Head of Corporate Communications
CONTEXT OF THE ROLE:
Reporting to the Commercial Director and working closely with the Managing Director, the purpose of this role is to develop and lead the corporate engagement strategy for the business, including being the key point of contact for the media and other external stakeholders. The role holder will be responsible for ensuring that the business develops and maintains effective relationships with other third party stakeholders enhancing Merseyrail’s reputation within the city region and wider rail industry. Leading our engagement with media outlets, the role holder will be responsible for preparing, presenting and publishing a professional image through these outlets.
- Develop and deliver a corporate engagement strategy, aimed at developing our relationships with business stakeholders.
- Develop and maintain relationships with key local, regional and national media outlets, providing proactive and reactive releases as appropriate.
- Represent the business as Company Spokesperson on agreed subjects, presenting written and spoken information in a professional manner.
- Support the managing director and the commercial director on activities, events or initiatives which could affect Merseyrail’s reputation.
- Work alongside the Corporate & Social Responsibility Manager, Head of Marketing & CSR, Internal Communications Manager and other key internal persons/departments as applicable, to deliver a positive image and reputation for Merseyrail.
- Work in collaboration with our client, Merseytravel, to develop narrative and materials which support the city region and shared areas of interest.
- Liaise closely with communications professionals at Serco and Abellio to communicate our corporate engagement activities and support wider parent company objectives
DECISION MAKING AUTHORITY
- Accountable for managing delegated budgets as applicable, according to Merseyrail accounting, financial control and other applicable policies.
- Geographical - Defined areas of responsibility across the organisation
- Staff - No direct line management.
MOST CHALLENGING/DIFFICULT PART OF THE JOB
- Developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders – presenting a positive and proactive corporate image
- Responding to and managing contact from the media
- To develop and ensure the delivery of the corporate engagement strategy for Merseyrail, identifying stakeholders, methods for engagement and frequency.
- Develop a stakeholder matrix and manage/oversee regular briefings to key stakeholders.
- Work with the Head of Marketing & CSR, Corporate & Social Responsibility Manager and Internal Communications Manager to develop high quality narrative and messaging to promote the work of Merseyrail.
- To develop relationships and act as point of contact for local, regional and national media as agreed. Provide proactive and reactive media messages in support of the business goals and objectives. Act as official company spokesperson to the media on agreed topics.
- Support the Managing Director, Commercial Director and other senior leadership roles as required in the development of narrative for external presentations and announcements.
- Work closely with key departmental heads around the business to understand business developments which may adversely or positively impact upon the image of Merseyrail. Actively manage the release of information to external parties as necessary.
- Manage corporate events and VIP visits as applicable to ensure that a professional impact is made which positively impacts the reputation of the business.
- Monitor political environment, current affairs and internal issues and provide advisory notices to the team of directors and the wider business as applicable.
- To ensure that effective systems and coverage are maintained to allow ease of contact from media outlets with time sensitive enquiries at all times. Provide out of hours coverage as assigned and agreed with the Commercial Director.
KEY SAFETY ACCOUNTABILITY
Safety is everyone’s responsibility within Merseyrail. You’re responsible for your safety and the safety of others such as colleague’s and passengers. As an employee you’re expected to understand and apply our safety values and ensure they are visible in all you do.
- The post holder is responsible to their manager for the health, safety and welfare of themselves, colleagues, contractors, customers or general public through any deficiencies of the required standard of the post holder.
- The post holder must take measures to ensure that they fully understand any references in publications issued to or to which access or extracts are provided which relates to their particular tasks or responsibilities.
- The post holder must fully report all accidents currently to their Manager and complete all necessary related documentation.
- The post holder must attend safety briefings and raise any concerns about safety standards.
- The Post holder should make themselves aware of the names of those trained in First Aid. Local arrangements are detailed in the Local safety Policy Statement and are exhibited on Company notice boards.
- The post holder has a responsibility for fire, fire prevention and security by making themselves aware of any evacuation plan and reporting suspicious objects to their manager.
EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE, QUALIFICATIONS AND TRAINING
- Educated to degree level or equivalent qualification in English Language, Journalism, Business or other relevant specialism.
- significant experience (5 years) working within the media or communications sector.
- Experience of working in a unionised enviroment is desirable but not essential.
- Experience of crisis management communication management is desired, but not essential.
- Experience in journalism or press/media relations.
- Experience of stakeholder and relationship management.
- The post holder will be expected to build and maintain a solid understanding of the wider business operation
We offer an extensive and competitive range of benefits to all employees joining our company:
- Competitive salaries
- Final Salary Pension Scheme
- Free rail travel with Merseyrail and other TOCs in the Serco / Abellio group
- Subsidised rail travel with other UK and European TOCs
- Generous holiday entitlement
- Employee Benefits Scheme offering discounts and offers on a number of products and services