Appointed - Director of Strategic Communications

  • Location: London and Hybrid
  • Salary: Competitive base and pension
  • Ref: GH-2207-8514
  • 2023-06-13T00:00:00+00:00
  • Ellwood Atfield

This is an example of a role successfully appointed by the Ellwood Atfield team.

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Lead strategic communications for this research power-house.

UCL is a radically different university. Founded in 1826 in the heart of London, we were the first university in England to welcome students of any religion and the first to welcome women on equal terms with men. Today UCL has over 51,000 students and 16,000 staff and is one of the world’s top 10 universities. We champion innovation, creativity and cross-disciplinary working in our teaching and research. The courageous attitude and disruptive spirit of our founders is still alive today.

The Vice-President External Engagement team (VPEE) coordinates UCL’s engagement with a range of external and internal audiences, raising the university’s profile and influence, and managing its reputation. They promote the public value of UCL’s research and education, both within the UK, and globally. It is a service-driven team of communications and marketing professionals who deliver sector-leading media relations, public affairs, institutional communications, brand and integrated marketing, student recruitment, and events.

The opportunity:
The Director of Strategic Communications is a new post created to provide strategy, insight and planning capacity at senior level in VPEE, to maximise the impact of our output across all audiences. Working collaboratively in a fast-paced and often reactive environment, the successful candidate will provide strategic leadership, keeping focus on the overall campaign plan for UCL’s proactive communications and engagement.

Reporting to the Vice-President External Engagement, the Director of Strategic Communications will work in partnership with senior colleagues in VPEE and across the university, supporting colleagues to deliver compelling, relevant and impactful internal and external engagement to drive UCL’s  influence, profile and long-term success. This post has a strategically important role in promoting and protecting the UCL brand through the development of effective campaigns and storytelling.

The Director and their team will provide additional capability and capacity to complement team-based expertise, bringing additional insight into audiences, the most interventions and approaches, and understanding of wider policy and societal changes on higher education.

This role will guide and influence the wider communications community at UCL, beyond VPEE, including colleagues based in academic departments, research institutes and faculties, as well as other central professional services teams.

Main responsibilities include:

The Director of Strategic Communications and their team will be directly responsible for three key areas:

  • Data & insight: measure, evaluate and share the impact of communication and engagement activity to track impact and value, refine our approach, support active learning in our teams and provide visibility of progress for the Executive. Develop (and working in partnership with VPEE and other VPEE Directors) oversee the delivery and evaluation of the UCL Communications Strategy
  • Storytelling & content: work collaboratively with colleagues, develop compelling narratives, messaging and content to drive effective engagement and maximise usage of centrally produced content across the university.
  • Planning & campaigns: build, own and manage the communications planning process for VPEE based on key themes aligned to core strategic objectives and work collaboratively with colleagues to plan integrated communications campaigns which are co-ordinated across VPEE and the wider institution.

Required skills, experience, and abilities include:

  • Experience working at senior level in a fast-paced and highly complex communication and engagement team.
  • Strong understanding of communication, engagement and marketing, across a range of digital and traditional channels.
  • Experience leading and managing high-performing teams of people, with a diverse range of specialist communication skills and of building cross-functional teams and fostering collaboration in organisations.
  • Experience of using tracking and evaluation tools to gauge the effectiveness of planned activity.
  • Financial skills, including the ability to manage and monitor large, complex budgets and allocate resources effectively.
  • Experience of working in a large and complex organisation, such as higher education, the public sector, corporate, or a charity.

How to apply:
For more information, please consult the detailed candidate pack found herePlease apply with a CV and Supporting Statement via the ‘Apply for this Position’ button. Please note that applications for this position will close at 09.00 on 27th June 2023. 

Interviews with UCL will take place in July 2023.