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Press Officer

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60 day contract
Press Office experience is vital
Government / Public sector is essential

Main Duties/ Responsibilities
Work as part of the press office team, delivering a 24/7 media relations function for Ministers and senior officials. Responsible for Responding to a high volume of media inquiries through the Department's newsdesk. Communicating key messages to journalists so that the media understands the department’s vision, priorities and policies. Developing key messages, media briefing documents, core scripts to build storylines/narratives. Drafting accurate and compelling press releases, articles, lines to take and statements to communicate messages to the media. Advising Ministers and senior officials on the merits of accepting media interviews, and preparing them for broadcast appearances. Developing media handling plans so that announcements or other issues are handled professionally and achieve the right levels of press coverage. Identify off diary stories and imaginative ways of getting stories up. Join up press handling plans with wider communications strategies Ensure press conferences, photo-calls, media events etc are delivered to a professional standard. Accompany Ministers on visits, arranging publicity as required. Monitor the media to ensure Ministers, officials and other communications colleagues are up to date with the news agenda. Build up a network of journalist contacts Participate in the out of hours’ rota to ensure the press office is open for business in the evenings and at weekends. Ensure the press office continues to innovate in how it reaches its audiences, by using social media, photos and producing audio and video material Develop good relationships with stakeholder organisations to support collaborative working. Seek quotes from external people to illustrate support for our policies.

Outputs/ Deliverables to be achieved
Effective handling of media enquiries Drafting press notices, articles, media statements Organising events and briefings.

Skills/ Experience Required
Drafting, Layout and Design • draft clear and concise press notices, articles, web content and lines • have a strong news sense Channels and Technologies • knowledge of the most suitable channels available to reach different audiences • use of social media to extend the reach of our message and as a monitoring tool Business Knowledge and Communication Environment • develop an in depth knowledge of the organisation’s policies and have an understanding of Ministers’ priorities • keep up to date with developments in Government and the media industry • use business knowledge to provide media handling advice Relationship/Account Management • develop and maintain excellent working relationships with journalists, communications colleagues and press officers from stakeholder organisations Strategic Marketing and Communication • produce media handling strategies for policy announcements and Ministerial events. Effective communicator • draft clear and concise lines to take, press releases, news stories and content for the website • ability to identify what issues will be of media interest and understand the political impact of proposed policies • explaining policies verbally in both face-to-face and telephone meetings with journalists in a confident manner and help them with requests for information • knowledge of how the media works and an interest in current affairs and politics. Relationship manager • develop excellent working relationships with journalists as a trusted contact. • deliver to tight deadlines, and be confident asking others to provide information and advice, whilst maintaining positive working relationships with colleagues. • be assertive and confident in challenging and advising senior officials and ministers when necessary, ensuring they understand the communications implications of their decisions to protect the organisation’s reputation Strategic communicator • develop media handling plans which fits with the wider communications campaigns and strategies of the organisation • consider and advise on the implications of announcements on the wider Government news agenda Policy expert • quickly develop an in depth knowledge of the full range of the organisation’s policies and priorities. • keep up to date with developing policy by reading background papers and understanding stakeholders’ views. • using policy knowledge to have credibility with officials, helping to constructively challenge policy colleagues, helping them to understand the communications implications of policy proposals

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