The University of Ottawa—A crossroads of cultures and ideas
The University of Ottawa is home to a dynamic community of over 50,000 students, faculty and staff, who live, work and study in both French and English. Our campus is a crossroad of cultures and ideas, where bold minds come together to inspire game-changing ideas. We believe in the power of representation, and that increasing the diversity of our faculty and staff supports this objective. Our goal is to provide students with the best possible learning experience, in an environment that reflects the diversity of its people, their ideas, and their identities.
We are one of Canada’s top 10 research universities—our professors and researchers explore new approaches to today’s challenges. One of a handful of Canadian universities ranked among the top 200 in the world, we attract exceptional thinkers and welcome diverse perspectives from across the globe. Our employees come together around the shared purpose of constant improvement, personal development, service excellence, teamwork and a passion for learning with a desire to make uOttawa and the world a better place. Everyone's contributions are valued, we all play a part in making uOttawa a world-class institution. Most importantly, we make it possible for you to achieve your full potential. Because at uOttawa, you belong!
The Director, Strategic Communications works closely with the Chief Communications and Government Relations Officer (CGRO) and the University's senior leadership team to establish and develop internal and external communications strategies and plans that advance the pan-university strategic vision and support internal clients including key executives, faculties and services in achieving their communications objectives. These plans outline the goals, key audiences, stakeholders, objectives, recommended channels, expected results, metrics for success and timelines. In addition, the incumbent will provide operational leadership to the strategic communications and language services teams and ensure planning is proactive. Alongside the CCGRO, the Director will act as a senior advisor to key executives at the University – all within the context of the University’s broader communications agenda.
The incumbent will oversee thought leadership and profile-building omnichannel content strategies that allow the University’s executive leadership and research experts to build reputation, credibility, authority, and trust, advancing the institution’s position as leading global university among internal and external audiences. This will be done through understanding external audiences, their preferences, attitudes, and behaviors and working seamlessly with the Media Relations, Communications, and the Brand and Marketing Strategy teams on insights, analytics, and effective content and channel strategies
In this role, your responsibilities will include:
Strategic Communications Planning: Oversees the development, implementation and evaluation of uOttawa’s communications strategies to support the institution’s strategic priorities.
Corporate Communications Expert: Oversees the Language Services team and leads the corporate communications, aiming to establish and publish University-wide terminology and language standards, thus ensuring high-quality language both on the University’s website and in its official communications.
Relationship Management: Provides sound leadership and builds strong partnerships across campus to facilitate communications efforts and identify opportunities to enhance the University’s reputation.
Team Development/Management: Provides strategic leadership to a diverse team of experienced communication professionals who communicate the university’s brand across a variety of platforms.
Trends and Needs Analysis: Keeps abreast of emerging trends in communications, reviews best practices and provides recommendations to the CGRO to ensure the University maintains its competitive edge.
What you will bring:
- Bachelor's degree from a recognized university in communications, journalism or language studies or an acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience.
- A minimum of ten (10) years of progressive experience of providing strategic communications advice to senior executives.
- Minimum of 5 years of human and financial resource management and demonstrated ability to diplomatically and successfully resolve conflict.
- Extensive experience anticipating and addressing communication risks and managing sensitive and complex issues and crises in large organizations.
- Outstanding communication skills, an accomplished and persuasive communicator and project manager with strong planning and presentation skills
- Superb skills in leading, motivating and coaching professional communications teams
- Ability to challenge, transform and innovate while inspiring a team to seek creative solutions to strategic communication challenges
- Experience with innovative channels, social media and ways of communicating internally and writing for online communication channels, such as HTML newsletters, web and intranet sites
- Proven abilities in building partnerships and/or collaborative working relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders
- Experience working in an omni-channel communications environment
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in both official languages
- Demonstrated ability to stay current with industry emerging trends
Key Competencies at uOttawa:
Here are the required competencies for all or our employees at uOttawa:
Planning: Organize in time a series of actions or events in order to realise an objective or a project. Plan and organize own work and priorities in regular daily activities.
Initiative: Demonstrate creativity and initiative to suggest improvements and encourage positive results. Is proactive and self-starting. Show availability and willingness to go above and beyond whenever it is possible.
Client Service Orientation: Help or serve others to meet their needs. This implies anticipating and identifying the needs of internal and external clients and finding solutions on how to meet them.
Teamwork and Cooperation: Cooperate and work well with other members of the team to reach common goal(s). Accept and give constructive feedback. Able to adjust own behaviour to reach the goals of the team.
The University of Ottawa embraces diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We are passionate about our people and committed to employment equity. We are at our best when everyone has a seat at the table, and when we are made to feel like we belong. We foster a culture of respect, teamwork and inclusion, where collaboration, innovation, and creativity fuel our quest for research and teaching excellence. While all qualified persons are invited to apply, we welcome applications from Indigenous persons, racialized persons, persons with disabilities, women and LGBTQIA2S+ persons. The University is committed to creating and maintaining an accessible, barrier-free work environment. The University is also committed to working with applicants with disabilities requesting accommodation during the recruitment, assessment and selection processes. Applicants with disabilities may contact firstname.lastname@example.org to communicate the accommodation need. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
Note: if this is a union position: The hiring process will be governed by the current collective agreement related to the union affiliation noted above; you can click here to find out more.