Over the past 80 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping uprooted communities to rebuild. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster.
The International Rescue Committee UK is part of the IRC global network, which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC is on the ground in more than 40 countries, providing emergency relief, relocating refugees and rebuilding lives in the wake of disaster.
The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation in all aspects of our work, creative partnerships and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. The IRC is a tireless advocate for the most vulnerable.
IRC UK was established in 1997 to support the organisation’s global activities and particularly to diversify its donor base and be able to better advocate with policymakers on behalf of the people we serve. Since its establishment IRC UK has grown rapidly and now comprises approximately 170 staff.**
In Europe, the IRC also has offices in Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Geneva and Stockholm. **
The Purpose of the Role
The Communications Officer will help increase the profile of the IRC in Europe by supporting the development and execution of communications strategies positioning the IRC as the thought and practice leader of the humanitarian sector, and showcasing our humanitarian programming work in Europe and around the world.
The Communications Officer will act as a key press contact and media liaison, generating effective media coverage, as well as contributing towards global communications efforts to raise the profile of the IRC’s humanitarian work in Europe, as a vital part of IRC’s strategy to build its supporter and donor base, particularly within Europe.
The post holder will support the Policy and Advocacy teams and Global Crisis & Response team to help develop UK-specific messaging on humanitarian issues and debates. They will also have responsibility for media monitoring, and preparing information about performance for internal dissemination and board reports.
Scope and Authority
· No direct budget to manage.
· Has the authority to brief journalists with agreed messaging, act as spokesperson for the organisation where appropriate, as well as actively pursue media opportunities.
· Has the authority to oversee and approve the distribution of communications updates to IRC-Europe staff
Responsibility for Resources:
· Oversee the media monitoring service to accurately reflect coverage and impact.
· Maintain and contribute to media contacts lists for Europe.
Key Working Relationships
· Works closely with communications colleagues in the UK, US and in the IRC’s Europe offices, including counterparts in partner organisations
· Works closely with Policy & Advocacy, fundraising and AMU colleagues in the UK, US and Europe offices.
· Works closely with programmes staff and technical unit colleagues.
Media relations & Generating coverage (70%)
· Pro-actively explore opportunities to promote the IRC’s work, with particular focus on UK outlets and in accordance with the UK Communications team’s strategy and objectives.
· Respond to journalist enquiries in a timely manner to meet external deadlines; provide background information, arrange interviews and facilitate visits as required.
· Create and maintain comprehensive media contact lists for key thematic and geographical areas in target European markets.
· Research and draft media pitches for regional and national UK media, crafting stories from case studies from IRC programmes and creating compelling narrative from policy briefs and programme updates.
· Participate in media pitching for both planned and earned media and breaking news stories, contacting news desks to sell in stories and arrange press interviews.
· Build expertise on current and potential issues in the humanitarian NGO arena through research and monitoring of national and European media, and competitors and in liaison with US colleagues.
· Be flexible as to working hours and prepared to deliver out of hours as and when required, in particular when unforeseen circumstances arise which require speedy responsiveness to media enquiries.
· Provide surge support to the Global Crisis and Response team in emergencies.
· Contribute to the development of content for distribution on IRC channels, and work closely with the wider communications team to ensure the successful development of topical and engaging outputs to showcase the IRC’s global work to European audiences.
Relationship development (10%)
· Identify and build relationships with key journalists and media outlets in the UK covering issues relevant to the IRC, across print, broadcast, online and social media.
· Represent IRC externally and build close relationships with press counterparts within partner organisations, other NGOs and statutory donors that lead to opportunities to promote IRC in the media and among target audiences.
Donor Visibility Tracking and Implementation (10%)
· Collaborate with Communications Officer – Donor Visibility to develop media plans and conduct media outreach to promote programmes and projects funded by ECHO, as required.
Administrative Support (10%)
· Oversee monthly and quarterly KPI process for UK media, producing media coverage reports for monthly evaluation meetings, the IRC-UK Board and IRC Leadership Board Quarterly Strategic Review, using third party tools including Meltwater.
· Ensure colleagues across departments are successfully alerted to important news coverage, news alerts and opportunities.
· Ensure the media monitoring system is accurately reporting coverage and media contact lists are up to date.
Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications:
· Experience as a journalist or media professional
· Good contacts with key UK journalists from top tier UK media, as well as lifestyle outlets.
· Ability to develop media relationships quickly
· Good understanding of UK politics, cultural institutions, governance, national governments and NGO frameworks
· Excellent writing, editing and proofreading skills; adept at writing clean, engaging, jargon-free copy for a range of channels
· Strong communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to establish positive working relationships with colleagues in different teams
· Good organisational and time management skills and the ability to work to deadlines, prioritise and multitask in a fast paced environment.
· Proactive approach to problem solving to meet journalist and organisational demands
· Strong professional experience in communications, international affairs or related field
· Experience / knowledge of developing and implementing PR / Media strategies with an international, ideally humanitarian, or development focus.
· Experience / knowledge of online and other tools for monitoring media coverage
· Knowledge of key debates in the UK around international development and aid
· Experience of dealing with media enquiries into crisis or sensitive issues
· Experience of organising international media visits to projects in order to facilitate reporting on key issues.
· Experience of conducting media relations and communications opportunities in developing countries and sensitive contexts
· Strong photography skills, and experience of editing audio and visual materials
· Experience of acting as a spokesperson for an organisation
· Proficiency in a second European language,
How to apply:
Please apply through our website