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Canadian Institute of Planners

Communication Specialist



Job Description

POSITION: Communication Specialist

SUMMARY: Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communication Specialist is a well-rounded and experienced individual who executes the communications activities of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP). Working in a fast-paced, collaborative environment, this individual has excellent writing and editorial skills, strong website and social media experience, and effective organizational skills to coordinate multiple and competing projects and initiatives.

Formed in 1919, the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) has grown its membership to over 6,600 planning professionals nationwide, serving as the voice of Canada’s planning community. CIP promotes a collaborative and positive working environment focused on the achievement of the Institute’s strategic membership, program, and advocacy objectives. CIP believes diversity and inclusion are key to a respectful workplace and is committed to fostering these values.


  • Develops, creates, and executes CIP’s internal and external communications strategies and objectives. Monitors outcomes to ensure effectiveness.
  • Writes, edits, and coordinates the creation and quality of communications materials, such as social media posts, press and media releases, website content, newsletters, promotional materials, e-blasts, and annual reports.
  • Develops engaging social media plans and content (graphics and text). Works with office administration to coordinate and deliver.
  • Ensures all communication components align with the Institute's mission, vision, values, enhancing public image, and adhering to branding standards.
  • Maintains and updates CIP’s corporate and Great Places in Canada websites.
  • Serves as the primary contact for media enquiries, identifying issues, and coordinating the Institute’s response.
  • Provides media monitoring and reporting, and as necessary, writing media briefing documents (key messages and backgrounders), identifying key external media, providing coaching and media training for staff and member spokespeople, and facilitating media interviews.
  • Acts as the staff editor for CIP’s magazine, Plan Canada. Develops CIP content, provides support and guidance to the Plan Canada Editorial Board.
  • Works with contractors to coordinate and deliver translation, design, and communications-related products.
  • Maintains and updates CIP’s branding, communication, and media policy and procedural guides, and educates staff members on new processes. 


  • Collaborates with staff members and committees to create and implement communication plans for various CIP events, including, but not limited to World Town Planning Day and centenary events (2019).
  • Provides communications-related support for events, including conferences, seminars, and webinars. This includes coordinating logistics for items such as signage, collateral materials, presentation design, supplies of awards and certificates, etc.
  • Coordinates the annual Great Places in Canada contest.
  • Acts as staff liaison for the Honours and Awards Committee.
  • Implements CIP’s awards programming for the Awards for Planning Excellence, College of the Fellows, Vision in Planning Award, Plan Canada Awards, and the Planning Student Trust Fund Scholarships.
  • Works with the Awards Committees/Chairs/Juries to administer the awards, prepares and distributes all materials supporting the annual call for award entries, promotes participation in the award application and juries, and oversees the formal presentation of the awards.


The ideal candidate will have the following skills and background:

  • University degree in communications, journalism, marketing, public relations, or related field;
  • Three (3) years relevant work experience; and preferably with a non-profit organization or working with volunteers, or equivalent;
  • Bilingualism in both official languages preferred;
  • Excellent writing skills, particularly as they relate to media releases, communications, and promotional materials;
  • Experience developing and executing communications strategies and objectives across digital and traditional media channels and to various target audiences;
  • Strong project management skills to plan, develop, and implement proactive communication initiatives;
  • Experience working with Adobe Creative Suite, Meltwater, Constant Contact, and Hootsuite; and,
  • Experience monitoring and updating websites (preferably possesses a familiarity with Kentico and/or WordPress).


  • Excellent strategic communication planning skills, with a clear understanding of the role of communications in achieving overall corporate objectives;
  • Ability to contribute effectively in a team environment;
  • Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills, with excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and in a group setting;
  • Creative, open, and collaborative approach to solving problems and implementing projects;
  • Ability to multi-task, be flexible, meet tight deadlines, and thrive in a fast-paced environment;
  • Acts as brand champion, educating staff on brand guidelines and ensuring brand consistency; and,
  • Willing to pursue training and develop new skills to meet changing workplace demands.

Note: Occasional evening and weekend work is required, which is primarily related to the CIP annual conference and Awards for Planning Excellence jury meeting.

APPLICATIONS: CIP is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from a diverse group of individuals. 

Applicants are asked to submit a detailed C.V., including a summary of relevant knowledge and workplace experience; and a cover letter addressing the duties, skills, and abilities and hard qualifications for the position explaining why you are well suited to the position.  C.V and cover letter must be to in a single PDF document.

 We thank all who apply; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls, please.

 Application Dealine: November 1, 2017


Contact Information

Canadian Institute of Planners
Martia Cicalo
Manager, Resources
Posting Date: 11-Oct-2017Marketing/Advertising/PR Permanent, Full-Time $55,000 - $58,000/yr 101-Dec-2017
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