Head of External Affairs

£60,000 - £70,000 Per Annum
Hiring Organisation: 
Epilepsy Society

Worldwide, over 60 million people have seizures and more than 500,000 people have epilepsy in the UK - that is about one in every 100. Every hour more than three people are diagnosed with epilepsy in the UK. Every day three people die from epilepsy related incidents in the UK. Epilepsy Society is at an exciting point in its 127 year history with a new vision to tackle the stigma that still exists around epilepsy and significantly grow income in order to fund the research to find a functional cure. We are putting people at the heart of everything we do especially with our communications and advocacy work.  We’re looking for an exceptional Head of External Affairs to join our established and successful communications team. Your role will be to ensure a coordinated engagement across a range of audiences and stakeholder groups.  You will raise awareness of the charity and help us to extend our reach, drive influence at senior levels, demonstrate the impact of our work and increase our engagement on key issues to make a real difference to our beneficiaries. This role will deliver an integrated, coordinated strategy for influencing to shape our communications and advocacy work - aligned with the organisational aims and objectives. Working collaboratively with the communications team and senior stakeholders, the Head of External Affairs will:

  • Provide leadership in all our communications and advocacy work;
  • Drive audience focussed communications;
  • Develop and implement advocacy and policy work to lobby for change for our beneficiaries;
  • Raise awareness of the need for more research into epilepsy;
  • Ensure that more people know of us and recognise us as a source of support;
  • and provide opportunities to convert this into financial support of the charity.

This role requires experience in a busy press office, driving successful external communications and managing effective communications at a senior level. The post holder will have a team of three in the first instance, but we are ambitious to grow and this may increase over time. Flexibility in working across teams and with trustees is an essential requirement of the role including a willingness to “roll up your sleeves” and get things done, alongside deputising as required for the Director. The post-holder will be passionate about increasing our impact in advocacy and policy to ensure that epilepsy is put at the top of the agenda in the highest circles to increase funding, raise awareness and best benefit those diagnosed with the condition. Key accountabilities: Strategy & Planning

  • Working with a range of stakeholders and with input from across the organisation, create and implement an inspiring influencing strategy to continue to effectively position Epilepsy Society as a leading charity representing our beneficiaries and cementing our position as a ‘go to’ organisation for support and information, care, research and awareness raising.
  • Maintain strategic oversight of our external messaging and planning of communications to meet the strategic objectives of the charity.
  • Lead and support the Communications team to ensure effective content across all channels to drive our national and regional media profile and to maximise opportunities for press coverage to raise awareness of the charity and its work.
  • Develop and deliver creative and inspiring charity campaigns to support the wider organisation to increase our reach and engagement across audiences including people affected by the condition (either personally or as a family member), supporters, volunteers, statutory and non-statutory funders, politicians, policy makers, opinion formers and the wider public.

Communications Working collaboratively:

  • Engage with national health and science journalists to develop our media exposure in those areas.
  • Plan and implement proactive PR activity to promote Epilepsy Society’s work to a variety of audiences.
  • Support the development and implementation of the current value and brand proposition working with the marketing team.
  • Identify and support key staff and senior stakeholders to act as expert spokespeople on a range of issues (eg articles, blogs and interviews) to promote our research initiatives and issues in health and social care to increase the profile, brand, reputation and influence of the charity.
  • Provide high level advice to the Trustees, CEO and executive team on all communication issues to ensure we protect the brand and reputation of the charity at all times.Advocacy
  • Develop and deliver integrated and proactive issue-based campaigns to position Epilepsy Society as the ‘go to’ organisation for information at all levels.
  • Develop operational plans for key policy areas identified in the overarching influencing strategy - prioritising activity that makes the most impact for our beneficiaries and ensuring we can respond effectively to all opportunities.
  • Work with a wide range of influencers and stakeholders to position Epilepsy Society as a high profile charity in an international context.
  • Engage with stakeholders at a senior level to influence and shape policy around research, health and social care provision.

Management & Reporting

  • Manage the team in communications and advocacy, providing regular supervision and feedback, setting objectives and managing performance.
  • Manage the media monitoring service, reviewing and evaluating media coverage.
  • Provide regular reports for the executive and Trustees on communications and advocacy activity.
  • Ensure the communications and advocacy work complies with all appropriate regulation and guidance (eg Charity Commission guidance, GDPR).
  • Prepare the annual income and expenditure budgets for your area and monitor performance against it.
manager (head of / managing a few teams)
Job type: 
paid job within an organisation
Contract type: 
full time
Org Type: 
Job Location: 
Chalfont St Peter, London, UK
Location type: 
Closing date for applications: 
Monday, November 19, 2018 - 23:00

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