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Communications Manager - Government Agency

"I don’t market tangible goods; I market the services of my government agency. To do this well, I need to know the fundamentals of our agency’s business and translate this into value for a very select group of decision-makers in government as well as stakeholders and the public at large. I also need to understand the political landscape and identify opportunities to build our agency’s reputation as an office of thought leadership."

Salary Range:

$100,200 -$127,500

The Tip

Context is everything in communication. I recommend you start your career at a communications agency working with diverse clients. This is a fast-track to discovering what you love and hate.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources


Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience


Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media


Additional Skills
  • Excel in defined core transferable skills with a focus on transdisciplinary systems thinking, adaptive thinking, communications and interpersonal skills

  • Contextual knowledge of working within government

  • Contextual knowledge of public policy issues

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with minors in psychology and marketing

  • Certificate in web and social media analytics


"My formal education in English provided a depth of expertise in storytelling structure. Combined with training in psychology and marketing, this gave me the foundation to work in an increasingly convergent marketing communications world. I need to learn something new every day."

Employment Experiences:
  • Retail sales experience while in school

  • Worked as a polling station information officer for Elections Canada during federal election

  • Account coordinator at a communications agency for a summer. Was offered a full-time position at graduation.

  • Communications coordinator in municipal government. Worked in the mayor’s office.


"Working at an agency allowed me to better manage third parties. Having junior roles (including retail sales) early on gave me the ability to understand the full communications cycle. My project management experience allowed me to appreciate how it all worked together."

Community Experiences:
  • Active in student government. VP – Communications in my final year.

  • An executive of the English Society at school

  • Active in local politics as volunteer. Supported communications for two campaigns while in university. Led communications for mayoral candidate in last election.

  • On board of local foundation and chair of communications and stakeholder sub-committee


"These experiences allowed me to gain exposure to a variety of perspectives and learn from others about what motivates people. It also improved my work ethic and I learned how to enjoy intrinsic motivators."

Contextual Experiences:
  • I have always been a policy and news wonk digest everything I can on public policy. This depth and breadth of issues has always served me well.


"It’s important for me to be well-rounded because this role is more generalist than specialist, plus I need to be able to influence others."


  • Developed effective working relationships with executives

  • Sought out an internal champion within the organization who could support my initiatives via backchannels


"I found that earning the respect of peers who may not always value the marketing discipline was a core skill. I needed to learn how to speak their language and translate my activities into things they appreciate."

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