Canadian Space Agency Seeks Media Relations Agency
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) was established in 1989 by the Canadian Space Agency Act. The Agency partners with government, industry, universities and international organizations to meet citizens’ evolving needs.
Scope of Work:
Media Relations Services, Positioning and Coordination The Contractor will be expected to provide outsourcing services on site at the CSA with pre-accredited personnel (with valid security clearance) within 24 hours (to do media pitches, plan and coordinate interview schedules, etc.). The Contractor’s personnel must be independent, with good organizational skills and specialized expertise in media relations. They must have a proven track record of successfully delivering pitches to media and briefing spokespeople and be fluent in English and French.
Tasks will include:
- Developing, targeting and leveraging existing and new media relationships to promote initiatives and public awareness of the CSA:
- Carry out media positioning activities such as making calls to media to position and promote events and/or initiatives, generally from CSA headquarters;
- Support the planning and execution of specific projects, events and initiatives;
- Identify events, initiatives or media worthy of consideration for the CSA;
- Support spokespeople in defining their messages and stories;
- Identify appropriate distribution channels for the CSA’s work (e.g. newswire agencies, media distribution lists and networks); and
- Manage the distribution of content across these channels.
- Communicating with media and coordinating interviews:
- Make and take calls and coordinate media interviews (generally from CSA headquarters);
- Provide ongoing media relations support to position CSA storylines and identify media opportunities;
- Maintain strong relationships with a diversity of media across multiple channels in astronautics and other relevant sectors;
- Review, analyze and respond to incoming media queries;
- Deliver proactive pitches based on media or communications plan; and
- Provide communications advice to the CSA and follow up with journalists as required.
Media Coaching and Training:
The Contractor shall provide experts with extensive experience in media and trends who will train and coach CSA spokespeople. These experts must be able to give concrete advice and feedback and conduct realistic interview simulations.
Tasks will include:
- Designing and delivering media workshops, training and coaching sessions, in English and French, at the CSA’s office in St-Hubert (or at other CSA offices or locations, if required). The sessions will be customized for CSA topics and focus on effective communication with media.
The outcome of these sessions will be to sharpen CSA spokespeople’s skills and their ability to communicate with media and deliver key messages effectively, comfortably and confidently.
The Media Relations Unit will coordinate the scheduling of the training sessions (depending on the specific needs of each executive or non-executive CSA employee) to be developed and delivered by the Contractor.
The CSA will provide the Contractor with information about the participants and their area of expertise in advance of the sessions.
The sessions should:
- Be designed by the Contractor to offer general information about dealing with the media, techniques, practical interview simulations and constructive feedback (structure answers so that the interviewee stays in control of his/her responses, is able to control his/her nerves, and projects confidence and poise through verbal and non-verbal communications);
- Include taped mock interviews;
- Be adaptable based on the audience and their area of expertise;
- Incorporate a section about the importance of meeting deadlines, key terms and concepts such as “sound bites,” and how to stay on message;
- Include practical simulation exercises and theoretical information;
- Provide an opportunity for participants to evaluate the course, and provide these evaluation results to the CSA; and
- Include an evaluation leading to the production of a final detailed written report, outlining each participant’s strengths, weaknesses and areas needing improvements. The report must be provided to the CSA within fifteen (15) working days of the training session (when applicable).
Development of the content of sessions, including exercises specific to the CSA: The Contractor will:
- Prepare training kits for participants in both English and French;
- Forward each participant (through the Media Relations Unit) a brief, electronic questionnaire that they should complete and return to the Contractor before their respective sessions. CSA staff will be asked to assess their own presentation/public speaking skills and identify strengths, weaknesses and learning objectives. The Contractor will use the gathered information to adapt the workshops to the participants’ particular requirements;
- Provide an agenda for each session in advance. The Contractor must come fully equipped with laptop computer, USB key, HD video camera and audio;
- Deliver sessions in either English or French, or both, as required;
- Ensure that the theoretical part is followed by videotaping of participants as they give interviews on difficult topics relating to their area of expertise; and
- Provide print and electronic versions of the training presentation.
Note: The Contractor may also be required to offer additional, unplanned media training sessions on short notice in response to public interest issues developing in the media where the CSA may be required to deliver many interviews. In addition to the training sessions, specific interview preparation sessions for individual participants will also be required.
Media Event Planning and Organization:
The Contractor must have the ability to provide turnkey, integrated media and public relations services for an event, a project or a campaign, from the development of a media or public relations strategy/plan to its implementation, including writing the communications products, developing digital content, finding innovative tactics, finding venues, subcontracting audiovisual services, and providing media relations services. Events and projects may be on site at the CSA’s headquarters in St-Hubert and/or in other locations in Canada.
Tasks will include:
- Providing organization, coordination, and logistics services and support for regional and national events;
- Identifying and liaising with subcontractors, as needed;
- Developing media strategy and stories, and pitching appropriate media and space/business/technology media stories to advance and position the CSA’s profile and initiatives; and
- Establishing relationships with a diversity of niche media across multiple channels. This will require connections/knowledge about astronautics media.
Strategic Communications and Public Relations The Contractor may be required to provide strategic communications and public relations advice and support, as needed.
Tasks may include:
- Recommending and implementing novel communications approaches and tools;
- Developing and implementing public relations strategies and plans;
- Writing communications plans and products, including but not limited to press releases, backgrounders, story idea pitches, key messages and speeches;
- Creating and sharing relevant communications material and messaging;
- Executing required items from the plan as requested;
- Planning strategically and positioning events or initiatives; and
- Providing crisis management advice and support.
The Contractor must:
- Be able to provide pre-accredited personnel (with valid security clearance) who are fluent in English and French to work on site at CSA headquarters, according to the identified need, within 24 hours;
- Be able to provide services and resources of equal quality across Canada on short notice;
- Be able to provide services and resources of equal quality across Canada at the same rate;
- Be able to receive several requests at once, all with tight deadlines, and still provide effective, high-quality service; and
- Respect the confidentiality of the information it receives from the Media Relations Unit during preparations for large-scale and other events or projects, at all times.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
TENDERS RECEPTION OFFICE
6767 Route de l’Aéroport
St Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9 Canada
Strong firms to be considered for this assignment should include Finn Partners and Cohn & Wolfe.