Executive and Professional Development

Strategic Communications for Government Professionals

 Issues wane. Or they explode. They can fade from front page coverage or they can dominate the news.

The difference between issues that are resolved successfully and those that escalate is how well they are managed. This course looks at issues management within government at all levels and how employees can contribute no matter what role they play in the process.

This course will look at why and how issues transform into crises and the tools governments use to manage an issue effectively. This hands-on program will help participants prepare briefing notes, policy statements, and other materials that are clear, targeted and useful. It will focus on preparing materials that quickly and succinctly capture the essence of an issue, the complexities of the issue, and the potential courses of action.

In addition to the briefing note, policy statement and issues management process – which includes researching, developing, editing and following up, participants will discuss preparation and use of collateral materials such as media Q and A's, backgrounders and working with the media.

Participants will receive a copy of Plain Language in Government Writing:  A Step-By-Step Guide by Judith Gillespie Myers.

Strategic Communications for Government Professionals is an elective seminar for the Certificate in Business Communications.

Completion of this seminar as part of the Certificate in Business Communications entitles you to register for Individual Writing Analysis.

DATES - 2 Day Seminar


Facilitator: donalee Mounlton
Location: Saint Mary's at the World Trade Centre, 8th Floor, 1800 Argyle Street


Program Content

Identifying Your Message and Your Audience

  • What do you need to convey?
  • How do you determine the audiences?
  • How do you distinguish between primary and secondary audiences?
  • Breaking down the message and getting to the point

Problem Analysis

  • Anticipating and overcoming the barriers
  • Changing course but not the message

Tools and Techniques

  • How will you communicate?
    - Briefing notes
    - Presentations
    - Policy statements and fact sheets
  • Use of collateral material
  • Background information – news articles, history, quotes

Media - Should they be Included in Your Strategy?

  • Q and A's: When to use them
  • How to respond when the heat is on
  • What are the key messages?

Group Discussions and Problem Solving

  • Analyzing case studies and developing solutions

What You Will Learn

  • Learn how to identify your message/issue and use the right information to communicate
  • How to be concise and comprehensive
  • How to be strategic by understanding what your audience needs
  • The art of summarizing from more detailed source materials
  • Key strategies for sifting through the information to make recommendations
  • How a briefing note, fact sheet and policy statement are useful tools for interaction with the media and with government

Who Should Attend?

You will benefit from this seminar if you:

  • work in a municipal, provincial, or federal government department/agency
  • work in a caucus or constituency office
  • work with government as a non-profit or private company
  • are responsible for summarizing issues, actions and status
  • deal with issues that could be of interest to caucus, cabinet, the media, ministerial representatives, or senior management
  • communicate information internally or externally to partnering organizations or the public