Vice President, Public Affairs
Proof Strategies is looking for an exceptional public affairs expert to build, grow and lead a focused Public Affairs team located in the Toronto office. The successful candidate will report to the Senior Vice President of Corporate and work closely with our government relations team. This person will be responsible for helping chart a direction for how the firm will add value to current and new clients that require public affairs counsel and support, in alignment with the firm’s innovative, strategy-first approach. Our public affairs approach brings together talent from across the agency to deliver a modern, integrated solution to client needs. Challenges don’t fit into neat boxes, so our nimble approach produces tailored solutions for every occasion, ranging from digital advocacy, public opinion research, government relations, advertising, message development and more. We measure everything.
The candidate will lead current staff and clients that are operating in the public affairs space in Toronto, collaborate with the firm’s practices and offices, provide strategic counsel to clients, create organic and new business growth, and participate in thought leadership activities that provide perspective and value for clients, as well as grow the profile of the firm. This role requires an energetic, highly collaborative self-starter with a track record of business development and an established network in business, government, public services, not-for-profit and media.
- Building, leading and developing a team of public affairs professionals comprising existing staff, and, as growth occurs, recruiting, mobilizing and overseeing new staff.
- Working collaboratively with all of the firm’s senior leaders to build our offering and serve clients.
- Developing, packaging and deploying an array of public affairs services, leveraging existing and new resources at Proof Strategies.
- Identifying new opportunities within existing client relationships at Proof Strategies in collaboration with senior staff, and successfully creating organic business growth.
- Creating and executing a business development plan that creates new, long-standing client relationships.
- Developing and nurturing strong relationships with senior clients.
- Responding to RFPs and leading new business pitches, often involving integrated cross-functional teams comprising staff from other practices and offices.
- Monitoring the landscape of key stakeholders on behalf of clients and providing proactive counsel where required.
- Creating and stewarding relationships with key stakeholders (includes networking and attending firm-related and external functions)
- Ensuring that exceptional client service, counsel, on-strategy results and value are delivered at all times.
- Overseeing budgets, profitability and staff utilization.
- Creating and participating in marketing and thought leadership activities, including producing blogs and other content, speaking, commentating and more.
- Monitoring and evaluating new developments in public affairs techniques and approaches, and where appropriate, adopting them into Proof Strategies’ array of services.
- Coaching, mentoring and directly managing staff members.
What you’ll get (beyond a paycheque!):
- An award-winning workplace known for living The Golden Rule.
- A forward-thinking culture that expects and rewards curiosity, bravery and innovative thinking.
- Comprehensive health benefits from Day One.
- Subsidized continuing education and frequent in-office personal and professional development events.
- Generous vacation time as well as office closures between Christmas and New Year’s.
- Canadian, independent ownership that provides flexibility and local decision-making.
What you’ll bring:
- Minimum 10 years’ experience working in a public affairs environment (ideally including agency or consulting work).
- Experience in working inside government, such as in a Minister’s office, policy branch or similar senior role(s).
- Demonstrated track record of personally leading organic and new business development.
- A developed ability to actively listen, ask better questions and provide strategic advice.
- Self-starter, open-minded, innovative thinker that thrives on building happy and high-performing teams.
- Firm grasp of agency business models (forecasting, budgeting, utilization etc.)
- Experience coaching and managing individuals and teams.
- Strong experience in planning (including plan and proposal writing) and executing successful public affairs and public relations campaigns tied to client business objectives.
- An established network in government, business, industry and other stakeholder areas.
- Familiarity with federal and provincial press galleries and political commentators (both media and academic).
- Ability to apply creative thinking and problem-solving to client and firm challenges.
- Enthusiasm for technology and proficient in digital approaches to communications and advocacy.
- Experience with a variety of research techniques and ability to recommend suitable approaches.
- Superb organization allowing management of multiple client demands and firm initiatives.
- Skilled in delegation.
- Post-secondary education (university or college).
Proof Strategies is dedicated to employment equity, welcomes diversity in the workplace and encourages applications from all qualified applicants. We thank all applicants for their interest; only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
About Proof Strategies:
For leaders responsible for managing, protecting and building organizations and brands, Proof Strategies is a public relations and communications partner that “asks better questions” to create insight, grow trust and achieve success.
Founded in 1994 and now with close to 300 awards for client work and industry leadership, we were named Canada’s PR Team of the Year in 2020 by the Canadian PR Society. The independently owned Proof family of companies has more than 200 team members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Washington, DC. Proof Strategies collaborates with independently-owned WE Agency (formerly Waggener Edstrom), reaching more than 100 additional international markets.
Follow Proof Strategies at getproof.com and on Twitter & Instagram at @get_proof.