Senior Communications Specialist, External Engagement

Toronto, ON, Canada ● Vancouver, BC, Canada ● Virtual Req #98
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Senior Communications Specialist, External Engagement:  Full Time, Permanent 

Located in Canada (remote, hybrid, or in MakeWay offices in Toronto or Vancouver) 


Are you an experienced communications professional who understands how narrative shapes the world? Are you looking for inspiring work in the non-profit sector with incredible colleagues and a flexible work culture? Are you committed to supporting community-led transformation and advancing social, economic, and environmental systems-change across this Land called Canada? 


The Opportunity


MakeWay is looking for a Senior Communications Specialist, External Engagement, who will play an important role in developing content, working with staff and partners on diverse communication strategies, and growing MakeWay’s engagement with external audiences. With a new strategic plan, priorities, and growing momentum, MakeWay is in an exciting position with abundant communications opportunities to advance thought leadership, strategic communications support for our partners, and impactful storytelling within local communities, on a national stage, and around the world.


This role will help expand and deepen our activities across media platforms—including traditional news, social media, blogs, events, podcasts, and more. The Senior Specialist will work closely with the communications team, program and operations teams, and external partners to create strategies and coordinate a range of external communications. They will bring their communications skills to help navigate how to use MakeWay’s position and voice to help advance the organization’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion externally. This is an exciting opportunity to contribute as a strategic thought partner to the Director, Communications, and to learn, collaborate, and lead as a part of a nimble team supporting a broad and diverse set of communications functions across MakeWay.


About MakeWay


MakeWay builds partnerships and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together. We are made up of two legal charitable entities: MakeWay Charitable Society, a shared platform home to over 65 innovative community-led projects staffed by 150 change makers; and MakeWay Foundation where about 70 people are advancing place-based programs that support Indigenous-led solutions and conservation in the North, Pacific, Manitoba, and beyond via grant-making, funder collaboratives and other tools.  Our people, projects, and partners are based across the country.


If our values align with yours, and you want to learn and create within a supportive team, then we want to hear from you—Join us! 


What You’ll Do:  


Content development 

  • Write and edit across a broad range of content types from short key messaging to longer narratives e.g. media releases, research publications and case studies, impact stories, proposals, opinion pieces, speaking notes, etc. 
  • Support the Director, Communications in coordinating and implementing a dynamic thought leadership program that amplifies the voices and perspectives of staff and partners. This also includes leading internal collaboration to identify story ideas and thought leadership opportunities that help advance MakeWay’s strategic plan and priorities. 
  • Support the Director, Communications in media relations including but not limited to: researching external opportunities, pitching news and other story ideas to media, writing corrections, responding to interview requests, preparing key messaging and materials, etc. 
  • Partner with Specialist, Communications to create MakeWay strategies across multiple social media platforms to increase reach and engagement. 
  • Identify and help coordinate opportunities for MakeWay events, whether participating in external speaking opportunities or hosting events digitally or in-person. 
  • Support the Manager, Communications by delivering external communications activities that advance MakeWay’s cross-organizational strategic priorities, programmatic communications plans, and promotional activities.

Planning and analysis

  • Collaborate with Communications team to create communications plans targeted towards growing and deepening our engagement with key external audiences  
  • Source internal data, information, and stories on MakeWay partnerships, grantmaking impact and program activities and translate into external communications content.
  • Curate and manage a database of media contacts and channels, and regularly seek out and create opportunities for MakeWay engagement. 
  • Help sense-make around existing digital analytics (e.g. web, SEO, socials) to inform external strategies

 Organizational Support 

  • Provide communications support for colleagues advancing policy, fundraising, advocacy, and research projects as needed.
  • Work with People, Engagement, and Learning and JEDI teams to share organizational learnings through communications activities. 
  • Work in respectful relationship with community partners to support them in advancing their communications goals. 
  • Provide occasional strategic communications support for shared platform projects hosted on MakeWay’s shared platform. 
  • Work with program leads and external partners to coordinate editorial opportunities.

Who You Are:  

  • Adaptable: You can manage and prioritize incoming requests, juggle conflicting priorities, and deliver multiple assignments, all while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency. 
  • Collaborative: We operate a small and highly collaborative communications team. Must be able to shift between playing a supporting and leadership role across different projects.
  • Motivated: To steward communications work rooted in consent and equity.
  • Informed: Around the media (mainstream through socials) landscape regarding environmental, social discourse in Canada.
  • Highly creative: With proven results in leading external communications projects.
  • A skilled writer and editor: Who can lock in crisp key messaging, a press release, or a media pitch.
  • Strategic thinker and doer: Able to generate ideas and make decisions and willing to roll-up sleeves and deliver on the work. 
  • Highly relational: Able to build trust and strong relationships with many colleagues across the organization as well as community partners and media contacts. 

Experience You Bring: 

  • Experience with media relations and proven ability to pitch news and other stories to media publications 
  • Experience developing content for multiple content platforms such as opinion pieces, speaking engagements and events, podcasts, video, tv, and social media
  • Experience developing key messaging for external communications 
  • Writing, editing, and producing external stories of impact 
  • Experience developing communications strategies and plans 

It Would be a Bonus if You Have: 

  • Experience in the charitable/non-profit sector  
  • Deep interest and an understanding of priority issues in MakeWay’s Strategic Plan  
  • Experience working with Indigenous communities 
  • Experience with Salesforce CRM  

What We Offer: 

  • The opportunity to have a real positive impact in communities across systems 
  • Full time annual salary of $60,140 – $66,713 (dependent on experience you bring)  
  • Competitive benefits package including generous RRSP contribution  
  • Three weeks’ vacation plus statutory holidays. In addition, the MakeWay office is closed annually for a winter holiday break.  MakeWay has implemented a Substitution Statutory Holiday policy which allows employees the flexibility to substitute another day of their choice for a statutory holiday.
  • Flexible work environment with remote working  
  • Committed and caring colleagues 
  • High level of responsibility and autonomy 
  • Opportunities and support for professional learning and growth 

How to Apply: 


Please submit a resume and cover letter. In your cover letter please share what makes you an ideal fit for this position and why you want to join the MakeWay team.


MakeWay is strongly committed to creating a diverse workplace community and we encourage all qualified applicants to apply. If we can make this easier through accommodation in the selection process, please contact us. 

Only those applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. No recruiters please! 

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
Location on Google Maps
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Virtual