Head of Strategic Communications
Economic Change Unit
Head of Strategic Communications - Job Description
The world is threatened by unprecedented and interrelated environmental, economic and social crises. These crises result from the failure of our economic system and the economic theories, policies, narratives and power structures that underpin it. In response, a growing number of campaigners, academics, policy-makers, business leaders and commentators recognise that these crises can only be overcome by building a new economic system that achieves the goals of environmental sustainability, economic justice and systemic resilience.
The Economic Change Unit (ECU) was founded in 2019 to accelerate the impact of new economic ideas, policies and practice, working with a range of groups and individuals seeking to shift the dominant political and economic paradigm. ECU does this through programmes of convening and communication. We seek to support those seeking ‘post-neoliberal’ economic systems change by identifying and promoting action on strategic opportunities and challenges, enhancing communications around new economic ideas in mainstream and social media, and connecting those with similar goals in the UK and internationally.
ECU was founded by Michael Jacobs (Executive Chair) and Laurie Laybourn-Langton (Director). Its Steering Group comprises leading figures working on economic systems change in the UK. It is funded by the Friends Provident Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation. Some more information is available here.
The role – Head of Strategic Communications
ECU is seeking an experienced strategic communications professional to develop and run its strategic communications programme, aimed at improving the spread and impact of new economic ideas, policies and practices. This will be achieved through a range of proactive and reactive methods, promoting and informing high quality news and comment across mainstream and digital media.
The Head of Strategic Communications will be supported by and will line manage a Strategic Communications Officer. Priorities for our strategic communications activities will be determined by ECU’s overall programmes of work, and the Head of Strategic Communications will work closely with other members of the ECU team, comprising the Director, two Programme Leads, and the Executive Chair, Steering Group and Advisory Group to identify and deliver programmes.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Developing an overall communications strategy for new economic ideas and practice in the UK, aimed at improving awareness and impact within mainstream decision-making and media communities, and working with stakeholders to do so
- Collaborating with ECU’s strategic partners to deliver materials, stories, voices and messaging to support this strategy
- Monitoring the news cycle and the state of play in economic and political debates to ensure that ECU remains alert to opportunities for proactive and reactive intervention
- Identifying and planning specific communications campaigns and activities that advance narratives and ensure a greater level of impact for new economic ideas, policies and practice
- Building and maintaining trusted relationships with key journalists and editors and broadcast producers across mainstream and specialist media in the UK, and working proactively with them to shape media coverage of ECU priority issues
- Identifying and writing news stories and placing them in mainstream and digital media
- Identifying, training and mobilising key academics, opinion formers and communicators to act as experts and commentators in the media
- Working closely with existing communicators and media staff in organisations promoting new economic ideas and practice, both within and out of the UK, and acting as a source of expertise on communications for them
- Working closely with the ECU Programme Leads to craft and deliver communications strategies for specific projects
- Recruiting and line managing the Strategic Communications Officer
- Monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the impact of the strategic communications programme
- Any other duties as may be reasonably expected and requested by the ECU Director, including day-to-day administration of ECU
The Head of Strategic Communications will be managed and supported by the ECU Director and will work closely with all other members of the team.
The Head of Strategic Communications will be passionate about rapidly scaling the impact of new economic ideas, policies and practice. The role requires a dynamic and motivated professional with a deep understanding of economic and political debates (particularly in the UK but also globally) and extensive media and communications experience. We expect the successful candidate to have pre-existing contacts with UK mainstream journalists. ECU is a young organisation with a small team, so the Head of Strategic Communications must be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and be able to help develop the culture and structures of the organisation overall. Desirable characteristics include:
- At least five years of professional strategic communications experience related to political and/or economic debates
- Strong understanding of economics, economic issues and political debates
- Excellent strategic thinker with a deep understanding of the dynamics and structures that determine political debates and policy-making in the UK
- Effective networker and influencer, with a track record of developing, managing and delivering successful influencing campaigns
- Excellent writer of news stories and other communications materials
- Experience of managing political and media monitoring systems to build intelligence
- Proven research skills and ability to translate complex economic and political arguments for audiences with different levels of understanding
- Experience of managing senior and complex stakeholder relations, as well as diverse coalitions of individuals and groups.
- Excellent project management skills and ability to deliver complex projects to deadlines
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to act sensitively, generously and with discretion as part of a high-trust community
- Experience of leading a small team, independently developing and delivering programmes of work, and making sound decisions under high pressure conditions
- Creative, inventive and flexible approach to work; a passion for excellence
- Be capable of operating independently as part of a small, hard-working team and prepared to assist outside of office hours where necessary to meet programme requirements
- Commitment to ECU’s values
- Start date: As soon as possible
- Salary: £52,0000 - £56,000 p.a. dependent on experience
- Hours: 5 days a week
- Duration: Three-year fixed term contract
- Benefits: Up to 7.5% employer matched pension and 25 days holiday per year (exclusive of bank holidays)
- Office location: central London, with flexible working
- To apply: Please send your CV and a cover letter detailing your interest and experience in relation to the job description to firstname.lastname@example.org. The application deadline is midday on Monday 16th September 2019. Short-listed applicants will be subsequently contacted for a first round interview, which will be conducted on 27th September in central London. If necessary, second round interviews will be conducted on Friday 4th October.
Our values apply throughout our ways of working, office culture, and individual behaviour.
- Justice: We believe in social, economic and environmental justice. We work to rectify historical injustices nationally and internationally, as well as to mitigate injustices yet to come. Essential to our conception of justice is a commitment to sustainability.
- Inclusivity and generosity: We provide a welcoming, safe and supportive environment to everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age or disability. We believe this is crucial to ensuring the legitimacy and effectiveness of our work. We recognise that people face systemic oppression based on these characteristics and therefore we have a responsibility to centre anti-oppression in our work.
- Collaboration: We don’t have all the answers, and through working with others there is more chance of making change. We stand in solidarity with the new economy movement and those who support its ideas.
The Economic Change Unit is committed to providing equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their background. We welcome applications from everyone irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background.