Communications Specialist, ON & Northern Canada

  • Full-time

Company Description

Join the largest environmental organization in Canada and become an agent of change! 

About the David Suzuki Foundation

We find solutions for living within the limits of nature. Through a combination of sound science and active public engagement, we seek to motivate Canadians to take action on the environmental challenges we collectively face. Our Foundation is an independent charity, supported by over 30,000 donors from across Canada and abroad. With headquarters in Vancouver and offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal we address issues from coast to coast to coast, in both official languages. With the support of scientists, academics, progressive businesses, governments, non-governmental organizations and tens of thousands of Canadian we aim to achieve this vision: That within a generation Canadians act on the understanding that we are interconnected and interdependent with nature, and with each other. You can learn more about us at

The David Suzuki Foundation hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equality and diversity within its community and to a welcoming and inclusive workplace. We especially welcome applications from Indigenous persons, visible minority group members, women, persons with disabilities, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.   

Job Description


Communications Specialist, ON & Northern Canada


This position is located in Toronto.


This Specialist will act as the primary communications advisor to ON & Northern Department staff, as well as provide communications support more generally in support of National and ON & Northern Canada team goals. The Specialist works with individuals, partners and coalitions in helping DSF meet its long-term goals.



Working with scientists, campaigners, policy analysts and communications and digital specialists, the Communications Specialist ensures strategic development and delivery of key David Suzuki Foundation messages and other communications to regional target audiences. Working with the National Communications Manager and Regional Director-General, the Specialist will ensure regional communication resources and capacity are secured and managed. Working with the Communications and Public Engagement Department, the Digital Strategy Department and other stakeholders, the Communications Specialist will also define and deliver long-term regional audience engagement goals through this position. The working relationship with the Communications team exists to build mutually beneficial practices, ensure ongoing professional development and facilitate cooperation and support between the regional team and the Communications Department. Ongoing liaison with the Digital and Technology Department helps ensure content is being shared optimally through all channels, including email, the web, social media and more. Some travel will be required.



Strategic Communications Planning: 

The Communications Specialist, ON & Northern Canada, works closely with the Regional Director-General to monitor, assess and prioritize communications issues and opportunities and to build DSF’s constituency in ON & Northern Canada. The Specialist also works closely with project leaders and others internally to build strategies, work plans and coordinate cross-departmental delivery of communications initiatives on behalf of the ON & Northern Canada team.

·        Collaborates with others in the ON & Northern Canada team to develop strategic communications and audience engagement initiatives.

·        Lead advisor on responsive and tactical Regional communications

·        Ensures that the ON & Northern Canada team’s communications strategies are aligned with and support the broader communications goals of DSF.

·        Working with the Director-General, develops and implements communications strategies that will enhance DSF’s presence in ON and Northern Canada.

·        Working with scientists, researchers, campaigners, policy analysts, digital specialists and public engagement staff at DSF, ensures that communications expertise informs strategic plans, work plans and implementation.

·        Collaborates with the Communications Director and Manager to facilitate and manage Communications Department capacity and contributions allocated to Regional projects to maximum effect.

·        Collaborates with Digital team to ensure communications are represented appropriately through digital channels, including web, email, social media and others.

·        Assesses the communications needs of coalitions and other external partners and assists with the development and execution of coalition campaigns and strategies.

·        Participates in regular Communications Specialist and digital team meetings to share information, develop best practices and contribute to overarching communications goals of Foundation.


 Project planning:

·        Works with ON & Northern Canada Department staff to ensure projects/work plans incorporate strategic communications, make the most of communications opportunities, and that materials are produced on time and on budget.

·        Develops annual communications work plans for the ON & Northern Canada Department.

·        Involves the Digital team in initial planning for projects/campaigns.



·        Builds and maintains relationships with various stakeholders, influencers and opinion leaders in ON & Northern Canada. Supports the Director-General in strategic relationship management.

·        Develops and executes strategic and tactical communications plans – often in collaboration with multiple programs, external stakeholders and/or engaging specific channel expertise.


Content Creation (writing & editing, multi-media):

·        Develops and writes news releases, opinion pieces (columns, op-eds), newsletter articles, ads, web content, social media content (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), articles, presentations, media advisories, backgrounders, executive summaries, etc.

·        Develops and/or oversees the development of additional multi-media materials, such as videos and designed collateral.

·        Edits and oversees production of scientific reports and other materials.

·        With Development and Strategic Partnerships Department, assists in reporting to funders and the Board of Directors.


Media/communications advisor/media liaison:

·        Provides strategic and tactical communications and media advice for maximum message impact.

·        Monitors and analyzes media response to continuously improve publicity strategies.

·        Acts as liaison between representatives of media and the David Suzuki Foundation.

·        Develops and maintains strategic professional media contacts and affiliations.

·        Researches and initiates media opportunities.

·        Pitches stories, articles and interviews to the media.

·        Assists with fundraising (development) team activities, when required.


Web maintenance:

·        Working with Web Strategist and Content Manager, ensures Regional and project elements are up-to-date on web site: news releases, project overviews, stories, articles, expert profiles and other content blocks. 



·        In partnership with Digital team ensures appropriate strategy and executions of actions. 



Education and experience

·     A degree in Journalism, Communications, Marketing or related discipline, and a minimum of three years’ professional communications experience.

·     Demonstrated success in strategic communications planning and execution.

·     Experience in cause-based marketing is an asset.

·     Experience in leading multi-stakeholder content development and delivery.

·     Access to an established network of media and thought leader contacts, nationally and in ON & Northern Canada.


Skill sets

·        Good knowledge of the environment, social change and science. Knowledge of regional media, daily print and broadcast, local, regional and ethnic, mainstream and social media is an asset.

·        Persuasive and passionate about environmental sustainability.

·        Strong team player when it comes to strategy – you have a natural ability to see connections between stakeholder viewpoints and to knit together strategic communications plans to align these interests to short- and long-term organizational goals.

·        Ability to formulate project delivery plans and execute time-sensitive priorities.

·        Familiar with social change theories and applications in communications work.

·        Advanced writing skills – you write quickly and clearly, with appropriate style for different audiences and channels.

·        Ability to produce and/or oversee production of multi-media materials (video, audio, graphics, designed collateral, etc.) – design skills are a significant asset.

·        Ability to work well both independently and within a team environment.

·        Demonstrated self-starter – driven by own initiative to prioritize competing demands and meet timelines.

·        Sound media knowledge and experience – you understand what news is and can develop, write and sell news.

·        Demonstrated experience liaising with journalists working in print, television, radio and online.

·        Superb English language skills. Other language skills are considered an asset.

·        Excellent interpersonal skills including professionalism under stressful situations, conflict resolution and negotiation skills.

·        Sound computer skills – adept at word processing; web posting and social media skills are assets.

Additional Information

Please submit your application (cover letter and your resume) online by going to The position will be open until it is filled.  The position starts as soon as possible and rolling interviews will be conducted as soon as qualified applications are received. 

We recognize the importance of a diverse workforce and encourage applications from Aboriginal Peoples, women, members of visible minorities and people with disabilities.