Senior Communications Advisor, External Relations

Sep 04, 2019 - Sep 25, 2019


Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands through collaborative action and innovation. COSIA brings together leading global thinkers from industry, government, academia and the public all working to improve measurement, accountability and performance in our priority areas of greenhouse gasses, water, land and tailings.


About the Opportunity

When launched in 2012, COSIA was considered one of the most unique models of open innovation and collaboration the world had ever seen (and we think it still is). Yet, that story remains largely untold, which is why COSIA is growing its small (but soon to be mighty) Communications and Stakeholder Relations team.

This is a rare opportunity to be part of a dynamic team that will work in an integrated manner with COSIA members and partner organizations. You’ll be at the heart of the action – think drones, satellites, nanotubes and mesocosms (don’t know what those are? Join our team and you soon will!). And, you’ll be doing meaningful work as part of the team’s dual mission: be a catalyst to attract environmental science and innovation; and be a voice to share that story with Canada and the world.


About the Role: Senior Communications Advisor, External Relations

Reporting to the Director, Communications and Stakeholder Relations, this is a generalist communications role with a unique dual focus. Part of the role entails working closely with the Director to position COSIA as a trusted source of information. In this regard, you will become a “defender of truth” by helping to shape and share science-based information. This includes leading development of issues response plans and coordinating media relations activities. This also involves supporting COSIA’s engagement activities (particularly technical engagement and education initiatives with key external stakeholders).

At the same time – and here’s where you’ll get a unique dose of variety – the position also plays a lead role in promoting COSIA’s innovation opportunities with the global innovation community. In this capacity, you will develop and implement marketing campaigns and collateral designed to engage academics, innovators, inventors, entrepreneurs and the like. This is important work that will help propel the sector – and, in fact, the world – forward in terms of environmental advancement.

In both capacities, you’ll work closely with COSIA and member technical and communications staff, to translate technical information into communication that meets the objectives of COSIA’s communications strategy.


Key Accountabilities:

Media Relations

  • Works with the Director and COSIA/member technical and communications staff to develop messaging on key and evolving issues, within COSIA’s remit.
  • Coordinates media relations activities for the Director and Chief Executive, in conjunction (as appropriate) with the partner organizations. This includes identification and planning for proactive media activities, as well as coordinating responses to media requests.
  • Drafts media materials including backgrounders, media advisories and news releases. Coordinates media ops including press conferences, phone conferences and webcasts.
  • Provides support to prepare spokespersons for media interviews.
  • Manages COSIA’s media monitoring, including obtaining analytics to inform decisions as well as producing quarterly reports.
  • Designs and implements an ongoing media training program.

Issues Response

  • Develops and maintains an issues identification and response process, working closely with the Oil Sands Monitoring program and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.
  • Supports response to a variety of issues through development of response plans and messaging.

Innovator Communications and Marketing

  • Responsible for developing and implementing communications and marketing plans, campaigns and activities that promote COSIA’s innovation needs.
  • Develops content that helps describe COSIA’s innovation needs and works with the Communications Coordinator to share these via the website, social media and through presentations.
  • Provides communications support to COSIA’s Associate Member program.

Stakeholder Engagement and Events

  • Plays a lead role in coordinating COSIA’s annual Performance Update, and develops associated media materials.
  • Provides strategic support to COSIA’s stakeholder engagement activities, including working with COSIA’s technical staff to support technical engagement and education initiatives. As time allows, this can include directly providing strategic counsel, coordination of engagement activities and development of engagement materials, or may entail overseeing the efforts of related contractors/consultants.
  • Plans and manages periodic communications and engagement events.


Required Skills


  • Media relations experience, including knowledge of the Canadian media landscape.
  • Issues management experience.
  • Strong message development skills, with the ability to translate the complex into the understandable.
  • Experience developing and implementing communications plans.
  • Experience developing various communications collateral (print, video, etc.)
  • Demonstrated experience in the use of digital communications (website, social media, etc.)
  • Project management and coordination skills.
  • Stakeholder engagement experience (IAP2 training is an asset)
  • Event planning experience.
  • Must be proficient in the use of Microsoft Office.
  • Communications or public relations accreditation and/or certification is an asset.
  • A scientific or technical background is an asset as is experience in the oil sands sector.


  • Must be a collaborative, team-player.
  • Diplomacy and tact are a must.
  • Must be a self-motivated quick learner.
  • Ability to juggle multiple tasks and deadlines.
  • Organized and detail-oriented.


Additional Information

This position involves strategic elements as well as tactical. The individual in the role must be prepared to work at both levels, realizing that much of the work will be “hands on”, and often “behind the scene”. At the same time, the nature of this position is that the incumbent will be exposed to a multitude of viewpoints and the incumbent must work to achieve consensus. This requires the ability to consider all points of view and to negotiate an acceptable path forward.

As part of a small team, this role shall also entail the proverbial “other duties as required”, which will largely be focused on other communications and engagement activities.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Education and Experience: The ideal candidate will have at least 8-10 years of related experience and will have a diploma or degree in communications or public relations.

Compensation: Competitive compensation based on skill set and experience. Assignments or secondments from member companies are possible.

Location: Calgary, AB

Deadline for Application:  This posting will remain open until September 25, 2019 at 5:00 PM.

How to Apply: Interested candidates should submit their resume to, noting the position title.

We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only those invited for an interview will be contacted.