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Communications Specialist

Smart, Savvy + Associates is Canada’s fastest-growing recruitment specialty firm. We are fully focused on helping companies connect with talented, proven marketing, communications and sales professionals to help grow their businesses. We are excited to be partnering with the BC Pharmacy Association in their search for an External Communications & Public Affairs Specialist who brings a strong foundation in writing and story-telling, media relations, public affairs and external communications.
 
About the BC Pharmacy Association
 
The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is an organization that supports and advances the professional and economic interests of community pharmacists and pharmacies in the province. The BCPhA’s membership includes more than 3,150 practicing pharmacists and nearly 1,000 pharmacies that are in communities large and small across the province. Membership in the Association is voluntary. The BCPhA is a not-for-profit organization governed by the BC Societies Act.
 
The primary goal of the Association is to support pharmacists and pharmacy owners in the day-to-day delivery of pharmacy services. The BCPhA is the primary advocate for the profession and the business of community pharmacy in B.C. with government and other payers. The Association takes a leadership role in supporting and expanding use of pharmacist expertise in the health-care system.
 
About the Opportunity
 
Reporting to the Director of Communications, the Communications Specialist is an individual committed to excellence in content.  With a natural curiosity, creativity and critical thinking skills, they can immediately identify a story, research and tell it in a compelling, creative way that advances the Association and needs of members.

The Specialist is deadline-driven, a quick thinker, and naturally takes responsibility to lead projects and campaigns. They are resourceful, and demand excellence of themselves and the team. They have a keen attention to detail, knowing that accuracy, transparency and responsiveness are what protect an organization’s reputation.
 
The Specialist is a content producer and maximizer who can see value in adapting content for multiple channels. As an editor and reviewer of content, they ask critical questions and constantly seek to explain “the why” to audiences. As a representative of the Communications Department and who has many interactions with members, media and other stakeholders, the Specialist must possess excellent interpersonal skills, superior written and verbal communications skills and be meticulous in carrying out all aspects of their duties.
 
Responsibilities
 
Under the direction of the Director, Communications the Specialist will be responsible for:
 
  • Supports an integrated year-round marketing communications plan that supports BCPhA’s member retention and attraction strategy
  • Maintains a working knowledge of the organizations strategic priorities, annual operating plan and how this influences the Communications department’s priorities
  • Manages the organization’s brand – ensuring consistency of the brand voice across all communication (internal and external)
  • Generates ideas, interviews relevant stakeholders to create compelling content for various communication channels (press releases, FAQs, member magazine, website, speeches, quarterly report, annual reports, brochures, presentations and newsletter)
  • Develops and executes annual proactive media relations plan, manages media monitoring and reporting and spokesperson roster
  • Develops scripts, Q&A and preps spokespeople for media interviews
  • Builds and maintains relationships with key media contacts and identifies opportunities to proactively pitch Association and pharmacy stories to media and responds to inbound media inquires
  • Manages external writers to deliver quality content
  • Taking the role of senior editor of the member magazine - manages the production process, including developing story ideas, managing freelance designers, writers and photographers, implement standard production process from content flow and editing process (style, fact checking), art direction, ad sales and ensures proper archiving of content
  • Ensures the BCPhA stylebook, corporate fact sheets, FAQs, boilerplates and other corporate information is kept-up-to date and shared with relevant stakeholders
  • Serves as back-up web publisher, social media monitoring and posting
  • Keeps abreast of industry, BC healthcare and federal news impacting members and alerts team to emerging issues in the media
  • Researches, writes and develops materials for pharmacists who are part of the Association’s advocacy program.  
  • Researches and writes materials on key issues/positions of the Association for advocacy purposes.
 
Qualifications
 
  • BS/BA degree in Journalism or Communications plus at least 5 years of related experience, or equivalent education and experience
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize complex information, identify a story and tell it in a compelling and creative way
  • Experience in developing media relationships, pitching, and creating and implementing pro-active media campaigns.
  • Proven experience in conceptualizing, planning and developing a wide variety of communications projects/content features
  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Exceptional research, interviewing and writing skills, with excellent control of style variations for different channels and audiences all done under tight deadlines.
  • Outstanding editing and proofreading skills, including strong command of grammar and punctuation, and a commitment to clear, concise and accurate language/content
  • Demonstrated experience in publication management; intimate understanding of content management, art direction, design elements for traditional and digital communications channels.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as an integral member of a communications team; strong interpersonal skills and customer-service orientation.
  • Proven ability to measure strategic and business impact of communication efforts
  • Critical thinking, generation of new ideas and keen interest in understanding the pharmacy business and profession are essential in this role.
  • Strong computer skills in MS Office, working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and InDesign.
  • The ability to travel 15 per cent of the time within BC
 
Preferred, but not required:
 
  • Journalism experience/education (in addition to the breadth of communications skills required); or
  • Experience working in a PR agency (account manager)
  • Experience working in the health-care sector
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Job Match

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Online Screening

If we've contacted you with an opportunity that you're interested in pursuing, we'll put you through a screening process called the Online Career Profile. It's an online questionnaire that allows us to get to know you more in-depth: what you've achieved, where you want to go, your views on corporate culture. It takes about an hour to complete, but we promise the investment will be worth the return so we can find you a perfect match.

Interview

We then meet face-to-face with you to flush out your OCP further and get to know you on a personal level. If following this both parties see a great fit for the role in mind, we then introduce you to our client to go through their interview and hiring process.

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