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Head of Communications

Onward is looking for an outstanding individual to be our Head of Communications. This is a senior role, with responsibility for managing Onward’s engagement with the media, including the lobby, regional titles and broadcasters, and Members of Parliament. You will be a member of the senior management team, working closely with the Director, Deputy Director and Advisory Board. Your work would have a direct impact on the UK political debate – and may ultimately help to reshape policy for the better.

We are looking for someone with a proven track record of being able to spot, shape and place stories in national and regional media, and with established relationships in Parliament and newsrooms. The role comes with considerable freedom to shape Onward’s comms strategy and to develop innovative campaigns around our research and ideas – as well as opportunities to represent Onward in print and broadcast media. You would support the Director in shaping the overall narrative about the organisation and our place in key policy debates.

You would be joining Onward at a moment when we are growing in both size and influence. Our five research programmes – Levelling Up, Social Fabric, Future Politics, Science Superpower and Getting to Zero – are gaining substantial traction among national and regional politicians. We are investing considerably to solidify our position as the home of practical and politically deliverable centre right policies to tackle the biggest issues of the day.

Main responsibilities: 

  • Build and maintain strong, trusted relationships with journalists, MPs and broadcasters, and act as a point of contact for journalists seeking comment or information.
  • Forming strategies for placing stories in the media about the work of Onward, both day-to-day and around set pieces, such as report launches and our events programme.
  • Build relationships with comment editors and producers to place op-eds and land interviews in mainstream print and broadcast media. This may include representing Onward in the media yourself.
  • Oversee and expand Onward’s social media output with new forms of content, such as video..
  • Work with the research team to prepare press releases, statements and opinion pieces to promote Onward’s work.
  • Provide communications training and advice to the Onward team, including conducting preparation for interviews where appropriate.
  • Join Onward’s senior management team, meeting regularly to shape the direction of the organisation and ensure we are maximising our impact on the policy debate.


Salary: £45,000 – £60,000, dependent on experience.

Commitment: Ideally full-time. 

Working pattern: 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, flexible working from home and the Westminster Office.

Deadline: Sunday 28th May (Interviews Wednesday 31st May).

Start Date: As soon as possible.

Application details: To apply for this role, please send your CV and a short cover letter outlining your suitability for the role and how you would approach the task of growing Onward’s influence to david.comerford@ukonward.com