University of Waterloo

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Director, Integrated Communications

Director, Integrated Communications

Requisition ID 
Job Category  
Marketing / Public Relations / Communications
5693 - VP University Relations-Commun
Job Status 
Regular Full-Time
Hiring Range 
$81,618 - $102,023

More information about this job


The Director, Integrated Communication is responsible for developing breakthrough strategic communications and building relationships with senior stakeholders to help them maximize the impact and alignment of key messaging across all University of Waterloo audiences externally and internally.


The role contributes to the University of Waterloo’s overall communication and marketing strategy by ideating and creating consistent, high-quality materials that reinforce University strategic plans that position the University as a global leader in research, innovation, education and entrepreneurship.


Under the direction of the Associate Vice-President, Communication, the role works closely with multiple internal and external stakeholders across and leads the integrated communication team covering communication strategy,
planning and delivery, engagement and channel management.


The role is responsible for overseeing, developing and delivering consistent, measurable, strategic and creative communication products for all audience groups. These approaches will be built on past successes and should introduce new creative ways that will begin to position University of Waterloo as a sector leader in strategic communication impact.


The role covers a broad set of responsibilities requiring expertise in strategic communication and storytelling, publication management, public relations, marketing and working knowledge of website best practices, social media, and digital marketing to inform communication design, development and execution.


Strategy and implementation

  • Leads the development and delivery of the University’s key messages centrally and in support of priority institutional initiatives and strategic objectives
  • Leads the planning, development and distribution of high-value institutional materials across multiple platforms- including, but not limited to, the Global Impact Report, Waterloo Magazine, website homepage and the institutional slide presentation — while investigating new and agile channels to meet University communication needs
  • Oversees the creation of consistent, high quality and brand aligned central communication publications that set the standard for internal and external communication
  • Supports message development and communication best practices across campus. Develops and maintains tools (for example the writing style guide, copy decks/content templates, communication plans) to support campus content creators
  • Supports major communication initiatives, serving as the principal project manager for communication projects as required
  • Consults with campus leaders and communicators to develop and maintain a thematic communication calendar identifying and reflecting institutional priorities and emerging opportunities
  • Supports the Associate Vice-President, Communication in identifying and supporting opportunities to advance University image and reputation with targeted audiences, through multiple channels and engagement opportunities, such as public and industry events, speaking opportunities, partner websites and publications, and awards submissions
  • Plays a key role in developing positive relationships within and among University Relations and its primary internal and external stakeholders. Identifies opportunities for internal collaboration and consultation with Faculties, departments and academic support units on communication initiatives and executes or supports codeveloped plans. Builds and maintains strong relationships with colleagues in communication roles at partner organizations and stakeholder groups, ensuring the University is consistently, accurately and effectively represented
  • Support the Associate Vice-President, Communication to provide support for emergency or crisis situations, working closely with colleagues across University Relations and campus partners

Leading or managing people

  • Supervise and lead the integrated communication team to deliver high level, impactful communication to all audiences across a wide variety of channels and media
  • Ensure the team meets deadlines and targets for effective delivery of communication channels such as the homepage, Waterloo stories, key publications and monthly key messages for the campus community
  • Responsible for fostering and maintaining a work environment that encourages, recognizes and rewards creativity, innovation, excellence and personal accountability
  • Identifies needs and resources to expand skills and knowledge for communication practitioners across campus by providing ongoing professional development opportunities and recommendations regarding style, best practice, technologies, training and resources, in line with specific departmental goals and budgets
  • Recruit, manage and develop University Communication co-op staff; provide leadership, guidance, support and coaching
  • Manage vendor services to support program needs; identify and manage the outsourcing demands of University Communication; ensure consistent top quality of vendor deliverables for the university
  • Has a direct and positive impact on the Vice-President, University Relations department and all lines of communication activity. Plays a key role in developing and maintaining strong, positive relationships within the department and its internal and stakeholders

Insights and Understanding

  • Anticipate economic, social, political, environmental and technological developments to keep activity relevant and targeted
  • Bring together views and perspectives of stakeholders to gain a wider picture of the landscape surrounding activities and policies
  • Implements changes to messaging or communication approach based on insights gathered from a range of sources
  • Develop tools and vehicles to generate sources of data to inform future communication activities

Measurement and impact

  • Develop and use a range of data sources to advise leaders on the overall communication approach
  • Establish metrics to assess the effectiveness of communication and act on feedback to ensure communication is timely, relevant and meets the needs of the University and audiences
  • Recommends and implements cross-channel approaches to communication based on institutional priorities, emerging opportunities and insights gained from data analysis


  • University degree in English, political science, public relations, marketing or a communication-related field
  • At least 7 to 10 years knowledge, understanding and experience of internal communication and engagement and especially its application to large-scale organizational change and continuous improvement programs in a complex, fast-moving and diverse corporate environment is essential
  • Skilled writer and editor, experienced in leading institutional or corporate communication
  • Proven experience of working in an organization with a high-profile reputation, often in the media spotlight
  • Experience of working with senior executives and leaders and demonstrating advanced influencing and negotiation skills
  • Demonstrable track record of leading, line managing and developing teams of professional staff and of balancing conflicting and pressing demands
  • Experience of developing organizational objectives into material for targeted communications and engagement activities across a range of different channels and media, including face to face engagement
  • Experience of working with people with no direct or negative experience of ‘professional’ communications and ensuring their expectations/input/requirements from communication are effectively aligned and managed
  • Significant experience in writing, proofing and editing material (including speeches), and of presenting proposals and plans to senior/board level executives
  • Evidence of being a persuasive and dynamic leader with highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, who is outgoing and comfortable with networking, influencing and persuading at the highest level
  • Several years of progressive experience performing duties related to the Key Accountabilities listed above
  • Thorough command of the technology associated with social media and the digital world (from the evolving social web to mobile tools and trends), sophisticated client service and digital communications skills, and high level of energy and passion with respect to this area of rapid change and innovation
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent editing skills
  • Critical thinking and excellent analytical skills to enable immediate and appropriate assessment of complex issues of concern to stakeholders including among others, the media, the public, and funders
  • The role covers a broad set of responsibilities requiring expertise in strategic communication and storytelling, publication management, public relations, marketing and working knowledge of website best practices, social media and digital marketing to inform communication design, development and execution
  • Strong organizational skills coupled with proven ability to effectively document work, handle multiple tasks, and excel in a fast-paced environment characterized by changing priorities and short deadlines
  • Flexibility to adapt to unexpected and time sensitive demands
  • Highly developed people management and leadership skills with demonstrated ability to develop and support a professional, service and continuous improvement focused workplace culture
  • Ability to think and act strategically, creatively and dynamically in a high-pressure work environment
  • Ability to manage confidential and sensitive materials and situations with the utmost discretion
  • Must be confident, organized and an accomplished problem solver
  • Ability to make decisions with good judgment and with acute sensitivity to the political environment and to the reputation of the University