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Vector Institute

Communications Specialist and Writer

Communications & Engagement – Toronto, Ontario
Department Communications & Engagement
Employment Type Full Time - Professional Staff
Minimum Experience Mid-level

The Vector Institute is seeking a dynamic and skilled Communications Specialist and Writer to join our Communications & Engagement Team. Reporting to the Director, Communications & Engagement, the Communications Specialist and Writer will work with the communications team and various program areas to develop and execute multi-faceted communications strategies to build the Vector Institute’s profile as a world-class artificial intelligence (AI) institute. The incumbent for this role will be responsible for proactively identifying communications opportunities, developing and executing strategic plans, and writing a variety of content to profile the impact of the people, research and programs at the Vector Institute.


  • Proactively identify communications opportunities and oversee the Vector Institute’s communications calendar.
  • Develop multi-faceted strategic communications plans to advance Vector’s vision and mission; work with the communications team and relevant program areas to execute tactics such as events, social media campaigns, creative graphic or digital content, videos, press releases, media outreach, proactive issues management, email campaigns, internal communications, key messages and narratives as appropriate for engaging and reaching target audiences.
  • Proactively anticipate, manage and respond to emerging communications issues and risks.
  • Conduct research and analysis to inform the development of narratives, profiles, stories, media pitches, and announcements to communicate the impact of Vector’s people, research, and programs, including by reviewing literature and interviewing Vector’s leadership, staff, researchers, students, alumni, industry partners, and stakeholders.
  • Write, edit, fact-check and coordinate production of a wide variety of communications materials, such as press releases, blog posts, speaking points, key messages, correspondence, fact sheets, presentations, website and social media content, ensuring materials are accurate and up-to-date on an ongoing basis.
  • Work with internal and external stakeholders (e.g. researchers, government, industry, health) on mutually beneficial communications opportunities, ensuring alignment and accuracy of joint communications efforts.
  • Support the development and expansion of digital communications strategies to enhance Vector’s digital presence, including on the website, social media and other digital channels.
  • Measure and report on quantitative and qualitative outcomes of communications efforts, using metrics to continuously improve and recommend evidence-based communications strategies.
  • Work with management to meet internal and external reporting requirements by preparing progress updates for leadership and funding partners, and support the development of external-facing reports (e.g. Annual Report).
  • Work with the Events Manager and program leads to optimize and leverage Vector’s presence at events by developing or sourcing necessary communications materials.
  • Contribute to the development and execution of media outreach, marketing, PR and community outreach campaigns.
  • Develop relationships with relevant reporters to seed media stories, and respond to relevant questions from the media.
  • Support execution of internal communications to foster engagement and a positive, collaborative culture.
  • Adhere to all defined Vector Institute processes and policies, including sponsorship, accounting, procurement, and HR driven requirements.
  • Undertake other duties as assigned. 


  • Communications strategies result in effective, impactful progress towards Vector’s strategic objectives (e.g. research, recruitment, industry innovation, and health strategy), as measured by quantitative and qualitative metrics.
  • Communications tactics are planned in advance in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders as appropriate.
  • Communications are timely, relevant, and error-free.
  • Candidate develops skills to lead and host meetings and eventually presentations for small external stakeholder groups on behalf of the Vector Institute.
  • New faculty, students, industry and health partners and other collaborators are increasingly interested in joining the Vector Institute’s community and supporting the advancement of Vector’s vision and mission.
  • Vector is in compliance with communications protocols with academic, government, and institutional partners.


  • 3+ years of communications experience in identifying, planning and executing strategic communications plans with sound knowledge of writing and editing principles.
  • Education and/or equivalent relevant work experience in communications, journalism, or a related field.
  • Familiarity with scientific terminology is an asset.
  • Ability to translate complex technical concepts into meaningful narratives and information for a variety of audiences, demonstrated by a strong portfolio of writing samples.
  • Private sector or post-secondary sector marketing experience is an asset.
  • Computer skills in standard office software for word processing and adapting basic content layouts to produce a variety of communications materials.
  • Proficiency in software and tools for creative and digital communications (e.g. content management systems, Adobe Creative Suite, photography and video production) is considered an asset.
  • Organized, professional, attentive to detail, flexible and adaptable.
  • Excellent communication, analytical and creative thinking skills.
  • Ability to work well independently on several projects concurrently, maintain focus and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to work successfully with various organizational levels, stakeholders, and people with diverse backgrounds and interests.

Please submit a cover letter, resume and at least one writing sample to the attention of Kailyn Burke. Your writing sample could include a blog post, press release/announcement, or news article and should be approximately 350 words in length.  Please include the writing samples at the end of your cover letter. Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 15, 2019.

At the Vector Institute, we are committed to fostering an environment of inclusivity and accessibility.  If you require an accommodation at any point throughout the recruitment and selection process, please contact Kailyn Burke at and we will happily work with you to meet your needs.

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  • Location
    Toronto, Ontario
  • Department
    Communications & Engagement
  • Employment Type
    Full Time - Professional Staff
  • Minimum Experience
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