Position Profile

Job Title:  Public Affairs Officer

Work Unit:  Strategic Communications / Ministry Communications Branch

Ministry:   Alberta Public Affairs Bureau

Competition Number:  1043362

Date:  July 2017



The Public Affairs Officer works closely with the Communications Assistant Director or Communications Director and is responsible for providing senior professional communications counsel to the department in keeping with branch, client ministry and Public Affairs Bureau business plans. The Public Affairs Officer works with a large degree of independence providing total information development and dissemination to a division or a number of branches of a ministry. This is the advanced level of communications work.

Responsibilities and Activities


Provides strategic communications counsel and professional communications support to senior management and assigned program areas, based on the branch business plan, to support the ministry.


  • Develops, implements and monitors communication strategies for internal and external audiences.
  • Provides strategic communications planning and consulting.
  • Creates and implements e-communications strategies.
  • Participates in cross-department and ministry communication committees as needed.

Provides effective, pro-active issues management support through the Communications Director to the Minister, Premier's office, and senior department staff in accordance with the branch and Ministry business plan.


  • Identifies and monitors emerging issues.
  • Develops effective and timely strategies and key messages to proactively address and deal with issues.

Uses media relations effectively and strategically to support major communication activities in accordance with the department's media relations policy.


  • Proactively monitors and analyzes media coverage.
  • Coordinates technical briefing and information to respond to media inquiries.
  • Writes, coordinates and distributes news releases, information bulletins and media information.
  • Arranges news conferences and media availabilities, coordinates media interviews.
  • Acts as media trainer/support for technical experts in the department.
  • Proactively profiles department programs and initiatives through media relations efforts.
  • Adheres to government/Ministry processes and standards.

Provides strategic writing support of very complex and/or sensitive information materials for internal and external audiences.


  • Plans, coordinates, writes and edits news releases, information bulletins, media notices, letters, briefings, brochures, reports, speeches, presentations, newsletters and other publications.
  • Develops content for the web (intranet and internet), monitors web trends and opportunities (i.e. social media) and provides communications counsel to clients in using the web effectively as a communications tool.
  • Ensures all materials are written in plain language and are effective and audience/medium appropriate ensures materials targeted to the media are written in Canadian Press (CP) style.

Supports the department's public consultation initiatives.


  • Provides communications counsel and advice on the consultation process in consultation with the Public Affairs Bureau.
  • Provides strategic planning advice on tools for public consultation.
  • Keeps abreast of new techniques for public engagement and government standards.
  • Serves as contact to other government resources to provide up-to-date knowledge of issues.
  • Coordinates and provides communications support throughout the consultation process.

Coordinates graphic design and promotional material production as required ensuring government guidelines and standards are met.


  • Provides design and production advice and counsel.
  • Coordinates production with contract staff, suppliers and advertising agencies directly and through PAB.
  • Ensures timely quality products within budget.

Responsible for event management for both internal and external events.


  • Manages project, timelines, strategy, budget and evaluation.
  • Organizes logistics, including venue, presentation materials, multimedia, collateral materials, catering services and media relations.
  • Acts as a resource for junior communications staff involved in event management.

Provides functional supervision to staff and project positions within the branch as required.


  • Provides guidance and acts as a coach/mentor to junior communications staff and students.
  • Provides guidance to administrative staff, along with input on assessment as required.
  • Provides input into staffing needs and requirements.
  • Serves as coordinator and lead on key projects and assignments.
  • Serves as acting assistant or acting communications director.


  • Contributes to the success of the department's communication with primary clients and key audiences.
  • Communications support for issues impact the Premier, Minister, Deputy Minister, MLAs and staff.
  • Supports cross-government initiatives and cross sector initiatives.
  • Supports the branch and ministry business plan.
  • Provides communication consultation for both short and long term on-going functions and initiatives.
  • Acts as team leader, project supervisor or coordinator directing the work of others in ensuring the proper implementation of communications programs or projects.
  • Works closely with the assistant communications director and communications director and senior department staff.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • In-depth knowledge of communications planning and issues management techniques.
  • Media relations skills.
  • Knowledge of communications role in arranging news conferences and media availabilities.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the web as a communications medium.
  • Issues management skills.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Strong research, writing and editing skills.
  • Knowledge of Canadian Press style guides.
  • Knowledge of Minister's style guide for correspondence.
  • Advanced consulting skills.
  • Creativity.
  • Project management skills.
  • Coaching skills.
  • Knowledge of public consultation/engagement processes and techniques.
  • Knowledge of advertising design, placement and GoA advertising policy, GoA Communications Policy and GoA Website Standards.
  • Understanding of graphic design and print production techniques.
  • Knowledge of Government of Alberta visual identity guidelines.
  • Operating knowledge of information and communications technology and electronic production.
  • Computer skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Ability to work as team player with minimal supervision.
  • Knowledge of how government works (bills, orders in council, standing policy committees etc.).
  • Knowledge of department and PAB policies and procedures, regulations, legislation and core business.
  • Knowledge of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) legislation and other related policies and procedures.
  • Degree or diploma in public relations, communications, journalism or a related discipline.


  This position spends a considerable amount of time in contact with division clients, including Assistant Deputy Ministers, to provide services and request information. Contact may also take place with Deputy Ministers and Minister's Office staff to provide guidance on issues and events. This position will also interact with other communications staff, including Directors, Assistant Directors and other PAB staff to discuss plans and projects. This position will also be required to provide advice and direction to less-senior Public Affairs Officers. This position may direct outside vendors for events or production of communications materials.

Supervision Exercised



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