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Head of Strategic Communications

Cambridge University Press & Assessment
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
Closing date
12 Jun 2022
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Head of Strategic Communications


  • Salary: £68,000-£93,500
  • Location: Cambridge
  • Country: UK
  • Business Unit: External Communications & Brand
  • Vacancy Type: Permanent
  • Closing Date: 12 June 2022

We are Cambridge University Press & Assessment, a world-leading academic publisher and assessment organisation, and a proud part of the University of Cambridge.

Are you a first-rate communicator, able to think and act strategically? Looking to influence the direction of a truly global organisation? This is an opportunity to work as Head of Strategic Communications at the heart of Cambridge University Press & Assessment, a world-leading academic publisher and assessment organisation, and a proud part of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press & Assessment encompasses a wider variety of products and brands including

About the role

The Head of Strategic Communications is a key role in our External Communications and Brand team. As Head of Strategic Communications, you'll lead the development of strategies to elevate awareness of our work and expertise on the global stage, exciting and engaging audiences across our digital platforms, and ensuring our communications are accessible for all. You'll advise colleagues across the organisation on all matters relating to public relations and the media, contributing to our positioning as a world player in education, research and publishing.

The External Communications & Brand team oversees the design and delivery of strategic communications that enhance Cambridge University Press & Assessment's reputation through proactive, audience-appropriate communications and defend it through expert crisis management. As Head of Strategic Communications, you'll manage a team of six, developing outputs across the full breadth of our work – from qualifications to high-quality academic publishing and educational expertise that shapes curricula and education systems around the world.

With an eye for detail, a willingness to lead change, raise standards and to advise upwards and outwards, you will be as comfortable writing best-in-class copy, as you are advising leaders on media and public affairs strategy.

Reporting to the Global Director, External Communications & Brand, you will deliver outstanding communications and offer expert advice to our Executive Board and beyond, crafting strategies and outputs that help to deliver our mission, alongside colleagues around the world.

Your responsibilities will include: 

  • developing proactive strategies that enhance public and wider understanding of the work of the organisation, including in relation to sustainability, corporate social responsibility and community engagement
  • ensuring media enquiries are handled in a way that enhances the organisation's reputation, triaging across the External Communications and Brand team and wider organisation as appropriate
  • implementing and overseeing group-wide media monitoring, in liaison with the Head of Social and Evaluation, ensuring that it is undertaken systematically and effectively both by members of the team and by contracted agencies
  • maintaining ongoing relationships with colleagues delivering communications and public affairs/relations work in other teams across the organisation, including in regional offices, to support local communication strategies and crisis management
  • writing and/or editing news items and/or press releases as required, identifying potential stories in the Group's research and elsewhere
  • editing and overseeing production of regular and occasional Group publications, such as the Group Annual Report
  • leading the External Communications and Brand team's critical incident and issues management and crisis communications function
  • contributing to the management of the team budget to ensure appropriate and effective spending
  • ensuring the External Communications and Brand team has the capacity and skills needed to deliver proactive and reactive strategic and media communications in all circumstances, but especially during exam sessions and results periods

About you

We're looking for an external communications and public affairs specialist with a strong interest in all aspects of education. As collaboration is key to the role, it's also important that you thrive on teamwork. Our key requirements include:

  • educated to degree level or above or equivalent experience 
  • at least eight years' experience in a communications role, with substantial management and leadership experience
  • in-depth knowledge of the media and experience of engaging with journalists
  • first-rate writing and editing skills
  • extensive experience of critical incident management and crisis communications

Rewards and benefits

We will support you to be at your best in work and to live well outside it. In addition to competitive salaries, we offer a world-class, flexible rewards package, featuring family-friendly and planet-friendly benefits.

See a full list of benefits on our careers site.

We also offer flexible and hybrid working options from day one. We will consider any work arrangements if you wish to work flexibly or require adjustments due to a disability.

You can find out more about the responsibilities and requirements in the full job description.

For an informal conversation about the role, please email [email protected] cc [email protected]

Ready to pursue potential? Go to our website to apply now -

Cambridge University Press & Assessment is committed to being a place where anyone can enjoy a successful career, where everyone has a voice and where we learn continuously to improve together. Ensuring that everyone feels they belong is essential to who we are, and to the contribution we make to society and our planet.

We believe better outcomes come through diversity of thought, background and approach. We welcome applications from people from all backgrounds and communities, actively seeking to employ people from a wide range of different communities.

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