Head of Communications and Public Relations at the British High Commission (BHC)


The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Head of Communications and Public Relations

Ref. ID: 14/19 ABJ
Location: Abuja
Grade: D6 (L)
Start Date: 1 June 2019
Type of Position: Permanent
Job Category: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)
Job Subcategory: Communications, Press and Media

Main Purpose of Job

  • The British High Commission (BHC) seeks an experienced and dynamic professional to lead the British High Commission’s communications effort across the UK government’s network in Nigeria.
  • Communications is a key tool in BHC’s efforts to deliver on its wide-ranging objectives in Nigeria.
  • The Head of Communications will ensure we are using that tool to maximum effect, leading the comms team and collaborating with policy and programme teams across the office to communicate effectively and innovatively across a range of traditional and digital media.
  • The role will also drive regional communications work across West Africa, reporting into and drawing on the regional hub in South Africa.
  • This is an exciting and fast-paced role suitable for a high quality and experienced communications professional.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Working with colleagues across all UK Government departments operating in Nigeria and West Africa, as well as the press offices of Government Departments in London, you will set the direction for UK communications in Nigeria and drive high quality delivery. 
  • You will lead strategic communications and public diplomacy across the UK Government’s Nigeria network. Working with comms leads across the region and with the Comms Hub in South Africa, you will deliver regional communications campaigns across West Africa, tailored effectively to the local audience.
  • Using a blend of communications tools you will lead the team in generating innovative media campaigns and events, delivering high quality communications to project a positive image of the UK and to support delivery of the UK’s objectives in Nigeria, which cover a broad range of policies.
  • You will develop a sound understanding and the UK’s priorities in Nigeria and, working with the relevant teams, will identify how to make best use of comms to help to deliver.  
  • Leading a small team, you will ensure that the communications effort in Nigeria is proactive and creative, managing all aspects of communications including but not limited to public diplomacy events, external digital communications (increasing the audience receiving UK messages to maximise impact) and traditional media engagement. 
  • You will help shape programmes for visiting senior officials, Ministers and VVIPs, managing media engagements and providing sound advice on all press and public affairs elements.
  • You will build and maintain an effective network of contacts across the spectrum of Nigerian and international media to ensure that the BHC has a thorough understanding of the media’s role in Nigerian society and is well placed to engage constructively. 
  • Drawing on the expertise from colleagues in Nigeria and across West Africa, you will ensure all UK Government communications is tailored to its audience.
  • The Head of Communications will be the British High Commission’s spokesperson, drafting, clearing and delivering appropriate media messages to local and international media, based on a solid understanding of the issues and the context, and using reliable judgement. 
  • You will provide comms advice to the High Commissioner and other senior officials on their messaging.  
  • You will support the Press and Public Affairs team in effective monitoring and analysis of national and international media, providing reliable and informative products to colleagues in the Nigeria Network as well as the Nigeria Team in the Foreign Office in London.

Min Required Experience:

0 year(s)

Min Qualification:

Bachelor’s Degree/HND

Desired Courses:

Not Specified

Other Requirements:

Essential Qualifications, Skills and Experience 

  • Previous experience in public relations, marketing or media, including developing and implementing media communication plans/media campaigns and managing events.
  • Proven track record of delivering high quality strategic campaigns
  • Highly organised, proactive, able to work accurately within deadlines, with little supervision, in a fast paced environment
  • Attention to detail and strategic understanding, including when operating under pressure
  • Qualified to post graduate degree level
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English
  • A good working knowledge of ICT software (e.g. MS Word) in general and strong skills in digital media
  • Strong networking and relationship management skills
  • Effective management of teams

Desirable Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • Experience working in an international organisation

Required Competencies:

  • Seeing the Big Picture, Collaborating and Partnering, Delivering at Pace, Engaging Internationally

Remuneration
Starting monthly salary: NGN 1,852,619

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:

Additional Information 

  • Please complete the application form in full as the information provided is used during screening.
  • Please check your application carefully before you submit, as no changes can be made once submitted.
  • The British High Commission will never request any payment or fees to apply for a position.
  • Employees recruited locally by the British High Commission in Abuja are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law in Nigeria.
  • All candidates must be legally able to work and reside in the country of the vacancy with the correct visa/work permit status or demonstrate eligibility to obtain the relevant permit.
  • The responsibility lies on the successful candidate to;
    • Obtain the relevant permit
    • Pay fees for the permit
    • Make arrangements to relocate
    • Meet the costs to relocation

The British High Commission do not sponsor visas/work permits except where it may be local practice to do so.  

  • Employees who are not eligible to pay local income tax: e.g. certain third-country nationals and spouses/partners of UK diplomats will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount.
  • Information about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Competency Framework can be found on this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-competency-frameworkPlease note:  AA=A1, AO=A2, EO=B3, HEO=C4, SEO=C5 
  • Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted on successful candidates.

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