Head of Media and Communications
Head of Media and Communications
Full time position (Hybrid/Flexible home/office based)
The Independent Schools Council (ISC) is the umbrella body representing nearly 1,400 independent schools educating more than 540,000 children. ISC schools include the famous name boarding schools, though most ISC schools are small day schools which are not widely known beyond their local communities. The great majority of children in UK independent schools are in ISC schools: the ISC therefore speaks for the sector as a whole. It is strictly independent of all political parties and acts in the interests of all children.
The communications team:
The ISC communications team is made up of the Head of Media and Communications, the Communications Officer and the Assistant Communications Officer. The team is responsible for the organisation’s external and internal communications, including press engagement, publications, social media, and communicating with member schools. It is tasked with building, developing and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders and members of the media, as part of the ISC’s efforts to promote and protect the sector.
Job description and person specification:
As Head of Media and Communications, the applicant will be in charge of managing the communications team, raising the profile of ISC schools and the independent sector and working with colleagues within the ISC, our member associations and schools, to promote the sector and respond to media issues as required. This multi-skilled role calls for a self-starter with a proven track record in a press office or journalistic environment, with strong written and verbal communication skills. You will bring a first-rate news sense, planning and organisation, and strategic thinking to the role as well as being able to prioritise work to changing deadlines.
The post holder will support the implementation of an ambitious strategy, delivering high impact media coverage across a range of print, broadcast and new media channels in order to strengthen the independent sector’s public profile. You will be dealing directly with journalists, preparing releases and reactive statements and managing the ISC’s Communications Officer and Assistant Communications Officer. You will be able to coordinate and liaise across seven member associations and their communications teams to identify sector priorities and objectives. A positive attitude and good people skills are essential. Potential candidates will also be able to demonstrate a keen interest in the education sector.
- Manage all press liaison and lead the communications agenda for the ISC, working in collaboration with its associations and member schools, advising senior staff and stakeholders on ISC’s communications strategy and coverage
- Contribute to the ongoing development of the sector’s communications strategy, working closely with colleagues in member associations
- Respond effectively to changing media and news agendas, and identify opportunities to offer commentary on issues and place features
- Follow the daily news agenda, arrange interviews, respond with statements, letters or expert commentary, where appropriate, often under tight deadlines
- Develop and maintain an active network of relationships with key journalists and editors of relevant news outlets, including print, broadcast and online channels
- Manage the ISC’s Communications Officer and Assistant Communications Officer and develop and maintain relationships across the associations’ communications teams
- Coordinate communications around the launch of the annual Celebrating Partnerships report; the publication of the ISC Annual Census; exam results (August of each year); and other projects as required
- Develop swift responses to breaking news agendas, using all available channels (e.g. letters to editors, issuing reactive statements, blogs, and social media posts)
- Cultivate and manage relationships with high profile figures and organisations relevant to the organisation’s overall strategy and positioning
- Write articles and copy relating to key media priorities for placement in external news, magazines or websites
- Brief ISC spokespeople when they are preparing for media interviews, drafting copy, briefing documents and responses on their behalf
- Supervise the compilation and editorial line of the ISC Daily News Summary as required
- Sit on the ISC’s senior management team and chair the ISC Communications Working Group – coordinating regularly with the member associations’ communications teams
- 24/7 responsibility for ISC’s press mobile and out-of-hours enquiries
- Provide guidance to schools facing a sudden media crisis and offering media advice to schools as required
- Monitor and analyse ISC press coverage, campaign effectiveness and any coverage relevant to ISC’s interests
- Support and manage company publications as required
- Other ad hoc duties as required.
How to apply: applicants should send a CV and cover letter to email@example.com