The 411

November 6-9, 2023
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$1500 (+hst)
Discounts available.


Meet the Instructor

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.

read bio


"Knowledgeable teacher with experience"

"Vital information and amazing resources"

"Good overviews with pertinent details provided by credible people"

"I liked the tips on what I can do to improve my skills"

G056 - 2-day version

NOTE: The workshop content described below will be delivered through ZOOM ONLINE on four consecutive half-day sessions. Agendas and other relevant workshop documentation will be sent to you by the workshop instructor at least three days prior to the date of the first session.


This workshop is designed specifically for communicators and others interested in competing for IS-2/3 positions and for newly promoted junior communications advisors. The two-day program offers a comprehensive and practical overview of the recognized IS-2/3 competencies, including the role and performance expectations of junior communications advisors. The emphasis of this highly interactive workshop is on the knowledge, skills and approaches that communicators at the IS 2-3 levels need to develop and exercise in order to succeed. The competencies profiles developed by the Communications Community Office serve as the reference for the required skills and abilities.

Workshop content reflects the stated communications competencies generally used in the federal Public Service to define job descriptions, recruit new communicators and assess performance. Designed to provide participants with immediately actionable new skills and knowledge, the workshop combines formal instruction with a generous dose of group discussion and practical exercises.


This workshop will focus on:



Agenda Day 1
8:45 - 9:15 Introductions and Workshop Overview
9:15 - 10:00 Knowing and using the IS-2/3 Competencies Profile
Review of the 10 sets of required competencies. Using the IS Professional Development Roadmap.
10:00 - 10:15 Break
10:15 - 10:45 Mini-exercise:
What are your greatest communications challenges?
10:45 - 11:30 Understanding the Government of Canada Communications Policy
Key principles, requirements and accountabilities. Linkages to other G of C policies and regulations.
11:30 - 12:15 How Government Works
Parliament (House, Senate, Committees, Cabinet etc.); legislative process; budget cycle; Financial accountability instruments (RMAF, RPP etc.); Fed./Prov. Constitutional jurisdictions; Central Agencies & watchdogs; link between policy/program development and the Communications Function (including T.B. submissions and MC's); links with Communications policy and IS 2/3 Competencies.
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Mini-Exercise:
Who's your client?
13:30 - 14:30 Citizen-Centred Communications
What does "citizen-centred" mean? The importance of polling, research, plain language, audience segmentation and messaging in the context of citizen-centred communications. Linkages to strategic communications planning and implementation. The role of public consultations and citizen engagement. Nature, impact and use of social media. How does this link to the IS-2/3 Competencies?
14:30 - 15:00 Mini-exercise:
Identification and discussion of information sources in the context of your organization's operational and communications environment.
15:00 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 15:45 Building Trust
Roles, actions and behaviours of effective junior communications advisors.
15:45 - 16:15 Group Exercise:
Discussion of the "before, during and after" roles of communicators in context of a specific communications project scenario.
16:15 - 16:30 Using the IS Competencies Self-assessment Grid
Developing your evergreen learning plan. Review of a "homework assignment" to identify and assess your strengths and areas for improvement in the context of the recognized IS-2/3 Communications Competencies.

Agenda Day 2
8:45 - 9:15 Re-cap of Day One and Overview of Day Two
9:15 - 10:00 Strategic Communications Thinking and Planning
What is meant by "being strategic" in the context of the communications function? 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-2/3 Competencies?
10:00 - 10:30 Break:
10:30 - 11:15 Basics of Effective Writing
Art of writing well. Style, presentation and layout. Five key steps of the writing process. Helpful tips for writing media lines, press releases, reports, communications plans and briefing notes. How does this link to the IS-2/3 Competencies?
11:15 - 11:45 Exercise:
Working in small groups, participants will prepare media lines based on a specific case study scenario.
11:45 - 12:30 Developing a Communications Plan
What are the key elements of strategic communications planning? Linkages to corporate planning processes. How do I differentiate between actions, results and outcomes? What is the fit with internal communications? How and what to measure? How does this link to the IS-2/3 Competencies?
12:30 - 13:15 Lunch
13:15 - 14:45 Group Exercise:
Working in small groups, participants will develop a Communications Plan based on a specific case study scenario.
14:45 - 15:00 Break
15:00 - 15:45 Group Exercise Debriefing
Participants' presentations of the case study-based communications plans. Discussion and comments by instructors.
15:45 - 16:15 Communications Resources
Review of helpful resources, documentation and networks available to federal government communicators. Question and answer period.
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up and Evaluation
Participants will complete a short evaluation