Senior Media Officer
Islamic Relief Worldwide
Islamic Relief UK (IRUK)
BASE LOCATION: London, UK
REPORTING TO: Media Relations Manager
LINE MANAGEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES: N/A
Islamic Relief is an international non-governmental organisation (INGO) founded in the UK in 1984 by a group of medical doctors and activists. Established in response to the widespread famine in Africa, Islamic Relief has grown to become one of the world’s largest Muslim INGOs with a presence in over 40 countries worldwide.
Since 1984, Islamic Relief has saved and transformed the lives of over 110 million people. By responding to disasters, rebuilding lives and preparing people in case disaster strikes, we save lives before they are lost. In addition to providing disaster and emergency responses, we also promote sustainable economic and social development by working with local communities – regardless of race, religion or gender. Islamic Relief is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and an implementing partner for DFID, ECHO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and UNHCR.
PURPOSE OF DIVISION (IRUK):
Islamic Relief UK (IRUK) is a Strategic Business Unit (SBU) that is part of Islamic Relief Worldwide. IRUK’s focus is strengthening effective funding, mobilising for change through advocacy and awareness-raising, and strengthening programme development and delivery. IRUK works with various partners and institutions, from governments, non-governmental organisations and local authorities to grassroots communities.
PURPOSE OF DEPARTMENT (Communications):
The role of the Communications Department is to provide strategic and operational leadership to Islamic Relief UK in the areas of press & PR, social media and advocacy, public affairs & campaigning. The Department has a key role in managing and maintaining the reputation of IRUK. There is a focus on all internal and external communications and reputation management both on an individual level and within the humanitarian and development community.
The Department also works in partnership with other Islamic Relief departments to provide communications expertise ensuring that high quality information, material and resources is delivered and sustained to support and promote our work on advocacy, and raising awareness of the significant activities and achievements of our fundraising work.
To promote Islamic Relief’s work and concerns to the UK media through relationship building with key journalists, responding to media enquiries, issuing press releases and other information, and pitching and placing news stories and features. To project manage selected media events (e.g. press conferences) and projects (e.g. fundraising campaigns), working across teams.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
- Nationally and internationally-based print, digital and broadcast journalists, producers, bloggers, film-makers, photographers and freelancers, working for UK-based print, broadcast and online news outlets, including newswires
- Media Relations Manager and other members of the media team
- Members of the social media team and advocacy/influencing team within the Communications Department
- Colleagues in the Programmes, Marketing and Fundraising departments
- Media and communications contacts at Islamic Relief Worldwide, Partner Officers, Field Offices and partners
SCOPE AND AUTHORITY
Scope of the Role:
Reporting to the Media Relations Manager, the Media Coordinator is responsible for promoting
Islamic Relief’s work and concerns to the UK media through relationship building with key journalists, responding to media enquiries, issuing press releases and other information, pitching and placing news stories and features. Some day-to-day editorial and content decisions rest with the job holder, with a degree of initiative and independence expected, but particularly sensitive or major strategic issues are referred to the Media Relations Manager or the Head of Communications. The post holder will work closely with the Media Relations Manager to develop strategies and to provide media advice and general assistance to staff at all levels.
Responsibility for Resources:
The post-holder will be responsible for managing a small budget and reporting on planned and actual expenditure (although overall responsibility for the budget rests with the Media Relations Manager).
The post holder is accountable for fulfilling his or her roles and responsibilities in line with
Islamic values and principles of fairness, humanity, honesty, respect and fair treatment of
his/her colleagues and staff. The following are the main responsibilities that the role holder will
be accountable for:
Establish and maintain relationships with key journalists
- Develop a plan for contacting journalists/editors/broadcasters in mainstream media sector (the other Media Coordinator is focusing on BME press)
- Attend IBT briefings and other media networking events in order to establish relationships with journalists
- Develop strong relationships with key journalists to facilitate strong coverage
- Act as first point of contact or referral for media enquiries, ensuring a prompt and professional response
- Travel as required to accompany media field visits.
Deliver media plans in order to promote the work of Islamic Relief
- Assist in the development of an annual media plan, aligned with the communications strategy and organisational strategic objectives
- Work with colleagues to manage the media budget, including regular review against planned activity and reforecasting
- Gather stories and background information as required to support media relations needs
- Research and write press releases, media briefings, articles for publication, Q&As, key messages and position statements
- Organise press conferences and other media relations events as required
- Ensure a prompt and effective media response to humanitarian emergencies, including working in the press office of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) during DEC humanitarian appeals.
Create media lists and monitor press coverage
- Contribute to the maintenance of media contacts databases and target lists
- Monitor key media to identify opportunities for positive coverage and any negative coverage requiring rebuttal
- On a rota with other members of the team, produce a daily press cuttings report
- Contribute to the monitoring of media coverage, producing monthly and annual reports and regularly reviewing the best way to quantify the impact of media activity.
Provide media training to staff and partners
- Establish strong relationships with spokespeople to identify regular media opportunities
- Assist in the media training of key staff and volunteers acting as spokespeople
- Brief spokespeople as required for media interviews.
It is essential that the post holder shows a good understanding and empathy with the Islamic values and principles as well as commitment to Islamic Relief’s vision, mission and values.
Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications
- Excellent communications skills – written, verbal and listening – with an aptitude for cause marketing/persuasion
- Excellent journalistic skills – including research, writing and editing
- Strong networking and people skills
- Passionate about development work, with some knowledge of Islamic humanitarian values
- Solid understanding of UK traditional, new and social media. Knowledge of ethnic and Muslim community media an advantage
- Ability to handle multiple projects and a variety of work simultaneously
- Proven ability to think ‘outside the box’ and so generate a wide range of media coverage
- Established media contacts
- A professional or academic qualification in media, public relations or marketing
- Excellent understanding and working knowledge of online and social media
- Experience of working as a Press Officer in a busy newsroom
- Experience of organising media events, such as press conferences
- A proven track record of securing mainstream national media coverage
- Experience of external communication on advocacy issues
- Self-starter, with a positive and proactive approach, prepared to generate new ideas and carry them forward
- Strong team player
- Creativity and imagination
- Confident in dealing with journalists and with other internal and external stakeholders
- Flexibility, including willingness to travel at short notice and work unsocial hours, particularly during emergencies
- Experience of working in the third sector
- Experience of working for an aid or development NGO
- Experience of working with volunteers