Communications Lead

Back to Blogs Posted: November 12, 2019
November 12, 2019
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Established professional, Strategic advisor
Membership #



About the IRP Program

UBC is embarking on a multi-year journey to transform our Finance, Human Resources and Student administrative processes and system environments, in support of UBC's new Strategic Plan.

The Integrated Renewal Program is a business process transformation and system implementation program that will leverage the industry-leading cloud enterprise solution Workday to replace our current core administrative systems with a new integrated, user friendly, mobile-enabled platform.

For more information on the IRP, please visit

Job Summary

The Communications Lead role is responsible for delivering strategic and tactical communications for the Integrated Renewal Program (IRP) aligned with the overall Organizational Change Management (OCM) strategy and Change Management plans. This role leads and coordinates communications activities with broad and strategic impact. The Communications Lead works as part of the OCM team to enhance the visibility and reputation of the IRP program at all levels of the University; and reflects the mandate and strategic goals of IRP. The Communications Lead is responsible for writing specialized web, digital, and print communication materials, including social media and digital signage, collaborates on community engagement initiatives, contributes to communications scheduling and touchpoint integration, and ensures consistency across all communications channels. This position collaborates with the Organizational Change Management team and program leadership to deliver meaningful, coordinated, and innovative communications.


Reports to the Director, Organizational Change Management, and delegates, manages and monitors the work of the Communications Specialist(s) and Communications and Events Coordinator(s). Overall direction is provided by the Director, Organizational Change Management with close working relationships with the OCM Senior Change Management Specialists and Training Lead. Works daily with the IRP team, including project managers, team leads, business analyst(s), and other project specialists. Works closely with a broad range of stakeholders, including Transformation Directors and UBC IT, clients from administrative and academic units, and external entities including vendors, regulatory agencies, and partner institutions.


Develops and manages communication plans, editorial schedules and communications. Creates, implements, and coordinates concurrent communications campaigns, ensuring messaging aligns across channels and campaigns and with IRP direction and the organizational change management strategy and plans. Authors and edits written communications content, while working with IRP leadership and OCM team members and IRP team members to clarify subject matter, objectives, and to secure approvals as required. Researches and publishes content for print, web, digital, and intranet while adhering to UBC style guide and governance standards.

Manages communications initiatives, determines project timelines and makes resourcing decisions, and develops contingency plans to keep projects on track. Coordinates workflow between members of project teams, including content contributors, UBC community resources, and external consultants. Ensures that messages are delivered in a coordinated manner across appropriate communications channels.

Develops effective relationships with various stakeholders and vendors, both internal and external to UBC, to develop opportunities for integrated and joint marketing and media opportunities. Leads or ensures the development and implementation of innovative and effective campaigns, public relations and activities that raise the profile of IRP on campus, and publicly to various stakeholder audiences. Develops creative tactical plans to achieve project goals on time and on budget.

Provides strategic oversight and counsel on IRP's use of digital communications to engage audiences, including the use of web, social media, digital signage, and other emerging platforms. Chairs IRP's Communications Advisory group, identifying and implementing coordinated IRP-wide campaigns with community contributors. Regularly contributes to and monitors IRP's website, SharePoint site, social media, and digital signage channels.

Develops highly effective and engaging content for various audiences, using a variety of communication channels including scripts, social media posts, presentations, web content, annual reports, internal newsletters, and event briefs. Conceptualizes and creates digital assets such as photography, videos, infographics, and other visual storytelling tools.

Manages, coordinates and monitors all IRP web content, in a timely, consistent, efficient manner. Manages the IRP web governance plan to adhere to the review/approval cycles required to update and refresh content and visual aspects. Works with web designers on selection of website elements including graphics, photos, and video.

Develops and maintains web content style guides, standards and templates. Schedules and prepares content for UBC digital signage. Performs routine content audits on the IRP website, editing, archiving, and creating content as required. Manages and/or coordinates IRP messaging through social media channels in order to build a network of followers. Solicits, compiles and edits content for blogs and e-newsletters. Coordinates and prepares content for targeted email communication campaigns.

Advises IRP leadership on internal and external communication projects in alignment with communication protocols, processes and procedures and general practices set by UBC Communications & Marketing and UBC Media Relations.

Builds and maintains effective and collaborative working relationships with UBC communication professionals including the UBC Communicators Network.

Develops joint communications with other communicators as needed. Actively seeks and builds mutually beneficial relationships with other strategic partners at educational institutions and in the communications and marketing industry.

Develops, implements, and analyzes communication metrics to make evidence based decisions on improvements, milestones, and achievements. Utilizes focus groups, survey tools, and other forms of feedback to inform tactics and deployment.

Provides training, documentation, and communications as required to facilitate best practices in communications. Delivers presentations to provide information on communication and engagement strategy and initiatives. Influences decision-makers by providing compelling case studies.

Acts as a brand advocate to ensure UBC & IRP brand guidelines are maintained. Provides brand counsel to IRP staff. Develops and manages cross-promotional activities with other campus units to strengthen the IRP brand. Resolves brand issues by working collaboratively with UBC Communications & Marketing.

Assesses annual and special events for appropriateness to leverage for IRP engagement opportunities; conceptualizes and implements communication and engagement opportunities for events including town halls, staff events, employee recognition events and community events. Develops event plans and sets project timelines to ensure goals are achieved and measured.

Makes independent decisions and recommendations in areas of prioritizing, planning, and executing communications plans. Exercises judgment and tact in dealing with staff, faculty, and leaders at the university.

Designs innovative ways of delivering information and services, including recommending best practices for usability, accessibility and navigation.

Keeps current on evolving technologies and recommends changes to ensure that IRP connects with members of the UBC community and with the public in an appropriate way. Shares knowledge and experience related to communicating with students, faculty, and staff.

Performs other duties as required.


Supervises Communication Specialist(s) and Coordinator(s). May provide training and supervision for other staff.


Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum of six years experience or communications services or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Membership in IABC, CPRS, BCAMA or BCAIM preferred. Accreditation in communications, and/or Change Management an asset. Demonstrated experience leading a team and implementing project management practices. Experience in client relations, particularly working with internal client structure or agency environment. Creative design expertise in developing campaigns, creating and directing promotional materials and artwork including digital signage, print and online newsletters, publications, banners, and other collateral. Demonstrated experience in developing effective campaigns, developing ROI metrics, and providing analytic measurement of communication efforts.

Ability to work effectively and diplomatically with various levels of senior administration, campus audiences, external agencies, and the public. Demonstrated communication skills such as development of communication materials, event planning, presentation skills, and communication plans. Demonstrated ability to adapt writing style for various purposes and for different publications and media requirements. Ability to communicate effectively with excellent oral and written communication skills and a high level of proficiency in English grammar. Ability to break down complex information and exercise diplomacy, tact and discretion when working with information of a confidential or sensitive nature. Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment.

Ability to set priorities, be detail-oriented, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines. Ability to recognize, respect and work effectively with individuals and groups with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships and engage in workplace culture. Committed to demonstrating respect to colleagues at every level by trusting in their abilities and knowledge to perform their roles and earn respect through meeting commitments. Models and demonstrates good communication through active listening and appreciative inquiry and open to providing and receiving timely, constructive feedback. Listens to, encourages and expresses creative and innovative ideas. Open to experiment and improvise with new ways of approaching processes, tasks or problems.

Advanced knowledge and working experience of WordPress, Drupal, Content Management Systems, MS Office Suite, Adobe Creative Suite, and social networking.

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