Director of Communications
Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) - Ottawa, ON

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Director of Communications

The Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) is a national non-profit organization with a volunteer board of directors and a small professional staff located in downtown Ottawa. CHRA has over 250 members who collectively house and shelter hundreds of thousands of Canadians, and provide housing support to millions more. Our members and stakeholders are diverse and include housing providers, municipalities, businesses, individuals, provincial/territorial housing departments, service and support agencies and other national and provincial associations. Established in 1968, CHRA advocates at the federal level, develops housing policy, conducts and disseminates research, stages an annual Congress, facilitates national networking, provides educational opportunities and develops other member services.

Position Profile

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Communications is responsible for planning, developing, producing and implementing the communications program for CHRA. The plan and its execution will be grounded in the organization’s policy, advocacy and membership objectives and measured by its ability to advance CHRA’s agenda. Using a strategic and evidence-based approach, the Director of Communications will establish an ambitious and energetic communications plan, bringing professionalism, rigour and passion to the national voice for affordable housing.
The ideal candidate will be a high-achieving professional who regularly exceeds expectations, setting new standards and creating new systems in an effort to operationalize success. S/he pays extreme attention to detail and values quality control and accuracy, while at the same time, respects the need to get things done efficiently. The Director will own and be accountable for the communications program and be skilled at working independently while keeping channels open with colleagues for input and updates.

Duties and Responsibilities:

This is a hands-on role. While leading and mentoring team members, full responsibility rests with the Director for implementing all aspects of the communications including, but not limited to:

  • Developing CHRA’s communications strategy and annual plan, with emphasis on measurement, metrics and results
  • Developing key messages that appropriately position CHRA as the leading voice and advocate for affordable housing and homelessness issues at the national level;
  • Establishing a clear identity and brand through all media;
  • Drafting, editing, producing and distributing a wide range of high quality materials, including, speeches, e-newsletters, op-eds, research summaries, brochures, annual report, high-level correspondence, etc;
  • Directing CHRA’s web presence that utilizes both conventional and emerging communication technologies and tools and coordinating webpage maintenance to ensure that new and consistent information (article links, stories, and events) is posted regularly;
  • Leading CHRA’s social media initiatives and raising CHRA’s profile among new media technology users;
  • Managing CHRA’s communications outreach and list management, deciding the who, where, and when to disseminate;
  • Marketing CHRA’s products including the annual Congress which entails congress website, email promotional strategy, branding, pricing strategies, advertisements, etc;
  • Developing and directing membership strategies and campaigns;
  • Developing promotional activities and special events;
  • Implementing CHRA’s media plan and building relationships with key media, assessing media coverage, preparing letters to the editor and op-eds, pitching issue and event-based stories;
  • Exploring partnerships and joint promotions activities;
  • Creating communications campaigns for advocacy initiatives, and
  • Directing and mentoring support staff to achieve the objectives of the communications program.


The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications of education, experience and skills:

  • A relevant university degree coupled with 10 years of related experience. Candidates who possess an appropriate combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience in a national non-profit association is preferred.
  • Knowledge of affordable housing issues or experience with one of CHRA member organizational is highly desired.
  • Exceptional writing, editing, speaking and presentation skills with very strong attention to detail and specific experience with developing communications products in both print and electronic media.
  • Very strong knowledge and experience with the newest digital technologies to engage audiences in the most effective manner.
  • Has demonstrated ability to establish and leverage effective working relationships across multiple and diverse organizations and levels within organizations.
  • Has an anticipatory mindset that can perceive and capitalize on opportunities to the benefit of the organization and position it for success.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to changing environments and multiple deadlines, and to work well under pressure with discretion, tact and good judgement.
  • High level of initiative and strong sense of ownership to achieve results for the overall organization.

Excellent benefits and vacation package is available.

Interested candidates are invited to apply online with your HR service delivery partner no later than July 10, 2013.
We thank all candidates for their interest; please note only those considered a strong fit will be contacted for our interview process.