Manager (Head) of Communications and Public Affairs


Manager (Head) of Communications and Public Affairs

Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Posted: January 27th 2019
Deadline: February 21st, 2019

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society is recruiting for a Manager (Head) of Communications and Public Affairs.

Reporting directly to and working closely with the Executive Director-CEO of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS), the Manager, Communications and Public Affairs leads the COS brand and communications strategy. This person will be responsible for supporting the overall corporate communications strategy and objectives of the COS through proactively managing external and internal communications, corporate reputation and brand, and key stakeholder relationships. The Manager, Communications and Public Affairs serves as the day-to-day lead on the COS’ three-year public awareness campaign and leads the development of communications, marketing and promotional materials.

Working closely with the chair of the Council on Advocacy and council members, the Manager, Communications and Public Affairs will also be responsible for managing key federal advocacy and public affairs activities and for developing targeted advocacy and communications materials for our provincial associations, subspecialty societies and the academic community. This position also leads the development of standby statements and manages their dissemination, is responsible for the redesign of the COS website in collaboration with the internal team and key physician leaders. The Manager, Communications and Public Affairs serves as a member of the management team.

Key Responsibilities:

Strategic and Corporate Communications

  • Establishes communication priorities with the Executive Director-CEO and the Chair of the Council on Advocacy and ensures alignment among the various internal functional teams to support COS’ business objectives, strategy and brand.
  • Serves as the primary staff lead on COS’ three-year public awareness campaign and works closely with COS’ public relations agency of record on this campaign.
  • Manages crisis communications for the COS (including preparedness and execution).
  • Develops, leads and executes COS’ corporate communications strategy.
  • Monitors and maintains a high standard of quality, relevance, timeliness and consistency for corporate messaging and communications.
  • Manages the communications, marketing and brand strategy, ensures alignment with corporate programming and leverages opportunities to promote the COS brand.
  • Provides senior level counsel on communications, media relations, government relations and stakeholder relations.
  • Provides leadership, mentoring and direction to the Coordinator of Communications and Public Affairs.
  • Develops relationships with targeted media stakeholders.
  • Manages media requests (including preparing media briefing documents).
  • Develops standby statements with input from physician thought-leaders, manages their approval processes and ensures their dissemination.
  • Serves as the project lead on the redesign of the COS website; collaborates with the COS internal team on website redesign and features and serves as the primary contact person with the agency of record on this project.
  • Assesses available patient information and develops a strategy to support online patient information and education resources.
  • Monitors healthcare trends, assesses policy implications and serves as an expert resource in the area of communications and brand strategy.


  • Monitors federal and provincial legislatures for initiatives affecting the profession. 
  • Initiates and maintains relationships with the relevant federal government departments and identifies opportunities for collaboration.
  • Supports the Council on Advocacy and other committees as required.
  • Develops key advocacy resources and materials for provincial associations, subspecialty societies and the academic community.
  • Serves as the primary contact person for provincial associations.
  • Manages targeted high value, high impact projects that create value for COS members and provincial associations and enhance COS’ perceived relevance to its membership. 
  • Represents the COS at key meetings. 


  • Ensures all activities within areas of responsibility are completed on time and on budget.
  • Promotes innovation and creativity within this functional area and works collaboratively with other teams within the cross-functional team environment.
  • Develops work plans and project schedules.


  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with other relevant national non-profit health care organizations in the eye and vision care space.
  • Attends COS board meetings to update the Board of Directors on areas of responsibility.


  • University degree in public relations, journalism, communications, marketing or a related area.
  • Post-graduate certificate in public relations is considered an asset.
  • Knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system, federal and provincial issues and trends is considered an asset.


  • Minimum 10 years’ related communications and/or public relations experience gained in complex not-for-profit organizations or in an agency, with a focus in program and project management

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bilingualism (French language) considered a definite asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively prioritize and successfully manage multiple competing priorities and deadlines.
  • Superior organizational and project management skills with the demonstrated ability to function effectively in a changing environment.
  • Ability to meet fixed deadlines, initiate and follow-up on actions; detailed-oriented to be able to manage the smallest details.
  • Demonstrated experience in collaborating with internal and external stakeholders across all private and public sectors.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to flexible work schedules (some evening and weekend work) and changing job priorities.
  • Strong integrator with the ability to develop project teams, partner networks and strategic alliances to further the vision and mission of the COS.
  • Strong team player with the commitment to deliver the best results leveraging cross-functional creativity, expertise and innovation.
  • Strong critical analysis and synthesis skills.
  • Strong team building, leadership and mentoring skills.
  • Results-oriented with proven ability to identify, analyze and resolve problems/conflicts quickly and effectively.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing multiple stakeholder needs.
  • High level of self-awareness and self-regulation.
  • Demonstrated experience with online marketing technologies, including social media.
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office suite products including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook.
Additional Information

Please submit your application by 5:00 PM ET on Monday, February 18th, 2019.

Please note: Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted directly. While we would like to be able to provide feedback to all candidates who do not make the interview stage, we are unable to due to the larger number of applicants.

The Canadian Ophthalmological Society (COS) is the principal, national, public voice for ophthalmology in Canada and the recognized authority on eye and vision care. COS works to improve eye and vision care standards for all Canadians through the work of its Board of Directors, councils and committees, and ties with national and international ophthalmological and eye care organizations. COS works collaboratively with government, other national and international specialty societies, our provincial associations, subspecialty societies and the academic community to advocate for health policy in Canada in the area of eye and vision health.

As the national membership organization representing the Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, COS is an affiliate of the Canadian Medical Association and an accredited provider of continuing professional development (CPD), as recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Contact Information
Gail Faddies
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
110-2733 Lancaster Road,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1B 0A9

Phone: 613-729-6779 ext. 230
Fax: 613-729-7209
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