Group Communications Director

up to £110,000
21 Sep 2016
21 Oct 2016
Full Time
Contract Type

About us

Everyone is affected by the work that Defra does. We deal with a vast range of issues that profoundly impact on people’s lives.  We are responsible for our environment, our countryside and rural economy, the food and farming sectors and have lead responsibility for protection from a wide range of natural threats and hazards. We are looking for an exceptional person to join our senior leadership team as our Group Director for Communications.

Your role

This is a hugely exciting period to join Defra. We recently published our strategy ‘Creating a great place for living’ and are at the forefront of work to design policies tailored to meet the needs of the UK following the EU referendum. We are committed to a far reaching programme of reform to ensure we are in the best possible shape to deliver services for our customers. This includes re-thinking how we work across the Defra group to deliver world class communications to both our internal and external stakeholders in a simple and integrated way.

As the Group Director of Communications you will lead Defra’s communications team setting strategic direction and providing advice in support of Ministers’ priorities. Your key responsibilities will include:

  • Leading a communications team to develop and deliver an effective communications strategy for Ministers and Defra.
  • Providing senior counsel to our Secretary of State, Permanent Secretary and the Defra Group leadership team, finding practical solutions and dealing proactively with sensitive issues.
  • Acting as an ambassador for the department and profession, develop enduring relationships with key influencers and implement compelling communication strategies in an effective way
  • Leading effective campaign delivery, public and media relations activity and oversee crisis communications for the Defra group as required
  • Supporting the development of the Defra’s corporate engagement strategy and enabling organisational change across Defra Group, to ensure that this support the culture and values of the organisation and effective two-way communications with staff.

Who we are looking for

The Group Director of Communications will be critically important to achieving our vision and integral to supporting our work across the Defra Group. You will combine extensive experience of communications with a deep understanding of how good communications can enable change.  You will play a pivotal role in ensuring that Defra is able to communicate our policies effectively and accurately across all relevant media, ensuring that we have a real impact with all our audiences. Finally, you will be adept at engaging and influencing diverse stakeholder groups, with an ability to deal quickly with sensitive or controversial issues.