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MRC Senior Press Officer Job Description

Unit Name: Job Title: Band: Reports to:

Head Office Senior Press Officer 4 Chief Press Officer

Division/Section: Salary range: Tenure: Working Hours:

Corporate Affairs Group, Corporate Communications Section £29,663 - £33,555 per annum (inclusive of location allowances) Permanent Full time (36 hours per week)

Overall Purpose To maintain and improve broad public and stakeholder awareness of the MRC, its aims, research and impacts, by securing accurate and fair reporting of the MRC in media channels which reach key stakeholder groups. To take responsibility for and actively promote a portfolio of topics and issues, where necessary responding to the broader science and research agendas. Working Relationships  Develop and maintain good working relationships with the media in order to facilitate the effective handling of press inquiries and promotion of MRC stories and messages. Nurture close working with key staff in MRC head office, regions, units and centres, including senior managers and scientists, in order to identify stories of value to the media. Work closely with equivalent counterparts in other organisations, in particular with university press officers, to ensure MRC representation in joint releases.

Main duties  Work with colleagues in the corporate communications section and across the MRC to help meet the objectives set out in the MRC Corporate Communications Strategy. Contribute to and help implement the MRC’s media strategy by helping to identify innovative approaches to promote MRC messages, research and achievements to a range of stakeholder groups, and by leading on projects and initiatives. In collaboration with Regional Communication Managers and/or MRC-funded scientists, and through visits, identify and assess forthcoming scientific papers for newsworthiness and strategic fit with MRC objectives.  Where appropriate, conduct/record interviews, write press releases and/or web stories, and disseminate to and follow up with relevant media contacts to maximise uptake and help ensure adherence to MRC messages.  Identify MRC scientists in need of media training and ensure this is fed into the media training plan. Focus on opportunities for creative communication, integrating social media tools such as Facebook with other communication channels to promote key messages Keep senior scientists and Regional Communications Managers informed of press office
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MRC Senior Press Officer Job Description work in their area or unit/centre.  Contribute effectively to the day-to-day duties of the press office:  compile, write, edit and disseminate the MRC Daily News Brief for MRC staff  record and edit podcasts for the MRC website  respond to journalists' queries and, where necessary, organise briefings  advise scientists on how best to respond to press queries and help them identify key messages  write media briefings for senior MRC staff  contribute to effective running of management tools for media monitoring and evalution Work with and advise press officers from stakeholder organisations, including royal colleges and universities, on detailed press work involving the MRC. Organise an annual conference for royal college, university and other science-related press officers in order to establish good working relationships. Anticipate possible risks to MRC reputation and manage these situations as they emerge by tailoring MRC messages, briefing MRC representatives and working with journalists to protect and enhance the MRC's reputation. Deal with unexpected and difficult situations as and when they arise. Provide out-of-hours cover (weekday evenings and weekends) for the press office on a rota basis, usually one week out of every four, and more during holiday periods.

Employment Checks Please note that final appointment will be subject to pre-employment screening. Agenda check level required G Equality & Diversity: The MRC values the diverse skills and experience of its employees and is committed to achieving equality of treatment for all. Its objective is that all individuals shall have equal opportunities for employment and advancement on the basis of their skills, aptitudes and abilities. The MRC is committed to the engagement and retention of the best possible talent and to creating an environment that encourages excellence in scientific research through good equalities and diversity leadership and management. The job holder must at all times carry out their responsibilities with due regard to the MRC’s: • Code of Conduct • Equal Opportunities Statement • Health and Safety Policy • Information Technology Policy and Data Protection Act Job descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis and at the annual appraisal. Any changes should be made and agreed between postholder and line manager. The above lists are not exhaustive and the job holder is required to undertake such duties as may reasonably be requested within the scope of the post. All staff are required to act in a professional, co-operative and flexible manner, in line with the
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MRC Senior Press Officer Job Description requirements of the post and the MRC.

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