Senior Media Relations Advisor

Job Summary

The Senior Media Relations Advisor leads the development and management of the implementation of strategies, approaches, systems and initiatives to enhance awareness, understanding and support for IDRC in domestic and international media through various platforms.

The Advisor monitors overall media engagement and acts as the primary contact for all media inquiries as well as spokesperson for IDRC to ensure appropriate media responses. As well, the advisor builds and manages relationships with key media; develops and disseminates media messages, products and briefing material; identifies media engagement opportunities for IDRC staff; and leads and coordinates IDRC spokesperson preparation and training. Works with IDRC Regional Communications Officers as required as well as keeping staff abreast of media activities emanating from Headquarters.

The Advisor also contributes to corporate communication projects to increase awareness, understanding and support for IDRC among key audiences. In addition, the Advisor contributes to the Centre’s corporate strategic and operational communications plan.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Media Relations

Leads and manages the development and implementation of media strategies, opportunities, approaches, and initiatives to enhance awareness, understanding and support for IDRC among the media and related audiences.

Responsible for overall monitoring of Communications Division led media engagement including social and on-line media.

Primary point of contact for all media inquiries at IDRC (Ottawa) and acts as formal spokesperson for IDRC. Assesses requests and determines how to respond and coordinates required responses. Establishes, manages and maintains key domestic and international media contacts including outreach to develop new contacts. Facilitates media access to the expertise of IDRC staff and recipients. Develops monitoring and tracking systems to support high-level media relations services, to ensure consistency in approach and to track trends to highlight opportunities and mitigate risks.

Provides media contacts with relevant and timely information on IDRC’s contributions to international development and to Canada’s foreign policy and international assistance priorities.

Provides media advice and support for IDRC spokespeople as well as leading and coordinating media training for these individuals, including maintaining an IDRC Experts directory by subject and program area.

Develops, writes, edits and disseminates media related products including: media advisories and news releases; news questions and answers; and key messages, speeches and briefing notes for senior staff and management to ensure quality control.

Identifies media engagement opportunities (e.g. through interviews, background briefing, social media, etc.) for IDRC staff and recipients, and leads interview preparation process to highlight IDRC/grantee outcomes/results and uptake as well as mitigates risks.

Generates media awareness of IDRC events throughout outreach efforts, acts as media liaison and provides information and support to media covering events.

Works with Regional Office senior program and communications staff to inform them of IDRC head office media activities. Supports regional media opportunities and outreach efforts including social media.

Corporate Communication Projects and Strategic Planning

Contributes to Centre-wide Public Affairs related corporate communication projects as determined by Communications management. This includes defining needs by conducting research, planning, organizing and delivering the final product or service (e.g. organizing a corporate communications event). Also may supervise the work of consultants or third-party contractor required during the completion of the project.

Contributes to the Centre’s corporate strategic and operational communications plans by providing expert advice, producing documents, conducting consultations or research in the development, delivery and evaluation of strategies, approaches, initiatives, policies, guidelines and standards in Communications Division aiming to guide the development of quality communications products and services. Plans, prepares, and delivers, presentations on IDRC communications priorities and strategies.

Job Scope

Works in a collegial environment both within the Centre and with external clients and partners.

Plays a pivotal role in initiatives to improve the ability of IDRC staff and recipients to effectively communicate research results.

The position operates at a fairly high risk level that affects the reputation of the Centre's representatives and its image as an institution. The job demands strategic thinking and planning skills as well as diplomacy, tact and courtesy in dealing with the media and with Centre representatives. The incumbent must exercise judgment, and is often called upon to give opinions and to demonstrate creativity. The position requires a consistently sound and up-to-date knowledge of the Centre's projects and its activities. Overtime effort is often required.​