• Communicate and promote Wellcome’s priorities through the global media, building a narrative and working in partnership with other organisations to extend Wellcome’s influence.
• Develop Wellcome’s brand by upholding and expanding the media profile of the organisation, its activities and staff, building trust and convening power, and growing its audiences.
• Manage breaking and reactive news stories that involve Wellcome or are related to key areas of strategic or reputational interest.
• Help embed science within the cultural landscape, sparking informed public discourse and fascination around medicine, life and art, by supporting Wellcome staff and the research community to engage with the media.
Main duties (responsibilities and accountabilities):
• Support the Head of Media Relations in developing and implementing an organisation-wide media strategy to drive Wellcome’s mission and support the delivery of its Strategic Framework.
• Develop and deliver strategic and tailored media plans, including briefings for journalists and spokespeople, and preparing internal Q&As on issues of major significance.
• Handle reputational issues under pressure, providing leadership and support to other members of the media team, communications department and wider organisation.
• Work closely with colleagues across marketing, content and editorial teams to ensure integrated external communications across different channels, leading and advising on media relations aspects of major communications projects and campaigns.
• Protect and enhance Wellcome’s reputation and help communicate our narrative to external audiences, in particular the national and international media.
• Demonstrate an excellent news sense and work with the other members of the media team to help manage a busy media relations team on a day-to-day basis.
• Research, write and edit press materials, in particular press releases, and comment and opinion articles ghost-written for senior members of staff or Trust-funded researchers.
• Manage approaches from the media so that enquiries are dealt with swiftly and appropriately, advising and briefing colleagues and researchers who speak to the media reactively.
• Coordinate and manage press conferences to ensure that journalists attending are well briefed and have access to interviewees.
• Develop a thorough understanding of Wellcome’s work and work with all divisions of the organisation to understand their goals and priorities, in particular with the Director’s office, Science, Innovations and Policy teams.
• Work with Wellcome-funded researchers and their institutions to promote their work in the media and across digital channels, particularly on issues of strategic or reputational importance.
• Monitor Wellcome’s social media channels, in particular Twitter, and respond as appropriate on news-related issues of strategic or reputational importance.
• Brief staff and Wellcome-funded researchers on media relations, and media support available, and coordinate and/or provide media training for spokespeople.
• Identify news-related items appropriate for Wellcome’s own digital and other channels (such as the corporate website and social media), and liaise across the communications teams to ensure communications are co-ordinated and consistent.
• Assess new media opportunities as part of any proactive media strategy, including requirements for additional multimedia or digital material for Wellcome’s own channels and external media outlets.
• Proactively research Wellcome initiatives with media potential, including visits to Wellcome-funded researchers at their universities, recipients of Wellcome grants and other participants involved with Wellcome events.
• Assess the newsworthiness of new research and funding activities, developing fresh story angles and ideas.
• Ensure the sourcing of story material such as facts and figures, case studies and comment.
Experience and skills
• Substantial experience (including time spent at a senior level)as a science media officer, PR consultant, or science/health news journalist dealing with sensitive and high-profile issues, and proactive and reactive media.
• Excellent contacts in the media and science world, and a keen understanding of both.
• Implemented and run media strategy for major organisations or projects.
• Implemented and run large, internationally covered press and PR events.
• Experience of using social media, especially Twitter, as part of integrated media campaigns.
• Excellent written, editing and oral communication skills, including writing and pitching comment and opinion articles in national and international media.
• Able to spot a news story and excellent news sense.
• Excellent proactive and reactive media relations skills, including managing media campaign strategies and crisis management.
• Advanced analytical, organisational and time management skills.
• Good influencing and negotiating skills, able to argue persuasively.
• Able to work with a wide range of people, including at a senior level, and manage complex issues of strategic and reputational importance.
• Confident and authoritative within own field of expertise, able to build respect with colleagues and stakeholders.
• Effective decision-maker, especially when under pressure.
• Able to manage competing demands effectively and work to tight deadlines; able to prioritise to achieve long-term goals and realise immediate opportunities.
• Able to demonstrate imaginative and creative thinking.
• Demonstrate commitment and initiative in relation to own continued professional development.
• Willingness to work longer / flexible hours when necessary.
• Keen awareness of current affairs.
Education and qualifications
• Degree / professional qualification in relevant subject.
Applications closing date: 22 February
To be successful, you'll need to have:
- extensive experience in a senior role as a science media officer, PR consultant, or science/health news journalist dealing with sensitive and high-profile issues
- proactive and reactive media relations skills, including leading media campaign strategies and crisis management
- a nose for a story and the ability to tell it compellingly
- incisive writing and editing skills across multiple formats, including press releases, news articles, blog posts and comment pieces
- excellent contacts in the media and scientific world, and a keen understanding of both.
To apply, complete the online application process and ensure you explain how you meet the criteria for this job.