Communications Advisor, VE

Back to Blogs Posted: December 1, 2016

Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a globally recognized leader in connecting people to our natural world. As a not-for-profit organization, our team contributes to meaningful work that matters.

We take pride in the steps we take towards conserving aquatic life every day. Our focus on engaging visitors, connecting students, facilitating direct action and understanding the world around us contributes to protecting our world’s oceans.

Communications at the Vancouver Aquarium

Vancouver Aquarium is seeking a dynamic communications advisor to be part of a progressive communications team. The communications advisor is part of a communications team that supports the growing engagement initiatives of Vancouver Aquarium. Key responsibilities include developing and executing strategic communications plans to engage visitors and raise awareness of the Aquarium’s multifaceted conservation, research and education programs. The communications advisor contributes to the overall goals of enhancing the Aquarium’s image and stature, engaging consumers in conservation initiatives and increasing its consumer reach to support the organization’s strategic direction.

The Ideal Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate is a highly successful professional with a demonstrated ability to use available resources to deliver on results. With a personal record of success in communications and media relations, and a solid grasp of planning and execution, the communications advisor will lead on marketing and communications strategies aimed at engaging visitors at Vancouver Aquarium, connecting visitors to conservation initiatives and building support of Aquarium programs and activities. To be successful in this role, he/she must have a solid communications background, along with a passion for conservation and the preservation of our aquatic environments.

With a minimum of six to eight years’ relevant experience, the communications advisor will have an opportunity to develop comprehensive, integrated strategies and establish timelines and budgets which are aligned with the organization’s overall objectives. The results will be measurable and the individual will be held accountable for the deliverables. The successful candidate will have a proven track record in this area and will bring a disciplined approach to the achievement of the established goals.

The Aquarium is a mission driven organization. Staff, volunteers and the Board of Directors believe strongly in the mission and go above and beyond because they are committed to advancing conservation and sustainability. The communications advisor will demonstrate the same passion and effectively harness this to develop, maintain and advance relationships with internal and external stakeholders, strategic partners and suppliers.


Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Communications Advisor is responsible for leading the development, implementation and measurement of the organization’s communications strategies and tactics to achieve increased public awareness and goodwill across a broad audience. This position contributes to the development of an annual communications strategic plan that aims to raise awareness about ocean health issues, engage visitors to connect with aquatic life at Vancouver Aquarium and bring life to the everyday amazing experiences that happen in our galleries.

This position develops and prepares communications plans, reports, briefs; presentations and media materials that serve to enhance the Vancouver Aquarium’s reputation and stature, increase the number of visitors that connect with aquatic life and engage consumers on conservation issues. The incumbent also serves as project manager, editor and writer for publications/stories in print and digital formats, including social media. He/she also monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of communications programs.

The Communications Advisor works alongside the Communications, Marketing and Content teams, and will work closely with Animal Care, Visitor Experience, External Relations, Conservation, Research and Education, as well as partners, external consultants, volunteers and staff throughout the Aquarium.

Candidates who are offered employment will be subject to a criminal record check.

Key Accountabilities

Develops proactive communications plans that support the Vancouver Aquarium’s goals and objectives by:

  • Planning, leading and measuring outcomes of communications plans that support the organization’s goals and objectives, specifically in promoting the Aquarium as an amazing place to connect with aquatic life and ocean conservation issues;
  • Contributing to the development of an annual editorial strategy to plan story pitches and promotional/brand positioning opportunities;
  • Contributing to the development of an annual digital strategy to plan and execute digital engagement opportunities, including social media;
  • Leading communications to support Marketing goals and objectives;
  • Leading travel trade media stories to garner international coverage;
  • Leading communications for fundraising events and other development opportunities;
  • Providing communications counsel and messaging to respond to issues;
  • Developing and preparing communications plans, reports, briefs, presentations and media materials that serve to enhance the Aquarium’s reputation and stature and increase the number of visitors and/or engaged consumers.

Serves as Project Manager, Editor and Writer on various projects by:

  • Developing briefing notes, speaking points, backgrounders, messages, and other reference materials to support senior leaders as Aquarium representatives;
  • Managing, editing and writing for publications and reference materials in print and digital;
  • Managing or coordinating the use of digital tactics as part of campaigns.

Leading Media Relations activities by:

  • Developing media pitches and connects with media on key opportunities;
  • Planning, managing and measuring media outcomes to ensure media targets are met;
  • Leading or assigning tours of the facility for media;
  • Coaching and developing talking points for media spokespersons;
  • Rotating, on-call 24/7 to respond to media inquiries.

Consistently improves the Vancouver Aquarium and its processes by:

  • Promptly aiding in Emergency protocol;
  • Maintaining organizational safety standards;
  • Continually improving our impact on the environment and greening of operations through support of EMS protocols;
  • Actively demonstrating the Aquarium’s values and expectations for conduct;
  • Performing additional duties as required.


Education and Experience

  • Six to eight years of progressively senior communications experience;
  • Minimum six years of experience leading marketing and communications planning and executing on campaigns
  • Established relationships with regional, national and international media
  • Thorough knowledge and demonstrated experience in social media and digital campaigns
  • Undergraduate degree in communications or journalism;
  • Senior experience in communications planning, execution and measurement;
  • Senior experience in media relations and issues management.


  • Excellent people skills with the ability to work in a team;
  • Excellent relationship building skills to develop strong relations with persons at all levels within and external to the organization;
  • Outstanding written, oral communication and presentation skills;
  • Comfort and confidence in working with senior corporate executives;
  • Proven communications, marketing and promotion skills;
  • Strong ability to inspire the confidence and trust of sponsors and partners;
  • Ability to work with a high degree of discretion and tact in handling confidential matters;
  • Detail oriented and accurate in execution, ability to work well under pressure and with minimal supervision;
  • Thrives in a fast-paced work environment, maintains a positive frame of mind and sets an example of professionalism for other employees;
  • Demonstrated analytical, and problem-solving skills;
  • Ability to multi-task while maintaining highest standards of accuracy and quality;
  • Ability to deal with time pressures in a calm and organized manner;
  • Superior organizational ability and time management skills;
  • Advanced level MS Office.

Working Conditions:

  • Rotating, on-call 24/7 to respond to media;
  • Working in the public forum;
  • Normal office environment with usual conditions, though may be called on to work in various off-site locations;
  • May be required to occasionally work in the evening and/or weekend for event(s) and media cultivation.

To Apply

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit your application via the link below:

We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those short-listed will be contacted.

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