Senior Communications Officer

Website Durham College

Job Description:

The incumbent provides writing, editorial, media/public relations and related consulting services to the Durham College Communications and Marketing department and its various clients within Durham College. They inform the media, current and potential college clients, stakeholders and the community of important news about the college and projects and fosters a very high image of the college among these groups. Leads key college projects including the creation and execution of internal communication, key messaging, marketing and strategic planning; media relations; speech writing; crisis communication; ongoing annual projects such as the college guide and viewbook, support of annual and one-off events (e.g. convocation, Employee Appreciation, minister visits, donation events, etc.); management of awards submissions; media training of senior-level staff; support of president’s office such as strategic planning, annual report and business plan; and ongoing writing and editing support for all college departments. The incumbent acts as communications response lead and brings substantial experience in emergency management, crisis communications, issues management and media relations management. Their work acts to enhance and protect the college’s brand, image and reputation and mitigate risks to the college and its ability to meet business plan goals and enrolment targets.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Perform proactive and reactive media relations.
  • Collaborate with internal clients to support internal corporate initiatives.
  • Write media releases and advisories.
  • Act as media management lead, assessing incoming media enquiries and requests and developing recommendations and responses, as appropriate.
  • Write and pitch editorial content, OpEds and features to media outlets.
  • Develop and execute internal communications plans to support college initiatives and business plan goals.
  • Draft and distribute internal email communications to employees and students to share important college news and information.
  • Co-ordinate interviews with spokespeople/media outlets.
  • Daily monitoring of media coverage, including coverage of competitors and industry news and developments.
  • Draft and post content and information on employee intranet site (ICE).
  • Provide media training and support to senior leaders and college spokespeople, including media management and preparation of key messages, Q&As and backgrounder materials
  • Develop and/or maintain media contact and distribution lists.
  • Reporting of media coverage.
  • Develop annual editorial calendar.
  • Provide communications counsel to internal clients and departments.
  • Develop and execute proactive media relations campaigns to support a variety of college initiatives, new partnerships, funding announcements, awards, special interest stories, alumni features, student successes, etc.
  • Support key internal events and projects including academic kickoff, employee appreciation awards, and annual fundraising initiatives.

Job Requirements:

  • Extensive experience in crisis communications, issues management and reputational risk management.
  • Three-year diploma or degree in Journalism, Public Relations, Communications, or English.
  • Superior understanding of editorial design and grasp of CP style.
  • Excellent customer service and collaboration skills.
  • Superior storytelling skills, able to produce highly impactful communications for a variety of stakeholder groups and audiences.
  • Highly creative, with excellent organizational, multi-tasking and problem-solving skills.
  • Proven record of successful media relations, with excellent knowledge of the current media landscape, best practices and tools.
  • Knowledge of corporate communications best practices, with experience developing comprehensive internal and external communications plans.
  • Superior writing skills, with proven ability to produce effective and creative communications content, including annual reports, awards submissions, media releases, web stories, video content, promotional copy, corporate publications, etc.
  • Strong research, interviewing, fact-checking and proofreading skills.
  • Extensive experience providing communications support to senior leadership, including speeches, remarks, thought leadership pieces and editorials, with demonstrated ability to establish distinct “voices” for key members of leadership team.
  • Minimum five years of experience in a communications role across a minimum of two different sectors. Communications experience in post-secondary education would be considered highly desirable.

Job Details:

Company: Durham College

Job Category: Education

Vacancy Type: Full Time

Job Location: Oshawa, Ontario, CA

Application Deadline: N/A

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