Head of Communications and Media Relations

Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury, Kent
Closing date
12 Aug 2021

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Job Details

Closing Date: 23/07/21
Salary: £60000
Position Type: Permanent

An exciting opportunity to work for Canterbury Christ Church University
Leading a successful communications and media relations function

About Our Client

For nearly 60 years, Canterbury Christ Church University has been a big part of the Kent community, providing education which makes a real and positive difference to people's lives. The University started out as a teacher training college in the 1960s in response to a national shortage of teachers. By the 1980s they had also expanded into health-related professional courses for the region. Today they continue to shape their education and research around critical social issues both nationally and globally.

The University is recognised as a leader in education, research and enterprise that supports the South East region's growth and economy, and they are focused on delivering an excellent and inclusive experience that provides enterprising, professional graduates. They want to do more than just provide their students with a high-quality education. They also want to work in partnership with their students to ensure they graduate with an understanding of the challenges facing society and our world, and have the skills, commitment and personal qualities needed to help address them. This is an exciting time to be joining the University. They are investing significantly in new digital and physical facilities, growing their online provision, increasing their reach into international markets and expanding their academic portfolio of Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Creative Arts that will further support the region particularly in relation to the STEM Economy. Canterbury Christ Church University is a friendly and vibrant community of approximately 17,000 students and 1,800 staff.

Inspired by their Church of England foundation, they believe that education changes lives for the better. They also believe in promoting equality and work hard to create a welcoming and positive environment for all staff, students and stakeholders, of all faiths and none. Delivering an outstanding education and experience for their students is their most important priority. The University is also defined by the wide range of national and international partnerships which highlight their relevance to contemporary society and the critical role they play in transforming the social, economic and cultural prosperity of communities and individual lives. Their network of campuses and centres stretch across Kent and Medway, offering undergraduate and postgraduate study, consultancy and unique cultural venues. The main campus is in the historic cathedral city of Canterbury, a World Heritage Site, and they also have campuses and centres in other key Kent and Medway locations. They make a significant impact on the regional economy and their research is continually pushing boundaries with new discoveries and ideas for a sustainable, just society. Innovative projects and partnerships are coming up with solutions to local and global challenges, from education, migration, and politics, to patient-centred care, childcare and improving the nation's health and wellbeing through the arts.

Job Description

The successful Head of Communications and Media Relations will have the following responsibilities;

  • Brand guardianship, leading on the amplification of the University's brand identity, mission and values, including the strategic development and implementation of key messages, narratives, and advocacy which highlight the University's strengths and civic mission.
  • Provide strategic guidance and expert advice on media relations, communications and marketing issues to the Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Senior Management Team, ensuring the University upholds its external reputation with key stakeholders, including prospective students. Lead and manage the Media Relations team.
  • Shape and Lead the University's reputation management strategies with external and internal audiences, including all media relations activity. This includes crisis, emergency and reputational risk communication on behalf of the University.
  • Develop and drive the implementation of key messages, tone of voice and editorial consistency across all of their marketing and communications activity - including digital content, student recruitment and school and college engagement.
  • Strategically supports the delivery of the University's vision, building, tracking and evaluating their brand recognition and impact.
  • Deliver regional and national communication strategies and campaigns to drive brand awareness and support student recruitment.
  • Lead on the development and implementation of the University's central staff and student communications, working closely with the Director of Human Resources and Organisational Development and with the Deputy Vice Chancellor responsible for the Student Experience. Lead and manage the Internal Communications team.
  • Establish and maintain a strong and diverse network of advocates and influencers, across their own community and external partners key to their strategic success, to deliver their key messages regionally, nationally and internationally.
  • Lead on the development of emergency communication frameworks on behalf of the Department of Marketing and Communications and the University.
  • Set the governance, policies and operational standards for media engagement across the University.
  • Lead and line manage the Communications team, overseeing integrated corporate communication programmes which support the delivery of the University's Strategic Framework. This includes strategic development and high-level curation of the University's website and central social media content.
  • Responsible for the Central Communications budget.
  • As Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications, deputise for the Director at key internal and external stakeholder meetings; help shape the Department's Business Plans and ensure the Marketing and Communications risk register is regularly reviewed and updated; Chair the Department's monthly Management Group meetings.

The Successful Applicant

The successful Head of Communications and Media Relations should ideally have the following skillset;

  • Extensive management and senior leadership experience in a senior communications position
  • Experience of developing major communication strategies and campaigns for internal and external audiences
  • Experience of providing strategic and pragmatic communication guidance in a large organisation at a senior level
  • A demonstrable track record of collaborative and creative working
  • Experience of directing a media relations service in a large organisation, including managing crisis/ reputation management communication strategies
  • Track record of positioning brands to achieve tangible outcomes in a competitive communications environment
  • Copywriting and editing skills to a high professional standard for both online and printed communications
  • Experience of working within corporate identity and brand guidelines
  • Experience of digital marketing, including social media and experience of managing major website/ digital content developments
  • Experience of leading and managing a team, working within a cross functional marketing group, with proven capabilities in motivating teams and individuals
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, negotiation and influencing skills; with a high level of professional credibility and gravitas to engage and build relationships across and external to Canterbury Christ Church University

What's on Offer

The successful Head of Communications and Media Relations will be offered a salary of circa £60,000 + competitive benefits package.

For any more information and to receive a full candidate pack please contact Amie Hemson via email or on 0782 687 3350
Where specific UK qualifications are required we will take into account overseas equivalents. All third party applications will be forwarded to Michael Page.

Ref Code: MPSZJN0620212934524Z

How to apply

Email your application to: amiehemson.43881.7383@pageuk.aplitrak.com


Inspired by our Church of England foundation, we are strongly committed to transforming individuals, creating knowledge, enriching communities and building a sustainable future.

We want to do more than just provide our students with a high-quality education. We also want to work in partnership with our students to ensure they graduate with an understanding of the challenges facing society and our world, and have the skills, commitment and personal qualities needed to help address them.

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