Location: 
Ontario

 

Director, Communications and Issues Management

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading Canadian university that excels at inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. Its holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom. Students gain both the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and the inspiration to make their mark. Laurier has been ranked highly in student satisfaction, thanks in no small part to its unique community-centered culture. Through its community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its academic excellence and global impact. In acknowledgement of its exemplary workplace policies and programs, and its commitment to sustainability and lifelong learning, Laurier was named one of the Waterloo Area’s Top Employers in 2020 and 2021. Laurier specializes in arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, social work, education, and theology.

The University has over 20,000 students, campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, locations in Kitchener and Toronto, and a research office in Yellowknife. Kitchener, Waterloo and Brantford are on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnawbe and Haudenosaunee peoples. Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo and Brantford campuses and Kitchener location are located on the Haldimand Tract.

Now, on Wilfrid Laurier University’s behalf, we are seeking a Director, Communications and Issues Management to join their growing team.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President (AVP), External Relations, the Director, Communications and Issues Management is a key member of the External Relations management team and works closely with colleagues in External Relations to develop and implement plans to enhance and protect the university’s image and reputation and positions Laurier positively and distinctively among all key stakeholders and audiences. The Director is responsible for leading all issues management and crisis communications responses and acts as a strategic issues management advisor to the university. The Director is also the university spokesperson where appropriate and is responsible for working closely with the President’s office and other senior leaders to manage critical situations effectively.

The Director is responsible for leading the development of relationships with media, media monitoring and evaluation and leading the university’s social media strategy, providing direction and services to other areas of the university as required. The Director provides operational leadership to the issues management team and mentors and coaches a small team of issues and social media communicators.

As the ideal candidate, you are an expert in issues management, media and public relations and a proven leader who can motivate staff and provide strong advice and counsel to senior leadership. You hold a post-secondary degree in communications, public relations, journalism, or a related discipline and a minimum of 10 years’ experience in media relations, issues management or public affairs. You possess leadership experience in a management role, a demonstrated ability in the development and implementation of issues management plans and strategic media relations programs as well as sound news judgment and the ability to identify emerging issues and develop mitigation strategies. You have superb written and verbal communication skills, including proficiency in quickly developing briefing notes and written statements. You have sophisticated copy editing and proofreading skills. As a leader you have sophisticated problem-solving and prioritizing abilities in a multi-task environment and a proven ability to work under deadlines and manage changing priorities. You can appreciate diverse perspectives and can work with diverse groups including members of the media, senior administration, faculty, members of student government, staff, and students. With sensitive information and sensitive situations, you have complete discretion and are calm under pressure. Having a familiarity with issues in postsecondary education would be considered an asset including understanding a university context and relevant stakeholder and audience groups (alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents, government, and community).

If you are interested in this opportunity, contact Katherine Frank at kfrank@kbrs.ca or Mark Gillis at mgillis@kbrs.ca. Completed applications can be submitted by selecting the 'Apply Now' button below.

Wilfrid Laurier University endeavors to fill positions with the best available candidates who have the appropriate combination of education, experience, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position while demonstrating Laurier's Employee Success Factors. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to equity and values diversity. We welcome applications from qualified individuals of all genders and sexual orientations, persons with disabilities, Indigenous persons and racialized persons.

Candidates can request to complete an Applicant Equity Survey to identify if they belong with one or more of the federally designated groups (more broadly referred to at Laurier as equity seeking groups). Members of the designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Further information on the equity policy can be found at: https://www.wlu.ca/about/governance/assets/resources/8.4-employment-equi....

Wilfrid Laurier University and KBRS will provide support in the recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation in order to participate as a candidate in the recruitment process, please contact accommodate@kbrs.ca or communicate your needs to the recruitment professional named in the job description.

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