Communications Manager

Website Universitiy of Waterloo

Full Job Description


The Communications Manager is responsible for raising awareness and building brand for the Faculty of Environment and its units, programs, Departments, Schools, Centres and activities, as well as ensuing smooth internal communication of information critical to the day-to-day operations in the Faculty. The role manages the unit’s articulation and delivery of messages in a clear, consistent, engaging and strategic manner, in addition to the positioning, image and reputation of the Faculty.


Digital Media: Responsible for planning, creating, delivering and evaluating digital marketing and communications strategies and programs supporting the Faculty’s goals and strategic plan and provide leadership and guidance on all digital communications to dean’s office, Faculty departments, affiliated units and research groups including but not limited to:

  • Responsibility for the content strategy for the faculty and department websites;
  • Writing and editing multi-media web and online content in alignment with digital content writing best practices and web accessibility legislative requirements and provides editorial support for web content as required;
  • Ensuring quality and compliance: usability and accessibility; copyright and other legal compliance; consistent with University policy, guidelines, and best practice;
  • Responsibility for the information architecture user experience for the faculty and department websites;
  • Managing major digital communications initiatives undertaken for the faculty, including migration of sites into the University’s Content Management System (CMS);
  • Assuming project management responsibilities for web, online and social media content development and maintenance (including people, tools, time and budget);
  • Aligning the faculty’s digital communication initiatives with the Waterloo vision, brand promise and attributes;
  • Managing social media accounts including twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms.

Media relations: Develop and manage program delivery to support the media relations strategy to meet established targets
including but not limited to:

  • Maintaining comprehensive knowledge of all teaching and research activities within Environment;
  • Strategically and systematically, evaluate research findings, events and new developments, identifying those with the greatest potential for being picked up by the media, and ensuring emphasis on Faculty and greater institutional priorities;
  • Gathering information, conducting research and interview sources in order write a variety of high-impact materials for the media, including but not limited to press releases and media advisories. The incumbent must understand and operate in a broad spectrum of political, social and cultural milieus, and be able to distill complex academic information into plain language to bring research to life;
  • Collaboration with Media Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications, to ensure excellent quality/consistency and initiate coverage and outreach;
  • Drafting quotes on behalf of Faculty spokespeople, including the Dean and senior administration in keeping with and relying on a knowledge of the Faculty’s and University’s main messages;
  • Acting as an advisor providing expert opinion to effectively counsel academic colleagues on the optimal approach to public messaging to ensure media interest and coverage;
  • Providing advice and support to Faculty researchers by providing training and tips on responding to media queries;
  • Fielding media requests through Media Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications by quickly identifying appropriate experts and supporting the arrangement of interviews;
  • Position faculty members and researchers as thought leaders in their fields by identifying authors and topics, and supporting the writing of op-ed pieces;
  • Working with Media Relations, Marketing and Strategic Communications to maintain or increase both the quality and quantity of earned media;
  • Representing the Faculty at events and activities both on and off-campus. These events require the incumbent to diplomatically and effectively facilitate media interaction with the Faculty’s most senior leaders, stakeholders, and funders;
  • Acting as backfill of the Director Strategic Initiatives & Communications, during absences, as required;

Crisis Communications: This position will be accountable, working in support of the Director, Strategic Initiatives & Communications, for enhancing the profile, image and reputation of the Faculty in the media and general public.The incumbent participates in and advises on the planning of issues management strategy on confidential matters relating to Environment to minimize and manage risk tothe Faculty. This includes the assessment of risk and the astute evaluation of the expected media approach to inform the development of strategy and messaging. The incumbent is a member of the University of Waterloo Emergency Communications Team.

Marketing and branding: Responsibility for positioning the Faculty as a leader in research and academic excellence through the creation of on-brand marketing materials in support of Environment’s strategic priorities.

  • Act as a primary Faculty content provider for the University’s print and online channels (institutional communications materials; website homepage and highest level pages) identifying and writing engaging and informative stories from academic research, student activities and teaching initiatives, ensuring alignment with the broader communications calendar. Coordinate photoshoots and/or source accompanying photographs for copy when necessary.
  • Share new content with Manager, Web and Digital Communications for publication and promotion on appropriate Environment online channels.
  • Research, write and edit compelling copy for marketing collateral that supports strategic initiatives. Work with designers, photographers and external vendors to create visually appealing products within budget.
  • Maintain an exceptional understanding of brand guidelines and promote a unified look and feel for the Faculty through the creation and maintenance of a suite of promotional material.
  • Encourage adherence to brand guidelines among faculty, staff and students by fielding questions, and providing direction and expert counsel on best practices.

Internal Communications: Lead the development and implementation of an effective internal communications program to foster increased information sharing among the Faculty’s departments and associated research centres.

  • Gather information, conduct research, interview sources and write content for ongoing deliverables associated with the internal communications program.
  • Work with Mapping Analysis and Design to utilize their resources for photography, video and audio production and mass email lists.
  • Build relationships with faculty and staff in order to maintain awareness of all teaching and research activities within Environment and enhance stakeholder participation in internal communications.
  • Ensure relevant external communications are shared internally with key stakeholders through appropriate channels.
  • Own and manage the day-to-day activities of ad hoc internal communications, including acting as an advisor to departments and colleagues on best practices. The incumbent will be expected to work closely with senior administration to craft timely and appropriate messages to employees.
  • Write content for the Director, Strategic Initiatives & Communications, for use in University of Waterloo Central channels.

Advancement and recruitment communications: The incumbent will assist with the delivery of advancement programs and recruitment marketing materials by producing compelling and strategic communications for development activities imperative to achieving the Faculty’s strategic goals.

  • Act as an editorial resource for the advancement and recruitment team by assisting with researching, writing, editing and designing strategic publications and communications including, annual reports, backgrounders, and brochures.
  • Incumbent must be able to write convincingly in a voice appropriate for intended stakeholders.
  • Act as key author and editor on the alumni magazine, writing content, interviewing sources and editing proofs.
  • Develop messaging for Faculty leadership at speaking engagements, in keeping with and relying on a knowledge of advancement goals and priorities.
  • Support colleagues at events with communications needs or marketing collateral.


  • University degree in marketing communications, online journalism, public relations, writing-centricand/or corporate communications required.
  • Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum of 3 to 5 years relevant experience in communications or journalism, as a writer/editor.
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of marketing communications, strategic communications planning, print media.
  • Experience fielding media inquiries and working with journalists on deadlines.
  • Track record of innovative and effective storytelling.
  • Experience articulating positioning/messaging. Strong social media knowledge and experience.
  • Must have a successful track record of achieving results in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Familiarity with advertising creative development, advertising media planning and buying an asset.
  • Minimum of seven to 10 years of digital and or web marketing and communications experience
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; excellent copy editing and proofreading skills; multimedia storytelling experience
  • Thorough knowledge and understanding of and practical experience in marketing communications, print and electronic media, and strategic communications planning
  • Track record of innovative and effective multimedia storytelling
  • Demonstrated understanding of best practices in information architecture, navigation, user interface, usability, accessibility standards and testing
  • Expert knowledge of social media trends, digital analytics tools, and maintenance of content for strategic digital communications that meet the Faculty’s overall communications objectives
  • Extensive experience using web-based user interfaces to manage and maintain web content (e.g., web content management system, social media accounts)

Equity Statement:

The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.

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