VACANCY: Media, Communications and Engagement Officer

The IWA is Wales’ leading independent think tank. Our vision is to help create a better Wales where everyone can flourish. An independent charity, we are funded by our members, charitable trusts and our own commercial activity. We act as a catalyst for change.

We stimulate challenging debate and work with our members and others to spark practical, new ideas and capitalise on Wales’ potential.

Through our policy projects, we develop and secure commitment to practical ideas that can transform Wales.

About this role
Can you write a great headline? Are you naturally provocative, in a constructive, engaging way? Have you got a knack for turning big ideas into compelling short videos?

This is a great role, which supports the development and implementation of our new strategy. If you want the opportunity to showcase your creative genius, look no further…

Our new team member is expected to be a proactive self-starter with solid judgement, the ability to operate independently with high levels of autonomy and to engage effectively with external partners and stakeholders, including at a senior level.

You will play a key role in our small, friendly, digitally savvy and high-performing team, ensuring that our policy and research work is as influential as possible, and that we are engaging with our members, and seeking out new supporters, in creative and exciting ways.

This is a hugely exciting opportunity for someone wishing to spread their creative wings and make a substantial difference as part of an organisation with clout and credibility.

Job Purpose
In line with the IWA’s strategy, to ensure that our agenda-setting work is communicated effectively across a variety of media and that we maximise constructive engagement with diverse audiences.

There are 2 main aspects to this role:

Ensure that the IWA’s work is communicated brilliantly and with maximum impact through a variety of media
Further develop our engagement and ongoing dialogue with all our members and new, diverse audiences.
Who are we looking for?

You’ll be a comms professional with a knack for producing multimedia content from our fascinating policy work, and a creative who’s prepared to experiment and learn with us as we take the IWA’s comms to the next level. You’ll have great digital skills and a flair for writing a great headline.

You will have great organisational, communication and people skills, be curious about the connections between different policy areas and will be keen to make your mark and shape this role.

You’ll have a good understanding of what’s going on politically and socially in Wales, and a sharp eye for spotting opportunities to increase our influence among key target audiences.

You will report to our Director, and also work closely with our Policy and External Affairs Manager and with our Marketing, Digital and Events Manager as well as provide comms support to the rest of the team.

We work in a fast-paced environment where the whole team has to pull together to get things done.

We propose that the post will be nominally based in the IWA’s Cardiff Bay offices, and we welcome requests to work both flexibly or remotely on a regular basis, and in any case while Covid restrictions still apply.

Occasional UK travel may also be required as part of the role, as circumstances allow.

Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:
Media and Communications

Further develop and implement the IWA communications strategy in line with our organisational strategy
○ Provide communications and operational support for events and research launches to diverse audiences, including IWA members, decision makers and opinion formers

○ Provide creative, editorial and operational support for projects

○ Contribute to the production, design and dissemination of our magazine the welsh agenda

○ Ensure that all IWA output is branded in line with our house style

○ Provide general communications support to the IWA Director and team including by identifying and highlighting areas of reputational risk

Improve the IWA’s visibility by developing our relationships with media contacts in Wales and the UK, and work with the Director and Policy and External Affairs Manager and other team members to secure effective media coverage of our work
○ Identify appropriate media outlets, timings and nature of approaches to ensure coverage of the varied range of IWA work across press and broadcast, and act as a first point of contact for media enquiries, writing and distributing press releases, blogs and statements as needed, ensuring the IWA is able to maximise proactive and reactive influencing opportunities in line with our influencing priorities

○ Contribute to shaping our understanding of the political and social landscape in Wales and more broadly in the UK

○ Further develop our network and database of media, politics and public affairs contacts

○ Support and brief spokespeople, and arrange media training for staff as required

○ Monitor press and media coverage and keep the team informed and updated

Manage, update and further develop our website including our blog the welsh agenda online, and lead on ensuring effective content for all our social and other digital media, including podcasts
○ Produce and update content for our website and the welsh agenda online. This includes sub-editing submissions, deciding on submissions for the website, finding and commissioning articles and ideas, working on articles/offering suggestions to improve submissions and finally uploading and formatting them for our website

○ Responsible for day-to-day content production for our social media channels drawing on the work of other team members

○ Monitor the performance of digital content using analytics tools and report on a monthly basis

Engagement

Work alongside other team members supporting our day-to-day online engagement with our members, and be proactive and creative in seeking out new members and supporters ○ Develop our social media communities
○ Help develop our brand and discover insights into how different audiences respond to our content and visual identity

○ Explore new ways of continually improving the effectiveness of how IWA ideas are communicated and promote active engagement

○ Contribute to the ongoing improvement of the IWA’s membership offer

Person specification

Criteria Essential
Experience and
Skills

– Proven experience of strategic communications planning and delivery
– Proven experience of proactively and reactively engaging and liaising with the media on a local and national level, and of creating press releases, blogs and statements
– Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, with technical and non-technical audiences, able to confidently copy-write and edit under pressure while maintaining consistent attention to detail and accuracy
– Demonstrable experience of producing high quality, creative digital content, simplifying issues and concepts into bitesize digital media for a variety of media channels including Twitter
– Experience of producing and analysing social media and website analytics An enthusiastic, proactive and tenacious person with good judgment

– Strong organisational abilities, experience of managing heavy workloads and delivering to deadlines

– Great people skills, and ability to develop relationships with key stakeholders across a wide range of sectors
– Retains knowledge of and active interest in politics, policy making and journalism – keeping abreast of relevant political debates

– Using WordPress or similar content management systems
Qualifications, education and training – Relevant university degree or equivalent experience
Criteria Desirable
Knowledge – Educated to University Degree level or equivalent experience
Experience – Experience of working in a policy environment, think-tank or charity
Skills – Ability to write and speak Welsh
Terms and Conditions
Salary

The post is full time (37.5 hours per week) and the salary is £28k per annum and there is a company pension scheme.

The postholder will have 25 days annual leave and an additional four days over the Christmas/New Year period. We are a Living Wage employer.

We are also a supportive and flexible employer because we care about our team.

Location

The IWA has offices in Cardiff Bay, however you will be home-based until Covid-related restrictions are lifted and even then we’re happy to discuss the possibility of working remotely for most of the time.

In normal circumstances, we would expect you to be available for office-based meetings/work on a regular basis, and any occasional travel in the UK that may also be required as part of the role.

Application process
Please send a CV and short covering letter (max 2 sides of A4) addressed to Rhian Cook, setting out how you fit the person specification.

Please also include a writing sample (eg an article, or blog, or social media content equivalent to max 1 side of A4 or short video) or a link to your portfolio should you have one.

This should all be sent to info@iwa.org.uk by 9am on Wednesday 2 June 2021, in pdf format. Please name your documents [your name]_CV.pdf; [your name]_covering letter.pdf and [your name]_writing sample.pdf

We are committed to improving the diversity of our team so please note that we will remove all identifying contact details from your application so that we shortlist blind. This is to ensure that we evaluate your application on your skills and experience alone.

Please also complete our Equality and Diversity Monitoring form when you apply, which can be found here. This is voluntary, and anonymous, but helps us to ensure that we are being inclusive in our recruitment.

Interviews will be held on Friday 18 June 2021 over Zoom.

If you have any queries please call Rhian Cook on 02920 484387 or via info@iwa.org.uk, who will be able to arrange an informal conversation regarding the role.