Vacancy Details: Communications and Media Manager

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John Innes Centre

JIC is an independent, international centre of excellence in plant science and microbiology. Our mission is to carry out fundamental and strategic research, to train scientists and to make our findings available to society.

The scientific research at the Centre makes use of a wide range of disciplines in the biological and chemical sciences, including cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry, genetics and molecular biology.

The John Innes Centre is proud to hold a Silver Award from Athena SWAN. The Athena SWAN charter recognizes and celebrates good practice in recruiting, retaining and promoting women in the fields of science, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM). JIC was the first research institute to win a Silver Award. For more information, go to

The John Innes Centre is a registered charity (No. 223852), limited by guarantee (registered in England No. 511709) and is an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Athena Swan

disability confident employer

   Stonewall Diversity Champion

Advancing gender equality in science, engineering and technology.

Post Number1003251
Job TitleCommunications and Media Manager
Closing Date15 Jun 2017
Starting Salary£38,520 - £47,080
Hours per week 37
Project Title N/A
Months Duration Indefinite
Main purpose of the job To position JIC and TSL as international leaders in the areas of plant and microbial science by managing reputation and generating opportunities for high profile media coverage of science and innovation. This individual will ensure that the institutes have the opportunity to contribute to, and where appropriate, lead international and national debate on issues relevant to our mission, with the aim of fostering greater engagement with our science and subsequent support from policy makers and the public
Department Communications & Engagement
Group Details Communications and Engagement
Advert Text The John Innes Centre and The Sainsbury Laboratory are ranked as the world's strongest research organisations in the animal or plant sciences, as measured by the impact of their research outputs. Some of the world's very best scientists come together in Norwich to undertake ground-breaking and world-changing research in plant and microbial sciences.

Applications are sought for a Communications and Media Manager for these two co-located institutes.

The Communications and Media Manager will be responsible for positioning JIC and TSL as international leaders in the areas of plant and microbial science through high profile media coverage of the institutes’ science and innovation. An important objective will be to ensure that the institutes contribute to (and where appropriate, lead) international and national debate on issues relevant to our missions, with the aim of fostering greater engagement with our science from policy makers and the public. The successful applicant will possess exceptional communication skills, considerable influencing abilities and an agile approach to their work. They will also have a strong track record with a wide range of communications and media channels. We are looking for an experienced communicator who has an interest in, and an understanding of science.

This post offers the opportunity to work with two institutes at the top of their scientific field and to have an impact on their future. We offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. We are equal opportunity employers and actively support inclusivity and diversity. Interviews will be held on 26 June 2017.

Key relationships Internal: A wide range of staff at JIC and TSL, including scientists, the Director, the Head of Communication and Engagement, the Director of International Strategy and Head of Business Development

External: The media, RCUK, BBSRC, Gatsby Foundation, UEA the Norwich Research Park, other educational bodies and scientific institutions, and the public.
Main Activities & ResponsibilitiesPercentage
Proactively manage relationships with key media and respond promptly to enquiries. Seek opportunities for placement of new science in regional, national and international media outlets.10
Advise Directors and scientists in both institutes on media handling and messaging.10
Arrange interviews and accompany scientists where necessary ensuring messaging reflects institutes' science, public position and values.10
Draft clear and compelling press releases, web copy, social media news items and communications with stakeholders which advances institutes' external relations strategies10
Manage the delivery of content on offline and online channels5
Maintain an up to date press cutting library to provide full media monitoring and evaluation service5
Project manage internal and external communications projects as required5
Direct the organisation's web content, including forward planning and prioritising of all content, including regular 'news' stories5
Work internally with a wide range of teams to manage content development including writing blogs, video sharing, and creating relevant partnerships to deliver the institutes' external relations strategies5
With the Digital Specialist, develop social media roadmaps designed to drive brand awareness, manage perception and engagement with the institutes' brands.5
Ensure brand values are consistent across all websites working closely with other members of the C&E team.5
Develop material for publications, press releases and events working with the other members of the C&E.5
Manage production and design agencies to deliver quality publications and publicity materials. 5
Support the Directors and others in development of key reporting materials (e.g. annual reports)5
Monitor and report regularly (to the Head of Communications and Engagement and the relevant scientists) on all media coverage achieved by the institutes.5
Work with all members of the C&E team, using project management tools and techniques, to ensure timely and accurate consistent messages across digital, press & broadcast channels in support of institutes' external relations strategies5
As agreed with the line manager any other duties commensurate with the nature of the role.

Education & QualificationsRequirementImportance
Educated to degree levelEssential
PhD (or equivalent experience) in a bioscience or related science subjectDesirable

Specialist Knowledge & SkillsRequirementImportance
Specialist knowledge in the field of communications, with a broad theoretical and practical knowledge across the communications portfolioEssential
Communicating science to a wide range of audiencesEssential
Background working in video production and web deliveryDesirable
Prince 2 project management certificate or equivalent experienceDesirable

Relevant ExperienceRequirementImportance
Experience working in the field of communications Essential
Track record of delivering successful communications campaigns, such as PR, internal communications and digital media projectsEssential
Delivering campaigns for a large organisation including topics where there is potential antagonism from audiencesEssential
Knowledge of a broad range of communications activities - media, websites, publications, marketing, social media, events etc.Essential
Existing media contacts in science media, locally, nationally and internationallyEssential
Proven and demonstratable experience of working with a wide range of media, developing media strategies and relations, preparing press releases, etcEssential
Experience of working with a range of stakeholdersEssential
Great technology skills, experience working with social media/marketing and with databasesDesirable
Experience working with social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTubeDesirable
Hands-on skills in related disciplines, such as videography, photography, print and designDesirable
Ability to provide media training and scientific media writing for staffDesirable

Interpersonal & Communication SkillsRequirementImportance
Exceptional writing and communication skillsEssential
Positive attitude, proactive approach with the ability to work in teams, and motivate othersEssential
Resilience in seeking high-profile media opportunitiesEssential
Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to build relationships internally and network externally with key stakeholdersEssential
Highly organised, prioritises own workload and manages own time effectivelyEssential
A passion for and knowledge of research and scienceDesirable
Abiliity to influence and persuade at all levelsDesirable

Additional RequirementsRequirementImportance
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential
Willingness to work in ad hoc teams recognising leadership and contributions of othersEssential
Ability to provide professional media relations support including out of normal working hours, and take the lead where appropriateEssential
Takes responsibility for meeting own development needsEssential
Promotes equality and values diversityEssential

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