With expertise in all facets of the corporate communications discipline, the Senior Communications Advisor is a versatile and experienced communications professional responsible for the planning, development and execution of internal and external communications and public affairs strategies, programs and initiatives. Skilled at effectively reaching and engaging Law Society of Ontario (LSO) audiences, partners and stakeholders, across multiple channels (traditional and digital), the Senior Communications Advisor is an experienced practitioner who provides advice and strategic support to the Director, division, Treasurer, Board and client departments. The Senior Communications Advisor is an exceptional planner, strategist, and writer with significant knowledge of the legal sector. The Senior Communications Advisor works closely with the Director on media relations and issues management activities to provide reputational support to the organization and responds to enquiries, as directed. Ensures programs are designed to advance the organization's corporate priorities and to engage effectively with internal and external audiences.
The Senior Communications Advisor provides senior-level support to the Director and helps to oversee, coach and provide leadership to the activities of the more junior communications and public affairs staff in the division, ensuring work meets high standards and is delivered on-time, on-budget.
- A university degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or equivalent.
- At minimum, 10 years' progressive experience in the planning, development and implementation of communication plans and tactics related to all aspects of corporate communications and public affairs.
- The incumbent requires deep understanding of the legal sector, the role of the Law Society and has knowledge of its internal and external audiences, media, partners and stakeholders.
- Significant experience advising and interacting with senior level leaders in organizations is also required to fulfill the duties of this role.
- Thorough knowledge and demonstrated ability in corporate communications, including media relations and issues management, public affairs, external engagement and outreach disciplines, and best practices.
- Excellent writing and editing skills to plan, research and develop compelling content for a wide variety of purposes (speeches, newsletters, articles, scripts, web, social briefing notes, talking points, key messages, promotional materials targeted to various audiences (employees, licensees, benchers, legal community partners and stakeholders, members of the public, media).
- Excellent strategy, planning, execution and project management skills.
- Ability to coach and provide constructive feedback to junior staff, where applicable and appropriate, to help with skill development in meeting departmental goals.
- Expressive and persuasive in both spoken and written language for individual and / or group situations.
- Thorough knowledge of Law Society policies, practices and protocols, and an understanding of the principles underlying governance of the legal profession.
- Reason through and interprets complex spoken and written information.
- Significant knowledge and skills to develop and execute effective communications and engagement tactics across multiple channels and platforms (digital and traditional).
- Knowledge of and familiarity with using social media platforms as a proactive communications tool.
- Experience with CMS software use.
Client / Customer Service Planning and Delivery
- In consultation with the Director, the Senior Communications Advisor supports senior staff and client departments and takes the lead to plan, develop, execute, monitor and evaluate integrated communications and engagement/outreach strategies, programs and initiatives across all LSO audiences and communications channels.
- Provides advice and guidance on public affairs, media relations, issues management and communications strategies and approaches to the Director, client areas and across all levels of the organization and ensures excellent support for client groups.
- The Senior Communications Advisor is the division's primary speech writer responsible to develop compelling and engaging content in each speaker's unique voice and style.
- Takes a lead role in writing and/or overseeing the development and editing of a wide range of corporate communications materials and content, working across all platforms and channels. This includes: web, print, promotional, media and social platforms.
- The Senior Communications Advisor also reviews and edits the written work of other communicators and Public Affairs staff.
- Ensures high standards are met and provides advice and feedback on best practices.
- Also prepares other documents and materials, including talking points, key messages, FAQs and briefs.
- Seeks out opportunities to communicate the Law Society's message across multiple channels, building the public image and ?branding? of the Law Society with a range of publics and target audiences.
- Supports the Director in hiring, training, developing and assessing the performance of more junior divisional staff members.
- Provides mentoring and coaching to the team and other internal partners, and reviews draft communications materials produced by other team members, drawing on expert knowledge of the legal sector, public affairs and corporate communications practices.
- Researches priority projects and subjects for a variety of communication and public affairs purposes, in consultation with the Director and client departments.
- Researches, writes, reviews and edits speeches, official letters, communications materials for web content, media releases, issue notes, special events, feature articles, publications and promotion materials.
- Tracks and evaluates communications and public affairs initiatives, providing feedback to client departments regarding effectiveness.
- Recommends methods to improve and sustain the organization's reputation, member and public profile, messaging and position in the legal field.
- Supports the Director in training and developing the skills of divisional staff to execute on planned activities and strategies.
- Assists the Director with researching best communications and engagement practices and developing operating policies, guidelines and processes.
Special Projects and Initiatives
- Works closely with colleagues and client groups throughout the organization, and guides other divisional staff providing input and expertise on communications and engagement strategies and tactics.
- Takes the lead on key corporate initiatives as a project manager, as assigned.
- Proactively suggests new special projects and initiatives to the Director and client groups based on knowledge of the legal sector, effective communications approaches and outreach strategies, and using their communications and public affairs expertise to foresee new trends.
- As a senior member of the division, works closely with the Director to develop work plans, assess and establish processes, and to enhance the delivery of communications and public affairs programs across the organization.
- Contributes to both the day-to-day work of the division and to its longer term strategic growth and development.
- Brings communications and public affairs experience, knowledge and expertise to support the Director and the work of the division on behalf of the organization.
- Works closely with the Director to establish processes and metrics for the External Relations and Communications division to measure success.
- Develops initiatives to improve processes and outcomes for the Law Society. COMPETENCIES:
The requirement to maintain a high standard of commitment, ethics, respect, care in service delivery to clients (internal and/or external).
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
The requirement to structure and deliver effective verbal and written communication with clients, staff, licensees, the public, and others in a non-threatening and constructive way.
The requirement to share responsibility for the achievement of team goals and the associated behaviours required for individuals to contribute effectively in a team environment.
The requirement to demonstrate an attitude that consistently strives to improve a standard of excellence for one's self and for the benefit of the organization, its licensees and stakeholders.
Problem Solving and Judgement
The requirement to identify and analyze problems, determine root causes, evaluate alternative solutions and take and/or recommend appropriate solutions.
Technical Competence / Professional Knowledge
The requirement to apply knowledge and skills to carry out the work and/or provide advice. This also includes the quality of advice given, as well as the requirement to make decisions in the best interests of the organization as a whole.