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websites and publications, to assess best practice and adapt and adopt as appropriate. To review information from the database to provide reports as required, e.g. alumni from specific locations, subjects or industries. To observe strict confidential
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JOB DESCRIPTION 1. JOB TITLE:
Communications Officer (Shrewsbury)
2. HR REFERENCE:
3. ROLE CODE:
5. ORGANISATION CHART: Director of Corporate Communications
Corporate Events and Administrative Manager
Senior Communications Officer
COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER (SHREWSBURY)
Alumni and Development Manager
Editorial Assistant (Alumni and Public Relations)
Corporate Publications Co-ordinator/Managing Editor of University of Chester Press
Alumni and Development Officer
6. JOB PURPOSE: Creative editorial duties: Producing high-quality written material and publications, including researching, copywriting (news and features), editing and proof-reading, in conjunction with graphics and print professionals, within and outside the University.
Media Relations duties: Maximizing coverage in the media by identifying strong stories relating to University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS), producing well written features and timely press releases, handling press enquiries and, where appropriate, issuing reactive statements.
Wider stakeholders: Building and developing strong journalistic contacts locally, regionally and nationally and with niche publications. Representing the University Centre in external engagement opportunities, such as residents’ meetings (normally with other colleagues.)
Event management duties: Working closely with staff from the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Department and other colleagues from the UCS team to promote and coordinate press and ‘open’ events relevant to UCS and specific to Shrewsbury.
Social media: contribute to and monitor UCS’s presence across all channels.
Supporting the work of the Director of Corporate Communications in delivering a professional service.
7. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The Corporate Communications Service was established in March 2004 and provides a centralised service for both internal and external communication, combining media and public relations, publishing and public events expertise, to reflect corporate objectives. The small team manages: Media handling, including proactive publicity and issue management; Internal communications, including campaigns; Public events, including lectures, festivals and other cultural activities, together with official openings and royal visits; Co-ordinating key messages and channels of information on behalf of the institution; Producing corporate publications (other than prospectuses), in conjunction with teams of graphic designers, photographers and printers, and the work of the University of Chester Press; Upholding the corporate brand (in conjunction with colleagues in Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions) Arranging the publicity and public relations aspects for two graduation ceremonies each year; Developing the relationship between the University and its alumni; Sales of a range of corporate gifts.
8. WORK PERFORMED AND/OR KEY RESULT AREAS: 8.1 Communicating Effectively To research and write press releases and features. To be responsible for the distribution of press releases. To write material for the University of Chester’s 12 page staff newsletter Forum (10 editions a year.) To work with volunteer contributors to submit articles for the student newspaper, Student News, published once a term by UCS. To contribute occasional articles for the University of Chester’s bi-annual alumni magazine, The Cestrian, in consultation with the Alumni and Development Manager. To write and edit a dedicated section regarding UCS for the Annual Review, in liaison with the Corporate Publications Co-ordinator. To work with the University web team to organize the transfer of news to the University’s public website (training as ‘web champion’ provided).
To coordinate and monitor the UCS social media presence, as an outlet for promoting key messages, announcements and challenge factual inaccuracies as appropriate, in liaison with staff from the Corporate Communications and Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Departments. To organise suitable photo opportunities, and liaise with the University of Chester and other photographers to secure good images for University publications. To monitor written and social media output for key messages, and, with the help of the Events and Administrative Manager, to keep a cuttings file. To encourage good communications practice across UCS. To be able to communicate confidently with stakeholders at all levels and from all specialisms.
8.2 Leadership and Working Collaboratively The role holder will work closely with the Director and other members of the Corporate Communications team. 8.3 Liaison and Networking To build strong contacts through effective liaison and networking, to become a credible source of UCS news in Shropshire. To reinforce effective working relationships with academic and support staff across the UCS, with a particularly close liaison with colleagues in the Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Department, to ensure effective collaboration on relevant projects. To network and develop good relations with key staff across UCS, both with faculties and support staff operating in Shrewsbury and Chester, in order to develop a culture in which strong news stories are passed to the Department. To liaise effectively in person, by post, telephone and electronically with departmental staff, academic and other staff, the media, Shropshire Council representatives, politicians, and current and former students. To attend meetings associated with UCS (including community forums) and other relevant working groups, representing the Director of Corporate Communications, as required. 8.4 Delivering a High Quality Standard of Service To be responsive to requests from staff, press and other stakeholders in a timely and accurate manner. To deliver a high standard of service in all aspects of the role, as advised by the Director of Corporate Communications, with support from departmental colleagues. To promote major UCS events such as graduation ceremonies and activities such as public lectures, shows and festivals. To take a proactive approach, not only in maintaining, but also in enhancing UCS’s reputation. Identifying opportunities for positive publicity or other promotional activity, such as sponsorship. Ensuring that the level of favourable media coverage constantly outweighs the negative, and positioning UCS at the forefront of local, regional, national, international and specialist news agendas by actively promoting the network of academic expertise through the Directory of Experts.
To facilitate (and monitor) the spread of key messages about UCS through the use of social networking tools.
8.5 Effective Decision Making To take independent decisions when researching and writing press releases and features, although press releases, as with other University public output, will be nominally cleared with the Director and/or a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and where appropriate in consultation with other stakeholders. To decide independently how to respond to press enquiries. To make collaborative decisions as a member of working groups and committees. To provide advice to the SMT members on potentially adverse issues to enable them to take decisions on how to best deal with the issue. 8.6 Planning and Organising Self and Others While the role holder works closely with the Director and other departmental colleagues, together with other members of the UCS team, it is expected that the role holder will take an autonomous approach to planning and organising their own work. To ensure publications and projects meet the targets outlined in the department’s Business Plan and other deadlines. To work with the Department to plan and manage projects including the publication schedules for newsletters and other written material, and the development and promotion of publicity campaigns. To provide an ‘on call’ service with the Director of Corporate Communications, Senior Communications Officer and the other Communications Officer. 8.7 Innovation and Improvement (Effective Problem Solving) As a professional member of staff, the role holder is expected to identify and resolve any problems that may arise in conducting their role effectively, such as anticipating and addressing any issues which may impact upon deadlines. The role holder should have an instinctive approach to handling media enquiries and identifying the correct key messages which relate to specific situations. They will be the main point of contact for any media enquiries coming in to the Department of Corporate Communications relating to UCS. 8.8 Analysis and Research To research and gather the appropriate information required for articles and publications. To develop feedback mechanisms to gain views on events and other activities and make changes as a result of the feedback. To track media and social media coverage and address areas where there is a lack of coverage or address negative publicity appropriately. To interpret information, which may occasionally be complex, and present it in a format which is appropriate for different audiences.
8.9 Sensory and Physical Demands The role holder will use general office equipment and is required to complete basic tasks which require a minimum of instruction and light physical effort. 8.10 Work Environment Based at the Guildhall in Shrewsbury, the role holder will have an individual workstation with a PC. Occasional travel to the Parkgate Road Campus, Chester and other University of Chester sites, may be required. A mobile phone and iPad/laptop will be provided. 8.11 Pastoral Care and Welfare To show a basic sensitivity to colleagues, students or others who are showing signed of distress. 8.12 Team Development To assist any colleagues in the Department with their knowledge of the UCS, Shrewsbury and of the Shrewsbury area. 8.13 Teaching and Learning Support To communicate requirements and responsibilities of Corporate Communications to colleagues in other departments. To provide media training for key staff involved in UCS, as required. 8.14 Knowledge and Experience The role holder is required to apply working knowledge of theory and practice gained through qualifications and previous experience to the role. It is also expected that the role holder would demonstrate continuous specialist development by further developing the relevant skills and competencies required for the role through either a Master’s degree via the Work Based and Integrated Studies route, or with an Institute of Supervisory Management Certificate, both offered by the University. 8.15 General To undertake any other duties commensurate with your grade, and/or hours of work, as may reasonably be required of you. To take responsibility for upholding and complying with the University of Chester’s Equality and Diversity policies and for behaving in ways that are consistent with fair and equal treatment for all. To comply with all University of Chester Health and Safety policies.
Managing self and inspiring others: The ability to manage several projects simultaneously, and to decide priorities
The ability to participate in ‘on call’ media duties
The use of tact and diplomacy in challenging situations
Working together: To be able to communicate confidently with stakeholders at all levels and from all specialisms Organisational and stakeholder awareness:
Essential Requirements are those, without which, a candidate would not be able to do the job. Applicants who have not clearly demonstrated in their application that they possess the essential requirements will normally be rejected at the shortlisting stage. Desirable Requirements are those that would be useful for the post holder to possess and will be considered when more than one applicant meets the essential requirements. Method of identification is where the selection panel will match the candidate’s skills and abilities to the required criteria outlined (i.e. application form, interview, test)
UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER TERMS & CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER FIXED TERM CONTRACT UNTIL 25/06/2017 SALARY SCALE University Scale OS7, points 23 - 26, £26.052 - £28.452 per annum payable monthly in arrears. RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT It is a requirement of this post that within 12 months of appointment, the post-holder should live within a 30 mile radius or within a one hour travelling time by public transport from the University. HOURS OF WORK Monday to Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm A flexible approach to work will be required as there may be occasions when it would be necessary for you to work additional hours as dictated by the workload. HOLIDAY ENTITLEMENT 22 days per annum (in the annual leave year in which employment commences annual leave entitlement will accrue on a pro-rata basis for each completed calendar month of service), rising to 27 days after five years' continuous service. Two extra statutory days per annum during the Christmas period. MEDICAL EXAMINATION Successful candidates will be required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire, and may be required to undergo a medical examination. ESSENTIAL CERTIFICATES Short-listed candidates will be asked to bring to interview, proof of qualifications as outlined on the Job Description and Person Specification provided. Upon appointment, copies of essential certificates will be required by HRM Services. PENSION SCHEME The University operates two pension schemes for support staff: The default scheme is the Higher Education Defined Contribution Scheme (HEDCS), which is administered by Friends Life. The Cheshire Local Government Pension Scheme, to which the University is an admitted body. All support staff are entitled to participate in one of these schemes. Some staff will be automatically enrolled into a scheme, depending on their age and earnings, but if they do not wish to remain a member of the scheme, they will be entitled to opt out after enrolment. EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES The University has a policy of equal opportunity aimed at treating all applicants for employment fairly. SMOKING POLICY The University operates a No-Smoking policy.
PROBATIONARY PERIOD A nine months' probationary period applies to all University posts. CLOSING DATE Candidates should apply for this vacancy via our online recruitment website (https://jobs.chester.ac.uk/wrl/) by Monday 17th October 2016.