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Communications Specialist, Strategic Communications, University Relations

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Job ID: 14059

Updated: November 3, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Strategic Communications team within University Relations is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Communication Specialist.

A communications specialist supports the development and implementation of both long- and short-term communications plans to build and protect the reputation of the University of Calgary, employing the full range of communications tactics, from digital communications and social media, to writing for publications, speeches and face-to-face communications. This often involves an integrated approach, working closely with colleagues in Marketing, Community Engagement, Government Relations, and Strategic Communications, as well as cross-functionally with partners across faculties and administrative units. Communications specialists most often report to Managers of Communications.
Communications specialists understand how to achieve business and institutional objectives through communications plans that proactively engage students, faculty, staff, alumni, visitors, and guests -- implementing those plans with communications expertise, measuring success and looking for ways to continually improve communications processes and approaches. A communications specialist works with their supervisor or directly with clients and is a proactive professional who makes recommendations that may have an impact on the reputation of the university.

In so doing, communications specialists help ensure the University of Calgary is positioned with important stakeholders in ways that accurately reflect the university's values and positions, leading to greater community engagement, understanding and support for long-term goals and objectives.

Such positions often work directly with client groups and are responsible for developing communications related processes and procedures for these clients with minimal supervision.

Communications specialists are responsible for coordinating various projects and writing and editing communication pieces across a broad range of focus areas and target audiences. The positions are required to meet multiple, simultaneous deadlines throughout the year and requires balancing of competing interests.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):


  • Effectively manages projects on time, on budget and aligned with strategic communication goals
  • Effective multi-tasking skills are used to juggle and prioritize multiple projects
  • Results oriented. Takes initiative to identify areas for improvement and potential solutions
  • Special projects as assigned


  • Implement and occasionally develop comprehensive and robust communications plans that identify objectives, audiences, key messages, communications channels and tactics, evaluation metrics and communications processes
  • Write communications materials to inform, engage and seek feedback from university stakeholders
  • Identify, research, write stories for university channels
  • Work with colleagues in University Relations on the development and implementation of communication plans. Plans reflect institutional key messages and brand to support the university's strategic objectives


  • Maintain process documentation and back fill for colleagues as required

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A related university degree and a minimum of three to five years of experience in the communications or public relations fields. Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered
  • Demonstrated experience in creating and executing effective communication plans and programs aimed at various internal and external audiences
  • Experience in internal communications, media relations, public relations, social media, digital communications, and/or news and feature writing
  • Excellent writing, copy editing and proofreading skills. Knowledge of Canadian Press style guidelines an asset
  • Understanding of communications metrics, digital analytics and measurement best practices
  • Ability to speak and write clearly and succinctly in a variety of settings and styles; ability to distill complex information, listen effectively and to deliver messages that have the desired effect
  • Excellent project management skills with demonstrated success in planning, organizing and managing projects
  • Strong ability to work under pressure with competing deadlines and to handle numerous priorities at once
  • Excellent research and interviewing skills
  • Excellent oral communication skills and ability to handle diverse communications assignments with tact, courtesy and discretion
  • Expertise in creating compelling communication pieces for a wide variety of audiences using multiple communication styles and vehicles
  • Ability to implement a broad range of public and media relations initiatives, campaigns, publications and communication tools to promote a positive image and reputation for the University of Calgary
  • Ability to work collaboratively with leadership and staff at all levels
  • Proven ability to work to deadlines while managing multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with shifting priorities
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Communications experience in a large and complex organizations is a definite asset
  • Knowledge of post-secondary educational issues is an asset

Application Deadline:  October 25, 2017

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist Advisor Job Family, Phase II.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website


About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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