Communications and Public Relations Specialist
Purpose of the Position
The Communication and Public Relations Specialist reports directly to the Executive Director and serves as the lead internal resource specialist on all communications issues and public relations. The incumbent is responsible for managing media and public relations activities and for promoting positive public understanding and support for the Agency.
- As the lead internal resource specialist, the Communication and Public Relations Specialist works in conjunction with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors to provide a strategic direction for the Agency through the development of a comprehensive marketing and communications plan;
- Provides media relations and communications advice, including crisis communication management and key message development to the Executive Director, Board Members, and Senior Staff;
- Reviews all external communications relevant to the Agency concerning all service areas of the agency and events potentially affecting the agency and keeps abreast of developing issues, trends, and challenges;
- Develops strategic actions to deal with, and respond to, challenges in a proactive manner;
- Makes recommendations to the Executive Director and, as required, to the Board and Committees as to appropriate action;
- Acts as the main point of contact for all media enquiries and directs all appropriate media enquiries to the Executive Director;
- Provides support to any senior staff members, Board Chair, and anyone else appointed as spokesperson for the Agency;
- Monitors all media (newspapers, radio, TV, etc.) and keeps staff informed of events and media coverage of issues related to child welfare, children’s mental health, youth justice, and broad issues affecting Indigenous persons in Canada;
- Maintains an archive of media related material;
- Works with members of the media to position the organization and enhance public awareness and understanding of the Agency, including generating positive media stories, writing press materials, managing media lists, and disseminating timely information to key media contacts.
- Plans and coordinates media and public relations activities including presentations to community groups and special events;
- Develop a speakers’ bureau consisting of staff, Alternative Care parents, Board Members, Elders, and others who are willing to share their knowledge with others in support of the work of Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services (DBCFS);
- Prepares budget plans and monitors expenditures related to the area of Communications and Public Relations;
- Writes speeches and prepares background material for the Executive Director, Board President, and Senior Staff when necessary;
- Develops and maintains marketing tools to promote the Agency, including use of the website, public service announcements, direct mail, brochures, newsletters, and advertising;
- Develops community partnerships that offer positive media and community relations opportunities (e.g. specialized workshops, public education events, trade shows, conferences, etc.);
- Works with communications representatives from other Children's Aid Societies (CASs) through the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and sits on a Provincial Communications working group to develop strategies to inform the general public and other professionals about CASs, our work, and the children in our care;
- Works to coordinate and participate in planning of communications and public relations strategy with other communications representatives from the Association of Native Child and Family Services Agencies of Ontario (ANCFSAO);
- Ensures the effective implementation of other duties as determined by the Executive Director;
- Maintain a high level of confidentiality;
- Work in a team as a member or a leader and to encourage cooperation from others;
- Manage competing demands and deadlines;
- Remain calm under pressure and during crises.
Education and Experience
The successful applicant should have:
- University degree or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution, preferably in Journalism or Communications, in addition to appropriate training in Communications and/or Public Relations;
- Preference for candidates with a minimum of five years’ experience in Communications and Public Relations;
- A solid understanding of, and sensitivity to, the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, and the impact of the legacy of Residential Schools and the “Sixties Scoop” upon them is essential;
- Must be willing to work flexible hours.
- The employee is required to provide a vehicle for use on the job;
- Provide DBCFS with evidence of your valid Ontario Driver’s License;
- Provide proof of liability insurance coverage for at least $2,000,000.00;
- Ability to provide an acceptable Driver’s Abstract;
- Ability to provide an acceptable CPIC with VPSS.
- High degree of initiative, able to self-start in the role and operate with a high degree of autonomy;
- Proven written and oral communication skills, including public speaking;
- Experience working in a MAC environment, including associated technology;
- Advanced skills in computer applications including word processing, spreadsheet, graphics, and desktop publishing;
- Proven ability to manage communication on the Internet;
- Excellent organizational abilities;
- Proven skills in special event coordination;
- Experience in website utilization;
- Past success in obtaining grants through written proposals;
- General knowledge of the Agency’s mandate, service philosophy, policies, procedures, planning and budgeting processes, and organizational structures;
- General knowledge of Child Welfare;
- Demonstrated knowledge of colonialism and government policy towards Indigenous persons and communities, its impact on children, families, and communities.
- Open until filled;
- Incomplete applications will not be considered;
- Only those selected will be contacted for an interview.
Please note that persons of Indigenous ancestry and members of Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services First Nations are encouraged to apply.
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