Job Specification

Position Title:
Strategic Communications Advisor
Job Code:
02707 - Information Officer 4
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To provide strategic communications expertise and advice and develop, evaluate and roll out strategic communications planning activities for the Ontario Science Centre.
To increase public, stakeholder and internal awareness of Ontario Science Centre corporate, business and program initiatives and to ensure that all communications plans are consistent and positioned with corporate direction.
To disseminate information on communications strategies and key messages throughout the branch and across the organization.

Duties / Responsibilities :

1. Provides communications expertise and leadership in the planning and development of communications strategies, implementation plans and products for communications and corporate, business and program initiatives.

2. Researches, develops and leads the implementation of internal and external strategic communications, stakeholder communiques and internal staff communications while identifying target audience requirements, interests and attitudes of various stakeholders, environmental factors, and channels of communications to consider when crafting messages and positioning.

3. Develops integrated strategies and implementation plans for communications associated with multiple, concurrent initiatives for the writing and publishing of messages and content for: media channels, trade publications for science centres, news releases, backgrounders, speeches/remarks, biogs, social media, corporate reports, articles, meeting presentations, background notes, briefing notes on issues, pamphlets, flyers, newsletters, internal web sites and email communications.

4. Establishes and communicates organization-wide standards for communication processes to ensure optimum methods are in place for consistent messaging and approaches to ensure a coordinated approach.

5. Provides support for senior leadership communications including the development and execution of strategic communications plans, media relations, issues management, social media strategies, thought papers, briefings and other products in support of the Ontario Science Centre.

6. Prepares communication materials and responses by: writing, editing and proofreading copy; ensuring copy is written in straightforward language; converting detailed technical and scientific material into plain language while maintaining consistent editorial standards of style, grammar, clarity and audience suitability; maintaining accuracy, obtaining necessary approvals for all
written materials; and ensuring style meets standards and client requirements, and that deadlines are met.

7. Develops short and long-term corporate communications plans and strategies for the organization by: assessing communication requirements to support Ontario Science Centre's strategic priorities; ensuring the corporate perspective is maintained in the preparation of strategies and products; proposing media strategies; and identifying opportunities for cost effective communication.

8. Evaluates implementation and effectiveness of communications plans, projects and programs in consultation with clients, and assists in development of corporate communications plans ensuring client specific plans support the corporate plan.

9. Collaborates with team members to broaden external and internal stakeholder knowledge of program area activity pertaining to the programs, services and business opportunities at the Ontario Science Centre.

10. Develops and builds strong working relationships on communications projects and activities by liaising with internal clients and colleagues when coordinating communications activities and ongoing initiatives.

11. Promotes research-driven analysis and evaluation as integral to strategic communications planning and necessary to understand audiences, create messages and measure success.

Knowledge :

Strategic planning, marketing and communication theory and techniques, communications planning methods and practices to develop and execute effective communications strategies in order to: support core business goals and priorities; provide consulting services to clients including senior executives and program staff; and assist in the clarification of communication objectives.
Theories, principles and practices of contemporary communications, to provide specialized communications expertise, advice and services to senior management, the CEO, program areas, project managers and colleagues.
Research techniques, writing styles and techniques, communication design and coordination, publication production and media relations to design and coordinate development and implementation of a variety of communication activities
Ontario Science Centre program objectives and business requirements, services, organization and operations to assist clients in defining communications objectives and developing short and long term communication plans.
Project management and leadership experience to effectively plan, organize, execute, monitor and evaluate corporate communications projects and participate in department and cross department projects and committees.
Personal computers and related software packages (e.g. Windows, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook) to prepare speeches, news releases, communications plans, reports and other documents as well as to research information on the Internet and Intranet, and other databases.

Skills :

Written and oral communication skills to:
Lead the preparation of papers, briefings, presentations, submissions and other communications products. Communicate implementation strategies and progress to senior/executive management. Provide information to program areas, internal stakeholders and relevant external partners provide briefings to management, the Senior Management Team and the CEO's Office. Write and edit using a variety of vehicles, features and styles appropriate for different purposes and audiences.

Analytical skills to:
Lead the identification of organizational communication needs and shortfalls identify communications planning opportunities. Assess the feasibility/implications of strategies and options. Identify best course of action among conflicting alternatives and unique perspectives that may be supported by different program areas.

Evaluative skills to:
Evaluate the nature, scope and degree of short/long term planning impacts from a communications lens. Assess, identify and understand emerging issues and trends as well as target audiences amend divisional communication strategies and re-position corporate strategies as appropriate evaluate performance indicators and measure success for the division.

Planning and organizational skills to:
Prioritize competing work demands, address unanticipated or contentious communications issues respond to spontaneous requests from the CEO's office and senior/program management function within a high-pressure, deadline-driven environment.

Interpersonal and Influencing skills to:
Clarify organizational communication objectives with program areas to ensure communication materials and products meet program area goals.
Propose alternate solutions and illustrate advantages/disadvantages of various communication options. Build support for the adoption of new initiatives/ideas and influence management level decision­ making using tact, diplomacy and persuasion

Freedom of Action :

Completed work is reviewed when communication plans and strategies developed are submitted to Director, Strategic Communications and/or Vice-President, Marketing and Strategic Communications, and assessed for adherence to Ontario Science Centre communication policies and overall strategies/standards.

The incumbent is expected to exercise judgement while:
Working within ministry/government policies, guidelines and directives related to communications planning and issues management; and within recognized communication practices and standards. Identifying communications problems and issues and developing creative options/solutions. Developing strategic plans collaboratively with colleagues and management, referring proposed plan to director for approval. Recommending short and long-term communication plans and strategies to clients Determining schedules and priorities for communication projects. Approving copy drafted by others. Recommending need for and nature of issues management required. Determining appropriate method, tone and approach in communication activities. Referring problems/issues such as conflicting client requirements and suppliers failing to meet contractual obligations to director. Making independent decisions in the absence of the director - situations clearly outside policy or subject to varying interpretations are referred to the director/vice-president.

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