NATURE AND SCOPE OF WORK
Providing an essential, centralized service to Capilano University’s outreach and public information objectives, the senior communications officer performs a pivotal role in communicating the University’s mandate and position on a wide variety of issues. This position is privy to confidential matters including University strategy and labour relations and works to provide the public with clear information regarding the University’s position on emerging issues and matters of interest.
The officer is the lead liaison between the University and the media and employs a variety of strategies to engage media interest in stories of CapU individuals, initiatives, challenges and successes that facilitates informed reporting. The officer is guided by a strong sense of story and consults with knowledge experts throughout the University community to assist media in their information requests. The officer routinely monitors and reports on media coverage, assessing and communicating its impact upon the University’s reputation. As well, the officer monitors and responds to social media inquiries and statements, always guided by the commitment to presenting accurate, timely information.
The incumbent takes complex subject matter and formulates action plans to lead a variety of public relations initiatives aimed at the media, government and other stakeholders in the community. The incumbent is skilled in researching and preparing briefing papers for executive and highly responsive and respectful to the tight deadlines which drive media interest and coverage.
The officer is a skilled storyteller in their own right, and able to create informed, engaging content for the University’s primary communications channels. The officer represents Capilano University to internal and external audiences as required, and reports to the director, communications & marketing. In this senior role, the officer may represent the director when requested.
ILLUSTRATIVE EXAMPLES OF DUTIES
Communicates priorities, developments, successes and challenges to support leadership and executive communications, primarily to internal audiences.
Responds to requests for information with timeliness and accuracy.
Acts as the University’s “front door” to triage requests for information and ensure requests are responded to in a timely and accurate manner.
Works closely with colleagues in the advancement portfolio, as well as the University’s departments and faculties to create communications materials (plans, briefing notes, FAQs, backgrounders, key messages, news releases, etc.) related to emerging issues.
Gathers stories and achievements related to University events, programs, courses, developments, etc., to proactively highlight the diverse array of programs and accomplishments to key stakeholder groups (e.g., media, government, donors, etc.) in support of the University’s communications goals.
Monitors and contributes to the University’s social media channels and campaigns.
Develops and disseminates information material in line with University communication strategies in order to maintain a positive profile for the University.
Acts as a writer and editor of other communications materials produced by communications & marketing, as required.
Builds and maintains positive working relationships with local, regional and national media.
Monitors the University’s media coverage and prepares a comprehensive annual media monitoring report for executive.
Serves as a key member of the University’s crisis communications team; contributes to the University’s crisis communications plans and serves as a member of the University’s Emergency Operations team.
Is the first point of contact for media -- researches and responds to, or refers media calls to appropriate University resource person(s); arranges interviews. In consultation with the director, represents the University on media enquiries including those that may affect the reputation and brand of the University, board decisions, collective bargaining or contentious and sensitive matters of public interest.
Researches, writes and edits a broad range of communications materials including: news releases, advisories, backgrounders, fact sheets; quotes and statements; speeches for senior leadership; the Chancellor and board chair; program scripts for special events; articles; newsletter content; briefing notes; FAQs and communications strategies.
Facilitates the University’s relationship through communications with key stakeholder groups (e.g., B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education; government agencies; elected representatives).
Organizes and manages media events, often in conjunction with others in the University, government ministries and external corporate partners.
Writes, prepares, edits, secures approvals, circulates and archives media releases.
Provides advice and training, where required, to senior leadership, deans and directors on media and public affairs matters.
Ensures that key staff are knowledgeable about and prepared to address complex and sensitive issues in the media or the community, to facilitate stakeholder and the public understanding of the University’s position on those issues.
Maintains media lists. Keeps up-to-date on media industry trends, media monitoring tools, developments, social media and other resources impacting the University’s media relations strategy.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND SKILLS
Refined abilities as a writer and editor, particularly for web and social media channels.
Skilled providing interviews when acting as the designated spokesperson.
Demonstrated ability in enhancing internal/external communication and building strong working environments and stakeholder relationships.
Demonstrated experience as a professional communicator in working with media, government, community organizations, etc.
Possesses strong media, community, government and corporate networks/contacts.
Excellent interpersonal skills with ability to effectively communicate in both verbal and written form.
Skilled in issues/crisis management through communications.
Ability to manage multiple projects and execute time-sensitive and critical tasks.
Demonstrated experience in organizing media announcements/conferences.
REQUIRED TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
Post-secondary degree or diploma in Journalism, Public Relations or Communications.
A minimum of 7 years of experience in a public sector environment or large, complex organization.
A minimum of 5 years media relations experience.
Diversity and inclusivity are an integral part of Capilano University’s campus community. Our multicultural student body, faculty and employees enrich our learning environment and experience. CapU is committed to attracting and retaining a respectful and diverse workforce. Human rights, diversity, inclusion and equity underpin our employment practices and policies. We are proud to be an equity employer and encourage applications from women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and all other grounds included under the B.C. Human Rights Code.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and Permanent Residents will be given priority. Capilano University is an equal opportunity employer.
Capilano University is a teaching-focused university based in North Vancouver, with programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. Capilano University enrolls approximately 10,000 students each year, 8000 in for-credit programs and 2000 in non-credit courses. Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. Our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
All interested applicants should submit their cover letter and resume. https://jobs-capilanou.peopleadmin.com/postings/1677