Back to Blogs Posted: October 24, 2017
Vancouver Coastal Health
October 24, 2017
Vancouver, Canada
Job Type
Level of Experience
Established professional, Strategic advisor


Job Title: Public Affairs Specialist Work Site: Corporate Admin-520 W 6th Status: Regular Full Time Reference#: 098903-kco

Apply now!

Vancouver Coastal Health is one of Canada’s leading clinical, teaching and research health care organizations, providing some of the most advanced health care services in British Columbia. Our 14,000 staff and 3,000 physicians work in hospitals, oversee public health, and deliver innovative mental health and addiction programs and other community services.
We need a smart, enthusiastic communicator who understands news media, is tech-savvy, has razor-sharp writing skills and a talent for finding and telling compelling stories. You have a positive, can-do attitude and an eagerness to learn issues management. Up to a challenge? Vancouver Coastal Health’s Communications & Public Affairs team needs you.


Reporting to the Director, Public Affairs, the Public Affairs Specialist participates in the development, implementation and evaluation of strategic issues management and media relations strategies and objectives for VCH.
Provides written materials to support effective media coverage, contributes to ongoing news and social media monitoring and analysis, and strives to promote a positive image for the health authority by ensuring clear, consistent messages are conveyed to internal and external stakeholders.
Writes news releases, pitches story ideas, organizes news conferences, acts as a media spokesperson for VCH as required, and provides strategic communication advice and services to senior leaders, directors, managers and staff across the organization.

Responds to incoming media inquiries by researching information about VCH, developing key messages, assessing areas of potential conflict and/or controversy, and preparing appropriate responses to enhance the organization’s reputation.
Prepares individuals for media encounters by developing key talking points and background materials.
Contributes to social media and website content, and other platforms as required.
Works positively and effectively with other members of the VCH Communications and Public Affairs Department and the Ministry of Health to advise and coordinate plans and activities.


Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Marketing or Journalism plus a minimum of 5-7 years’ recent, related experience or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Strong writing skills are a must. The position also requires a working knowledge of WordPress, SharePoint, various social media platforms and other computer applications. Skills in photography, video shooting and editing are assets, as is affiliation with an appropriate professional association.


The ideal candidate will have:
• Demonstrated skill and experience in journalistic writing and editing skills to compose briefing materials, news releases, key messages and communication strategies for a variety of target audiences in a clear and concise manner.
• Demonstrated ability to support the creation and execution strategic communication plans with measurable objectives and results.
• Ability to recognize emerging issues and opportunities, and help coordinate the response to them, while demonstrating tact, diplomacy and composure.
• Ability to be creative in developing new approaches to resolving issues and enhancing organizational reputation.
• Ability to effectively work with senior leaders and other stakeholders in a wide variety of settings across the organization.
• Demonstrated ability to set priorities and be results-oriented.
• Demonstrated ability to remain calm, alert and high functioning under stressful situations.
• Demonstrated ability to handle highly confidential and sensitive issues with skill, good judgment tact and diplomacy and carry out the duties of the position with a high degree of ethical and professional behaviour.

To Apply:

  • Qualified applicants only please submit a resume and covering letter quoting competition # 098903-kco.
  • Successful applicants may be required to complete a Criminal Records Review Check.

Apply now!

Internal competition closes October 30, 2017. Internal applications received after this date will be considered as late applications.

Only short-listed applicants will be contacted for this posting.

***Employees of VCH must apply via the Internal Application Process. Refer to the site for How to Applyinstructions. Current VCH employees who apply to this posting using this external site will be considered as an external candidate. Seniority will not apply.***

Thank you for your interest in Vancouver Coastal Health.

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