Specialist, Communications and Engagement

Back to Blogs Posted: November 5, 2016


The Communications and Engagement Specialist in Campus and Community Planning (C+CP) is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies and tactics for communications and engagement with students, faculty, staff, and other key audiences. Working with departments in C+CP, the Specialist supports and coordinates the development of annual and long-term communications and engagement initiatives that align with department goals and which support key areas identified in UBC strategic plans.

As a member of the Public Engagement team, the Specialist participates in the development of an integrated and coordinated approach for communicating to and engaging with students, faculty, staff and neighbourhood residents. The Specialist also contributes to the development of communications and engagement best practices for C+CP and ensures all communications and engagement activities and materials comply with UBC standards. The selection of innovative channels that can effectively deliver key messages and meet the needs of primary target audiences is a crucial responsibility of this position. This role may require work outside normal working hours.

Campus and Community Planning leads in the creation of a sustainable, complete on-campus community for students, faculty, staff and neighborhood residents that includes housing, transportation options, social and recreational facilities, green space, shops and services.

The Specialist is a member of the C+CP Public Engagement team and reports to the Manager, Communications and Engagement; who reports to the Senior Manager, Public Engagement. This position may also work closely with service provider’s on- and off-campus.


Communications/Engagement Planning, Development and Measurement

  • Working with C+CP departments, coordinates the development of strategic communications and engagement plans and collateral that reflects and supports achievement of department goals.
  • Coordinates implementation of communications and engagement plans; executes strategies and tactics.
  • Assesses the effectiveness of established communications and engagement plans and makes recommendations for future improvements. Participates in the integration of department plans across the External Relations portfolio.
  • Participates in the integration of department plans across the External Relations portfolio

Project Coordination

  • Coordinates communications and engagement projects, determines project timelines and budgets, and develops contingency plans to keep projects on track.
  • Coordinates workflow between members of project teams, including content contributors, other communicators, and external consultants.
  • Communicates with C+CP department staff with respect to project status and negotiates any necessary changes to timelines or deliverables.
  • Actively seeks out partnerships and develops relationships with other campus units and groups in order to identify and leverage opportunities for collaboration.
  • Ensures that messages are delivered in a coordinated fashion across appropriate communications channels.

Digital Communications Projects

  • Writes and develops content for electronic communication vehicles, including websites and social media.
  • Coordinates production of website elements including graphics, photos, and video.
  • Delivers the electronic newsletters. This includes setting up and coordinating the editorial schedule, reviewing and fact checking all articles, and managing the distribution of the newsletters (i.e. setting up emails in a third-party email delivery system, managing mailing lists, sending out tests and publishing).
  • Develops and maintains web content style guides, standards and templates.
  • Plans messaging and coordinates social media postings including recruiting and training contributors to facilitate interaction.
  • Schedules and prepares content for UBC digital signage.
  • Solicits, compiles and edits content for blogs and e-newsletters.
  • Coordinates and prepares content for targeted email communication campaigns.


  • Supports public consultation notification and outreach by managing print and online advertising, as well as stakeholder notification
  • Determines and recommends approaches for increased engagement through two-way communications, including audience consultation, involvement, collaboration or partnership
  • Plans and executes engagement events, including facilitation
  • Manages the C+CP Lunch and Learn series, actively seeking subject matter experts who can address issues of interest in order to build institutional knowledge within the department.
  • Evaluates and assesses the effectiveness of engagement activities
  • Uses new and innovative approaches for engagement, where appropriate

Communications Channel Selection

  • Presents innovative communications channel options and makes recommendations on selection of tactics to meet audience needs and maximize use of resources.
  • Provides opportunities for audiences to choose preferred channels, where possible and appropriate.
  • Keeps abreast of audience engagement with social media and deploys social media channels where appropriate to meet communications objectives.
  • Collaborates with peer communications staff to investigate and test up-and-coming communications channels.
  • Educates C+CP staff and others about non-traditional and emergent communications channels including social media.

Non-digital Communications Projects

  • Coordinates non-digital communications projects such as the design and purchase of promo items, the production and distribution of banners and posters, and the creation of resource materials to support in-person communications activities.
  • Compiles story ideas for internal and external media channels.
  • Maintains listings / submissions in campus resources and third-party directories.


  • Maintains familiarity with major communications trends, issues, and technologies.
  • Functions as a communications and engagement resource for C+CP, sharing expertise and developing intuitive and easy to use materials that allow department staff to handle some communications tasks independently.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Decision Making

  • Makes independent decisions and recommendations in coordinating and executing communications plans. Exercises judgment and tact in dealing with students, staff, faculty members, and alumni both across the university and externally.


  • This position represents the University as well as Campus and Community Planning. Incorrect decisions or judgment will directly affect UBC’s reputation with students, faculty, staff, and the broader community. Incorrect decisions will affect the University’s ability to effectively communicate with its audiences, with a direct negative impact on the campus experience.


  • Reports to the Manager, Communications and Engagement. Both the Specialist and Manager positions are under the Senior Manager, Public Engagement. Works in close cooperation with the Communications and Marketing department.


Provides training to department staff in communications tasks that they can manage independently.


  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline. English, communications, journalism, marketing, or publishing. Minimum of five years experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Proven experience in strategic communications planning and project coordination. Ability to plan and implement a broad range of digital and non-digital communications projects. Adept in researching, selecting, testing and measuring traditional and innovative communications and engagement channels. Demonstrated understanding of web design and usability best practices. Demonstrated experience in web content development including writing for the web, search engine optimization and digital asset integration. Experience using established and emerging social media channels for communication and audience engagement.. Experience using two-way communications and engagement techniques. Strong analytical skills and ability to use analytical tools, e.g. Google Analytics, to measure success and deliver actionable recommendations. Effective oral and written communication and interpersonal, presentation, and public relations skills. Demonstrated leadership and motivational skills. Background in English, technical writing, or other editing experience with English usage, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Computer experience and training required include Adobe Acrobat and the Microsoft Office suite. Experience with content management systems an asset. Demonstrated ability to function as a member of a team. Ability to exercise diplomacy, tact and discretion when working with confidential and/or sensitive information and in dealing with various levels of administration and external agencies. Demonstrated ability to work in a project based environment and handle multiple and concurrent priorities. Capacity for creativity and innovation; ability to exercise initiative, resourcefulness and judgment. Accuracy and attention to detail. Ability to work independently. Ability to assess own performance and regularly report on project status. Event management experience an asset. International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) training an asset.


Visit http://staffcareers.ubc.ca/24897

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