Head of Communications & Digital

Start Network

  • Team: Communications and Digital
  • Grade: Grade 1
  • Salary: £57,000 per annum
  • Location: London
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 26th Jun 2022 BST

Job Description

ABOUT THE ROLE

Start Network has an exciting opportunity for a Head of Communications and Digital as maternity leave cover for 13 months starting on 14th September 2022. The role is responsible for delivering a consistent stream of high-quality content across our channels that will influence and engage a range of stakeholders. The role also acts as our brand champion, ensuring that our messaging and communications are consistently on-brand and bold, compelling, and persuasive in their tone and style. The role leads the organisation’s digital strategy, including a programme of transformation projects, that are aiming to bring more efficiency and transparency into our work, as well as improving our ability to engage stakeholders in real time. Finally the role oversees the work of the advocacy team, in positioning Start Network as a leading agent of change and leveraging relationships to influence change across the global humanitarian sector.

Candidates must have proven experience managing teams to deliver communication strategies and a deep understanding of brand management. Candidates must have excellent networking and relationship skills, including negotiation skills with stakeholders at different levels. Candidates must have strong budgeting, organisational strategy, and leadership skills. A broad range of marketing and communications skills are essential, in PR, events, collateral production, email and digital marketing. Candidates must have strong verbal and written communication skills, creative judgement and copywriting skills.

JOB PURPOSE

The Head of Communications and Digital is one of the organisation’s leadership roles that ensures the content and identity of the Start Network is projected consistently, professionally and according to strategy across multiple channels. The role also leads the organisation’s digital transformation strategy and its advocacy function. The role manages a global and partly remote team of six people, including the line management of four.

The role is responsible for planning and delivering a consistent stream of high-quality content across our channels that will influence and engage a wide range of stakeholders. The role will act as our brand champion, ensuring that our messaging and communications are consistently on-brand and bold, compelling, and persuasive in their tone and style.

The Head of Communications and Digital will lead the organisation’s digital strategy, including a programme of transformation projects, that are aiming to bring more efficiency and transparency into our work, as well as improving our ability to engage stakeholders in real time.

The role also oversees the work of the advocacy team, in positioning Start Network as a leading agent of change and leveraging relationships to influence change across the global humanitarian sector.

KEY ACCOUNTABILITIES

Strategy

  • Lead the ongoing development, and delivery of integrated brand, communications, advocacy, and digital strategies

  • Responsible for ensuring all Start Network communications is aligned with the brand

  • Work with the membership team to ensure effective and streamlined member communications

  • Work with the Head of Evidence and Learning to ensure evidence-led communications positions Start Network as a change agent in the sector

  • Support the Head of Resource Mobilisation to position the Start Network brand with target donors and other audiences

  • Manage the communications, advocacy and digital budgets, across Start Network and grant custodians where relevant

Brand  

  • Accountable for actively managing and monitoring a robust brand across the network, including a brand framework for use across Start Network Hubs

  • Accountable for the creation, distribution and use of materials for the effective use of the Start Network brand by partner organisations and acting as the central brand guardian across the whole of the Start Network

  • Support the CEO and team to build and position the Start Network brand across audiences

Communications

  • Lead the team in the managing, creating, and distributing, high quality communications content

  • Lead the team in managing the organisation’s use of relevant communications channels including the website, social media, email, events and press and media

  • Lead the development and delivery of a media strategy, press office and the organisation’s crisis communication plan

  • Support the team on key events, ensuring they meet organisation goals and engage stakeholders in our work

Digital transformation and platforms

  • Lead the team in the maintaining and developing of the Start Network website and Salesforce platform and communities to support increased engagement, more efficient ways of working, and improved data management and transparency

  • Lead the team in ensuring the effective use of Start Network’s digital platforms across the organisation, in particular the use of Salesforce to manage data and information and to enable internal collaboration

  • Work across teams and the Senior Management Team (SMT) to ensure and advocate for effective resourcing invested in digital change and transformation projects

  • Oversee and advise on digital transformation projects to ensure they meet organisational priorities

  • Support the organisation to make robust decisions on resourcing technology infrastructure and advise on the prioritisation of projects

Advocacy

  • Support the delivery and implementation of the advocacy strategy that supports the Start Network’s priorities for change

  • Guide the team in the delivery of key advocacy campaigns, aligned with the desired systemic changes to influence relevant stakeholders

  • Ensure the development of strong working relationships with collaborators, key sector partners, and like-minded organisations to better position Start Network

  • Represent Start Network in meetings, events, on platforms or panels, to a range of stakeholders and audiences

Organisational contributions

  • Contribute to the organisational strategy and vision as part of the senior management team

  • Carry out the responsibilities of the role in line with the Start Network Code of Conduct and with a commitment to safeguarding adults and children

  • Commit to the Start Network vision, principles, values and approach

  • Contribute to the Start Network team ways of working as an agile group of individuals who use their experience and skills across the network, so flexibility to work in and with different teams and functions is part of our culture

PERSON PROFILE

Essential Skills and Experience

  • Proven experience in a similar senior level communications role

  • Experience of effectively managing teams to deliver communication strategies

  • Excellent networking and relationship skills, including gaining buy-in from key stakeholders at different levels

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, creative judgement and copywriting skills

  • Experience of successfully building, coaching and motivating high performing, remote, diverse and inclusive teams

  • Deep understanding of brand management

  • A broad range of marketing and communications skills, in PR, events, collateral production, email and digital marketing

  • Experience of leading advocacy, policy, or behaviour change campaigns

  • Sound leadership, strategic thinking, management and planning skills

  • Ability to research, analyse and to summarise complex issues to different audiences

  • Able to work in complex environments Ability to manage external providers in delivering to agreed objectives

  • Demonstrated ability to build, manage and reconcile budgets

  • Excellent prioritisation and time-management skills and an ability to work under pressure and to deadlines

Desirable Skills

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent

  • Professional qualification in marketing, PR or communications

  • Good knowledge of the aid sector, humanitarian journalists and media, networks and organisations

  • Production and editing of audio-visual multimedia

  • Experience in using Salesforce as a CRM system for managing stakeholder data

KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Influence stakeholders to address difficult or complex issues by listening to diverse perspectives, finding common ground and avoiding criticism or complaint

  • Communicate confidence and compassion to others to represent their voices by enabling space, sharing encouraging words, motivating language and offering help

  • Promote different ways to engage different audiences, advising others on how to maximise impact through feedback and coaching

  • Manage ambiguity by weighing up risks and uncertainties with opportunities in pursuit of our vision based on the evidence available

  • Enable others to support and deliver cross-organisational initiatives by removing barriers, such as reallocating work, reprioritising and coaching others to do the same

  • Provide leadership by inspiring and unlocking motivation in others across the network to lead and hold them accountable for the results

  • Create and promote a learning culture, authentically sharing own learning and supporting others to do the same at organisational, team and network level

  • Identify cross-organisational changes needed to respond to changing context by scanning political, economic, sociological, technological, legal and environmental issues and bringing them to relevant colleagues

  • Set strategic direction and provides clarity of vision, purpose and culture, enabling space for the team, members, Hubs and other stakeholders to shape the journey

  • Provide an enabling environment for the organisation to try out new approaches to technology, financial and people management through openness to experimentation and learning from outside the sector

OUR OFFER TO YOU

  • Be part of an organisation seeking to change the humanitarian system

  • Centrally located WeWork office with onsite drinks available free of charge

  • Hybrid working with options to work from home and remotely

  • Flexible working arrangements

  • Contributory pension

  • Life Assurance

  • Family friendly policies

  • Learning and development opportunities for individuals and cross-organisationally

  • 25 days’ holiday plus 2 company days over the Christmas period

INFORMATION FOR CANDIDATES

This role will be a fixed term contract for 13 months as maternity cover. Our roles are open to discussion about flexible working. For part-time working and job-shares, please get in touch with us for a conversation about possibilities.

Start Network is committed to protecting people, particularly children, at-risk adults and affected populations from any harm that may be caused due to their encountering the Start Network as well as responding effectively should any harm occur.  We are also committed to safeguarding staff from any forms of bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, discrimination, and abuse of power as outlined in the Dignity at Work policy. 

Start Network embraces diversity, promotes equality of opportunity and eliminates unlawful discrimination. We are an equal opportunities employer and treat every application on merit alone.  We particularly encourage applications from disabled, BAME, LGBTQ+ and non-binary candidates.  We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet our essential selection criteria set out in the Person Profile.

To learn more about Start Network and what we do, please click here.

APPLICATION

Applications should come through Be Applied our online recruitment platform which uses anonymised applications and predictive, skill-based assessments which are blind- reviewed to reduce bias.

If you have any questions or need support with your application, please email us using peopleandculture@startnetwork.org

Closing date: Sunday 26th June 2022, 11.59pm (GMT)

Ideal start date: Wednesday 14th September 2022

Applications may be reviewed on an ongoing basis, so please apply early where possible.

Any offer of employment will be conditional subject to relevant checks. Please refer to our privacy statement and candidate privacy notice regarding treatment of your data.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application

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Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application