Head of Communications
Overview of the role
The Head of Communications will be responsible for the comprehensive planning and coordination of College communications. Reporting to the President, this is a role for someone with advanced skills in both planning and delivering effective communications. The chief remit will be to continue the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy, which is vital in moving the College’s communications forward in a meaningful and coherent way.
The post holder will ensure that a coherent message runs through all College communications, including the college website and social media, publications, media and PR. Day to day, the role will then deliver key communications activities, in collaboration with leaders of College Departments, including Admissions and Recruitment, the Tutorial team and the Development team (for alumnae relations and fundraising matters).
Main duties and responsibilities:
Communications Strategy (30%)
Responsibility for continuing to develop the Communications Strategy for the College, including planning how this is to be achieved and setting timeframes and steps for achieving the strategy. Guidance and approval from the College President will be sought at key stages of process and coordination with stakeholders will also be integral to the success of the process.
The post-holder will be accountable for the delivery of the communications plan, acting as coordinator for the key communication areas and working in collaboration with the College functions to ensure consistency of message and alignment of content.
The post holder will convene and chair a Communications Scheduling Group which manages a shared college calendar of communications and takes decisions on the timing of messages and use of communication channels.
Responsible for a coherent and planned approach to producing College publications. Providing editorial support where required and in some cases, project managing the delivery of publications, to ensure a consistency of message whilst maintaining the individuality of each publication according to its audience.
Within an overall strategy for communications; research, write and publish news stories about the College and promote to key audiences.
This includes full responsibility for the annual New Hall Society Review and The Dolphin publications, and the quarterly e-newsletter.
Digital content creation and management (30%)
The role will hold oversight of the Murray Edwards website. There will be support available on technical matters such as programming or coding from the IT team and from external suppliers to ensure the technical integrity of the website.
Moderation of the website, including:
- Serving as Editor, managing a moderation process which will include other users.
- Ensuring alignment with overall communications strategy
- Planning the timing and nature of content for the website. Liaise directly with colleagues across the College to design and develop content based on engagement objectives and strategic communications priorities.
- Being a specialist advisory to College departments on how to carry out web projects and how this fits in with overall marketing aims
- Curating the digital content including writing, digital photography and video.
- Transform content created for print medium to be well-formatted for and successful in digital channels.
- Collaborate with third party suppliers (if necessary) to optimize content for digital platforms.
Social media management and strategy (20%)
The role will have overall oversight of the College corporate presence on social media platforms, overseeing (though not necessarily providing directly) the content and planning for all College social media activities, with the aim of providing coordination across different channels to utilise this medium more extensively within the brand identity of the College.
This will entail:
- Liaising with colleagues also active on social media to co-ordinate messaging.
- Extending the College’s marketing strategy into digital and social touch points.
- Applying expertise regarding editorial content and digital distribution platforms to achieve maximum reach among alumnae and potential student audiences.
- Measure engagement metrics for priority campaigns on digital platforms.
Media & PR (10%)
This role will work closely with an external PR agency to plan and deliver proactive media relations campaigns, as well as work with them to react to emerging news stories when required:
- Continue to develop and deliver a PR strategy with the agency, ensuring alignment between the agency and the College’s vision and values
- Responsible for the day to day management of the contract and arrangements with the PR agency
- Develop and manage media relations in collaboration with the PR agency
- Work with third parties (e.g. alumnae) on delivery of PR activities
Qualifications required for the post:
Degree required (preferably in mass communications, marketing, journalism, public relations or related field)
Solid professional experience required including experience producing digital content and managing social accounts for a small to medium sized organisation.
Some knowledge of HTML and CSS desirable, along with understanding/fluency in other web technologies would be desirable but not essential.
Level of skills, knowledge, experience required:
Knowledge and experience of managing digital content management systems.
Experience with social media platforms and management suites.
Experience of writing, editing and producing written communications for targeted audiences.
Familiarity with Google Analytics
Experience of setting and working with branding guidelines
Understanding of the need for and value of a visual identity and branding
Familiarity with a Higher Education working environment would be an advantage.
Language skills required:
Must have the ability to speak English to an advanced and sophisticated level, both written and verbal
Advanced communication and collaboration skills across a range of audiences including academic, alumnae, staff students, governing bodies and the wider public
Relationship management skills to facilitate the buy-in and progress of the communications strategy across the range of parties involved
Ability to conceptualise, create and deliver an organisational communications strategy
Excellent social communication skills in addition to the high level of written and verbal communication requirements
Sound organisational and administrative abilities
Good team-working skills, including the ability to build consensus across teams in order to prioritise and manage work load
Ability to manage a heavy workload and to deliver to tight deadlines, often unsupervised.
Attention to detail
Energy, flair, adaptability and a willingness to learn
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