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Communications Manager

PICS - University of Victoria

Job Description

Department Summary: 

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) was launched in 2008 to address the greatest challenge of our time, climate change.
PICS develops impactful, evidence-based climate change solutions through collaborative partnerships which connect the private and public sector with experts from British Columbia’s four leading research universities – the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and the University of Northern British Columbia.
Hosted and led by UVic, PICS’ collaborative and user engaged research model convenes “solution seekers” and research partners to co-design, co-develop and co-deliver high impact climate solutions for British Columbia, Canada, and potentially the world. The 'PICS way' is a deliberate step away from siloed research towards full engagement, from project outset to implementation, so that climate-related policy options and technological solutions are purpose-ready and actionable for government, First Nations, private sector, industry and communities.

Position Summary: 

In this leadership role, the Communications Manager plays a key role in the strategic communication of new and innovative climate solutions results from PICS supported research projects to decision makers as they develop effective mitigation and adaptation policies and actions. With responsibility for high level engagement with target audiences, the Communications Manager leads the development of fit-for-purpose tools and outreach products to support engagement and implementation. This role also helps projects identify the optimum tools for communicating their results.
Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Manager engages with senior climate researchers and stakeholders across the province, Canada and internationally. The Communication Manager assists with the development and implementation of the PICS Strategic Plan and develops and implements the PICS Communications and Engagement Strategy, products and events that support the Institute’s strategic objectives. The individual will be required to take occasional overnight trips to support PICS events outside of Victoria.

Key Responsibilities and Expectations:

Communications Leadership (50%)
  • Lead the development, delivery and evaluation of the annual PICS Communications and Engagement Strategy and a supporting work plan.
  • Ensure the communications strategy is aligned with the PICS Strategic Plan.
  • Advise PICS executives regarding all matters of communications including routine and extraordinary communication messaging.
  • Develop and maintain a consistent and rigorous approval process and supporting guides, policies and procedures for PICS-wide content and communication to ensure “one voice” and clear and consistent messaging and brand recognition.
  • Proactively develop and maintain trustworthy, productive, solution-oriented working relationships with colleagues and staff across PICS, the communications staff at the 4 PICS collaborating universities (UVic, UBC, SFU, UNBC), provincial, federal, private sector, First Nations, industry partners, and other stakeholders on communication related strategy and expectations.
  • Represent PICS at provincial, national and international events.
  • Lead internal and external communications initiatives across the constellation of PICS partners, including regular staff discussions and updates, external newsletters, website, special reports, and other communication channels to create a better understanding of the breadth and importance of the work PICS does.
  • Create a culture of continual assessment and improvement by leading the review and evaluation of communications programs, digital platform analytics, and priorities on an ongoing basis.
  • Maintain up-to-date awareness of climate solutions science, technology, policy and related trends and current issues and events to influence communications strategies.
Management, Development and Delivery of Communications Services and Products (30%)
  • Provide direction and support to a team of external communication specialists [e.g. science writers (3); web designers (3); social media (1); graphic designers (4); copy editor (1), photographer (2)] in the collaborative development of a wide variety of creative, engaging and compelling communications products and services (e.g., publications, video, graphics) for the over 25 projects that PICS funds. Use a variety of approaches that tell the PICS story to key audiences and stakeholders and highlight the relevance, value and importance of the climate solutions knowledge PICS projects create.
  • Work with project leads to identify strategic engagement opportunities with policy and decision makers in government, industry and private sector.
  • Plan for and supervise the distribution of communications messages, stories, funding opportunities, and events through a variety of media (e.g. social, traditional, digital, etc.) in a manner consistent with PICS Communications and Engagement Strategy.
  • Maintain the website as a primary communication tool for showcasing what PICS and the climate solutions value it brings to decision makers; ensuring content is regularly refreshed, engaging, and uses the right balance of text, video, imagery, graphics and social media to inform, engage and inspire leading researchers, decision makers and the next generation of climate solution seekers.
  • Manage and/or undertake the research, writing and editing of accurate, evidence-based and compelling summaries and highlights of PICS research that are understandable to a wide audience. This includes news releases, FAQs, PICS reports and briefs, web highlights, 2-pagers, and risk mitigation resources.
  • Lead the development and implementation of campaigns to support PICS’ high-level workshops, seminars, conferences, funding announcements and events, etc. as per PICS annual communications strategy.
  • Negotiate, lead and manage external projects with provincial, national and international partners to position PICS for positive and prominent exposure among scientific organizations, governments, industry associations, and general pubic audiences.
  • Plan for and supervise media relations to ensure productive relationships are built with key traditional media, consistent and clear messaging and brand implementation is employed, and a host of creative communications products and services are used to promote PICS’s unique capabilities, opportunities, and advances in innovative climate solutions knowledge and provincially, nationally and internationally build PICS’ brand recognition.
  • Ensure copyright, intellectual property and other legal and contractual obligations are acknowledged and respected, seeking related legal or other expertise as required.
Communication Administration (20%)
  • Under the oversight of Executive Director, develop and administer the communications budget.
  • Oversee PICS’ digital, print and other media assets to maximize their use and optimize communication opportunities through their effective use.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of an up-to-date archive of print and digital media assets for use internally and externally.
  • Track and report on the impact of communication activities and evaluate success against strategic and annual plans.
  • Provide regular and ad hoc reports and updates to the PICS executive and contribute as requested to PICS and UVic, UBC, SFU and UNBC reports.
  • Provide direction and guidance to PICS Executive and staff to help manage internal communications portfolio.
  • Develop procedures and processes to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of PICS staff resources and consistent delivery to ensure organizational wide success as well as appropriate records management.
For more details and full job description, please visit the UVic Careers site at or email 



This position requires an undergraduate degree in communications, marketing, journalism, public relations, or a related field and a minimum of 6 years’ experience in a designated communications, public relations or public affairs position.
Required Experience:
  • A minimum of 2 years of managerial experience with an internal communications team or external consultant/contractor team.
  • Experience in developing, implementing and evaluating strategic communications plans.
  • Experience with content management systems, social media and website management.
  • Budget development and financial management experience.
  • Experience applying project management principles and best practices.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Strong understanding and working knowledge of climate solutions (mitigation and adaptation)
  • Ability to synthesize and explain complex scientific and technical ideas to a variety of non-specialist audiences. 
  • Proven strength in written and oral communications, including demonstrated expertise in research, fact checking, attention to detail, writing, and editing a range of technical materials.
  • Risk identification and management.
  • Strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize, make decisions independently, meet deadlines and manage multiple projects.
  • Creative production and management of a variety of traditional and new communication media aimed at internal and external audiences.
  • Good understanding of media relations, and demonstrated experience and established contacts with traditional print and new electronic media
  • Ability to build and maintain productive working relationships with a variety of people and stakeholders in a complex, decentralized work environment.
  • A demonstrated ability to connect with target audiences and to build networks with those audiences.
Assets or Preferences:
  • Customer service and conflict resolution training or experience.
  • Experience obtained in a non-profit, post-secondary, research facility or similarly large, complex and unionized environment.
  • An equivalent combination of education, training and experience may be considered.

How To Apply

To apply for this opportunity, please visit and follow the application instructions. Please direct any questions you have to