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Senior Communications Strategist, Marketing & Communications, Haskayne School of Business

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Job ID: 14436

Updated: January 2, 2018

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Marketing & Communications in the Haskayne School of Business is currently seeking a Full-time Temporary Relief Senior Communications Strategist for approximately 18 months.

The Senior Communications Strategist reports to the Associate Director, Communications at the Haskayne School of Business and works closely with other members of the School’s marketing communications team as well as operational units. The Senior Communications Strategist leads the development of both long and short-term communications strategies to raise the profile of the Haskayne School of Business. The Strategist creates internal and external communications strategies that proactively promotes success stories of the School's students, faculty, staff and alumni and delivers on those strategies with communications expertise. The Strategist represents the school to the media and is a proactive leader who makes decisions and/or recommendations which may have significant impact on the public profile of the Haskayne School of Business and the University.

The primary purpose of the Senior Communications Strategist is to improve and broaden the reputation of the Haskayne School of Business locally, nationally and internationally by developing communication opportunities, strategies and materials that showcase the highest profile Haskayne initiatives. The role includes high-stress communications projects where the impact of errors is high and expert communications judgement is essential. The position deals with complex issues and requires strong analytical skills to synthesize information in order to propose effective communications strategies. The incumbent is responsible for managing various projects and writing communication pieces across a broad range of focus areas and target audiences. This position is required to meet multiple, simultaneous deadlines throughout the year and requires management of competing interests with satisfactory outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

Position Description

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

Strategy development:

  • Develops comprehensive and robust communications plans that identify audience, communications channels, key messages, tactics and communications processes
  • Identifies, researches, writes and proactively pitches stories to the media in line with Haskayne priorities
  • Writes media plans, news releases, media advisories and website stories. Organizes news conferences and co-ordinates interactions with media
  • Ensures alignment of communications efforts to enhance pride among the faculty of Haskayne events and initiatives
  • Develops and implements an effective and focused communications plan with a variety of initiatives to promote and raise the profile of the School
  • Works in conjunction with the Associate Director, Communications on the development and implementation of strategic, internal and external communication plans

Media relations:

  • Frequently acts as a first point of contact for media seeking information or writing stories about the faculty
  • Manages relationships with journalists, editors and producers to identify opportunities for proactive story pitching and potential issues
  • Builds additional media contacts with specialist business journalists
  • Develops a comprehensive database of Haskayne expertise for the purpose of quickly handling media requests and to identify opportunities to provide proactive expert commentary opportunities
  • Assists with the management of crisis communications

Advising and leadership:

  • Preparing media spokespeople with an emphasis on transparency, openness and timeliness. Coaching and educating faculty on communications best practices
  • Collaborate and coordinate with the Marketing and Community Relations teams to ensure objectives, strategies, and campaigns are aligned and synergized
  • Initiates and delivers media training session for faculty and research centres that encourages and facilitates media exposure for Haskayne expertise
  • Develops integrated communications strategies as the communications lead for high-level events and initiatives
  • Provides strategic communications counsel for Alumni-related communications needs

Project Management:

  • Effectively manages projects on time, on budget and aligned with Haskayne's strategic communication goals
  • Effective multi-tasking skills are used to juggle and prioritize multiple projects

Staff Development:

  • Delivers training for new communications staff, including the communications advisor and marketing and communications co-ordinator positions

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Related university degree (marketing, communications or journalism)
  • Minimum 7 years of experience in the communications, public relations and/or journalism fields with an emphasis on creating, writing and editing internal/external communications
  • Candidates with an equivalent combination of education and experience will be considered
  • Demonstrated excellence creating and executing effective communication plans and programs aimed at various internal and external audiences
  • Extensive experience in media relations, public relations, publications management and news and feature writing
  • Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills
  • Planning, communication, leadership, and project management skills are required
  • Demonstrated experience in planning and implementing strategic communications programs, which include effective creation and execution of large-scale projects and campaigns aimed at targeted audiences
  • Demonstrated relationships with local and national media, including understanding of relationship building for both traditional and new media platforms
  • Ability to provide leadership to junior roles
  • Confidence to lead initiatives and provide counsel to senior leaders and to work collaboratively with others in the faculty
  • Copy writing experience and advance knowledge of Canadian Press style guidelines
  • 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
  • Expertise in creating compelling communication pieces for a wide variety of audiences using multiple communication vehicles. Communications experience in a large complex organization is a strong asset.
  • Excellent research and interview skills
  • Knowledge of post-secondary educational issues is an asset
  • Ability to work collaboratively with faculty leadership and staff at all levels
  • Proven ability to work to deadlines while managing multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment with constantly shifting priorities

Application Deadline:  December 12, 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 III.

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. For more information about the Haskayne School of Business, visit Careers in the Haskayne School of Business.

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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