Senior Communication & Engagement Officer
  • Employer: West Sussex County Council
  • Reference: CRS00457
  • Published: Thu 29/04/2021, 4:35 AM
  • Closing on: Thu 13/05/2021, 4:35 AM
  • Working Pattern: Full Time
  • Hours: Full Time (37hrs)
  • Salary: £32910 - £35745 per annum
  • DBS Check: No
  • Location: Based in Chichester, Based in Crawley, Based in Horsham or Chichester, but working countywide , Hampshire, West Sussex

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Senior Communication & Engagement Officer

About Us

Here at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) we currently have a number of exciting new roles within our busy Communications and Engagement team. This particular role is a new Fixed Term Contract (FTC) opportunity for a Senior Communications and Engagement Officer to join our Communications and Engagement team. The COVID-19 pandemic has jump-started WSCC into a period of change. We have demonstrated our uncompromising commitment to the residents of West Sussex. Things are different already and we need to keep changing to build on the progress we have made.

The key areas of focus include our commitment to put residents at the heart of everything we do; to create strong and visible leadership; to work closely with our partners; to invest in and value our staff; and to make the way we work as straightforward as possible. You will be joining us at an exciting time as we start on Our Council Plan to achieve this. For more information, please visit our WSCC website.

About The Job

Salary: £32,910 - £35,745

Working Pattern: Full-time (37 hours per week)

Contract Length: 12 Months

Location: County Hall, Chichester (Flexible and remote working arrangements available)

This is a unique opportunity for a communications professional looking to make a difference. As a Senior Communications and Engagement Officer you will be responsible for establishing and delivering the communication strategies for several key technology and service transformation projects that are either underway or on the horizon.

You will own, shape and deliver campaigns and engagement activities across a range of channels, focusing on internal and staff engagement, as well as including local and national media, digital, and social media.

Working on several challenging and interrelated projects at one time, you will ensure that all communications activity is planned, monitored and evaluated to demonstrate impact.

The job will involve extensive relationship building across the organisation and with a variety of internal and external teams, partners and stakeholders.

Experience and Skills

You'll need the ability to hit the ground running, initially working remotely, with a hands-on and can-do attitude to your work. You'll need to be able to manage your own workload, juggling competing priorities and organising your work to meet deadlines. You'll be comfortable making decisions and exercising initiative without ready access to your manager. You'll be able to apply focus when conducting research, preparing plans, delivering activities and analysing feedback, and will use your creative skills to develop campaigns that are in line with the council's brand values and reputation. In addition you will also be able to demonstrate the following key skills and experience.

Key Skills:

  1. Ability to work alone and take full ownership of the communications needs for simultaneous projects, with a 'hands-on' and 'can-do' approach.
  2. Highly computer literate with sound and accurate IT skills, capable of carrying out research, planning, reporting and presenting.
  3. Professional communication skills with the aptitude and confidence to provide clear advice and feedback to colleagues and senior managers. Excellent literacy and numeracy skills in order to understand and interpret research data, technical reports, customer feedback, policies and guidance.
  4. Highly developed negotiation skills that persuade others of the need to take a specific course of action. For example, negotiating opposing opinions and finding a mutually agreeable solution.
  5. Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to quickly build relationships with a variety of internal and external stakeholders and deliver concise presentations to senior managers.
  6. Strong problem-solving skills with the ability to resolve issues independently, making sound pragmatic decisions.

Qualifications and/or experience:

  • Degree, or equivalent qualification or experience demonstrating a high level of applied knowledge in communications, particularly in a public sector environment.
  • Post graduate professional qualification in a relevant field - Desirable
  • Relevant advanced theoretical and organisational knowledge of communication platforms, procedures and policies and understanding how they may impact on the development and content of campaigns, for example, knowledge of drafting newsletters, website content, adverts and social media posts. Professional understanding of the latest communications and engagement methods, channels and metrics.
  • Thorough working knowledge of the wider environment, the functions and structure of national and local government and of organisational policies, practices and procedures.
  • In-depth and significant knowledge of effective solutions to meet changing customer needs and demands.
  • Knowledge of and experience in managing consultations and surveys.
  • Significant, demonstrable experience of designing, conducting, co-ordinating, implementing and evaluating engaging communication campaigns.
  • Practical experience in analysing, interrogating and interpreting information from a variety of sources in order to inform communication campaign planning.

Rewards and Benefits

In addition to 26 days holiday as an employer we recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive and dynamic working environment where employees can achieve their full potential, achieve a healthy work-life balance and are rewarded for the work they do.

For a full list of the benefits offered to you as a West Sussex County Council employee you can find them on our Rewards and Benefits page.

Further Information

The reference number for this role is CRS00457.

Closing Date: 13/5/2021

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