Senior Press Officer

Luton, Bedfordshire
Competive salary + benefits
14 Aug 2014
17 Sep 2014
Full Time
Contract Type

This position reports into the PR Manager and is responsible for issues management protecting the Thomson, Thomson Cruises and First Choice brands.

This role is also a key part of the Press Office and helps ensure it is run to a high standard, in order that external stakeholders and more specifically journalists view it as a reliable, useful and credible source of information.

The Senior Press Officer acts as an Ambassador for the Thomson, Thomson Cruises and/or First Choice brands and they deputise for the PR Manager in their absence with a view to ensuring that any requests for comment are actioned quickly, efficiently and in an appropriate manner.

The role sits in the Product & Sustainability team and also includes responsibility for proactive communications around key news for the beach and cruise programme.

You will work with the PR Manager on media responses to issues as well as being ready to help with the response in a crisis situation.  Guide the junior team members, helping to develop their issues management skills. Manage media responses to day-to-day issues and incidents, ensuring damage to TUI’s reputation is minimised and that responses show the company in the best possible light, reflecting the company’s values.

  • Advise senior management on the best approach in a crisis to ensure the brands are protected and defended.
  • Respond to media (both in writing and over the phone) to share messaging on issues, and correct any mis-reporting.
  • To be on call outside of office hours as part of a rota across the PR team and be able to respond directly to the media in a fashion that allows us to limit any damage to our brands. Understand when a situation needs escalating and ensure appropriate senior managers are given the right information.
  • Lead the team in the day to day handling of press enquiries, pitching in news releases and be a driving force in the running of the press office.
  • Plan and set up press, group and filming trips including pitching of press trips to key media, logistics coordination and acting as brand guardian when project managing VIP and film/photo shoots in resort.
  • Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of press coverage and ensure each PR project is evaluated and specific KPIs met.

Key skills and knowledge required: (i.e. those required to fulfil role, including qualifications):

  • Crisis and issues management experience, ideally in an agency environment, Including dealing with negatives stories and issues and ability to brief senior management where appropriate.
  • Experience and confidence in advising senior management on reputational issues
  • Experience and confidence in dealing with media in a crisis situation ensuring accurate and balanced reporting
  • Experience in a busy Press Office environment.
  • Good media pitching skills for proactive stories.
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to write in a range of different styles and for various audiences and media channels.
  • Proven media contacts – in particular, but not limited to, consumer and travel media

Personal attributes:

  • Ability to establish relationships with internal and external stakeholders of all levels.
  • Able to manage the team in the PR Manager’s absence in sometimes high pressurised situations.
  • Seen as a credible ambassador for the brands and is able to influence external audiences in an appropriate manner.
  • Capable of understanding the bigger picture, with an eye for detail.
  • Understands the sensitive nature of some of the issues they will be involved in and an ability to be both diplomatic and discreet.
  • Understands what makes a good news story and knowledge of the media.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Good writing skills.
  • Good Public Relations skills.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • Good time management.