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Working at the Smithsonian

Public Affairs

  • Each museum, research center and a number of programmatic offices have public affairs offices. There is also a central Office of Public Affairs. Their main responsibility is to promote exhibitions and public programs and build a positive image or brand for the Institution.
  • Staff members develop communications plans and publicity campaigns for events, exhibition openings, fundraising, special events and membership activities. They write and edit press releases, develop story ideas and marketing plans to increase the organizations visibility. Public Affairs offices may also publish newsletters or other informational materials for donors, members, employees or the public.
  • They may also prepare reports, talking points or speeches for senior management. It is not unusual for the unit webmaster to be part of the Public Affairs office. Usually the Director of Public Affairs is the chief spokesperson for the organization.
  • Public Affairs Specialists often have degrees in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism, English, or Marketing and possess strong writing and communications skills.

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