Digital Communications Specialist

Back to Blogs Posted: January 18, 2020
The University of British Columbia
January 18, 2020
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Established professional, Strategic advisor
Membership #


Job Summary
The Digital Communications Strategist is responsible for developing and implementing digital communications strategies and managing an integrated system of digital communications channels that directly impact the faculty and staff experience at UBC, and enhance the University's reputation as a first-choice employer. Collaborating with leaders and colleagues in the VP, Human Resources portfolio and across UBC, the role ensures these efforts align with and promote the aspirations and priorities articulated in the UBC Strategic Plan and the Focus on People 2025 Framework, as well as related University-wide strategies and plans.

Organizational Status
Reporting to the Director, Workplace Strategy & Engagement, the Digital Communications Strategist works collaboratively as part of the Engagement & Communications team within UBC Human Resources. The role also works in partnership with others across the VP, HR portfolio, as well as with diverse colleagues across the University and external consultants and service providers.

Work Performed
- Manages the development and implementation of digital communications strategies, plans, and initiatives that directly impact the faculty and staff experience at UBC, and align with the University's broader digital communications strategies, approaches, and priorities; ensures all efforts promote and safeguard the University's brand and reputation as an employer (including the visual identity).
- Manages and drives ongoing development of the VP, HR's websites, including, which is among the top 5 most visited sites in the UBC web ecosystem. Develops and maintains site architecture and content strategy, and ensures integration and cohesion with UBC's information systems (Workday) and digital channels. Provides editorial oversight for web content, such as new and updated core content, feature stories, news, and bulletins.
- Manages web content authoring for a cross-functional team of authors and subject matter experts within HR, establishing and maintaining collaborative and effective workflows, and upholding content strategy guidelines and standards.
- Leads digital communications projects for the VP, HR portfolio such as creating and refreshing websites and digital communications campaigns and tactics for HR's centres of expertise and operational services.
- Defines and leads the VP, HR's strategy and approach for digital channels including newsletters and intranet sites; selects and leverages appropriate technology platforms, develops on-brand templates, creates and implements content strategies, and develops and maintains standards and guidelines; ensures ongoing alignment and integration with the wider direction and approach at the University.
- Develops and leads the implementation of the VP, HR's social media strategy, working in collaboration with communications colleagues across UBC to ensure alignment with the University's social media approach.
- Writes and edits original content and leads content curation for the VP, HR's digital communications channels.
- Oversees video, photographic, and multimedia production for digital and other communication channels, in collaboration with Communications & Engagement colleagues.
- Provides coaching and development for colleagues on digital storytelling and digital communications strategies and best practices.
- Plans, develops and implements effective digital communications strategies and tactics for crisis response and issues management for the VP, HR portfolio, in close collaboration with communications colleagues across UBC such as Media Relations, Internal Communications, and Student Communications.
- Conducts social media monitoring for issues management and advises on effective engagement strategies.
- Develops and monitors digital communications metrics to measure the reach and impact of digital communications channels, and evaluate campaigns and tactics.
- Identifies, evaluates, and recommends digital collaboration tools and platforms that enable strong collaboration and effective project management for the Communications & Engagement team and HR colleagues; ensures selected tools align and integrate with the wider approach at the University.
- Performs other related duties as required.

Supervision Received
Works independently, utilizing broad concepts and exercising independent judgment and initiative in addressing complex issues. Keeps the Director informed of actions through reports and discussions. Exercises initiative and sound judgment in making decisions. Works closely with the Engagement & Communications team and other colleagues within HR, as well as across the entire organization.

Supervision Given
Manages the work of contract consultants, external service providers, and student employees.
Consequence of Error/Judgement
This position plays an important role in fulfilling the VP, HR's goals and commitments to the University community. Failure to develop and implement digital communications strategies and effectively manage digital communications channels could adversely affect the faculty and staff experience and relationships with members of the UBC community. Furthermore, it could have a detrimental on impact the reputation of UBC.

Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. Minimum of six years experience or communications services or the equivalent combination of education and experience. - Demonstrated experience managing and evolving digital communications, including overseeing ongoing operations for a high-traffic digital channel within a large, complex organization
- Advanced experience developing and executing digital communications strategies and projects including websites, social media, campaigns, blogs, intranets, and mobile applications
- Strong knowledge of Content Management Systems such as Drupal and WordPress, information architecture, audience analysis, user experience, and content strategy
- Excellent verbal and written communications skills; strong listening skills
- Superb digital content copywriting, editing, and proofreading skills
- Ability to work effectively with designers, photographers, videographers, and other creative professionals; experience in one or more of these areas is an asset
- Demonstrated ability to successfully lead projects; manage timelines, resources, and budgets; prioritize competing priorities and work under pressure to meet deadlines
- Ability to work effectively and collaboratively as part of a team and with diverse stakeholders
- Ability to lead and influence a cross-functional group of colleagues without a direct reporting relationship
- Ability to successfully build relationships across a complex organisation and influence others at all organisational levels
- Effective at working with high levels of ambiguity and complexity, including making decisions and maintaining a solution-focused approach
- Knowledge of web analytics reporting software (e.g. Google Analytics)
- Ability to quickly grasp technical concepts and accurately understand capabilities and constraints of new and evolving digital communications related-technologies
- Experience with Adobe Creative Suite
- Proactive self-starter with the ability to work independently
- Exercises sound judgement, diplomacy, and tact
- Commitment to personal learning, development and improvement in pursuit of own objectives and those of the team and organisation.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

To apply, please visit:

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