Communications Manager Post Available

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Thursday, May 31st 2018

We’re recruiting for a new Communications Manager to join our small, hard-working, friendly team based in the Communications team of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.


Location: Twickenham, Richmond upon Thames

Contract: FT 12 months (start date – approx. 19 June)

Salary: £40k (depending on experience)

 

ROLE OVERVIEW

Alongside the Head of Communications, the Communications Manager postholder will provide the strategic leadership to ensure that Richmond Council communicates and engages effectively with its residents, staff, partners and other key interest groups and stakeholders including those who the borough wishes to attract as visitors and investors.

The postholder will help ensure both the ambitions for Richmond Council are clearly communicated across traditional and digital media, so that they are understood by the public and a wide range of stakeholders.

In order to achieve this, the post holder will report directly to the Head of Communications (Richmond Account Director) working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Cabinet Members to effectively promote the councils policies, defend its reputation and win support for its key goals for the local area.

The Communications Manager will be responsible for the direct day-to-day line management of officers responsible for: Campaigns, marketing, events, digital / social media, media and internal communications (in total 4 posts)

In addition, the postholder will work to achieve the overall roles and objectives of WestCo – identifying additional projects and activities. And playing an active role in the future development of the company.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Line manage the communications team on a day to day basis, ensuring priorities are being delivered.
  • Assist the Head of Communications with the drafting the annual communications strategy, taking responsibility for overseeing the delivery of the campaigns / marketing elements
  • Oversee the development and delivery of strategic campaigns and events.
  • Be responsible for the monitoring of the communications strategy, putting in place regular evaluation of campaigns, media monitoring, digital and social media activity etc.
  • To give the Council (senior officers & leading members) sound professional and technical advice on all aspects of the services provided by the corporate communications team.
  • To reflect the imperative in the teams work to deliver activity that helps manage down demand for certain council services.
  • To reflect the imperative in the teams work to deliver activity that changes behaviour in line with council policy.
  • To be an ambassador for WestCo and support the internal communications plan for the company.

Specifically:

  • Deputise for the Head of Communications should she/he not be available – that will include attending meetings, providing strategic advice to senior officers and members.
  • To ensure that media relations activity is conducted proactively in a way that optimises coverage of key council issues and defends the council’s reputation
  • To ensure that the necessary processes are in place and adhered to ensure the smooth and effective operation of the team
  • To build effective relationships with members to ensure that the council communicates with one voice.
  • To ensure that the necessary processes are in place so senior officers and leading members are kept abreast of the working of the corporate communication team
  • To ensure that communications activity is carried out in a planned fashion that accords with strategic methodology
  • To ensure that the council’s digital communications policy is developed and delivered in a in a way that joins up the key channels such as email, internet and social media so as to engage the maximum number of local people in two way communication
  • To ensure that a robust internal communications strategy is in place that will ensure the SSA receives the technical and tactical support and strategic advice they need to optimise staff engagement across the organisation
  • Ensure agreed publications and all printed material are produced to a corporate standard reflecting visual identity, plain simple English and the priorities of the council.
  • To manage and take part in an on-call rota, covering evenings, weekends and public holidays. This includes regularly attending Cabinet / Council meetings to better understand the work of the Council.To assist with professional development of all staff in your account team
  • Attend and participate in team training, daily morning meetings and weekly full team and section meetings ensuring you have a clear focus on delivery for you and your team. To lead these meetings in the absence of the Head of Communciations.
  • Delivering WestCo projects and activities, including looking at awards submissions, identifying additional contracts and promoting the internal communications opportunities for staff e.g. writing blogsDevelop an external profile as a Senior WestCo employee – this includes e.g. writing blogs / speaking at events and encouraging team members to do the same.

PERSON SPECIFICATION

Qualifications

  • Educated to degree level or similar professional qualification

Work Experience

  • A successful track record in management and leadership in a corporate communication environment, to include participation in the formulation of corporate objectives and strategies.
  • A strong understanding of the working of local government and the specific demands of working in a political environment
  • A strong understanding of the future direction and vision for local government and the public sector
  • A successful track record of influencing, giving professional advice to and building effective and productive working relationships with senior managers and/or Councillors, a variety of communities, partner organisations, private sector providers, public agencies and statutory authorities
  • An understanding of the use of research and consultation in developing strategy
  • A successful track record of people and resources management
  • A successful track record in managing budgets, business planning, quality and performance management

Skills

  • Broad range of communication skills covering: media relations, digital engagement, staff engagement, community engagement, research & consultation techniques, behaviour change methodology, and campaign design.
  • A good understanding of print and design methodology so as to be able to formulate policies and plans, manage delivery and innovate for better outcomes.
  • Ability to manage a multidisciplinary communications and engagement team
  • Ability to act as a credible advisor at senior level
  • Inspirational leadership ability needed to unite colleagues, partners, senior officers and leading members behind a common goal.
  • Ability to persuade when necessary in the interest of pursuing and achieving council and borough goals
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills including the ability to present compellingly and convincingly up to board level
  • Ability to build relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders at various levels.

PERSONAL SKILLS

  • Persistence
  • Reasoning
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Drive

COMPETENCIES

Sets challenging goals for self and others

  • Assesses the costs-benefits of proposed actions to evaluate business outcomes and benefits.
  • Measures own performance against ambitious standards.
  • Sets very clear, unambiguous standards and goals for others.
  • Encourages and persuades the team to improve performance.
  • Looks for better, faster, more efficient ways of doing things.
  • Takes calculated personal risks to improve performance.
  • Strives to achieve the best possible outcomes in all situations.
  • Demonstrates tenacity and resilience in facing up to obstacles.

Takes personal responsibility

  • Takes full personal responsibility for resolving problems.
  • Promptly addresses issues without becoming defensive.
  • Acknowledges and strives to understand areas of dissatisfaction.
  • Puts self in ‘shoes of the customer’ and asks the right questions to understand client needs.
  • Makes information easily accessible to colleagues and the community.
  • Supports frontline teams in delivering to the service users.
  • Builds ‘user friendly’ solutions.

Prioritises and links plans

  • Links own plans and activities to the direction and goals of others and of own department.
  • Sets clear, communicated objectives and goals for plans and projects.
  • Manages projects and allocates resources effectively.
  • Balances a range of sometimes conflicting priorities and tasks.
  • Makes good use of ‘spare capacity’ in resources.

Understands underlying issues

  • Sees beyond the symptoms to understand the nub of a problem.
  • Quickly spots flaws in data, information or arguments.
  • Maps out a problem to help understand the issues.
  • Draws out key themes from complex information.
  • Deals swiftly with issues before they ‘snowball’.
  • Shows integrity and fairness in decision making.
  • Keeps desired outcomes in mind when addressing problems.
  • Generates a range of possible solutions.

Creates new ideas within the team

  • Appropriately challenges the conventional ways of getting things done.
  • Comes up with new ways of doing things in the team.
  • Makes suggestions for new ideas to the team.
  • Generates a wide range of solutions to address a problem.
  • Networks with peers from other organisations to identify innovative practice.

Understands strategy and culture of WestCo and the partner Council

  • Links own actions and priorities to wider goals of WestCo and the partner Council
  • Has an understanding of the formal structure of WestCo and Council, and the legal and constitutional framework within which it operates.
  • Thinks through constituent groups, key players, decision makers and power relationships when implementing change.
  • Builds relationships with key political stakeholders.
  • Understands, interprets and utilises the underlying political and cultural drivers behind other people’s behaviour.
  • Assesses the impact of possible political initiatives and changes on the structure and culture of the partner Council.

Involves others

  • Gets input, ideas and views from others in the team.
  • Recognises and respects the value of diverse perspectives.
  • Is willing to learn from others.
  • Bounces ideas off colleagues.
  • Proactively supports colleagues and partners – spotting when they need help.
  • Willingly shares own resources with others.

Adapts approach to suit the audience

  • Thinks through the tone, method, channel and content that best suits the situation and audience.
  • Sells specific benefits to the audience, understanding their needs and communicating ‘what’s in it for them’.
  • Involves others in decisions to gain their buy-in and support.
  • Creates a two-way dialogue to ensure communication has been understood.
  • Quickly switches communication and influence style when working with different individuals and teams within and beyond the Council, including with members.

Monitors performance

  • Monitors performance of people and resources against clear standards and performance indicators set.
  • Clarifies roles and responsibilities in the team.
  • Delegates work and trusts the team to deliver.
  • Sets up regular performance reviews with the team.
  • Makes effective use of appraisals to review performance.
  • Spots performance issues and takes action to address with individual(s) involved.
  • Demonstrates linkage between an individual’s contribution and the overall aims and objectives of the Council.

For more information or to apply, email covering letter and CV to elinor.firth@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk