Communications Strategist (Maternity Leave Contract)
June 8, 2018
Employment Opportunity:  Communications Strategist (Maternity Leave Contract), Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs, Closing date - June 25, 2018 at 4:30pm

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs (OAFC) represents the chief fire officers of the 448 municipal fire departments in the Province of Ontario.  Our mission is to lead innovation and excellence in public and life safety.  To achieve this, we provide a recognized, authoritative voice for all matters relating to the management and delivery of fire and emergency services in Ontario.   The OAFC endeavors to make Ontario a safer place to live, work and play.   Through our membership services we strive to lead the fire service to recognized levels of knowledge, skills and abilities, to successfully influence political decisions and policies that impact the fire service and public safety, and to be a valued source of information, research and advice on current and emerging issues. 
Our association is currently seeking a strategic communications professional for a maternity leave contract, working in our Ajax office as a

Communications Strategist (Maternity Leave Contract)

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Strategist provides communications, advocacy and policy research support for the OAFC.
This position focuses on developing and managing association communications strategies for strengthening relationships with members, stakeholders, affiliated associations and government agencies, increasing their understanding of, and support of the OAFC and association issues. 
The Communications Strategist has several interlocking areas of responsibility, including:
  • Communications strategic development, implementation, oversight and ongoing support (external and internal),
  • Media management and delivery,
  • Committee oversight and coordination, and
  • Research and policy support, as it relates to the interests of the OAFC, our members, the fire service and supports the association’s government relations strategy.
  • Contributes to the development, monitoring and evaluation of association communications strategies. Supports the assessment of program communication vehicles and recommends measures, processes and tools for the effective dissemination of resources and continuous improvement.
  • Provides OAFC committee oversight and coordination. Produce accurate meeting minutes and ensuring meeting outcomes are appropriately actioned, tasked and followed up.
  • Responsible for developing a wide range of materials in support of the association public relations agenda, such as talking points, legislative summaries, fact sheets, testimony and reports.  Prepare and present succinct, high-calibre briefing materials.  Write overviews, summaries, backgrounders, presentations, position papers, briefing documents, policy reviews, submissions, consultation papers and other materials.
  • Contributes to the development of all association communications products and activities, such as letters, website content, e-communications, social media, articles, case studies, reports, presentation content, awards programs and other resources.
  • Monitor legislation and policy activities, updates and advises leadership and management team about relevant policy proposals and actions, and works with committees to analyze potential impacts on the association membership and stakeholders. 
  • Leads, coordinates and undertakes policy research, analysis and development to support the association’s government relations strategies.
  • Plans, implements and coordinates activities and other events to support the association stakeholder and government relations goals such as news conferences, legislative visits, and meetings.
  • Execute other projects and assignments in support of association events and projects.
  • Knowledge and experience with media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform via written, oral, and visual media. Experience with communication vendors will be added advantage.
  • Keeps abreast of current/emerging issues and developments in the fire service.
  • Other duties as required.
This position’s focus is on association communications development and execution and policy/research development.  A post-secondary degree or diploma in communications or public relations is required.  5-7 years of public relations, public affairs or public policy experience with knowledge of government and the legislative process.  Minimum of five years’ experience in corporate/association/government communications.  Media relations experience is a requirement.
A demonstrated ability to think and react strategically and apply a strategic mindset to the development of communications and policy, and to the planning and execution of external and internal communications.  Incumbent must be able to anticipate problems and respond with solutions. Impeccable writing, content development, editing and proofreading skills, versatile enough to craft a wide variety of writing and communications assignments.
Knowledge of and experience with media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform via written, oral, and visual media. Experience with communication vendors will be an added advantage. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain effective “trusted source/go-to” relationships with the media and stakeholders.
Ability to create detailed briefing notes/fact based research, presentations, briefings and correspondence for association members based on soft knowledge from consultations and experience, and hard knowledge obtained from data and research.  Experience preparing reports that include quantitative and qualitative information on issues affecting the fire service that aim to inform management, key decision makers and stakeholders.  Proven research skills including experience in research methodology with strong analytical skills.  Experience with proper meeting facilitation and minute taking.
Must have advanced proficiency in computer skills in a Windows-based environment including use of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Sound internet navigation skills for research is required. Familiar with all types of internet browsers and an understanding of content management systems (CMS) and customer relationship management software (CRM).  Incumbent must have solid knowledge and experience using different social media platforms, in particular to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc.  Experience using social media management software including Hootsuite, Buffer, Everypost etc.  Knowledge using content marketing applications (MailChimp is preferred).
Work experience with a union, non-profit or professional association is preferred.  Knowledge or experience in working with a board of directors and a membership-driven association is required. 
Bilingual candidates are considered an asset.
This is a full-time, maternity leave contract position.
To explore this career opportunity further, please forward a cover letter and resume quoting "Communications Strategist" no later than Monday, June 25, 2018 at 4:30pm
Please send to the attention of:
Michelle O’Hara
Operations Manager
Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs
We thank everyone for their interest however; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.   
No phone calls please.