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Vacancy Details

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Location: London
Position: Management
Salary: £44,929 per annum
Date Posted: 25 September 2019
Vacancy Type: Contract
Job Description:
We are currently looking  for a Communications Manager to work with one of our prestigious institutes based near Russell Square. This role will be merternatiy cover, starting ASAP.   


Role Summary: 

To act as the operational lead on the delivery of internal and external communications at SOAS University of London. To work with the Head of Communications and Director of External Engagement and Public Affairs, and Senior Management team to ensure effective delivery of key messages across learning, teaching and research

To line manage the Internal and External Communications Officers to ensure the School’s key channels across media, social media, website, internal bulletins and intranet promote the School’s projects and strategic objectives.

This role will work closely with the Head of Strategic Communications and colleagues across the School to ensure all corporate communications and PR activities, including the Director’s and Senior Management teams engagement with the media, enhance and develop the School’s engagement and presence online. 

To keep abreast with latest policy developments impacting higher education in order to provide effective speech writing for strategic public engagements. 

To support the Director of EEPA in delivering the School’s international media strategy. Some international travel could be required to support and provide briefings to the School’s Director for international media engagements

Key Task 

To lead on and develop an external PR strategy and identify, create and maximise opportunities to raise the profile of SOAS devising and implementing publicity and media campaigns to generate positive coverage for its researchteaching, projects and initiatives in the national and international broadcast, online and print media


Manage the day-to-day operations in the Communications Office through line managing the internal and external Communication Officers in order to deliver weekly activities (news stories, internal bulletin and media engagements) 

Assess and monitor the risk of media and public engagements for the Director, and Senior Management team, and official representation in the media by SOAS students and students

To ensure the team has good day-to-day relations with the media, including responding to enquiries and developing a proactive press service. Ensure capacity to provide media briefings, arrange interviews, photocalls and press conferences as required.

To ensure the team proactively identifies and works with key spokespeople/experts within the School to promote their research and expertise across a wide range of media.

To provide speech-writing for the Director and Senior Management for highprofile corporate events and external public engagement events.

Supported by the Strategic Digital Communications Officer (when appointed), advise on online and social media for Communications and – working with marketing team - lead on social media and online activity, including overall supervision of SOAS Facebook, Twitter and news pages of the SOAS website. Maintain SOAS social media policy and establish best practice programme of use

Working with the marketing team to contribute to the delivery of content marketing across the School to reflect the School’s corporate objectives.


To oversee and support academic staff engagement with the media through managing a media training plan, including budgetary oversight of the training budget and working with Research and Enterprise Directorate to help ensure the School’s strategic objectives, particularly in relation to the REF, are fulfilled.

To support the Director of EEPA in delivering the School’s international media strategy, including providing briefs to the Director and Senior Management team.

Lead on, manage and deliver media and crisis training for key members of staff

Work closely with the Head of Strategic Communications to refine and communicate the School’s key messages and corporate identity

Ensure the team can provide specialist advice to colleagues on press issues including generating PR coverage, dealing with media interviews and media training.

To support the Head of Strategic Communications with comms in ensuring key internal priorities, including current academic restructuring plans, are communicated effectively to the School.

Working with the Head of Strategic Communications in ensuring potentially damaging news and issues are handled in a sensitive and appropriate manner. 

Represent SOAS externally and act as a spokesperson for SOAS as required. 

Attend meetings for and on behalf of the Head of Strategic Communications.

To be available for some out of hours work – for high profile corporate events or should an issue arise outside of core work hours


Knowledge and Experience:

A degree or postgraduate or professional qualification in a relevant subject area or equivalent.  Demonstrable management ability in an appropriate professional or specialist capacity in a similar work environment. Required to have sufficient expertise in communications or media relations to be used as a point of reference by others. To engage in Continuous Professional Development activities to keep their knowledge base and skills up to date and to develop themselves further.

Experience and knowledge

Experience of working in communications, media relations, public affairs or journalism

Proven speechwriting experience

Understanding of the media and press function of a university.

Experience working with digital media and content management systems (CMS)

Experience of dealing with crisis communications

Experience of successfully leading and managing teams of staff

A good understanding of the SOAS mission.

Experience of working in an education environment, especially HE

Excellent media contacts in national, regional, international and specialist press

Stakeholder communications and engagement experience

Skills and Abilities - 

Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, including the ability to identify and communicate key messages

Strong organisational and interpersonal skills

Ability to work under pressure/meet deadlines and assess situations quickly

A good team player who can work on their own

Strong negotiation and influencing skills with the ability to build robust and effective working relationships at a senior level within and outside the School

Highly developed planning and organisational and prioritising skills

Empathy with SOAS and its institutional and academic objectives

The ability to work proactively with drive, influence, flair and creativity

Pay rate - £44,292 per annum
Working hours - 35 hours per week
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