Senior Communications Officer

Cardiff University is seeking to recruit an outstanding individual to join our Communications and Marketing Department. You will support the University within Communications by proactively raising its profile amongst key stakeholders, providing advice, guidance and support, and leading media relations for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

Reporting to the Deputy Head of Communications, the Senior Communications Officer will act as the Communication team’s central link to the College.  Additionally, they will support communications campaigns within the team.

This is a full time and open ended post.

Salary: £32,548 - £38,833 per annum (Grade 6)

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Key Duties

  • Lead the management of media relations for an allocated College within the central team.
  • To manage and implement major projects and campaigns that match the strategic priorities that are set out in The Way Forward.
  • To develop with the Head of Communications and Director of Communications and Marketing the University’s media relations strategy and ensure its implementation.
  • Provide strategic advice and guidance on communications processes and procedures to internal and external customers that will have institute wide impacts, using judgement and creativity to suggest the most appropriate course of action where appropriate, and ensuring complex and conceptual issues are understood.
  • To write copy, to a consistently high standard, volume and to short deadlines ranging from media releases to web & social media content– mapped to The Way Forward’s priorities.
  • In managing media relations focus news gathering and media pitching around the College research topics; educational and international strengths.
  • Work with the College to source stories, leading on media relations building media contacts at international, national and regional level and proactively pitching stories.  Ensure evaluation measures built in and reported on.
  • Work with the College to input to communications strategies for each School, with two top-line actions for each.
  •  Contribute articles from the College to the Cardiff University Research magazine, Challenge Cardiff and maintain Research webpage content.
  • Work with Deputy Head of Communications to get key academics onto major broadcast channels.
  • Use social media and rich media in communications campaigns.
  • Support fundraising communications for major research strengths and themes
  •  To contribute to responses to sensitive media enquiries with appropriate members of UEB, working with the College to investigate and analyse specific issues.
  • To manage relationships with external agencies, including commissioning films, publications, photography and design work. 
  • Support and where necessary lead wider strategic communications campaigns outside the College as allocated by the Deputy Head of Communications.
  • Ensure that the provision of communications is delivered to the institution, proactively changing the delivery according to customer requirements.
  • Plan and deliver specific small scale projects, co-ordinating and supervising project teams created as needed.
  • Develop and support media training and content for the media Directory of Expertise.
  • To manage, check and oversee the work of casual staff, as required.
  • Undertake a variety of administrative duties to support the department.

General Duties

  • Ensure that an understanding of the importance of confidentiality is applied when undertaking all duties.
  • Abide by University policies on the Welsh Language, Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity.
  • Perform other duties occasionally which are not included above, but which will be consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education


1. Degree/NVQ 6 or equivalent Professional membership/experience.

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

2. Substantial experience of working within communications or journalism. Evidence of securing positive coverage in print, broadcast and online media.

3. Able to demonstrate professional knowledge within specialist discipline, including social media and rich media, to give advice and guidance to internal and external customers.

4. Excellent writing skills with a proven ability to convey complex ideas to non-specialists.

Customer Service, Communication and Team Working

5. Ability to communicate conceptually detailed and complex information effectively and professionally with a wide range of people.

6. Evidence of ability to explore customers’ needs and adapt the service accordingly to ensure a quality service is delivered.

7. Proven ability to develop networks in order to contribute to long term developments.

Planning, Analysis and Problem solving

8. Evidence of ability to solve expansive problems using initiative and creativity; identify and propose both practical and innovative solutions.

9. Evidence of demonstrable knowledge of key advances within specialist discipline.

10. Evidence of ability to undertake and deliver specific projects and supervise short term project teams.

Desirable Criteria

1. Postgraduate/Professional qualification

2. Experience of working in a Higher Education environment

3. Fluency in Welsh, written and oral

Additional Information

You should complete your Personal Statement and/or Cover Letter prior to beginning the on line application process as you will be required to upload the documents during the process. Ensure the documents include your name and the post reference number (four-digit number, ending “BR”) within their title(s).

Please make sure to address each of the essential, and where relevant the desirable, criteria in your application. If candidates do not provide written evidence, in separate supporting document(s), of how they meet all of the essential criteria their application will not be progressed.

ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT

The Communications and Marketing Department is responsible for the University’s reputation and branding as well as UK/EU student recruitment operations. It covers six areas: communications, marketing, student recruitment, international, digital communications and public affairs.

Communications plays an important part in building and maintaining the reputation of the University through effective communication to the public and to external and internal stakeholders. It communicates the achievements and aspirations of the University through a variety of media and includes a film unit. The team represents the University on a corporate level and involves all three academic colleges and constituent schools.

Marketing is responsible for developing a strong brand identity for the University at the corporate level, with an emphasis on better visual branding and market research.

Student recruitment plays an important role in attracting the University's undergraduate and postgraduate students from throughout the UK and EU in addition to managing the University’s widening access activities.
The International Office is responsible for the University’s activities overseas and for promoting the University to world, UK and internal audiences. It includes attracting and supporting students, maintaining Cardiff University’s reputation for world-leading teaching and research, and engaging international, national and local communities with the University’s work.

These areas work alongside the digital communications team, which is responsible for the website, and public affairs, which leads on stakeholder relationships locally, nationally and internationally.

Find out more and apply here.

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