We’re Hiring: Events and Communications Specialist

Hours: 30-40 hours a week

Contract: 6-12 month contract with possible extension pending funding

Location: Anywhere in Ontario, preference for Guelph or GTA.

Salary Range: $42,000 to $55,000 pro-rated and commensurate with experience

Benefits: OCO compensates staff for personal device use, internet and other small office 

expenses pending approval. After 6 months, staff may be offered a health savings plan.

Eligibility: This position is made possible through government funding. To qualify, you must be:

  • between the ages of 15 and 30 inclusive when the internship starts
  • unemployed or underemployed
    • underemployed will include students who are currently employed and are taking on an expanded role or more hours of work during the internship
  • a Canadian citizen, permanent resident of Canada or a refugee under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • We encourage Indigenous people, people of colour, women, people identifying as LGBTQ2S, immigrants and people with disabilities to apply. We recognize that this list is not exhaustive. Qualified persons are encouraged to apply regardless of their religious affiliation, race, age, sex, sexual orientation or the nature of their disability. Additional funding to offset personal costs may be available for those who identify as: 
  • living with a disability
  • Indigenous
  • living in a low income household
  • a single parent
  • residing in a remote location
  • living with family care responsibilities
  • coming out of, or having involvement with the justice system
  • other barriers with funder approval

About the Organic Council of Ontario:

The Organic Council of Ontario (OCO) is the Voice for Organics in Ontario. We are the only full value chain association operating at the provincial level. OCO represents over 1,400 certified organic operators, as well as the businesses, organizations, and individuals that bring food from farm to plate. OCO works to catalyze sector growth, support research, improve training, increase data collection, encourage market development, protect the integrity of organic claims, and inform the public of the benefits and requirements of organic agriculture. 

About the Job: 

The Organic Council of Ontario is looking for an enthusiastic, dedicated and dynamic Events and Communications Specialist who is passionate about agriculture and the environment.  OCO has a small staff team with a broad scope: we punch above our weight!  Ideal candidates will have a balance of left and right brain thinking with both sharp attention to detail, technical know-how, problem solving skills, administrative and logistical organizational prowess; as well as an eye for digital marketing, the capacity to parse complex issues into clear sentences, strategic thinking and political acumen.  A successful candidate will be equally at ease chatting on the phone with farmers as they are messaging on g-chat. 

OCO has recently taken on a lead role in organizing the Guelph Organic Conference and Trade Show, a conference with a long history and an important role in organic sector networking. We are also anticipating the development of a new Ontario Organic Brand and Marketing Campaign.  

The Events and Communications Specialist will lead the organization’s ongoing farmer training events, conference organizing, as well as support the on-going development of new communications strategies and education resources.

  1. General Communications (25% of role)
    1. Maintain and improve the content, design and functionality of the Organic Council of Ontario’s main website;
    2. Design beautiful and incisive monthly e-newsletters using Mailchimp and/or Hubspot with relevant information for our industry and consumer members;   
    3. Monitor and develop our social media channels and content; 
    4. Monitor relevant media and google alerts; 
    5. Support the development of media releases and monitor relevant media hits; 
    6. Support the maintenance of our Ontario Organic Directory and back-end database in hubspot;
    7. Improve communications KPI tracking and use Google Analytics and other applications to inform communications strategy; 
    8. Create visually appealing graphics and materials to promote membership and other OCO projects and events;
    9. Develop new media and content (e.g. landing page, Facebook group or page, videos etc.);
    10. Research, write and proofread informative articles and blog posts that have broad appeal;
    11. Manage advertising opportunities and content creation for ongoing Fruit and Vegetable partnership; 
  2. Market Research and Evaluation (10% of role) 
    1. Conduct market research to determine best practices in messaging, media, and channels, as well as identify existing resources and competing messages;
    2. Engage in and monitor existing online fora and channels relevant to OCO’s goals; 
    3. Determine target audiences and outcomes;
    4. Develop KPIs and pre- and post-campaign evaluation strategies;
    5. Conduct surveys, interviews and/or focus groups when appropriate;
  3. Partnership Development and Management (5% of role) 
    1. Develop and maintain positive relationships with key promotional partners such as Farmers for Climate Solutions, the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario, and the Prairie Organic Development Fund; 
    2. Negotiate MOUs and contracts with partners and/or contractors where necessary;
    3. Engage in on-going business development and fundraising efforts where appropriate;
  4. Campaign and Communications Strategy (10% of role) 
    1. Develop and project manage communications campaigns and other project-specific campaigns (pending funding);
    2. Evaluate OCO’s existing communications infrastructure and impact and offer recommendations for improvements, efficiencies, and expansions;
    3. Develop new communications strategies for improving engagement with OCO’s target audiences, including improving traction with eaters and retailer;.
  5. Conference and Event Planning (50% of role) 
    1. Support the planning, promotion, registration  and execution of OCO’s events including webinars, tours, and in-person events as needed; 
    2. Lead the Guelph Organic Conference program planning and promotions throughout the early stages of conference planning; 
    3. Develop venue and catering contracts at appropriate venues; 
  • Lead the solicitation of sponsorship, and donations;
  • Manage the conference budget in partnership with the conference committee, OCO Executive Director and GOC board; 
  • Manage recruitment of speakers, program design, and schedule; 
  • Design and manage online opportunities for engagement in the conference; 
  • Work with the conference committee to manage and insure risk.

Skills and Knowledge

The Ideal Candidate has:  

  • Impeccable writing and editing skills;
  • Strong organizational and project management skills;
  • Experience with digital marketing and campaign management, including development of communications evaluation strategies; 
  • An eye for design and branding;
  • Experience with graphic design tools (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Canva etc.);  
  • At least two years experience using various online communications and digital tools (e.g. WordPress, Statamic, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Canva, Google Suite) 
  • Experience with setting up and monitoring web analytics tools (Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Facebook Pixe, etc.);
  • Experience managing multiple social media channels simultaneously;
  • Experience with video and/or podcast creation an asset;
  • Experience managing in-person and/or on-line events and registration; 
  • Strong partnership development and negotiation skills;
  • Some media relationship management experience;
  • High motivation, can work independently and in a team; 
  • Ability to delegate tasks to other team members when necessary;
  • A customer service orientation; 
  • Works in a fast-paced environment and can juggle multiple competing priorities; 
  • Curiosity, is an engaged systems thinker; 
  • Initiative to constantly improve their work and the work of the organization; 
  • Passion and knowledge about organic food and agriculture;
  • Some understanding of the Ontario agri-food sector and politics; 
  • French language skills are an asset.

To Apply: 

Please submit your resume and a cover letter in one PDF to [email protected] by April 15th at 5pm along with two examples of your communications and design work. As part of the selection process, we will be asking candidates to complete a short assignment prior to their interview. Shortlisted candidates will be compensated for their time.

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