​Senior Public Affairs Advisor

Job Summary

The Senior Public Affairs Advisor acts as the Communications lead for an assigned client portfolio to provide integrated communications services. In particular, the Advisor analyzes communications needs, provides advice, action-oriented planning, and develops and implements communications strategies, approaches and initiatives to ensure the excellence in the management of public affairs and meet business needs.

The Advisor also leads corporate communication projects by developing, delivering and evaluating corporate communications strategies, approaches and initiatives to increase awareness, understanding and support for IDRC among key audiences, including Parliamentarians.

Primary Duties or Responsibilities

Portfolio Management - Communications Planning and Implementation

Responsible for an assigned client portfolio, provides strategic communications analysis and advice to ensure appropriate communications support services, including public affair strategies, are in place to meet their needs.

More specifically:

  • Develops and maintains an understanding of client portfolio area’s communications needs through engagement and research to analyze needs, provide advice, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate a strategic communication plan with them.
  • Leads the collaboration between clients from portfolio area and other Communications colleagues as required, to develop and implement communications strategies and initiatives in terms of public affairs, media relations including maximizing social media opportunities, issues management to identify and mitigate risks, and outreach and events. Ensures that the proposed strategies fit with the overall Corporate Communications Division’s strategy.
  • Provides updates, support, advice and guidance to Regional Office Communications and Media Relations Officers on corporate as well as regional communications opportunities for client portfolio.
  • Plays a coordination and liaison role between assigned client portfolio and others as required, in the planning and development of IDRC’s information products and initiatives (e.g. program brochures, fact sheets, web content postings) in print, on the web and on social media platforms to promote IDRC and to enhance the dissemination of research results and impact.
  • Prepares and contributes to reports, briefs, communications products (including web, social media and new technologies content), presentations, news releases, media advisories, backgrounders, key messages, media lines and other materials as needed to support the dissemination of client portfolio supported research.
  • Conducts research into trends and developments in public affairs to provide insight into leading edge public affairs approaches and practices.

Corporate Planning and Issues Management

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

Contributes to the development of issues management strategies, approaches and processes for IDRC corporate initiatives to identify and mitigate risks and communications products to promote awareness and build support for IDRC in Canada and to expand international awareness of IDRC supported research results and promote the uptake of results.

Works as part of an issues management team to anticipate and take appropriate action on emerging trends, concerns, or issues affecting IDRC. Prepares briefs on parliamentary issues for senior management, as required.

Corporate Outreach and Events

Leads Centre-wide public and parliamentary affairs related corporate communication projects as determined by Communications management. This includes planning, organizing and delivering the final product or service (e.g. corporate communications outreach or event initiative). More specifically:

  • Defines the communications needs;
  • Prepares a communications plan including an action plan with timelines, defined responsibilities and budget;
  • Monitors and provides regular progress updates to Communications, Programs and Regional Office management. Engages, directs and supervises the work of consultants or third-party contractor, as required;
  • Implements and delivers the final product or service within the specified timelines and budget.

Corporate Parliamentary Affairs

Working in collaboration with Corporate Strategy and Communications Branch management and Policy & Evaluation Division staff, provides strategic intelligence, advice and action-oriented planning in contributing to the development and implementation of communications strategies to enhance awareness, understanding and support for IDRC among key audiences, with a particular focus on Parliamentarians.

As required, provides Parliamentarians and their staff, as well as the staff of House and Senate committees and parliamentary associations with relevant and timely information on IDRC’s contributions to international development and to Canada’s foreign policy goals.  This is done in close cooperation with Policy & Evaluation staff.

Contract Management

As required, manages contract suppliers by identifying specific needs in consultation with colleagues and clients, coordinating procurement processes with procurement officers including definition of terms and conditions, selection of service providers and supervision of the work. Also ensures the quality of their work from conception through final phase and solves operational issues during the contract and refers or discusses any more serious or complex issues with Communications management.

Job Scope

Works in a collegial environment in managing a client portfolio and collaborating with colleagues in Corporate Communications Division as well as those in the Policy and Evaluation Division. Plays a pivotal role in the development of communications strategies, approaches and initiatives to improve the ability of IDRC staff and recipients to effectively communicate research results and promote their uptake.

The position operates at a high-risk level that affects the reputation of IDRC’s representatives and its image as an institution in dealing with partner institutions and other key stakeholders and audiences including Parliamentarians. The job demands diplomacy, tact and courtesy in dealing with the target audience with IDRC representatives. The Advisor 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 IDRC's projects and its activities at both a client portfolio and corporate level. Overtime effort is often required.

This is a key position that contributes to IDRC’s strategic goals through the development and implementation of communication strategies and issues management to identify and mitigate risk. The Advisor provides high level communications needs analysis, advice, planning, and hands-on training to both internal and external clients to improve their ability to communicate effectively about IDRC and IDRC supported research with key audiences.