Issues & Media Strategist - Toronto, Ontario | University of Toronto | | 27/07/20
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Issues & Media Strategist contract

Location: Toronto, Ontario
Salary: PM 4 -- Hiring Zone: $91,506 - $106,758
Category: All Other, Communications
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Issues & Media Strategist

Date Posted: 07/24/2020
Req ID: 307
Faculty/Division: University of Toronto Communications
Department: Office of Vice President, Communications
Campus: St. George (Downtown Toronto)


The University of Toronto Communications team overseeing institutional communications and marketing is looking for an agile, innovative and accomplished communicator for the Issues and Media Strategist position.

This role requires someone with extensive experience in media relations and PR with outstanding judgement in issues management and news. You should have an impressive track record of providing high-level strategic communications advice and content in an often fast-paced environment driven by external media needs, breaking news cycles and social media discourse. Ideally you also have experience working within a large public institution with both local and international interests.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Stakeholder Relations, the Issues & Media Strategist plays a pivotal role in managing, protecting and elevating the University of Toronto brand, particularly as it relates to issues that carry significant reputational risk, by being a strategic partner to various stakeholders on communications strategies with the media.

You will work closely in collaboration with an extensive central communications team comprised of a highly collaborative group of communications and marketing professionals, driven to find new and creative ways to reach audiences with our content.

The role is responsible for developing proactive communications strategies to manage the media relations aspects of politically sensitive, high profile and often controversial issues; playing a key role in developing issue-oriented messaging and media responses to issues and crises; identifying and monitoring issues as they develop; and working with a range of stakeholders across the University to establish and maintain a coordinated approach to communications about often highly-charged issues, particularly as they attract media attention.

You will become very familiar with the University’s structure, it’s crisis management plan, and will be privy to confidential information, discussions and reports prepared by various vice-presidential portfolios as they relate to a range of highly-charged issues (including labour relations, campus safety, student mental health, research integrity, human rights, community concerns, etc.).

If you are interested in working with an iconic Canadian institution, are excited at the prospect of being a part of a purpose driven organization with a social conscience, and thrive in a fast paced, team environment, this might be the perfect opportunity for you.

Strategic, team oriented, agile communicators are asked to apply!




University degree in communications, public relations or journalism, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Eight years’ experience in communications, public relations, issues management and media relations, or ideally a combination of these practices. Demonstrated experience in advising CEOs/senior leaders of an organization on issues management. Experience in a large public-sector institution. Demonstrated experience in addressing complex issues with multiple stakeholders. Knowledge of the University of Toronto or post-secondary education sector would be an asset.


  • Demonstrated outstanding judgment for issues management
  • Demonstrated skill in managing relationships and requests with tact, diplomacy and persuasion
  • Excellent media relations acumen
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • Ability to digest and translate complex and often sensitive information
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategies related to complex issues
  • Outstanding news judgment
  • Demonstrated ability to formulate media and issues management strategies, and demonstrated ability to execute those ideas effectively
  • Strong story development abilities
  • Knowledge of and proficiency with digital and social media tools and platforms


  • Strong background in developing new communications strategies to suit communications needs of complex environments
  • Ability to work closely with – and gain the confidence of – senior members of an organization
  • Ability to make well-considered and sustainable decisions rapidly on behalf of the University and its leaders
  • Proven ability to multi-task and reliable under pressure.
  • Proven ability to source accurate information quickly
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work in a consistently supportive manner with colleagues
  • Ability to collaborate quickly and productively across divisional boundaries

This is a one (1) year Term role.

Closing Date: 07/31/2020, 11:59PM EDT
Employee Group: Salaried
Appointment Type: Budget - Term
Schedule: Full-Time
Pay Scale Group & Hiring Zone: PM 4 -- Hiring Zone: $91,506 - $106,758 -- Broadband Salary Range: $91,506 - $152,510
Job Category: Communication/Media/Public Relations

Apply directly on our website:

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Diversity Statement
The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes. For more information, please see

Accessibility Statement
The University strives to be an equitable and inclusive community, and proactively seeks to increase diversity among its community members. Our values regarding equity and diversity are linked with our unwavering commitment to excellence in the pursuit of our academic mission.

The University is committed to the principles of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). As such, we strive to make our recruitment, assessment and selection processes as accessible as possible and provide accommodations as required for applicants with disabilities.

If you require any accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

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