Manager, Communications

Back to Blogs Posted: September 19, 2017
September 19, 2017
Job Type
Level of Experience
Strategic advisor



In alignment with its strategic plan, UBC is in a multi-year period of enterprise-wide, major systems and process renewal that will transform the ways that staff, faculty and students will work and interact. This endeavor (“Renewal Program”) will ultimately usher in new technology systems and business processes to support Student, Human Resources and Finance administration. This undertaking will require significant communications and stakeholder engagement strategies and campaigns to ensure full stakeholder participation and awareness as UBC transitions to new enterprise systems and ways of working. Success will depend on an integrated, coordinated, and comprehensive approaches to communications across all impacted stakeholder groups and units and across all campus locations.

The Manager, Communications is responsible for developing and overseeing communications strategies and plans that have a university-wide audience and impact all campus locations. This position is responsible for the overall management of UBC's integrated communications and marketing functions for the Renewal Program related to Student, Human Resources and Finance administration, including strategic communications planning and implementation, event management and internal and external communication programs and materials. The incumbent will lead and advise a team of communication/marketing professionals in the execution of strategies and plans.

The Manager, Communications is responsible for developing effective relationships with various stakeholders and vendors, both internal and external to UBC, to develop opportunities for integrated and joint marketing and communications to support the Renewal Program. The Manager also provides communications advice and planning for the various sponsoring units of the Program portfolio and also to faculty and other unit partners as requested. The incumbent will develop proposals and present to senior UBC leaders and managers for approval, and act as lead in marketing/communications ventures endorsed by UBC leadership.  The Manager, Communications will support and align their efforts with a comprehensive and structured Organizational Change Management strategy and plan for the Renewal Program.  The incumbent is also responsible for ensuring all communications and campaigns align with UBC Public Affairs, UBC Internal Communications, the President's and Vice Presidents’ Offices, as well as the greater UBC Strategic plans for marketing and media.


The Manager, Communications is part of the program team that will oversee the implementation of the Student, HR and Finance renewal projects.  It reports to the Associate Registrar and Director of Transformation in Enrolment Services, pending further development of an overarching, integrated program team and management structure. Work is reviewed in terms of effectiveness of communications and marketing activities, optimization of resources, customer satisfaction, and achievement of broad strategic goals.

Actively participates as a member of the Renewal Program Organizational Change Management team, senior management group and governance committees. Provides guidance and functional supervision to team of communications professionals within the Program. Participates in industry conferences and forums. Actively interacts with key customers and user communities relating to the Renewal Program.

This position has interdependencies with project teams within the overall program of renewal, UBC executive strategic planning teams, institutional and unit communications teams, members of departments and faculties, and selected vendors providing ongoing contracted services to UBC.

Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm in general. Hours of work are flexible and may be irregular and may be required outside regular office hours. Occasional travel may be required.

- Develop and manage implementation of integrated communications/marketing strategies, approaches and plans to support the Renewal Programs in Student, Human Resources and Finance, including new system implementation and business process transformation

-In support of an overall Organizational Change Management framework for the Renewal Program, build a Communications approach that lays out a clear framework for communications including governance, review processes, escalation mechanisms, policies and procedures, and roles and responsibilities

- Ensures that communications plans and activities within streams of overall Renewal Program are fully aligned with overarching Program strategy and plans

- Develop and oversee implementation of a multi-year, multi-phase, multi-audience awareness campaign for the Renewal Program, ensuring wide awareness across both campuses, engaging student, staff and faculty audiences

- Oversee the development and production of communications materials for the Program; direct production and content for related websites, social media, print collateral, and videos;

- Plan and oversee special campus events, such as large-scale vendor demonstrations, town halls, open houses and others as required

- Establish and execute approaches for assessing effectiveness of communications and awareness campaigns, utilizing assessment information to adapt and improve strategies and tactics.

- Build and maintain effective working relationships with UBC Public Affairs, UBC Internal Communications, the President's and Vice-Presidents’ Offices, University Counsel and other UBC communication groups/professionals/outlets to support the Renewal Program communication strategy and objectives

- Advise and assist leadership and other managers on internal and external communications projects in coordination with the overall Program communications strategy;

- Liaise with academic partners and UBC departments such as Public Affairs and the Office of the University Counsel to prepare joint communications around operational and transformational technology.

- Collaborate with technology vendors and engage with other vendor clients to leverage resources and knowledge in support of communications strategies and tactics.

- Manage the activities of a team of communications professionals to effectively deliver the Renewal Program’s communications and marketing plans

- Manages staff, consultants and external service provides, directly and indirectly through other team staff

- Develop strong communications skills within the communications team; develop staff career paths, and apply HR best practices in leading the team.

- Research customer groups for technology-related change and communications purposes; advocate user experience within UBC IT.

- Assume budgeting and financial responsibility for Communications team budget, and various event budgets

- Maintain skills and professional accreditations as appropriate.

- Other duties as required.


UBC is engaged in a series of initiatives intended to transform and improve the ways students, staff and faculty interact and work ,modernize our business system ecosystem,  and enable the university to achieve its goal of becoming one the world’s leading universities.  This role is critical in shaping awareness and enhancing adoption of the changes across campus, and helping the community understand how to best leverage a new business system environment to mrenew; administrative units responsible for the efficient, cost effective delivery of a wide range of services and processes that must meet the needs of students, faculty and staff; students who need to know what services are available in order to support their learning environments; and a wide range of individual faculty, staff, and external stakeholder groups. The manager plays a key role in ensuring that these audiences are aware of the renewal Program and transformative changes that will support the achievement of their mandates and strategic objectives.

If communication strategies and tactics are ineffective, stakeholders will not be sufficiently aware of or will not sufficiently understand the changes that will emerge from the renewal Program.  This will jeopardize their ability to adopt and maximize new processes, approaches and systems and compromise their individual and collective success and efficacy.

As the Manager, Communications will be leading strategy, planning and tactics for a multi-dimensional renewal initiative, and providing advice and assistance to leadership and numerous managers the impact of decisions, and the consequences of error will be far reaching, broadly affecting the efficacy and success of these major University investments.


Works under the administrative direction of the Associate Registrar and Director, Transformation in Enrolment Services.  Results are reviewed for achievement of overall and long term objectives and broad strategic goals. The Manager, Communications has interdependencies with members of various project teams and Organizational Change Management team. The Manager, Communications must be able to work independently and assume full responsibility for his/her decisions.

This position manages staff and directs the work of internal and external service providers, including contactors, designers and printers.

Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. University degree in a related discipline such as Communications, Marketing, Commerce, Business Administration. A minimum of 7 years of experience or communications services or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Demonstrated managerial experience plus specialized experience in the design and implementation of major communication initiatives, or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Demonstrated experience leading a team, and utilizing management practices such as budgeting, performance management, staff development.

Demonstrated exceptional communications skills such as development of marketing materials, event planning, presentation skills, written materials, and communication plans. Demonstrated experience in strategic planning and working with IT products and services, such as Email, Portals, Blogs, Wiki's, Intranets, web and videoconferencing tools

Demonstrated experience developing business plans, communication strategies, marketing strategies, project charter and other management documents. Demonstrated ongoing career development through active and self-motivated professional development. Demonstrated track record and commitment to delivering results and proactively supporting the applications.

Experience in areas of strategic planning, tactical planning, project management, risk management, business process improvement, continuous improvement, quality assurance, research, and customer service. Ability to communicate effectively with the media and public relations agencies. Exceptional ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and presentation). Ability to develop and maintain cooperative and productive working relationships. Ability to work effectively independently and in a team environment. Ability to effectively market and promote products and services and to select the most effective communication media for a situation. Ability to effectively lead committees and plan meetings. Ability to effectively identify, obtain, and effectively manage organizational resources (e.g., people, materials, assets, budgets). Ability to effectively manage multiple tasks and prioritize. Ability to mentor and coach staff, and act as a resource. Ability to build relationships and to consult with customers and potential customers. Ability to interact at all organizational levels.

Please apply today at and search for Manager, Communications (Job ID#: 27677)

Thank you for your interest in this position. Please indicate if you applied on IABC. 


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