Associate Director, Communications

Back to Blogs Posted: November 5, 2021
City of Vancouver
November 5, 2021
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Business leader
Membership #


Main Purpose & Function
The City of Vancouver is seeking a bold, innovative and service-oriented communications leader. Reporting directly to the Chief Communications Officer and working closely with senior City Staff, the Associate Director, Communications will provide leadership and direction to a team of communications staff and deliver, implement and support integrated communications across the City of Vancouver.

This role is a great opportunity for an ambitious and forward-thinking communications leader to join Civic Engagement & Communications (CEC) at a time of exciting change and forward momentum—to help enact a service-forward vision:
- You are an exceptional, storytelling leader who will help shape communications for the City that resonate with citizens and are reflective of City priorities.
- You will lead and inspire the CEC team toward high performance, creativity and quality, bringing a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to all our work.
- You will help position CEC as the nexus of expertise in both external and internal communications within the City, collaborating with business partners across the organization toward creating and implementing creative, integrated communications solutions.
- You don’t shy away from a challenge—and you confront problems with balance and curiosity. You lead in a way that builds your team up, even in challenging times.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities
The Associate Director, Communications will deliver the following core duties:
- Lead the development, implementation and management of integrated, multi-channel citizen-centric communications planning to support City of Vancouver priorities for both internal and external audiences, maximizing public awareness and understanding of benefit of City priorities and initiatives, incorporating approaches that support diversity, equity and inclusion throughout.
- Prioritize evaluation and adjustment to inform an evidence-based approach to communications planning and ensure plans are working against set objectives.
- Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with local and domestic media, determine key audiences and lead a proactive approach to media relations.
- Lead the strategic direction and implementation of City-wide internal communications, working closely with Human Resources, the Equity Office and others, to increase staff engagement and strengthen the City’s internal culture, fostering an environment of inclusiveness.
- Manage external contractors, including through the RFP process, for but not limited to agencies, freelance designers and writers.
- Lead strategic communications planning and staff who support City corporate priorities and functions, including but not limited to, the annual City Budget and other key Finance files, corporate reporting, Reconciliation, real estate and legal matters.

To be successful in these activities, the Associate Director, Communications will:
- Develop, build and maintain excellent working relationships with and understanding of both internal clients and external stakeholders.
- Lead with a high level of political acuity, judgment and diplomacy, including the handling of confidential, sensitive subject matter.
- Effectively manage budgets and processes to execute initiatives in a cost-effective, timely fashion to support strategic objectives.
- Lead, mentor and supervise CEC staff with courage and heart by providing clear direction, a safe space for questions, and direct and provide ongoing feedback so they can perform to their highest level. This includes coaching, training and development, hiring and termination, discipline, performance and attendance management.
- Proactively identify and problem-solve emerging and potentially politically sensitive issues and recommend appropriate communications response, staying calm even in moments of crisis.
- Stay abreast of the municipal landscape and pulse of Vancouver, particularly as it may have reputational impact on the City, its programs and policies.
- Create an environment of trust and credibility through clear, accurate, open and timely two-way communication with staff and stakeholders.
- Diplomatically challenge the status quo, ask questions and suggest alternate strategies and approaches, always maintaining a strategic outlook.

You demonstrate the City of Vancouver leadership dimensions through leading self, engaging others and advancing the organization. Guiding qualifications for the role:
- Ten (10) years’ experience leading a team in mid- to senior-level strategic communications roles that encompass strategic communications planning, issues management, media relations, digital communications and corporate communications.
- Work in diverse and complex private, public sector or agency experience, ideally within a unionized environment. Bonus if you have a strong foundation within local government operations and processes.
- Strong, trusted relationships with local and domestic media.
- A specific track record implementing communications strategies and making evidence-based decisions to support your organization’s goals.
- A specific track record implementing communications strategies that prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion and communicating with diverse communities.
- Reputation as an avid learner and self-starter who follows emerging communications trends for the joy of it, including channels and tools, using data and nimbly keeping pace with change.
- Experience leading, managing and influencing diverse and multi-disciplinary teams.
- Demonstrated budget experience, including creating and managing a budget in a lean environment.
- Experience in complex public and stakeholder engagement development and implementation is an asset.
- A degree in communications, journalism or equivalent combination of education and experience.

All City of Vancouver employees are required to be fully vaccinated as a condition of hire and ongoing employment. Candidates may only be exempted from this requirement if they request and are approved for an accommodation based a reason related to a Human Rights Code ground (such as disability). Such a request must be made during, not after, the recruitment process.

Application Close: November 24, 2021

For more details and to apply, visit our Careers page.

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