Senior Press Officer
Department of Health and Social Care
Salary: £38,684 - £39,196
Hours per week:37
Location: City of Westminster, London, SW1H 0EU
Closing date: 13 Sep 2018
About the job
If you’re passionate about health and social care, we’re the place for you. Whether you have a burning desire to tackle childhood obesity, feel it is vital to address patient safety and believe more must be done on mental health, we might just be the perfect fit.
Health and social care issues affect us all and are always at the forefront of the news agenda. We’re looking for media experts who are as comfortable briefing the Daily Mail about NHS finances or responding to questions on Twitter about vaccine policy as they are delivering a public facing campaign for mental health or helping communicate with the public during outbreaks of flu or other infectious diseases.
The Department of Health and Social Care’s Media and Campaigns Team is an award winning operation, recognised for its work on crisis communications, evaluation, insight and partnership working. To succeed you’ll need to hit the ground running, be adept at briefing senior officials and ministers on complex issues and have the confidence to mastermind high-profile campaigns.
A brilliant communicator can make a real difference. Each day will bring new challenges and opportunities to develop your communications skills and this is a great opportunity to develop your career with a plentiful supply of proactive and reactive opportunities at the heart of government.
We are looking for experienced professionals with a keen news sense and an ability to lead. You’ll need to be able to thrive in a high-pressure environment, while managing a team and providing them with direction.
You will be supported to fast-track your career in a busy, friendly office where learning and development is a key offer and you are able to develop the skills to become a future communications leader.
Key accountabilities for the role:
• advising officials on all aspects of presentation, accompanying Ministers to interviews, visits and events, creating content for social media accounts and blogs, and developing rebuttal lines;
• helping to plan, design and deliver communications activity to support priority campaigns including developing high quality content for use across a wide range of channels and platforms and ensuring that all activity is evaluated in line with GCS standards;
• maintaining close working relationships with counterparts in other arms-length bodies and other partner organisations, ensuring all communications activity is aligned and jointly planned, as appropriate; and
• supporting a 24 / 7 media service
• managing a small team of communications officers
Key requirements for the role:
• Strong oral and written communications skills;
• Experience of proactive and reactive communications;
• Ability to develop and deliver creative campaigns to tackle problems and promote issues;
• Ability to create social media content.
• Ability to remain calm under pressure, prioritise workload and deal with competing priorities;
• Strong news sense and the ability to communicate effectively with different audiences;
We'll assess you against these competencies during the selection process:
Communications - Ideas: Core
Delivering at pace
Making effective decisions
Collaborating and partnering
Communications - Insight: Core
Communications - Implementation: Core
Communications - Impact: Core
Civil Service Competency Framework
Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.
Things you need to know
Successful candidates must pass basic security checks.
Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.
If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.
Selection process details
This vacancy is using the Civil Service Competency Framework. Guidance on writing competency examples is available: A brief guide to competencies
An initial sift based on the lead competence ‘Communications – Ideas: Core’, may be held if a large number of applications are received. Where there is an initial sift on a lead competence, we will provide feedback to people who do not meet the minimum standard. For those who meet the minimum standard on the lead competence, all competences will then be considered'.
If your application progresses to a full sift, all competences will then be considered.
Test, interview and group exercise.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Apply and further information
Contact point for applicants
Sift/interview dates and location
Sift and interview will take place at Westminster. Dates to be confirmed.
If successful and transferring from another Government Department a Disclosure and Barring Security Check may be carried out.
New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band