A pro-active, experienced and thoughtful Communications Manager, ideally with a background in the social sciences, is needed for the Academy of Social Sciences and its Campaign for Social Science. This position offers a great opportunity to develop our communications activities, reach and impact at a time when the Academy will be implementing a new strategy, reshaping its profile, and growing the presence of its Campaign.
The main focus of the role is to help develop and to implement a pro-active communications strategy that furthers the Academy’s work of ‘promoting the social sciences in the UK for public benefit’ and, in doing so, also raises the profile of the organisation. The priorities for our work will be set out in the forthcoming strategy, and will provide a framework for the communications developments. A secondary focus is to enhance communications with key internal stakeholders, including our Fellows and Member Learned Societies. Much of the work will relate to our Campaign for Social Science. This is the means by which the Academy advocates publicly for the social sciences, and their contributions to evidence-led policy and to research on the Grand Challenges.
Communications lie at the heart of our work. As the sole professional responsible, you will report to the Chief Executive and work closely with her, the Campaign Chair, the Head of Policy and the Campaign Manager. You will bring substantial communications experience, the ability to communicate social science effectively to both professional and public audiences, and excellent relationship building skills. You will be adept at identifying, researching, writing and disseminating great stories that demonstrate the essential contributions of social science to the big issues of our time. You will be able to manage the day to day comms platforms as well as more strategic developments.
This is a fixed term (maternity replacement) position, to be appointed until Monday 30 November 2020; with the possibility of extension until Sunday 31 January 2021 subject to decisions over the length of maternity leave.
The Academy of Social Sciences is the national academy of academics, practitioners and learned societies in the social sciences. We are a charity. We have an elected Fellowship of some 1,400 individuals, nominated for their leading expertise and contributions to the wider world of social science, and 45 member learned societies.
The Academy is based currently in Finsbury Square in the City of London and will be moving to a new premises in central London in early Autumn 2020. The position is full time, salaried at up to £40,000 p.a.. Working days are eight hours including an hour for lunch, with some flexibility for when the hours are worked during the day. Employees also benefit from a generous holiday allowance and an employer contribution to the pension scheme.
Contribute to the formulation of a clear, targeted and affordable communications and engagement strategy that adds value to, and helps deliver, the Academy’s overall strategy, purpose and profile.
Review current communications delivery platforms and approaches; making justified recommendations for development, and leading the implementation of agreed actions.
Maintain awareness of emerging communications opportunities and threats to social sciences/the Academy arising in the media, and work with the Chief Executive and other staff and trustees, as appropriate, to take advantage/manage them.
PR and press
Plan and manage the delivery of PR campaigns, including public affairs and media campaigns, as part of the communications strategy.
Work with colleagues to support the planning and delivery of major events and launches, such that they engage target audiences, communicate relevant messaging in relation to social science and the Academy, and achieve wider outreach.
Manage the production and dissemination of Academy policy briefings and reports, to maximise their reach and help deliver impact.
Develop and manage media relations, building a network of media-competent expert commentators from among the Academy’s Fellowship and good relationships with key journalists, to enhance social science media coverage.
Draft PR and press materials, including briefings, press releases, comments and opinion pieces; and pitch them as appropriate.
Communication platforms, key messages and brand
Develop and implement key messages, supported by up to date data on the social sciences, for the Academy and the Campaign; ensuring these are used consistently and frequently in our communications.
Oversee the development and maintenance of our database of key contacts for public affairs, media and wider PR and campaigning across a range of audiences; and for the social science community.
Manage our communications platforms, including website, Twitter, LinkedIn; and write, edit and coordinate content for them.
Lead on the production of audio visual materials, including videos, photos and podcasts of events and other Academy activities.
Manage brand visual identity, online and in print, across the organisation.
Evaluation: produce regular reports on web analytics; and data relating to the success of PR and profile-raising activities
Manage and enhance communication channels with Fellows, learned society members and wider networks of social scientists, to help enhance the Academy’s role at the heart of the community.
Coordinate, draft and edit content, and disseminate both a regular online update for Fellows and members, and the Academy’s Annual Review.
Be a pro-active and collegiate member of the small staff team at the Academy.
Any other duties relevant to the post and as agreed with the Chief Executive of the Academy.
Knowledge, experience and skills
- A good degree or equivalent, ideally in a social science discipline (e.g. business studies, development studies, economics, education, geography, law, marketing, politics, social psychology, sociology).
- A relevant professional qualification, a Masters in science communication, or demonstrable training and experience in communications or public relations.
- A passion for the social sciences and why they matter.
- Strategic capabilities; an ability to bring an achievable and convincing communications dimension to an institutional strategy.
- Experience of successful project or communications campaign planning and implementation.
- Strong communicator with excellent command of spoken and written English; expertise in writing for the web, social media formats, and press communications.
- A proven ability to understand and communicate research and complex ideas in engaging ways to both professional and public audiences.
- Experience in dealing professionally and confidently with very senior/high profile external stakeholders, or proven aptitude in dealing with similar groups.
- Experience of designing and developing web pages and of publishing content online.
- Experience of tools and approaches to enhancing, monitoring and evaluating communications and PR impact.
- Ability and willingness ‘to do’ the essential day to day, aspects of the role: sound IT skills, including database use, Mail Chimp, and web CMS and uploading and management of content; good social media skills.
- Attention to detail as well as the ability to see the big picture.
- An understanding of the higher education sector would be an advantage.
- Understanding of the pros and cons of working in a small charity would be an advantage.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrable success in relationship building and stakeholder management.
- Professional credibility.
- Imagination, creativity, and an ability to think ‘outside the box’.
- Strategic and tactical thinker.
- Can demonstrate energy, multi-tasking, and the ability to be calm and productive under pressure.
- Ability to work as part of a small team, and to support others when necessary.
- A ‘can-do’ attitude; solutions oriented.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 10 February 2020.
Please apply by email including a CV (stating your current salary) and a covering letter summarising how you meet the requirements of the role, addressed to Dr Rita Gardner CBE, Chief Executive, Academy of Social Sciences.
Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held on Thursday 20 February 2020.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.