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Strathcona County (Public Engagement Advisor) Strathcona County, Alberta

07 Jan 2022 4:54 PM | Anonymous

Closing date: 01/16/2022

This posting is for 1 Temporary, Full-time position for up to 12 months 

The Public Engagement Advisor is responsible for leadership across the organization specific to the adoption of engagement culture, overseeing public engagement (PE) processes in the County, leading and mentoring staff who plan, implement and evaluate those processes, and providing advice to all levels of County staff for public engagement processes. This position will also develop and implement evaluation processes and reporting mechanisms for County PE projects.


Act as a catalyst and provide leadership to County staff to ensure the delivery of high-quality public engagement (PE) processes in the County by: 

  • Planning and facilitating a coordinated approach to public engagement across all County departments and work groups through the Public Engagement Team 

  • Counseling staff on the most appropriate level of public engagement for their project 

  • Collaborating with staff to plan, implement and evaluate PE projects as required 

  • Providing expert advice and coaching to staff who develop and implement PE processes, and for staff who have contracted consultants for PE  

  • Working with consultants to plan and implement engagement projects as required

  • Championing the use of plain language in all PE processes

  • Assessing and mitigating issues that arise from poorly planned or poorly executed public engagement efforts or by unexpected incidents with County staff or consultants

Support public engagement best practices across all County Department to contribute to consistent, fair and transparent PE processes:  

  • Work with staff to ensure that they understand and follow the County’s PE policy, procedures and framework 

  • Encourage and work with County staff to develop robust PE plans and use tactics that will appropriately engage citizens and stakeholders 

Work with staff across all departments to increase the understanding of PE policy requirements and best practices for internal engagement for the various staff groups. Under the direction of the Coordinator, Public Engagement, facilitate the management and oversight of PE processes to ensure quality and consistency across the County by: 

  • Providing training for staff involved in PE activities and processes and developing appropriate support materials 

  • Researching best practices, digital PE tools and innovative PE processes to determine their applicability to the County

  • Writing RFPs for PE processes as required 

  • Reviewing RFPs for other departments that include PE processes to facilitate compliance with PE policies and procedures 

  • Updating PE info on the Insider and the County’s website 

  • Developing and distributing the County’s PE e-newsletter on a regular basis  

Contribute to the quality of all County surveys (internal and external) to ensure that they meet high standards for survey design by: 

  • Coordinating logistics for the corporate survey review system (Survey Central), including troubleshooting and liaising with the platform provider for major issues 

  • Encouraging the use of Survey Central for all County staff, including providing training, and following up on user challenges as they occur  

  • Reviewing all surveys for readability, survey design, plain language etc. as a member of the survey expert team

  • Providing individualized feedback and coaching to staff to help improve their surveys in a respectful and encouraging way

  • Developing standards and guidelines for corporate survey delivery, based on best practices

Skills and Abilities

  • Extensive knowledge of PE theory and practice, municipal government, PE process design, implementation and evaluation is required  

  • The ability to collaborate and influence others without positional authority is required

  • Defining project objectives, establishing the project approach and setting KPIs are required

  • Experience in meeting design and facilitation, as well as an understanding of mediation principles is essential  

  • Understanding of, and experience in, values-based conflict resolution  

  • Ability to think broadly about implications (political, financial, personnel, etc.) and explain how these might affect Strathcona County  

  • Ability to manage multiple complex projects concurrently and complete a variety of complex tasks within tight timelines which requires professionalism, excellent judgement and political acumen 

  • Ability to diffuse tense situations at public sessions is required 

  • Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of professionals (planners, engineers, lawyers, scientists etc.), various stakeholders, as well as the general public. Ability to “translate” highly technical information into plain language to make it understandable to the general public is crucial

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills are essential. The ability to build and foster relationships within and across departments to further the change management process is essential 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills are required

  • Knowledge of best practices related to survey development and analysis is required 

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality for a wide range of sensitive topics is required 

  • Ability to work effectively and independently, within tight timelines, while adapting to changing deadlines

  • Understanding of FOIP and how the legislation affects PE processes is required


  • University degree in communications, public relations, business or humanities

  • Minimum 5 years of progressive experience in public engagement including development and analysis of qualitative and quantitative processes

  • Membership with the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) is required  

  • Completion of IAP2 Canada’s Foundations course is required 

  • Experience with policy and procedure development is required 

  • The equivalency of a post-secondary diploma plus 7 years working within a government sector with public engagement may be considered

Conditions of Employment

  • In accordance with the Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Directive and Procedure, all employees of Strathcona County are required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination OR will be required to participate in a rapid testing program

  • Submission of Satisfactory Criminal Record Check 

Successful candidates will be required to provide proof of educational and professional credentials as noted in the resume.

In addition to providing a dynamic working environment, we offer a competitive salary and benefits package.  

This competition may be used to fill future vacancies for similar positions within the next 6 months.

Please click on this link to learn more about this position and to apply

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