Public Sector Communications Boot Camp

14-15 September in Ottawa


Public Sector Communications Boot Camp


14-15 September in Ottawa

About the Event

Welcome to P World's first "Public Sector Communications Boot Camp"!

Taking place on 14-15 September in Ottawa, the Boot Camp offers a variety of keynote presentations and interactive workshops to help you adapt your communications strategy and communicate with authenticity.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear case studies on the following topics:

  • The future of public sector communications
  • Challenges and opportunities for public sector communicators
  • How to survive and thrive when your communications budget is cut
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in public sector communications
  • Making sure your agency's brand is protected
  • Leading and strengthening your team in uncertain times
  • Engaging a diverse community through social media
  • Engaging community champions, influencers, and faith leaders to understand residents' needs

Make sure you do not miss out on this unique learning opportunity! Join industry leaders to learn how to use proactive comms strategies, advance your social media strategies, and achieve results within budgetary and resource constraints. 

Facts & Figures

  • We organize some of the world's leading PR events and Boot Camps, including the Global PR Summit Canada, the largest PR event in the country.
  • Although this is our first event dedicated to the public sector, a number of organizations from the public sector have attended our previous events, including: City of Corner Brook, City of Cornwall, Town of Antigonish, Township of Selwyn, Town of Newmarket, Town of LaSalle, Oxford County, Wellington County, Ville de Montréal, City of Brampton, Region of Peel, City of Hamilton, Township of Augusta, Hamilton Police Service, County of Grande Prairie, City of Markham, City of Toronto, City of Kitchener, City of Guelph, TCHC, Toronto Police Service, FSRA, Town of Oakville, City of Pickering, Elections Manitoba, Indigenous Services Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Canada Council for the Arts, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Elections Canada, Export Development Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Canadian Mounted Police...


Carly Dybka Justice Canada

Andrea Lanthier-Seymour The City of Ottawa

Kathryn Kolaczek Alchemy Communications

Alex Li Toronto Police Service

Michael Hughes National Association of Government Communicators

Robin Smith Toronto Community Housing

Beth Waldman City of Toronto

Jose Alberto Rios Lua New York City Commission on Human Rights

Russel Lolacher DriveBC



 Registration and Morning Coffee


Leading and Strengthening Your Team During Uncertain Times
During these times of unprecedented change, leadership is crucial in order to maximize your communications efforts. This interactive keynote will provide you with insights on how to lead and strengthen your teams during times of constant crisis. Andrea will also share with you the strategies behind the increased team engagement at City of Ottawa despite the unprecedented challenges they faced. She will also discuss the importance of building trust, creating an agile space and advocating for the team's success. Finally, Andrea will provide tips on how to stay motivated and inspired throughout the crisis.
Andrea Lanthier-Seymour, Chief Communications Office, City of Ottawa


Digital Communications Are Strategic Communications: Bridging the Gap Between New Methods and Old Challenges
As today's world changes rapidly, creating the right blend between digital and strategic communications is essential to delivering a top-notch communications strategy. Public sector communications professionals often work in either camp, so finding the right balance is crucial. During this interactive keynote, Carly will discuss how these groups can come together to enhance communication in the public sector.
Carly Dybka, Director, Digital Communications, Justice Canada


Removing Barriers to Empower Diverse Audiences
As communicators crating engaging and informative content is the name of the game. However, a well-crafted message can’t serve its purpose if it does not resonate with its intended audience. Thinking through the barriers that your audiences face could make or break the success of a communications team. Learn more about the New York City Commission on Human Rights’ approach meeting the needs of New Yorkers.
Jose Alberto Rios Lua, Executive Director of Communications & Marketing, New York City Commission on Human Rights


Lunch for Speakers and Delegates


The New “Influencers”: Engaging Community Ambassadors to Spread Your Message
A “by community for community” approach is key to target hard to reach audiences. Working with community ambassadors can offer valuable insights into the needs and concerns of the community and help you shape messages to be more relevant, targeted and meaningful. During her keynote Beth will discuss how the City of Toronto used over 700 community ambassadors to increase vaccine engagement by using a "Get Out The Vote" approach.
Beth Waldman, Chief Communications Officer (interim), City of Toronto


Building Public Trust Through Social Customer Care
In this session, Russell will discuss Drive BC's innovative use of social media and how he achieved leadership support for it. He will also discuss the importance of embracing negative engagement to build relationships, the best method to increase citizen engagement, and how to protect your agency's brand. 
Russel Lolacher, Product Director, DriveBC


Communication in an Emergency Situation: Leading Teams and Communities Through Crisis
It is hard to find an organization in the public sector who won't have to deal with an unforeseen emergency, no matter how big or small the organization is. Having the right processes and plans in place is a crucial part of an effective response: it helps people to know what to do; it provides assurance that someone is in charge; and it allows the community to come together again once the danger has passed. In this keynote session, Robin will share with you key strategies for effective emergency communication. He will also discuss how to maintain trust and credibility, how to use storytelling to convey a message of hope and how to prepare yourself and your teams for the mental load of emergency response. 
Robin Smith, Director, Strategic Communications, Toronto Community Housing


Networking and Refreshment Break


Why Does a Good Spokesperson Make a Difference? What We Have Learned From the Field
In your role as a spokesperson, you act as the face, voice, and gatekeeper for the reputation of your organization. Your words and actions will have an impact on how the public and stakeholders perceive your organization. In this keynote Alex will discuss with you the most important characteristics of a good spokesperson, as well as the challenges you will face during these challenging times.He will give you insight into how to handle difficult situations and how to remain professional and composed in the face of adversity. He will also offer strategies for how to effectively communicate your organization's message and build trust with the public.
Alex Li, Police Spokesperson, Toronto Police Service


 Mission, Message, & Media: How To Create And Sustain Engagement Among A Highly Skilled And Diverse Workforce -
Creating a work environment where people feel supported, appreciated and motivated isn’t rocket science; but it does take work. And it starts at the top of your organization.
During this session, learn what leaders can both do and say to create and sustain a highly-engaged workforce. Also, hear how three basic principles of effective communication can empower leaders to accomplish this, including how to:
- Tie the work people do to the reason (or purpose) your organization exists
- Ensure leaders’ external messages are consistent with the organization’s internal value system
- Use modern forms of technology to maximize opportunities to make authentic connections with staff
- These tools and tips will help you create a workplace where people love coming to work and perform at their best
Michael Hughes, Education Director, National Association of Government Communicators


End of Day One


A Full-Day Workshop: Update Your Communications Plan for the Permacrisis Era

Presented by Kathryn Kolaczek from Alchemy Communications, this full-day workshop will help you rewrite your communication strategy in an ever-changing environment. In this workshop, we will be exploring three key topics through interactive case studies: stakeholder engagement, conflict resolution, and strategic messaging. We will also be discussing how to craft effective and impactful messaging, both externally and internally. Finally, participants will leave the workshop with a clear plan of action and knowledge to apply in their day-to-day communication. 

Part 1: Identify Current Stakeholder Engagement and Develop Plans to Grow and Maintain Their Engagement
Community buy-in and engagement are crucial to the success of public projects—particularly when those projects involve our natural resources. Part 1 of the workshop helps to identify current stakeholder sentiments and develop plans to grow and maintain their engagement.

The 5 Levels of Stakeholder Engagement
-    Unaware
-    Resistant
-    Neutral
-    Supportive
-    Leading
-    Who are your stakeholders?
-    Plotting Stakeholders on the Stakeholders Engagement Assessment Matrix
-    How to prioritize your stakeholders based on attitude, influence, & impact
Creating a Stakeholder Engagement Plan
-    Identify key messages
-    Plot stakeholder communications
-    Identify stakeholder engagement activities
Reporting Back to Stakeholders
-    Documenting work
-    Implementing feedback

Part 2: Conflict Resolution
Every organization experiences conflict. However, government agencies experience a higher level of conflict and are held to a higher standard of professionalism than other organizations.
This training module provides strategies to leverage positive conflict, navigate negative conflict, and avoid unnecessary conflict where possible.
Exploring conflict
-    Common conflict types
-    Positive/productive conflict VS negative/unproductive conflict
-    Outlining the goals of successful conflict resolution
Conflict management styles
-    Competing
-    Collaborating
-    Avoiding
-    Accommodating
-    Compromising
Proactive Conflict Prevention
-    Identifying & discovering communication styles
-    Setting expectations
-    Seeking alignment over agreement
-    Outlining common goals
-    Clearly defining success

Part 3: Strategic Messaging
Managing public perception is critical to the operation of an agency like the BOEM. And sometimes, that perception hinges on the way certain messages are delivered.
This training module will outline some of the most effective messaging strategies, detailing how and when to use them to the greatest effect.
Primary Use Cases
-    Strategic messaging for internal communications
-    Strategic messaging for external communications
-    Giving & soliciting feedback
-    Responding to feedback
Types of Strategic Messaging
-    Inverted message
-    Supported message
-    Two-step message
-    Liking principle (sandwich message)
Important Considerations
-    Audience
-    Proactive vs reactive messaging
-    Climate & reception
-    Biases & the ladder of inference

Our partners


Sheraton Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Address: 150 Albert St, Ottawa, ON K1P 5G2, Canada
Phone: +1 613-238-1500

Near attractions such as Parliament Hill and ByWard Market, this hotel in downtown Ottawa, Ontario offers enjoyable facilities, comfortable guestrooms and on-site dining options.

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel features an indoor pool and fitness center. After a busy day, guests can relax in a smoke-free guestroom with a comfortable bed.

The Carleton Grill at the Ottawa Sheraton offers an a la carte menu for breakfast and a lunch buffet. Guests can have a cup of Starbucks coffee at the coffee bar or a light meal with a beverage at Sasha's Bar.