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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, Will Tanner, and the Advisory Board, chaired by Danny Finkelstein. Your work would have a direct impact on the UK political debate – and may ultimately help to change policy for the better.

We are looking a Head of Communications 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 if you so wished. 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 research programmes – including on Levelling Up, Social Fabric, Future Politics, Getting to Zero, and Science Superpower – are gaining substantial traction among national and regional politicians and we are investing considerably to solidify our position as the home of practical and politically deliverable policies to tackle the biggest issues of the day.

Main responsibilities:

  • Build and maintain strong, trusted relationships with journalists and MPs in broadcasters, and act as a point of contact for journalists seeking comment or information.
  • Place 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.
  • Produce a regular podcast and oversee Onward’s social media output.
  • 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.

Salary: £50,000 – £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 9th October (Interviews Thursday 13th Oct)

Start Date: December 2022/January 2023 

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 adam.hawksbee@ukonward.com.