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Communications Officer in Fordingbridge

£ 28,000 to £ 30,000


A great opportunity for someone with experience in PR or Journalism to use their writing skills to promote a working landscape rich in wildlife. As the first point of contact in a national conservation charity, you must be proactive, confident and able to develop strong relationships with a selection of journalists.

This position reports into the Press & Publications Manager and is responsible for implementing projects and campaigns that deliver press coverage for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. You will play a vital role by ensuring that journalists, members and the wider public understand the importance of our work and the role of active management in the countryside.

You will be working with our internal team of over 40 scientists, as well as specialist and national journalists, writing press releases for a targeted audience and dealing with controversial and complex issues. Your work will also form an important part of our digital output, with letters, blogs and releases forming an important part of our social media and email promotion.

Main responsibilities
Writing press releases, blogs, feature articles, letters of response and GWCT statements across all subjects. This will include a range of complex and controversial conservation issues.
Briefing key journalists to secure favourable coverage in sporting and national titles. These include updates on research, promotional activity, events and annual campaigns such as the GWCT Big Farmland Bird Count.
Reviewing all relevant press and media channels each weekday morning to compile and distribute an internal newsround by 9am. Identifying which stories could provide an opportunity for response to clarify the GWCT's position and or secure coverage of key GWCT messages.
Responding proactively to relevant news stories and, with the support of the Press & Publications Manager, contacting appropriate GWCT staff in order to establish how they feel we should best respond.

Additional responsibilities
Manage the promotional plan for major projects, such as the Big Farmland Bird Count
Represent and lead at events including Game Fair and farming conferences and act as the central contact for any press invitees (sometimes requires overnight stays)
Plan and set up press, group and filming trips including pitching of press trips to key media, plus the logistics and coordination or these events
Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of press coverage and ensure specific KPIs are met
Keep the news section on the GWCT website updated
Compile monthly reports of press activity and to regularly archive all press clippings
Offer media training to staff

Person specification - Essential
Graduate (or equivalent) with experience in a communications role
Proven experience of creating a positive impact through press/public relations and communication activity both on and offline
Hands-on experience of managing media relations both on and offline
Capable of understanding complex subjects and making them relatable to a wider audience
Excellent copywriting and proofreading skills
Flexible and discreet professional with excellent communication skills and a confident telephone manner
Willingness to undertake occasional travel and overnight stays within the UK
UK Driving licence and use of own car

Person specification - preferable
An understanding of complex conservation, wildlife and farming issues
Experience of working within the scientific sector
Experience of handling crisis management situations
Experience of a range of charity fundraising activities
An understanding of running events is highly desirable
Project management experience
Experience of working with external organisations
Membership of a recognised appropriate professional body

The post is based in Fordingbridge, Hampshire and is commutable from Salisbury, Bournemouth and Southampton. The candidate would be expected to start by February 2019 or earlier, if possible. Benefits include pension, private health care, 22 days annual leave (+ Bank Holidays) that rises with length of service and free parking.

Closing date: Sunday 19th January 2020

Please note: Strong candidates will be interviewed during the application window, so early applications are advised.

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