staff for a variety of fora.
  • Coordinate with USAID’s Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) to ensure that the OFDA’s online presence is maintained in alignment with Agency priorities. 
  • Serve as main liaison with USAID and OFDA web teams to make updates to OFDA online assets on USAID.gov and to the Office’s Microsoft SharePoint site, as needed.
  • Review, monitor, and update online disaster and crisis response content for quality and timeliness, as well as for compliance with the agency’s information management procedures and practices.
  • Help to manage OFDA’s online photo database in close coordination with the Strategic Communications Team Leader.
  • Keep current with humanitarian and social media issues through relevant blogs, list serves, and events.
  • Apply editorial processes and approval workflows in the agency’s web content management system.
  • Serve as the lead point of contact on the Strategic Communications Team to ensure that OFDA’s messages are aligned across various web platforms, including USAID, Department of State, the White House, Department of Defense, and USAID Center for International Disaster Information). 
  • Manage social media status updates with members of the Strategic Communications Team and other OFDA staff (OFDA web team, Information Support Unit), as needed.

 

Social Media Outreach

  • Lead the management and maintenance of OFDA’s social media platforms—including content development, messaging campaigns, and strategies—to highlight specific OFDA activities and/or events.
  • Lead the Strategic Communications Team’s efforts to increase OFDA’s social media following: research new social media platforms and “out of the box” messaging strategies, stay ahead of current trends, and implement new ideas in close coordination with the Strategic Communications Team Leader.
  • Serve as the Strategic Communications Team’s lead representative in relevant USAID, USG, or external meetings pertaining to social media and digital communications. Coordinate on externally-run public outreach campaigns that have a social media component to identify ways to promote OFDA’s work and ensure messaging is in line with OFDA’s goals.
  • Initiate outreach to social media counterparts at other USG and OFDA implementing partners to coordinate messaging and expand reach of OFDA’s messaging.
  • Responsible for populating OFDA’s social media outlets with up-to-date content; engage with OFDA staff, humanitarian aid organizations, and other relevant parties to obtain content; monitor comments and mentions; respond in a timely manner.
  • Responsible for producing daily social media content—in coordination with OFDA’s Strategic Communications Team—that will increase engagement and follower count.
  • Responsible for monitoring OFDA social media channels for comments and mentions and responding promptly to online queries.
  • Responsible for the creation of social media campaigns and toolkits in coordination with the Strategic Communications Team to highlight specific OFDA activities and/or events.
  • Develop and maintain a proactive content calendar that aligns and supports OFDA’s priorities and communications strategy.
  • Track metrics, as well as monitor and participate in relevant online conversations.
  • Monitor and analyze social media trends to advise on keeping OFDA’s social media platforms in line with current trends, and to look for new engagement opportunities and messaging methods.

 

Strategic Communications

  • Mentor and assist in the development of other members of the Strategic Communications Team on social media and online communications.
  • Identify opportunities which enable Strategic Communications Team members to improve quality and quantity of online and social media output.
  • Lead the Strategic Communications Team efforts to adapt OFDA’s Online Communications Strategy to reflect changing priorities and evolving needs of OFDA and USAID, in close coordination with the OFDA Strategic Communications Team Leader.
  • Lead the implementation of new OFDA online and social media procedures and protocols.
  • Serve as the Strategic Communications Team’s main liaison with USAID’s social media and web teams to coordinate messages, feed into new campaigns, and ensure that OFDA’s online equities are well represented on Agency platforms.
  • Work with OFDA’s Strategic Communications Team to identify, develop, and implement OFDA’s strategic communications goals; track and determine impact of targeted strategies.
  • Develop new strategies in coordination with the Strategic Communications Team to expand OFDA’s public outreach.
  • Coordinate closely with LPA and USAID social media team to ensure OFDA’s online messaging is aligned with Agency priorities.

 

Other Duties

  • The USPSC is responsible for planning and carrying out assignments.  The USPSC is responsible for planning approach or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.
  • Sign-up for and serve, as needed, on Washington-based RMTs, which provide services and support to DARTs deployed in response to disasters. The duties on RMTs will be varied.
  • Sign-up for and serve as the OFDA phone duty officer.
  • As needed, serve on DARTs which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.
  • As needed, may serve on temporary details within the office, not to exceed six months. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with the Team’s existing duties and responsibilities as well as directly related to the scope of work provided.

 

 

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:

The USPSC will take direction from and report to the Strategic Communications Team Leader or his/her designee.

 

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS:

Supervisor sets overall objectives and resource available. The USPSC consults with supervisor to develop deadlines, projects and work to be done.  The USPSC is responsible for planning and carrying out assignments.  The USPSC is responsible for planning approach or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.

 

10.  PHYSICAL DEMANDS

 

The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands.  During deployment on DARTs (if required), and during site visits, there may be some additional physical exertion including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, or carrying of moderately heavy items (less than 50 pounds).

 

11.  WORK ENVIRONMENT

 

Work is primarily performed in an office setting.  During deployment on DARTs (if required), and during site visits, the work may additionally involve special safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.

 

12.  START DATE:  Immediately, once necessary clearances are obtained.

 

13.  POINT OF CONTACT:  See Cover Letter.

Qualifications

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

(Determines basic eligibility for the position.  Applicants who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

 

Bachelor's degree with significant study in, or pertinent to, the specialized field (including, but not limited to, social media, digital communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field), and a minimum of seven (7) years of relevant work experience.  Candidate must have familiarity with international humanitarian and disaster issues, USG agencies, and strategic messaging.

 

OR

 

Master's degree with significant study in, or pertinent to, the specialized field (including, but not limited to, social media, digital communications, marketing, public relations, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field), and a minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience.  Candidate must have familiarity with international humanitarian and disaster issues, USG agencies, and strategic messaging.

 

 

SELECTION FACTORS

(Determines basic eligibility for the position.  Applicants who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

  • Applicant is a U.S. Citizen.
  • Complete resume submitted. See cover page for resume requirements. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
  • USPSC Application form AID 302-3. Applicants are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
  • Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) submitted.
  • Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID. 
  • Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
  • Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

 

QUALITY RANKING FACTORS

(Used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified applicants in comparison to other applicants. The factors below are of equal value.)

 

QRF #1           Demonstrated experience and ability to lead on the management and growth of an organization’s social media efforts. Provide specific examples on how you led efforts to grow an organization’s brand through creative content development, messaging campaigns, and strategic engagements and partnerships. Also provide specifics on how these efforts amplified your organization’s social media reach.

 

QRF #2           Demonstrated experience and ability to lead an organization’s efforts to communicate its activities online through the development of new web pages and online content. Provide specific examples of how you conceptualized and implemented new ideas to strategically reach more people online. Also provide specific examples of how you coordinated these efforts with social media work streams to engage with key stakeholders. Include details of any specific content you created.

 

QRF #3           Demonstrated experience and ability to (a) research current and future social media trends (b) analyze key metrics (c) interact with the public via online/social media channels. Provide specific examples for each demonstrated area and explain how you successfully and strategically applied these skills to increase an organization’s online engagement.

 

QRF #4           Demonstrated experience and ability to mentor and assist in the development of team members, including identifying opportunities which enable team members to improve the quality and quantity of social media outputs. Demonstrated ability to work in a team environment to envision, develop, and implement creative online content and communication products across a variety of media forums. Provide specific examples for each demonstrated area.

 

QRF #5           Demonstrated experience and ability to adapt an organization’s online communications strategies to reflect changing priorities, breaking news, and evolving needs. Demonstrated ability to work under pressure and under tight deadlines while maintaining an attention to detail. Provide specific examples for each demonstrated area.

 

 

BASIS OF RATING: Applicants who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated based on scoring of the QRF responses.  Those applicants determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.

 

Applicants are required to address each of the QRFs in a separate document describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, and/or education they have received as it pertains to each factor.  Be sure to include your name and the announcement number at the top of each additional page.  Failure to address the selection factors and/or Quality Ranking Factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, and/or training.

 

The most qualified candidates may be interviewed and required to provide a writing sample. OFDA will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews. Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for applicants being considered for selection. Note: Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an applicant. OFDA reserves the right to select additional candidates if vacancies become available during future phase of the selection process.

 

 

The Applicant Rating System is as Follows:

 

QRFs – 25 points

QRF #1 – 5 points

QRF #2 – 5 points

QRF #3 – 5 points

QRF #4 – 5 points

QRF #5 – 5 points

 

First Round Interview – 10 points

 

Second Round Interview – 25 points

 

Writing Test – 30 points

 

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – 10 points

 

Total Possible Points: 100

Application instructions

APPLYING:

 

Applications must be received by the closing date and time at the address specified in the cover letter.

 

Qualified individuals are required to submit:

 

  1. Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your application, your resume must include:

 

(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Dates (month/year) and locations for all field experience must also be detailed. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.

(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.

(c) Names and contact information (phone/email) of your current and/or previous supervisor(s). Current and/or previous supervisors may be contacted for a reference.

(d) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments.

(e) U.S. Citizenship

(f) Optional:  How did you hear about this opportunity? (FedBizOps, OFDA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

 

Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation.  This information should be clearly identified in your resume.  Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration. 

 

  1. Supplemental document specifically addressing the QRFs shown in the solicitation.

 

  1. USPSC Application form AID 302-3. Applicants are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

 

 

Additional documents submitted will not be accepted.

 

By submitting your application materials, you certify that all of the information on and attached to the application is true, correct, complete, and made in good faith. You agree to allow all information on and attached to the application to be investigated. False or fraudulent information on or attached to your application may result in you being eliminated from consideration for this position, or being terminated after award, and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

 

To ensure consideration of applications for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number on your application, and as the subject line in any email.

 

DOCUMENT SUBMITTALS

 

Via email: [email protected]

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