The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD employs more than 200 staff, who come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in more than 100 countries.
We are currently looking for a Communications Officer, Water to join our Water program.
IISD’s Water program comprises freshwater scientists, engineers, and a multidisciplinary team of policy researchers who work with governments, civil society, communities, and businesses to help them manage land and water for optimum, sustainable ecological and human benefits, while managing climate-related risks. Areas of work within the program focus on efforts towards sustainable watersheds, resilient agricultural systems, improved management of freshwater lakes and related natural, economic and social and information systems for these.
This work includes the Natural Infrastructure for Water Solutions (NIWS) initiative to scale up the use of natural infrastructure (NI) on the Canadian Prairies. This work involves working with watershed managers, municipal leaders, policy, and market experts on ensuring that a strategic effort to scale up effective natural infrastructure solutions is enabled by improved understanding, adoption, metrics, policies and markets for these projects.
We are seeking a dynamic individual experienced in strategic communications (ideally in science or environmental issues) with a talent for making complex ideas accessible and persuasive to a broad range of audiences—from the general public and Indigenous communities to policymakers and scientists.
The selected candidate will be working to promote and effectively communicate the work of our Water team to audiences in Canada’s prairies (Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan) with the ultimate goal of influencing policy to improve the health of fresh water.
A significant portion of this role will involve communications for our NIWS project, which aims to scale up natural infrastructure solutions in Canada’s prairie provinces over the next four years.
- Coordinate production of a wide array of written communications materials, including press releases, articles, social media posts, newsletters, and other supporting content that make IISD's work accessible to both expert and non-expert audiences. This may include drafting and editing content.
- Develop and contribute relevant content to IISD’s website, project pages and microsites.
- Inform, project manage, and implement communications plans for a broad range of projects, reports, campaigns, and events. This includes cooperating with internal and external stakeholders, ensuring timelines are adhered to, monitoring and evaluation, and reporting on impact.
- In consultation with the Editorial and Communications Manager, help to shape new communications strategies, renew these annually and implement key aspects of program and project communications strategies.
- Regularly share program work and collaborate with IISD’s core communications team to ensure alignment on key messaging and amplification of programmatic expertise in broader, organization-wide communications activities. Contribute to shared editorial calendar.
- Communicate with IISD’s donors to show how their support has made an impact.
- Track current events related to specific workstreams, and communicate these to colleagues, identifying opportunities for further work and/or public engagement.
Public Engagement and Social Media
- Maintain and update lists of newsletter subscribers within platforms such as MailChimp. Draft, edit, and distribute newsletters. Help to inform and execute an email outreach strategy.
- Conduct event-related outreach and oversee post-event follow-up (ie. uploading webinar recordings to YouTube, sending thank-you emails, etc.).
- Inform social media strategy and manage relevant social media accounts, ensuring posts are relevant, timely, engaging, and targeted to the needs and interests of key audiences. This may include drafting and/or editing posts, organizing promotions, tracking trending topics and hashtags, and regularly monitoring the feeds of partner organizations to identify opportunities for cross-promotion.
- Engage with journalists and influencers, with a focus on relationship-building, to secure targeted coverage for IISD research and initiatives in key outlets. Build media lists; maintain and update databases of media contacts on Canada’s prairies and issue-specific audiences (such as natural infrastructure and agriculture) across Canada and internationally.
- Draft, edit, and disseminate press releases, media briefings, and email pitches for reporters and editors. Draft or support other staff in writing and placing op-eds, letters to the editor, etc.
- Facilitate media training for IISD experts in advance of speaking to the press.
- Conduct media monitoring on a regular basis for assigned areas of work. Provide reports on media coverage and digital performance using Cision, Google Analytics, and other available platforms.
- Working within content management systems such as Drupal or WordPress, upload and edit content for websites, adhering to IISD guidelines. Review program-relevant pages on IISD websites and micro-sites for timeliness and updates as needed.
- Working closely with IISD’s digital project manager, use analytics software to monitor, assess, and report on website traffic and engagement with our digital content, advising where appropriate on opportunities to improve.
- In collaboration with IISD’s design team, manage the production of digital content, including Twitter cards, posters, videos, invitations, simple infographics, presentations, and other conference or workshop materials. Retouch and resize images as needed.
- Ensure brand coherence and compliance with existing IISD communications practices.
- Manage internal processes related to the development and dissemination of communications products, including coordinating feedback from internal and external stakeholders, approvals, and copy editing.
- Maintain strong relationships with program staff to gain deeper understanding of their research and policy objectives in order to translate their work into key messages that resonate with priority audiences. Provide editorial guidance to IISD’s experts so they have the necessary skills to communicate their work through different channels and act as public ambassadors for IISD.
- Develop and maintain relationships with communications -focused members of other IISD programs.
Required Skills and Qualifications
- 5+ years of relevant professional experience in communications—ideally at a think tank, non-governmental organization, governmental institution, etc.
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, public policy, science, ecology, or another relevant discipline.
- Demonstrated interest in issues related to sustainable development, the environment, and local politics.
- A high level of computer literacy: must be able to work in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and be familiar with virtual event software such as Zoom and MS Teams.
- Excellent English verbal and written communication skills; other languages are an asset.
- Experience and comfort working with online content management systems and website monitoring tools (especially WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics).
- Strong interpersonal and organizational skills.
- Self-starter, able to work independently as well as within a team.
Deadline for receiving applications: Monday May 8, 2023; or until the position is filled.
Employment Type: Full time
Salary: $52,855 – $62,958 (CAD) for those based in Alberta and $48,069 – $57,215 (CAD) for those based in Manitoba or Saskatchewan
Start Date: ASAP
Closing Date: Monday May 8, 2023; or until the position is filled.
Location: Remote, Canada-based, with a strong preference for candidates based on the prairie provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Alberta). If you are based in Winnipeg, you will be required to work part-time in the Winnipeg office.
All submissions must be in English. Accommodations for job applicants with disabilities are available on request.
Candidates Must Hold Appropriate Work Authorization for their country of residence.
Applications will only be accepted through Bamboo HR.
Please include the following:
- A CV (no longer than two pages)
- A cover letter (one page)
- IISD Voluntary Self-Identification Questionnaire (optional)
Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted. Resumes will be kept on file for one year.
IISD has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires employees who are required or choose to be at an office or participate in in-person team events or in-person meetings/events to be fully vaccinated. Anyone unable to be fully vaccinated, either because of a sincerely held religious belief or a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from being fully vaccinated, can request a reasonable accommodation.
IISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQIA+ to apply for this position. Preference will be given to the equity-deserving groups during the hiring process. We offer reasonable accommodations in our recruitment process and seek applicants' advice on how best to accommodate their needs. Please self-identify and answer our employment equity questionnaire on our applicant tracking system when you apply.