Canadian scholars
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
2014 professional communications cvr
Canadian Scholars’ Press
310 pages
9 x 6 inches
October 2014
Print ISBN: 9781551306315
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In this enterprising new text, Ted Glenn equips fledgling public sector communications professionals with the information they need to be successful in their new roles. Leveraging his years of experience in this growing field, Glenn discusses how to present policy goals to different audiences and tailor messages to their needs, write gripping speeches, and use digital media in a world where one ill-phrased tweet can sink a career. Chapters are enriched with activities that walk students through the many responsibilities of public service professionals and encourage them to think strategically in quickly evolving situations. Professional Communications in the Public Sector is indispensable reading for students of public administration, communications, policy studies, media studies, and advertising.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: An Introduction to Public Sector Communications
1.1 What Is Public Sector Communications?
1.2 How Is Public Sector Communications Used?
1.3 The Management and Administration of Public Sector Communications
1.4 The Abuse of Public Sector Communications
1.5 Public Sector Communications: A New Professional’s Perspective

Chapter 2: The Strategic Context for Public Sector Communications
2.1 The Strategic Direction of Government
2.2 Stakeholder Analysis

Chapter 3: Planning to Communicate
3.1 Objectives
3.2 Indicators
3.3 Baselines

Chapter 4: Clear Writing and Key Message Development
4.1 Clear Writing
4.2 Key Messages

Chapter 5: Tactics
5.1 Press Releases
5.2 Backgrounders
5.3 FAQs
5.4 Letters to the Editor
5.5 Speeches

Chapter 6: Public Event Planning
6.1 Step 1: Event Planning
6.2 Step 2: Event Development
6.3 Step 3: Delivery
6.4 Step 4: Evaluation

Chapter 7: Briefing Notes
7.1 Types of Notes
7.2 Writing Briefing Notes
7.3 Note Format
7.4 Issue Notes and the Issues Management Process

Chapter 8: Evaluation
8.1 Unstructured Interviews
8.2 Questionnaires, Structured Interviews, and Surveys
8.3 Focus Groups
8.4 Content Analysis

Chapter 9: Web 2.0 and Public Sector Communications
9.1 Research 2.0
9.2 Analysis
9.3 Communication
9.4 Evaluation

Chapter 10: Conclusion

Appendix 1.1: What Is Canada's Public Sector?
Appendix 5.1: Social Media in the Public Sector Speech
Appendix 5.2: Managing Our City’s Growth Responsibly Speech
Appendix 6.1: Event Budget Template
Appendix 6.2: Event Critical Path Template
Appendix 7.1: Sample Briefing Note Formats
Appendix 7.2: Sample Issue Note
Appendix 8.1: Question Types
Appendix 8.2: Communications Evaluation Tools Summary

Ted Glenn

Ted Glenn is Professor and Program Coordinator of Public Administration at Humber College. An advisor to various Canadian governments for over 20 years, Dr. Glenn specializes in public sector training and governance.


"Professional Communications in the Public Sector is a first-rate example of a “how-to” instruction guide that will be very useful for people wanting to learn public relations and corporate communications strategies, tactics and techniques.[...] In addition to standard but necessary coverage of topics from clarity in writing to specific guides to crafting press releases, media backgrounders and ministerial speeches, this handy little book also gives concrete, sensible and no-nonsense direction about some topics that might not have been emphasized for earlier generations of public servants: helpful pointers on event planning, briefing notes, social media and message management (not to say manipulation) are also available." read more...
—  Howard A. Doughty, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Modern Political Thought, Seneca College

"This thorough and accessible characterization of the modern practice of public relations and communications management in the public sector is a welcome addition to the library of Canadian communications textbooks."
—  Alex Sévigny, Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia, McMaster University

"In this book, Ted Glenn demystifies a crucial aspect of government work by blending scholarly insights with a hard-nosed practical approach that will guide students and novice professionals in public administration — even seasoned professionals will want to keep it within reach."
—  Patrice Dutil, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University

Student Resources

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