Executive and Professional Development

Techniques and 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 – and communicated. This course delves into how issues are communicated and managed within government at all levels and how employees can contribute no matter what role they play in the process: subject matter expert, communications team, administrative support.

This course will look at why and how issues transform into crises and the communications tools – briefing notes, Q&A’s, backgrounders – governments use to manage an issue effectively. This hands-on program starts with the foundation of government communication, key message development, and builds from there. Participants will be given a government issue to manage from the ground up. This will involve conducting an audience analysis and preparing a briefing note template and fact sheet. The focus is on preparing materials that quickly and succinctly capture the essence of an issue, the complexities of the issue, and the potential courses of action.

When issues are sensitive, controversial, complex and more, the language used is critical. It’s about content and tone. Participants will deconstruct a paragraph from a government report, identifying the topic sentence, unnecessary words, and difficult language. Then they will rewrite the paragraph in their language. A plain language version of the excerpt will be unveiled.

Techniques and 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

January 13 - 14, 2020
April 22 - 23, 2020

Facilitator: donalee Mounlton, BA
Location: Saint Mary’s University at 1800 Argyle Street 8th Floor Halifax NS 


Program Content

Identifying Your Message and Your Audience

  • What facts do you need to convey?
  • What tone do you need to evoke?
  •  How do you drill down to determine specific audiences?
  • What is the heart of the message?

Problem Analysis

  • What are the likely objections | positions with this issue?
  • How do you reach out to all sides?
  • How you do consistently stay on 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

What You Will Learn

  • How to identify your message/issue and the best information to communicate
  • How to be concise and comprehensive
  • How to be strategic by understanding what your readers need
  • The art of summarizing from more detailed source materials
  • 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