Islamic Relief Worldwide
Islamic Relief UK (IRUK)
Senior Media Officer
BASE LOCATION: London, UK
REPORTING TO: Media 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 & Creative Content):
The role of the Communications & Creative Content Department is to provide strategic and operational leadership to Islamic Relief UK in the areas of media, advocacy, internal comms and creative content. There is a focus on all internal and external communications and reputation management.
The Department also works in partnership with other Islamic Relief departments to provide creative content and communications expertise ensuring that high quality information, material and resources are delivered and sustained to support and promote our work on advocacy, fundraising and programme 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 and products), 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 Manager and advocacy team within the Communications & Creative Content Department
• Colleagues in the Marketing and Fundraising departments, including social media/digital engagement staff
• Media, communications and programme contacts at Islamic Relief Worldwide, Partner Officers, Field Offices and partners
SCOPE AND AUTHORITY
Scope of the Role:
Reporting to the Media Manager, the Senior Media Officer 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 Manager or the Head of
Communications & Creative Content. The post holder will work closely with the Media Manager to develop media and PR strategies and plans 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 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:
1. Establish and maintain relationships with key journalists
• Develop a plan for contacting journalists/editors/broadcasters
• Attend IBT briefings and other media networking events in order to establish relationships with journalists
• Develop and maintain strong relationships with key journalists and broadcasters to facilitate strong coverage
• Act as first point of contact or referral for media enquiries, ensuring a prompt and professional response
• Proactively sell in stories to journalists and broadcasters; and react to enquiries and breaking news
• Travel as required to accompany media and celebrity field visits.
2. Deliver media plans in order to promote the work of Islamic Relief
• Support the Media Manager to develop and implement a media strategy to ensure good PR for Islamic Relief’s programme, fundraising, marketing, volunteering, and campaigning work and advocacy messaging
• 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
• Proactively seek means of raising the profile of Islamic Relief, including working with celebrities and influencers to promote the organisation’s work
• 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 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
• Write and submit award applications and manage any PR coverage achieved as a result
• Work with the Media Manager to secure communications partnerships, such as UK Aid Match applications.
3. 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 IRUK and IRW media teams, produce a daily press cuttings report
• Contribute to the monitoring of media coverage, and reviewing the best way to quantify the impact of media activity.
4. Provide media briefings to spokespeople
• 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.
5. To support the wider work of the Media team and organisation
• To travel within the UK as required to deliver key events and to be able to travel internationally if required
• Carry out due diligence of potential speakers/celebs/performers in order to help protect the reputation of the organisation
• Comply with all organisational policies and practices.
• Undertake any other reasonable duty that is consistent with the job and its level of responsibility, as and when required by management.
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.
• 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 national, regional, and trade media coverage
• A proven track record of generating new ideas and carrying them forward
• A proven track record or negotiating difficult or delicate situations with celebrities and their agents
• Experience of gaining press coverage on humanitarian, development and advocacy/campaigning issues
• Experience of devising and delivering media plans and PR tactics to generate coverage
• Experience of dealing with journalists and other internal and external stakeholders.
Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications
• Excellent communications skills – written, verbal and listening
• Excellent journalistic skills – including research, writing and editing
• Strong networking and inter-personal skills
• Passionate about international development/humanitarian relief
• Ability to handle multiple projects and a variety of work simultaneously
• Proven ability to think ‘outside the box’ in order to generate a wide range of media and PR coverage
• Established media contacts
• A professional or academic qualification in media, public relations or marketing
• Excellent understanding and working knowledge of online media
• Excellent attention to detail
• Strong team player
• Flexibility, including willingness to travel at short notice and work unsocial hours, particularly during emergencies
• Highly organised with an ability to multi-task
• Able to maintain calm under pressure
• Proactive, innovative thinker with a strong news sense for what makes a good story.
• A proven track record of securing BME press coverage
• Experience of working in the third sector
• Experience of submitting applications for PR awards, including researching, writing and pitching
• Overseeing video news releases to pitch to broadcast
• Understanding of Islamic and other faith-related issues.