The 411

December 4-7, 2023
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.


$2250 (+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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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 two-day workshop and its half-day additional one-on-one coaching component has been developed specifically for experienced IS-5 communications team leaders and for IS-6 communications managers and deputy directors. A maximum of 10 participants will be accepted for each session.


This highly interactive workshop and coaching program focuses on:


In addition to 'in-class' learning through formal presentations, discussions and exercises, participants will receive proven and actionable tools and templates to help improve their performance. The small size of the group and the presence of two experienced facilitators will ensure that content is tailored to the needs and expectations of participants.

After the two-day in-class workshop is completed, each participant will be entitled to three hours of one-on-one coaching with a senior CEC instructor — an $825 value. This coaching, to be completed within two months of the workshop, will be adapted to the specific skill-set, experience and career aspirations of each participant and will include a video simulation to hone presentation skills.


Confirmed participants must complete a self-evaluation questionnaire, to be submitted to CEC no later than five working days before the workshop. Pre-workshop reading, as well as completion of a career profile questionnaire and a review of the case study, are mandatory. Overall, this preparatory work will require approximately three hours of a participant's time.



Agenda - Day 1
8:45 - 9:30 Introductions and Workshop Overview; Expectations; Challenges
- Facilitators introduce themselves and present the workshop’s objectives and agenda.
- Participants will have three minutes each to introduce themselves, define their workshop expectations and describe one major challenge they encounter in their work.
9:30 - 10:00 Review of Pre-workshop Assignments
- Discussion on key words and definitions
- Clients, stakeholders and audiences
- Responsibilities and accountabilities
- Results-based, strategic and tactical communications
10:00 - 10:30 CCO’s Competencies Profile for IS-6 Communications Advisors and Managers - Overview of the expected IS-6 competencies, as defined by the Communications Community Office
- Review of the Competencies self-assessment grid
- What is expected?
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:30 Effective Managers’ Behaviours
- Review and discussion of Treasury Board’s ‘Key Leadership Competencies and Behaviours’
- Focus on the centrality of communications and interpersonal skills.
Mini Exercise
11:30 - 12:15 Strategic Thinking
- How to think and act strategically in planning and providing communications advice and services
- How to meet the challenges and expectations of senior communicators
Mini Exercise
12:15 - 13:15 Lunch: Guest speaker: “Critical Thinking”
Janice Francisco, President, BridgePoint Effect
13:15 - 14:15 Case Study, Part 1
14:15 - 15:00 Team Leadership (1)
- Different types of teams
- What is a team leader? How to practice effective team leadership?
- What do clients, supervisors and your team members expect from you?
- What can you expect from clients and team?
- How to ensure effective team liaison and consultation  
15:00 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 16:15 Team Leadership (2)
- Team psychology
- Roles of the Team Leader
- What is and how to practice Situational Leadership?
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up of Day One: Qs and As

Agenda - Day 2
8:45 - 9:00 Re-cap of Day One and Review of Day Two Agenda
9:00 - 9:45 Roles of the Senior Communications Advisor
- The essential ingredients
- Before/During/After roles
- How to ensure effective advisory services: Actions, attitudes and behaviours
9:45 - 10:15 Exercising the Challenge Function
What is the challenge function?
- How to constructively challenge your clients and yourself
- Role of senior managers
10:15 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 11:15 Case Study, part 2
11:15 - 12:15 Horizontal Communications
- Key principles of successful internal communications
- What works and what does not
- Importance of communicating horizontally
- Roles, responsibilities and challenges of horizontal communications
Mini-exercise: Organizational Communications Health Quiz
12:15 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 13:30 Issues and Crisis Communications
Overview of best practices in issues and crisis communications
- Tracking and managing issues
- Why and how issues become crises
13:30 - 14:15 Case Study, part 3 
14:15 - 15:00 Effective Briefing
- Written and oral – which is most important?
- What makes for effective briefings?
- Audience understanding and differentiation
- Best practices, do’s and don’ts
15:00 - 15:15 Break
15:15 - 15:45 Importance of Trust
What is Trust and why does it matter?
- How to build and maintain trust within your team and with clients and stakeholders
- What are senior managers looking for?
15:45 - 16:15 Bringing it all together
Review of key challenges
- How to get the most out of the one-on-one coaching
16:15 - 16:30 Wrap-up and Evaluation
Participants will complete a short evaluation