The 411

October 17-18, 2018
8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

CEC Training Facility
1900 Merivale Road, Suite 206
Ottawa, ON K2G 4N4

$1350 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructors

Josef Jurkovic

Josef Jurkovic

Josef Jurkovic is a CEC director and founding partner. He has over 35 years of public and private sector experience across diverse areas of internal and external communications, public consultations, branding and marketing.

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Gerry Maffre

Gerry Maffre

Gerry Maffre has over twenty years experience in delivering and managing government communications.

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"Helped me understand what is expected of an advisor in the IS world and put me in a strong position for the future. My first time with CEC, I am very imnpressed with the course, the instructors' expertise and the amount of good information provided"

"Very interesting content. Thorough and well explained. Group exercises helped understand concepts. A great course that should be mandatory throughout the government!"

"Comprehensive, thourough and intelligent; great instructors; good effective exercises"

"Booklet provided is excellent to help with future job interviews. Intructors expereience very relevant and interesting for this course."



This workshop is specifically designed for communicators and others interested in competing for IS-4/5 positions or those who are newly promoted communications advisors. The two-day program offers a comprehensive and practical overview of the IS-4/5 competencies and of the communications advisor's roles and expectations. The emphasis of this highly interactive workshop is on the knowledge, skills and approaches that communications advisors must possess in order to succeed. The competencies profiles developed by the Privy Council Office and the Communications Community Office serve as the reference for the required skills and abilities.

The workshop combines a mix of formal instruction with a generous dose of group discussion and practical exercises in order to provide participants with immediately actionable new skills and knowledge.


This workshop will focus on:



Agenda Day 1
8:45 - 9:15 Introductions and Workshop Overview
9:15 - 9:45 Competencies Profile for IS-4/5
What is the CCO Professional Development Roadmap? What is the Competency Profile? What am I expected to know and be able to do? Why and how to use the Roadmap to develop my learning plan?
9:45 - 10:15 Government of Canada Policies and Processes related to Communications
What Government of Canada policies (communications, contracting, public opinion research, access to information, publications, etc.) are relevant to me and what do they mandate me to do?. What rules and regulations must I know about? How does this relate to my current and future competencies?
10:15 - 10:45 Exercise:
Frequently encountered challenges.
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:45 Roles of the Communications Advisor
What roles am I expected to play, as an IS-4/5 (e.g. strategic/operational planner, advisor, context provider, technical expert, project manager, challenger, etc.)? How do I go about doing this in an increasingly complex context? Importance of verbal and written communications skills.
11:45 - 12:15 Determinants of Effective Advisory Services
What actions and behaviours will I need to consistently demonstrate in order to be considered a trusted communications advisor? How do I ensure that my clients, my peers and my manager(s) trust me and seek my advice? How do I get client buy-in?
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Structures and Operation of Government, Parliament and the Communications Function
What government bodies must I be aware of (Prime Minister's Office, Privy Council Office and other Central Agencies, etc.)? Where does the communications function fit in relation to the roles of the federal government and Parliament (Parliamentary Committees, etc.)?
13:30 - 14:15 Strategic Communications Thinking
What is meant by "being strategic"? What does this mean in the context of the communications function? Where do I find the inside information and "intelligence" that underpins strategic thinking? What knowledge and skills must I consistently demonstrate to be and be seen as strategic? Who should part of my own "strategic circle"? How does this link to the IS-4/5 Competencies?
14:15 - 14:30 Break
14:30 - 15:15 Strategic Communications Planning
What are the key elements of strategic communications planning? How does strategic communications planning relate to overall corporate planning, to operational planning, etc.? How do I differentiate between actions, results and outcomes? What are "horizontal" communications? What is the fit with internal communications? How does this link to the Competencies profile for IS-4/ 5?
15:15 - 16:00 Group Exercise:
Based on a case study scenario for a communications strategy, participants will identify key communications challenges and determine results to be achieved.
4:00 - 4:30 Performance Measurement and Reporting
Why are measurement and reporting so critical for my clients and for me? How do I ensure this is done consistently and credibly? What do I need to know about RMAFs? How does this link to the Competencies profiles for IS-4/5

Agenda Day 2
8:45 - 9:00 Re-cap of Day One and Overview of Day Two
9:00 - 10:00 Issue and Crisis Management
What is an "issue" from an operational and communications perspective? How does it emerge and evolve? How is it different from a crisis? Who are the key players? Why worry about perception? What about reputation? What are my roles in issues management? What do I need to know about media relations? What are the key principles for preparing media lines and House of Commons Question Period Cards? How does this link to the Competencies profile for IS-4/ 5?
10:00 - 10:45 Group Exercise:
Working in small groups, participants will develop a series of media lines, based on the case study scenario.
10:45 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:45 Citizen-centred Communications, Public Consultations and Citizen Engagement
What does "citizen-centred" mean? How do polling, research, plain-language, targeted messaging, etc. support citizen-centred communications? How does the citizen-centred imperative influence strategic communications planning and execution? What are the linkages to government policies and programs? How does this link to the IS-4/5 Competencies?
11:45 - 12:15 The Web and Social Media
What are Social Media? How are they relevant to government communications? How influential is the Web in today's media universe? How can Social Media be used to achieve my clients' communications objectives? How does this link to the IS-4/5 Competencies?
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Understanding Marketing, Branding and Positioning
What is the minimum I need to know about marketing, branding and positioning? Using the communications "Message Pyramid". How can integrated marketing and communications support the achievement of my clients' communications objectives? Challenges of public sector branding. How does this link to the IS-4/5 Competencies?
13:30 - 14:15 Group Exercise:
Individually, each participant will develop a positioning statement for their Branch or their Department/Agency.
14:15 - 14:30 Break
14:30 - 15:15 Exercising the Challenge Function
What is the "challenge function" in the context of my advisory capacity? What are the keys to exercising this function effectively? Roles of client Memoranda of Understanding and Service Agreements. What is my supervisor's role in supporting me in this function? How do I challenge my clients' assumptions without compromising our working relationship? How does this link to the IS-4/5 Competencies?
15:15 - 16:15 Group Exercise
Working in small groups, participants will develop options for a communications strategy to be discussed with their client, based on the case study scenario.
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up and Evaluation
Participants will complete a short evaluation